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Old 02-02-2015, 10:14 PM   #1
tonup69
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Default 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

Hello fellow sled lovers! I had an epiphany last year and decided that my 1964 Bonnie project, which was going to be a REAL Triumph Thruxton - i.e. a full fairing 1964 Thruxton - was destined for something else. Something more ridable - more thrashable - more likely not to win best in show. Yes, fellow dirt dobbers - I was going to build a 60s era desert sled.

I must give credit to my pals at Trophy Motorcycles in San Diego - especially Tim Johnson, who loaned me one of his sleds in March of last year for a little off road rooting around. That was all I needed to go off the deep end. Unlike some of my other long term projects ('73 TR5T, '64 Montesa Enduro and even my '71 BSA B50MX), I decided this one would not be a restoration at all. This will still be a rusty ridden bike, but with all new engine rebuild, suspension, carbs, electronic ignition, wiring, etc.

I am going to use this thread to post some picks and talk about my progress. Here is where I started. I have to say, this bike was a mess. This is the first Triumph that I have taken apart and almost everything needed to be replaced or fixed. In fact, the only thing really in good shape was the gearbox. Crazy.

Well, here goes. This is the bike I started with. Here are some shots of the project:

https://www.pinterest.com/tonup69/1964-desert-sled/

More to come.....

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

very cool looks like you have a good bike to start with.
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

great find , i like your idea. however i have to ask as i have a 64 bonnie... what are you going to do with the fenders? seat? i have fenders the were cut off by an inch or thereabouts.... missing the origional seatpan as well. i have a 68 or later tail light if your interested... im subscribing to this as 64 isnt often seen.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

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what are you going to do with the fenders? seat? i have fenders the were cut off by an inch or thereabouts.... missing the origional seatpan as well.
Fenders are coming off the bike for the sled. If you want to buy them or trade for them, I am all ears. I already have a stainless rear fender (Triumph NOS for some C models) I am going to make an aluminum front fender. Similar to the one on this bike:


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Old 02-04-2015, 01:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

What type of tires do they use above?

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Old 02-04-2015, 11:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

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What type of tires do they use above?

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These are often called vintage trail tires. They are not as aggressive as knobbies or even dual sport tires. Plenty of companies still make them. Here is one example:

http://tinyurl.com/ljmn6fc

Cheers,

LTR
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

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What type of tires do they use above?

Best Regards
The standard fashion of the day was 4:00-19 Dunlop Trials Universal on the front and a 4:00-19 knobby on the rear.

I just go a couple of DVDs from a friend yesterday. They are old 8mm home movies of desert racing, scrambles and the Catalina GP. All from the early 50s. Absolutely wonderful film from back then. Great that they survived.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

Example 2: 50 over pistons beat up and tired - nobody had 60 over pistons - needed a new barrel ($200 on eBay).

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Old 02-08-2015, 03:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

Not the worst. Intresting build, will follow this one...
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

I'll see what I can do. But don't hold your breath too long. Remember I'm old and was there when "desert sleds" were new. This computer stuff is way more difficult than building a bike. My wife is talented at copying stuff. I'l have to sweet talk her
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

One teaser before we get into the rebuild. I had these gages redone by a guy up in Canada. I think he did a stellar job at Vintage British Cables. This is the tach I alluded to in the previous post. One year only:

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Old 02-13-2015, 08:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

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One teaser before we get into the rebuild. I had these gages redone by a guy up in Canada. I think he did a stellar job at Vintage British Cables. This is the tach I alluded to in the previous post. One year only:

Never mind! I see you have what you need! Awesome! They used these only on the 63 & 64 model years. Many riders were having issues pulling or catching the cables on objects. To remedy this triumph went to the 90 degree tach drive!
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

Funny - it doesn't look like it would be in the what sicking out like that. The bend is well inside the cases. We shall see. Could eventually be a problem on the trails, but I don't plan on deep woods riding - mostly fire roads and desert.
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

OK - back to the build. For the engine I am looking for a little extra pep with those longer duration cams, but not a lot of modifications. I wanted to rebuild a sold 650cc Triumph engine that would not leave me out in the middle of nowhere - to be honest, most Triumphs will run until they blow up even when they are WELL beyond the point they should have stopped - which is I why I am a fan.

So, to bring you up to speed, the barrel was already 50 over and we just could not bore it out past the pitted rust spot where the rings had stuck on one side. It is also pretty hard to find 80 over pistons these days! So, I picked up a new 650 barrel on eBay and dropped it at my local shop for a re-bore - new pistons and rings and to clean out the sludge trap and install the cams. Came back pretty and squeaky clean!



Next, I started on the gearbox, which was in good shape, installed a new 18T front sprocket and a new bushing for the clutch rod. The rest of the box was good! I used a later model outer gearbox cover because the clutch mechanism is better and adjustment easier.



Of course, I did a heart transplant. Shiny new oil pump well worth the cost.



I will cut to the chase - here is the engine built. Some other parts include a new stator (2-wire 12V) and some rockerbox spacers that I like instead of springs.

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Old 02-08-2015, 08:37 PM   #15
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I'll see what I can do. But don't hold your breath too long. Remember I'm old and was there when "desert sleds" were new. This computer stuff is way more difficult than building a bike. My wife is talented at copying stuff. I'l have to sweet talk her
If it helps encourage you, I once saw Hoofhearted win by a nose.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

I see we have something else in common. I race a 1971 BSA B50MX in AHRMA.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:04 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

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I see we have something else in common. I race a 1971 BSA B50MX in AHRMA.
Yeah! Next time you're over here, let me know and we'll meet up. My B50 hasn't been run in a while, too much client work going on, which is not a bad thing
Cheers, Dan.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

OK - before we get to the build. Here are a few teasers - goodies and add ons. Trying to stay period on this build. Using some period aftermarket parts and modified parts (period modified in the case of the oil tank).

NOS Harmon & Collins 7210 cams:



Modified oil tank:



Webco monobloc float bowl extensions - going with the one on the right:



Custom break air scoop:

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:13 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1964 Triumph Desert Sled Project

You got any pics of your B50mx? I have one too! Great build you have going here!
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:30 AM   #20
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You got any pics of your B50mx? I have one too! Great build you have going here!
Well, since you ask....







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Last edited by tonup69; 02-10-2015 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Where did my photos go?
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