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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, i have had my Honda for like 2 years now and i have had my fun with it. I am really interested in the British bikes and i was wondering what the cheapest way to get into my first brit bike would be. I am a poor ass college kid so i dont have a bunch of money. Are there any oddball Triumphs or anything that are usually pretty cheap like small cc ones like a 250 or something? Does not have to be triumph either bsa and norton are way cool also. Any ideas or info would be much appriciated. Thanks!!
Lil Joe
 

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The cheapest and easiest way for a poor college kid to get into Triumphs is to buy a Yamaha XS. ;) :D

give me a minute to set up an email address for the hate mail. hahaha
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Django said:
The cheapest and easiest way for a poor college kid to get into Triumphs is to buy a Yamaha XS. ;) :D

give me a minute to set up an email address for the hate mail. hahaha
hahahahahahaha nice Chad
 

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Capricekid said:
Hey all, i have had my Honda for like 2 years now and i have had my fun with it. I am really interested in the British bikes and i was wondering what the cheapest way to get into my first brit bike would be. I am a poor ass college kid so i dont have a bunch of money. Are there any oddball Triumphs or anything that are usually pretty cheap like small cc ones like a 250 or something? Does not have to be triumph either bsa and norton are way cool also. Any ideas or info would be much appriciated. Thanks!!
Lil Joe
Best way is to buy a running complete bike.
What do you consider a lot of money? Running triumphs, riders not show pieces, can be had for $2000 to $2500, sometimes less.
First year oil in frame bikes are unpopular because of the seat height but have the advantage of years of development on the motors.
BSAs are rarer but don't bring/cost the $$$ because fewer folks are into them.
 

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Django said:
The cheapest and easiest way for a poor college kid to get into Triumphs is to buy a Yamaha XS. ;) :D

give me a minute to set up an email address for the hate mail. hahaha
Hey, the way I see it, that's flattery. You musta been doin something right, if someone wants to cop your style.

As far as Brit bikes on the cheap - best bet I would say is a be on the look out for an early 70's BSA single (Victor), or early 70'2 single carb twin Triumph or BSA. The OIF dilemma - most people aren't found of them, even though they were good bikes once you changed the electrics. Not as desirable, as olders.

Capricekid, where are you located?
 

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Capricekid said:
Hey all, i have had my Honda for like 2 years now and i have had my fun with it. I am really interested in the British bikes and i was wondering what the cheapest way to get into my first brit bike would be. I am a poor ass college kid so i dont have a bunch of money. Are there any oddball Triumphs or anything that are usually pretty cheap like small cc ones like a 250 or something? Does not have to be triumph either bsa and norton are way cool also. Any ideas or info would be much appriciated. Thanks!!
Lil Joe
lil' joe,
The brit bikes are getting expensive, but if you're patient you might be able to find a 500cc-er somewhere for decent. Do your research!!! My Triumph started out as a "cheap" project and now I'm up to my eyeballs in debt... however I probably won't have to do much more than the usual Brit bike maintenance either (knock on wood!) because I had everything redone and rerfreshed. I know that comment is going to come back to haunt me now... anyway. take your time, figure out your budget (don't forget you need to eat and drink LOTS of beer in college), figure out what "style" you're shooting for and then do a TON of research. This board has TONS of knowledgeable people.
Finding the bike is a whole nother game! Egay is getting REALLY expensive, but sometimes you can find an oddball. You may want to find something that will at least run that you can re-vamp since you're a student. You will spend an obscene amount of "study/party" time working on it otherwise. Check around with oldtimers or shops in your area. Get to know them and maybe you'll find someones "barn-fresh" if you're lucky. Just plan you're build according to your budget and do your research. The JJ and the internet will help you get thru it. Oh yeah, don't forget... old brit bikes need british tools!
Good luck man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ol_scratch said:
Hey, the way I see it, that's flattery. You musta been doin something right, if someone wants to cop your style.

As far as Brit bikes on the cheap - best bet I would say is a be on the look out for an early 70's BSA single (Victor), or early 70'2 single carb twin Triumph or BSA. The OIF dilemma - most people aren't found of them, even though they were good bikes once you changed the electrics. Not as desirable, as olders.

Capricekid, where are you located?
Thanks for the replys, i am in Brookfield, IL (i changed my profile) which is right outside Chicago. I can afford about 1000 bucks which is about half of what they go for haha. I am not lookin for anything pretty, just something i can bomb around on and play with. I also live in Milwaukee a good part of the year because that is were i go to school. Thanks!

Lil Joe
 

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Django said:
The cheapest and easiest way for a poor college kid to get into Triumphs is to buy a Yamaha XS. ;) :D
So true....

But to answer CapriceKid's question: inexpensive ones are out there. It takes some looking to find them. Both Trump and BSA 500cc bikes tend to be a little cheaper than 650s but the price difference is not all that wide. If it's going to be your first brit bike, I would advise trying to buy something as complete as possible so that you know what it is supposed to look and work like and because the prices of small, new parts are kinda high and tend to add up in your build. Unless you want a pure chopper, in which case start with a decent frame and build on as you can afford the parts.

Getting into a stock, running brit bike (BSA or Trump, probably not Norton) that needs some work will probably run you $1,500 if you keep your eyes open. If you can save a bit of money, then sell your Honda, then you ought to have enough to buy and fix one up a bit.

But like Django says, if you are mostly looking for the 'look' of brit bobbers but without the mechanical headaches and expense, Yammy XS650 is the way to go. You can buy them already bobbed for what you'd pay for your starter brit bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BigDdy31 said:
So true....

But to answer CapriceKid's question: inexpensive ones are out there. It takes some looking to find them. Both Trump and BSA 500cc bikes tend to be a little cheaper than 650s but the price difference is not all that wide. If it's going to be your first brit bike, I would advise trying to buy something as complete as possible so that you know what it is supposed to look and work like and because the prices of small, new parts are kinda high and tend to add up in your build. Unless you want a pure chopper, in which case start with a decent frame and build on as you can afford the parts.

Getting into a stock, running brit bike (BSA or Trump, probably not Norton) that needs some work will probably run you $1,500 if you keep your eyes open. If you can save a bit of money, then sell your Honda, then you ought to have enough to buy and fix one up a bit.

But like Django says, if you are mostly looking for the 'look' of brit bobbers but without the mechanical headaches and expense, Yammy XS650 is the way to go. You can buy them already bobbed for what you'd pay for your starter brit bike.
I am not looking to drastically customize anything right now, it is beyond my skill level, but i want to start learning about these bikes so a stocker would be just fine. I would do basic stuff like grips and seat and stuff, but i would not be able to do frame work or anything like that at this point. I have thought about the Yamaha, but i would rather just do it right if i am gonna spend the money. Although, thinking about it if it meant less beer drinking the g/f and my Ma might chip in for the bike hahaha. Thanks again.
Lil Joe
 

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Capricekid said:
...but i want to start learning about these bikes so a stocker would be just fine. I would do basic stuff like grips and seat and stuff, but i would not be able to do frame work or anything like that at this point. Lil Joe
If you've got $1,000, I know where there's a BSA A65FB Firebird Scrambler that has almost all of it's big parts that you might be able to get for about $500 but it lives in Ohio. That means either shipping or road trip (another $300). PM me if you want the info because I have too much going on right now to buy it.
 

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THOM is going to buy my XS when Hatch is done with it. I'm sure he'll let you ride it and see what you think.
 

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yeah, britt bikes are definetely getting more expensive, just 10 years ago they're alot cheaper.

i guess the harley seen is getting played out. I've read that at high end auctions the britt bikes are demanding more and more percentage wise compared to any other bikes. but afterall, the most desired bike of all time is a britt bike (the vincent black shadow)

my advice is try to find a triumph 650 engine that has no case cracks, and simply rebuild it a little at a time. once that's done, or while it's being done, get a hardtail frame.

they're cheap and easy to find compared to nortons or other british bikes, so just make sure it's a straight un-wrecked one. plus, triumph choppers are so common you can find somebody with a jig that will make you a custom frame for less than 700 bucks.

good luck. wish my norton was easy to find parts for as the triumph, you'll never no the agony i went through building my norton chopper.
 

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Django said:
THOM is going to buy my XS when Hatch is done with it. I'm sure he'll let you ride it and see what you think.
Hey Django, are you the one that bought Reddog's old XS?
 

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Try and find a complete bike or atleast some what complete. I would avoid buying piece by piece. My BSA is nickel and diming to death. I originally bought just the frame and have been piecing it together ever since. Talk about a head ache sometimes!!


-Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
baytowngreaser said:
Try and find a complete bike or atleast some what complete. I would avoid buying piece by piece. My BSA is nickel and diming to death. I originally bought just the frame and have been piecing it together ever since. Talk about a head ache sometimes!!

-Eddie
Maybe the Yamaha is the best way to go after looking at some of those prices. At least until i get my degree. I will keep my eyes open and keep you all informed though.
Lil Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Capricekid said:
Maybe the Yamaha is the best way to go after looking at some of those prices. At least until i get my degree. I will keep my eyes open and keep you all informed though.
Lil Joe
Thank you all very much for the imput though. This board is a wealth of knowledge. Thanks again.
Lil Joe
 

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Just to mention a couple of the pitfalls when looking for an el cheapo Brit bike for a project.

BSA singles, such as the 441 are good running bikes, but rebuilding them with the roller con rod bearings is no job for an beginner. Similarly, rebuilding of BSA unit engines can become a nightmare if the plain timing side bearing is worn.
People like to ignore the sludge trap in the Triumph cranks also, this is a little tube that traps the gunk before it gets to the rod journals, but when it traps a little too much, it cuts off the oil to them and you are heading for seize city (not much fun at 50mph).
You can still get good deals on the Triumph 500 twins, it's an ideal starting platform for the price.
 

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Hey Joe, spammed you about another bike close to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
BigDdy31 said:
Hey Joe, spammed you about another bike close to you.
\

Thanks for the heads up BigDdy31. I missed that one but i think i found one near me. Is there any particular years that are better for the XS i think the one near me is an 80 or 81. The add says that it runs good and he is asking 725 obo. I need to seel my 350 first but is this a good deal if it runs and drives? Thanks again for the imput.
Lil Joe
 
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