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I'm saving up money in hopes of buying a Triumph sometime soon. I like the early model bare bones Triumph bobbers, but I don't really know much about Triumphs. I've always ridden Harleys.

Since this will be my first one, I'll probably be looking for one that is complete or fairly close. Any suggestions or information about common problems I should look for? Any certain years better than others? Any mechanics in the So Cal area who work on Triumphs?

I'm trying to learn everything I can by reading the posts on this board. Any additional info would be appreciated.
 

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Generally speaking, there is nothing catastrophically wrong with any Triumph 500cc or 650cc 1950 to 1970. they were then and are now world class motorcycles. If you are shopping for a runner, mostly complete already bobbed, you should be able to find lots of pre-unit stuff, depending on your budget. if you are gonna build a bobber from a basket case, go with the 1963-1970 frame 650 stuff as parts are easier to find and they can be bobbed with commonly available bolt on rear sections. 500cc stuff too for that matter.

pre-unit basket cases can be tricky unless they are very complete, and everyone says that they are when they are selling but they are not and motor and frame bracketry is kinda tought to find these days.

best advice is to save your money up to about $4500 and then you really have some good choices on runners. Also, don't be afraid of a swingarm custom. There are lots of pre-unit swingarm bikes out there that are good buys, in the $2000-$3000 range. There is no bolt on hardtail for them (except 1960-1962), but I love the SA customs, just that everyone wants a rigid right now.

Good luck and I do all work on Triumphs here at Four Aces Cycle, but I can also recommend Meatball in OC and Rabers in San Jose. Also Randy of Tweaker's Garage in San Diego has inspirational stuff and does custom work on Trumpets.
 

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Silent Ed said:
I'm saving up money in hopes of buying a Triumph sometime soon. I like the early model bare bones Triumph bobbers, but I don't really know much about Triumphs. I've always ridden Harleys.

Since this will be my first one, I'll probably be looking for one that is complete or fairly close. Any suggestions or information about common problems I should look for? Any certain years better than others? Any mechanics in the So Cal area who work on Triumphs?

I'm trying to learn everything I can by reading the posts on this board. Any additional info would be appreciated.
Hi,

It relly depends on what you like, pre unit engines look nicer as customs (in my opinion) but these engines are now about 45 years old, they take a lot of work to put together properly and cost a bit in the first place. Unit engines are easy to work on and can take a certain amount of tuning, belt drives and dry clutches are readily available as are all other engine spares. Then you need to think about size the 500's run very well and can rev higher than the 650's or 750's but don't have as much torque. If you weld or bolt on a hardtail you need to consider stretch and drop, personally I like the look of a 2" stretch with no drop, but it's your project so you may want to go out to a 4" or 6" stretch, if you also go for a drop you'll need to shorten the fork stanchions so the bike sits square, or play with rim sizes. A 19" front with a 17" rear works good and tyre choice isn't limited.

Good luck.

Frenchie
 
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