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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally convinced a friend of mine to build a nice bobber. He is on a budget (about $8-9k) so we are looking to build a Triumph bobber.

He's not really into the whole bike building scene, just likes to ride. I showed him some pics of some Triumphs and he's diggin something ala Flyin' Dutchman's ride (weld on hardtail, sporty tank, 18" rear, etc...)


I'm going to be helping him through the process. Everything from finding a donor bike, to sourcing all the parts. Problem is, I know zilch about Triumphs other than they look cool and someday I'd like to build one too.


Stupid question time... Is there some sort of "chopping a Triumph" FAQ somewhere?

I need some pointers on what years to look for, Bonne vs Tiger, etc. I know the '75 and down are right side shift... which is fine. Also, he likes the look of the single down tube frames if that narrows down the model years I should be searching for.


Also, there is some guy locally selling a '60 Bonneville. He said its "rare split case"... I think he means "pre-unit" ? Thoughts on those as well??


Any help, advice and direction towards reference material would be much appreciated! :)
 

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Not to muddy your waters, but you do know that for his price range he could EASILY find a nice big twin bike or super nice sporty all ready to go? I see deals like that on the swap boards and on ebay all the time. If you are actually going to build the bike from scratch, you couldl easily come under his number. Before chrome, paint and polish, and if I hadn't gone unnecessarily high-buck on some parts, my evo chop would have been well within that 8-9k range.

I like triumphs alot (I've had a few over the years, and still have one in pieces right now), but they are bikes for tinkerers and it sounds like this guy wants a rider. Harley's are usually less finnicky to maintain and keep on the road.

EL MATADOR said:
I finally convinced a friend of mine to build a nice bobber. He is on a budget (about $8-9k) so we are looking to build a Triumph bobber.

He's not really into the whole bike building scene, just likes to ride. I showed him some pics of some Triumphs and he's diggin something ala Flyin' Dutchman's ride (weld on hardtail, sporty tank, 18" rear, etc...)

I'm going to be helping him through the process. Everything from finding a donor bike, to sourcing all the parts. Problem is, I know zilch about Triumphs other than they look cool and someday I'd like to build one too.

Stupid question time... Is there some sort of "chopping a Triumph" FAQ somewhere?

I need some pointers on what years to look for, Bonne vs Tiger, etc. I know the '75 and down are right side shift... which is fine. Also, he likes the look of the single down tube frames if that narrows down the model years I should be searching for.

Also, there is some guy locally selling a '60 Bonneville. He said its "rare split case"... I think he means "pre-unit" ? Thoughts on those as well??

Any help, advice and direction towards reference material would be much appreciated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know, as does he, that he can get a used HD. He doesnt want that. He wants a bike built to his liking. As far as tinkering, I dont see that as an issue. He rides with me. I am the tinker'r of the group. I have never tinkered with a a trump but that wont stop me from learning.

As far as the budget... I'm figuring $3k for a donor with title. $1500 for a rebuild of the motor. $2000 or so for paint and other finishes. Thats $6500. Add in the rest of the fab/parts, I dont think $8000-9000k is that FAT. It's a budget. Goal is to come under budget, not to tell him $5000 and then get a reality check when he needs to put more cash into the project.


Getting side tracked here. :rolleyes:
 

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Ditto that! That would be a pretty good place to start. Considering the budget you have to work with, if there was something you didn't like, you could make changes easily to suit your needs and learn a bit along the way.

PM'd you El Mata...
tom said:
this was in the JJ classifieds a while back...give it a good home!!

http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2846

if your buddy doesnt work on bikes much and you are new to trumps this may be a great starting point, change it up to his liking etc...it could keep you both busy without you having to find all the parts and go from scratch. blah, blah
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
tom said:
this was in the JJ classifieds a while back...give it a good home!!

http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2846

if your buddy doesnt work on bikes much and you are new to trumps this may be a great starting point, change it up to his liking etc...it could keep you both busy without you having to find all the parts and go from scratch. blah, blah
Thanks, I saw that last night. My only concern is that the frame and title is for a '66, but the motor is a '72. Concern about the numbers cause NJ is a PITA.

PM has been sent to Spike though. ;)
 

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Tha Nutz said:
Not to muddy your waters, but you do know that for his price range he could EASILY find a nice big twin bike or super nice sporty all ready to go? I see deals like that on the swap boards and on ebay all the time. If you are actually going to build the bike from scratch, you couldl easily come under his number. Before chrome, paint and polish, and if I hadn't gone unnecessarily high-buck on some parts, my evo chop would have been well within that 8-9k range.

I like triumphs alot (I've had a few over the years, and still have one in pieces right now), but they are bikes for tinkerers and it sounds like this guy wants a rider. Harley's are usually less finnicky to maintain and keep on the road.
8-9K, It CAN be done, or damn close. Like Tha Nutz, if I hadn't done a few extra things mine would have been scary close to that number. It all depends on what you can do yourself. And of course who you know. For that kind of scratch I'd fine a bike ready to go, change things as needed and save a bunch of dough.
 

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That budget is very realistic. As far as reference materials, I just use both a haynes manual and a factory manual. I find that the haynes sometimes has helpful pictures that the factory manual doesn't have. I also have a "how to build triumph choppers" manual that I got from ebay years ago that is sometimes helpful.

Many people mention the Herbie Hancox (sp?) video as being helpful in working on triumphs, but I haven't seen it so I can't give a first-hand review.

If I had my druthers, I would get a pre-unit, simply because I like how the motors look better. Parts availability will be better with a unit bike, though.

I read somewhere that unit engines between '67 and '70 had the best quality control from the factory and thus were good motors, but since you will be rebuilding the engine (most likely), that probably isn't a huge concern.

EL MATADOR said:
I know, as does he, that he can get a used HD. He doesnt want that. He wants a bike built to his liking. As far as tinkering, I dont see that as an issue. He rides with me. I am the tinker'r of the group. I have never tinkered with a a trump but that wont stop me from learning.

As far as the budget... I'm figuring $3k for a donor with title. $1500 for a rebuild of the motor. $2000 or so for paint and other finishes. Thats $6500. Add in the rest of the fab/parts, I dont think $8000-9000k is that FAT. It's a budget. Goal is to come under budget, not to tell him $5000 and then get a reality check when he needs to put more cash into the project.

Getting side tracked here. :rolleyes:
 

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8-9k? Buy a nice, restored pre-unit w/ factory hardtail, remove (carefully) all the unnecessary stuff, buy an aftermarket fender to bob and remove the front fender, change the color of the tins to his liking, put pipes and a seat on on he likes, and call it done.

W/ that budget, your friend could have a historically correct bobber, as would have been ridden back when. Furthermore, he can change it back to factory if he ever gets the urge.
 

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Hi El Matador,Here's my take on what to look for.As far as a single down tube frame You can't go wrong with a 63-70 Triumph 650 front section.The bolt on hardtail will work good on these years.Any unit engine from 66-72 will bolt up.You can run many different style oil tanks with this combo.When it comes to Bonney or Tiger I'm a big fan of the single carb bikes.Although the 2 carb set up looks great it has been my experience that trying to get 1 carb adjusted right is much easier.With the wheel choices I'd go for pre 70 for the rear.The conical hubs on the 70+ bikes limit your gearing.On the front you have a couple of choices.If you go with a drum set up,find a 69 or 70 Twin leading shoe.If you want to stop better find a disc brake front end from a 73-79 Triumph or BSA 750.In my state the title goes with the engine so don't worry about the frame #'s just make sure the frame is straight and not cut up.Hope this helps to answer some of your questions,Frosty
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Slim said:
Damn....I could build TWO on that budget.....but thats doin it all myself
If you can build two, than you can definately build one right? Cool, that's what we're building, one. Left over cash yields more beer. Why are a few of you so hung up on a number?

The budget for my Ironhead is $12k. Maybe I should just have you guys build me 4 of them?

...wiseguys :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to everyone who replied with the info I was looking for and the few who PM'd me.

We're itching to get started. :D
 

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You need to keep half of that $9k and spend it on beer or gamble with it or something. Send the other half to HATCH. This is the important part. You MUST send it to Hatch because he is truly the Triumph whisperer and the keeper of lost souls. Old british shit seeks him out. Seriously...

With your $4500 he will:

- buy up all the $300 garage sale Triumphs in his neighborhood, just because he lives in $300 Triumphville and you don't. That's just the way it is.

- go to a swap meet, pick up cases of NOS original ribbed/finned shit for cheap, corn dog and a lemonade

- buy a semi trailer to store all of the free bikes that people drop on his doorstep overnight and ribbed/finned shit that clutters up his shop

- hire a guard to watch his driveway and scare off all the people who try to drop off bikes overnight

- become jaded by his easy success, lose inspiration, become distracted by a Sportster project

- pass on the $800 panhead in his neighbor's shed because someone already left two on the doorstep overnight

- feel remorse for his cheatin ways, make a pilgrimage to Meriden, renew spirit, return to first love

- pick a stray OIF basket case from the semi trailer, use some random one-of-a-kind parts that he has laying around, and make the OIF look so badass that your buddy will forget all about the pre-unit of his dreams.
 

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JEB said:
You need to keep half of that $9k and spend it on beer or gamble with it or something. Send the other half to HATCH. This is the important part. You MUST send it to Hatch because he is truly the Triumph whisperer and the keeper of lost souls. Old british shit seeks him out. Seriously...

With your $4500 he will:

- buy up all the $300 garage sale Triumphs in his neighborhood, just because he lives in $300 Triumphville and you don't. That's just the way it is.

- go to a swap meet, pick up cases of NOS original ribbed/finned shit for cheap, corn dog and a lemonade

- buy a semi trailer to store all of the free bikes that people drop on his doorstep overnight and ribbed/finned shit that clutters up his shop

- hire a guard to watch his driveway and scare off all the people who try to drop off bikes overnight

- become jaded by his easy success, lose inspiration, become distracted by a Sportster project

- pass on the $800 panhead in his neighbor's shed because someone already left two on the doorstep overnight

- feel remorse for his cheatin ways, make a pilgrimage to Meriden, renew spirit, return to first love

- pick a stray OIF basket case from the semi trailer, use some random one-of-a-kind parts that he has laying around, and make the OIF look so badass that your buddy will forget all about the pre-unit of his dreams.
Thanks for the kind words.......but, I gotta go now.....someone is pushing a knucklehead up my drive and wants to leave it here in trade for my busted lawnmower........guy must think I'm STUPID or something....(well, maybe if the bike starts in one kick I'll consider it):D
 

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hatch said:
Thanks for the kind words.......but, I gotta go now.....someone is pushing a knucklehead up my drive and wants to leave it here in trade for my busted lawnmower........guy must think I'm STUPID or something....(well, maybe if the bike starts in one kick I'll consider it):D
i want to hang with this guy ....
hey if you need storage
 
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