My good friend Jack offered me his 1970 Bonnie, as he doesn’t really see himself getting around to recommissioning it, and needs the space…so here it is, washed up on the shores of Isle de Rust. (Not that I need another project, but it’s a neat old bike, which a good friend owned for more than 20 years–I’ll be pleased to give it a new lease on life.)
The bike was put away in the early 1990s, when Jack bought his first Harley, and at some point was stored in a leaky garage, where the front of the machine suffered some damage as a result.
The most glaring irregularity is the front fork, brake, and wheel, which appear to be from a 1971 or 1972 Bonneville. It’s a completely different fork, and doesn’t look right on this bike–one of the last of the traditional Bonnies before the oil-in-frame machines showed up. I will definitely be seeking the right pieces.
There seems to be some disagreement among enthusiasts as to which of the 1968, 1969 or 1970 machines was the pinnacle of Triumph twins, but there isn’t a lot to choose between them. All 1970 bikes were originally painted Astral Red (metallic maroon), with the front and rear fenders and the tank painted that color. This bike is all black, but I am partial to the scheme, so it may stay that way. (We’re a long way from deciding on what paint to apply.)
Jack thinks the mechanical bits are in decent shape, he has kept oil in it and regularly turned the engine over. They look ok. The bike looks like it would break eardrums with the “mufflers” which are on it, I will be putting on something a bit more civilized, not being a fan of loud bikes. (My opinion–shoot me for it–but twins just don’t sound very good un-muffled.)
This machine was built in May of 1970, which I’m not sure whether that makes it a “late 1970” or not.
In any case, I’ll probably do an initial clean and scrub to see what comes back and what will be refinished, but honestly it will all come apart in the end (and probably end in tears).
Do let me know if you have a front-end for a 1969 or 1970 lying around in restorable condition!