Pete and Laz

Pete and Laz
Yeah, Pete it's rough...but it's a runner.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Triumph restorations begin...

Brought home most of the frame parts for the 1957 Triumph 650, that have been collecting more rust and dust in storage. The frame for the 1966 Triumph 650 is buried out in the "Nightmare Garage". The plan is to spend several days cleaning out and organizing the garage and hopefully finding most of the parts to these bikes. While I'm at it , I'll also extricate parts for the next several other projects on my  big "to-do" list.

I'm going to actually try to do these projects the "right way". Inventory all the parts here first. Make lists of projects to do. Make lists of parts needed. That kind of thing. Take lots of pics and document as I go. Try to keep the blog updated on progress. I'm going to do a "dry-build" of both bikes. Assemble everything once before paint, and final assembly. With the 1966 bike that won't be as critical as most of that bike will be assembled from it's original components, as it was actually a running machine as purchased. It was sort of semi-chopped. The rear frame loop had been lopped off and a solid bar "sissy-bar" had been welded in place. I have a replacement loop from another 60's frame for it, that will need to be welded in place.

When I left off, these parts had been freshly blasted of paint and rust, looks like I'll be blasting again.

Here's a pic of a swingarm frame that's for sale on E-Bay right now. This is what I hope that pile of rust will resemble soon.

The 1957 bike is another story. I'm going to be putting a frame together from two frames. This bike was a full chopper with a "weld-on" hardtail rear frame unit. When they did this they chopped off  the swingarm pivot point. I actually started this project a number of years ago, and have the frame partly finished. I'll need to build a frame table to align things properly when I do the finish welding. I've wanted a proper frame table for years and now would be a good time to have one. At this point I'm thinking of building the '57 as what I'd call a swingarm "custom". There are enough so called "bobber's" and "choppers" out there already. I'll be modeling it partly after a bike, that the foreman at the shop I worked at once upon a time in the seventies, rode. He had one of the nicest '59 Bonnevilles around at the time. Most of the modifications he did were in the interest of gaining reliability, and making the bike safer . His was one of the first I saw with a disc brake front end from a Honda 450 made to fit. He also had one of the first 5 speed transmission modifications, that I know of. The engine did have high compression racing pistons, hot cams, twin Mikuni carbs, a really nice looking Hooker Header two into one megaphone exhaust system .Oh yeah, it also had an early "morgo" oil pump. He had a "cobra" style seat, mainly because he was short and it enabled him to reach the pavement with his boots. He ran a smaller gas tank from a Triumph 500, that he had chromed. He finished the bike in gloss black with the chromed knee notches . He had decals instead of the "mouth organ" badges. Even with all the mods the bike still had a classic look and stance to it at first glance. It did ride very nicely, the 5 speed box really made it nice to ride. Wish I had a picture of it, but I don't. I've always wondered if that bike survived, I know he eventually sold it to support his ever expanding family. Last time I ran into him , he already had a "Brady Bunch" going. His bike kind of had the look of a Black Les Paul guitar, very simple....Black and chrome...with all the alloy polished to a mirror finish.

Black cats, black guitars, black Triumphs...?

Mine won't be a 5 speed this time around. Some of the other mods I might incorporate. I'll probably build it with a Bonneville top end, mainly because the engine came with later 650 components, like the later crank, and top end parts. I'm not sure if I have enough earlier parts around at this time to build it otherwise...will have to see. Brrrrrrrrrrr! It's cold out there today, but...back to the shed with me.

Rather large chunk of alloy missing there...

A couple pics for Nomad...Sorry, wasn't the right inner primary, and it's in pretty rough shape. But it does make a handy carrying handle for moving that trans and clutch around.


  1. Looks like you've got your hands full there Larry, same as me with Vicky. Somethig to keep us both busy in the evenings and weekends.

  2. Yeah Bodger it'll keep me off the streets. It's been fun, even the garage cleaning and sorting. Finding all kinds of stuff I forgot I had. I'll be happier when I get these Triumphs to the rolling chassis stage. Having a blog, I think- is forcing me into action. I promised myself I wouldn't let the blog slide as can happen.Getting all the tools in order (finding the British sockets and wrenches in particular)is also high on the agenda.

  3. Oh yeah, getting parts and a plan of attack has kept me staright as far as what to do instead of jumping in feet first and doing things half hazardly.

    Though I do have a slight "distraction", but she's worth it! Things will still go ahead.

  4. Get to work and post more pics!!!!!!!!

  5. O.K. Jeff! Ha ha...if I can boot-up some old harddrives...might have some old pics to post...