1967 Triumph TR6C Rebuild by a noob.

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#1
I'm a complete vintage Triumph Noob. I've never owned one, I've never ridden (operated) one, I've never wrenched on one. I didn't stay at a hotel last night. I'm determined to rebuild two of these Triumphs. One of them, the Triumph TR6C was in many ways, one of the first popular "dirt bikes" in America. The Desert Sled. I won't be attempting a full, correct restoration on either of them. I intend to ride these things! I will go over them in great detail and rebuild/replace anything that needs it, but I won't be making garage queens. The engines will be completely rebuilt however (more on why later)

A Desert Sled example:
Vintage-Desert-Sled.jpg
Triumph TR6C once owned by Motorcycle Hall of Famer Mike (Party Animal) Parti.

Another with some dude who helped make them famous and so very cool.
Steve-McQueen-Desert-Sled-1.jpg

There's a ton of info out there on the 60's era desert racing if you are interested. You won't see anyone doing back flips (intentionally) , but you will see some crazy people tossing around 400lb bikes with virtually no suspension, at speed. I get arm pump just watching these guys.

Going into this, I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's never stopped me before, lol. Sometimes that works out, other times not so much. This is going to be a hell of a learning experience and I'm going to document all of it. I'm VERY lucky to have developed friendships with Triumph and vintage motorcycle guru's over the years who have graciously volunteered to help out along the way. I wouldn't attempt this without them.

Back Story

I've been a fan of the 60's era 650's since, well, the mid 60's.

My first experience with one, at 8 years old. Summer of 1968. Taylor, Michigan. My aunt's (she was 20) fiancé owned a 67 Bonneville. It was beautiful. It was FAST. There was no way in hell I was allowed on that thing. I suppose I can't be grounded (more likely get the switch back then) at this point so I'll fess-up: I'd meet Ronnie (the fiancé) around the corner and off we'd go, ripping gears and generally acting stupid... many good memories from all the rides that summer.

Come on, Get To It!

Anyway, when I got the chance to bring these home, I jumped on it. There's another whole story about where they came from and how I got them. I'll make another thread about that eventually.

Updated: Pics of the three Triumphs I recently "acquired". The history of each is known (going back to mid 70's). Details to follow in another post. The 1967 Triumph TR6C rebuild will be in it's own thread eventually.

1967 Triumph Bonneville.
Numbers match, title is clear and transferable. Bike was running when he parked it in '92. Says all it needs is new oil and new battery and someone crazy enough to trust the dry-rotted tires. I won't be attempting to start it any time soon. There's another bike that's inline for a rebuild first.

2FCBD9F0-38E9-44A7-8E12-C0E80FC0C42C_1_105_c.jpeg
Tank color is wrong and obviously repainted. Apparently the first owner had it painted black for whatever reason. The second owner (who I got it from) wanted it back to stock color. Right choice, wrong painter. There's junk in the paint (maybe he shot it in this garage!), it's clear coated (they didnt do that in the olden days, lol) and the color is incorrect (way too pink). I've sourced the correct paint and procedure to reproduce the factory paint job. Eventually, it'll be done.

84F7FE23-CB88-4967-BE05-177E1A66E213_1_105_c.jpeg
Yeah, they used to run around without air cleaners I guess that was a pretty normal occurrence back in the day. Frame and all "black parts" have been powder coated. This was an earlier '67, still has the Amal monobloc carbs. Part way through that production year they switched to Amal concentric carbs.

1D261FEA-DC7C-447B-905B-B7DA4E245BC3_1_105_c.jpeg
Forks are "stuck" ... or sprung for a NFL lineman.

1ACB089B-B81C-4428-8380-BD39B0DD46D6_1_105_c.jpeg
And that's the dusting even under a make-shift cover. It was last on the road in '92 (per the plates and the owner). 27 years of "storage" in this dusty garage. I guess SoCal garages get pretty hot, the adhesive holding the knee pads let go, found them on the floor.

87DD1691-61CB-4692-82D7-8AE4030A27AD_1_105_c.jpeg
I'm told that's the original speedo & tach. If so, 5,600 miles. Looks about right based on a lack of worn-out stuff. The bike is supposed to be all original. I'll have to rely on the knowledge of others to find out if that's correct.

4542CB8B-5357-4C61-94D5-AB966E5B30BC_1_105_c.jpeg
The plates. On the far left you can see the 1968 T100C (with high pipes).
 
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Likes: truespode
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#2
The 1967 Triumph TR6C.

There are no "barn find" looking images of this one. The owner (same owner of all three bikes) had this one kept clean and for sale at a local auto shop. Apparently the (shop) owner was to sell it on consignment and didn't have much luck. He was trying to get over $10K, which would explain it not selling. It's in great shape, but needs a lot of work to get to 10K. Then again, I've seen one sell at auction for over $17,000. It was fully restored, and done by a well known expert.

I had 10 minutes with the bike before it was loaded into the trailer for the trip home to Texas. I took exactly one picture of it.

okie_triumph_tr6c.jpg
 

Mully

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#3
Where did you run into that.....???? What a great project that would be....
 
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#4
Too cool!!! I have a 2006 Bonneville and it's fantastic, but no where as cool as those originals. They look really complete and clean, under the dust. Terry's in=d will be blown seeing this.
 
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Too cool!!! I have a 2006 Bonneville and it's fantastic, but no where as cool as those originals. They look really complete and clean, under the dust. Terry's in=d will be blown seeing this.
I knew you had a Bonneville, didn't know what year... pretty cool!

The '67 Bonneville is actually very clean and complete and I'm told the TR6C is even better. That one is at a friends shop, he was supposedly trying to sell it for him, I didn't know he still had that one. The only thing not original on them is powder coated frames (not the TR6C), to the best of his memory (which is fading fast). He's owned the TR-6 the longest, second owner, 1969 or '70. The other two he bought mid 70's.

Got a decent deal with a shipper, he'll pick 'em all up and have them in my driveway by the 25th or 26th. Substantially cheaper than a 15' UHaul that I'd be stuck in all those hours from SoCal to Dallas.

Going to be a lot of hours out in the shop this winter :)
 
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A couple pics. I checked some spots on the Bonneville, looks like most of it will clean up nicely. 0F7663BE-1EE4-4E40-AA00-32049612D7D4_1_105_c.jpeg
Of course there had to be a small puncture wound on the seat...

99336ECE-E9A5-4F4C-9BD2-A7A814253DD8_1_105_c.jpeg
The 500 ( T100C Trophy ) isn't as clean or complete.
 
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#7
Those are really cool bikes, and should make awesome project material. In my mind those are the most "proper" looking motorcycles ever.
 

truespode

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#8
Just thinking... you know... bud... just a thought... but... you know... moderators deserve some presents this time of year too :)

Those are beautiful!!

Glad you found a shipper but they definitely would be worth the drive.

Ivan
 
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Blew the cobwebs off the Bonneville today. Looks a little better. I've decided that I'm not going to restore them... they are in great "rider" shape, they just need some rubber stuff replaced, cables, tires (lots of tread but dry rot), etc., and they'll be good, after going over them in detail. I don't need any garage queens up in here! I'll probably get the tanks painted to get them correct, but that's the extent of eye candy.

Blows my mind how good they are after collecting dust for so long (27 years). I expected to see a lot of surface rust, pitting, etc. IMG_0471 (2)_LI.jpg
 
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Thanks Rich! The camera makes 'em look a little better than they are, but hey...
Most of the aluminium is stained to one degree or another, but nothing to difficult to take care of.
 
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#14
Simichrome (or Flitz) and a lot of 0000 steel wool can do wonders for tired chrome parts. Guaranteed Terry has a ton of tricks to bring parts back to life. I sent him a link to this thread.
 
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#15
It'll be nice to get some experienced eyes on these things ... I can't rely on the previous owner to remember anything he's done to them over the years and I certainly can't tell that "XYZ part is way wrong". Like I said, I'm not out to make a correct full restoration, but if something is obvious and doesn't cost a fortune, I'd like to fix it. Example, I know the seat is wrong on the TR6. I've read that the 67 was a one year part, so the odds of finding one :( . But there are seats out there that would be closer to the original (like, no "chrome" trim along the bottom of the seat).

And before someone says this is a dirt bike site ... do a little reading on the TR6C. It was the king of the desert prior to the Japanese Invasion. The original Desert Sled. Harvey Mushman & Malcolm Smith raced 'em (before he moved to Husky) .