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Author Topic: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie  (Read 3099 times)

xStevex

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Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« on: October 08, 2009, 12:20:01 PM »
Gentlemen,
One common thread I noticed amongst users of this forum is a great deal of experience with motorcycles of all types, and many folks have considerable experience with classic British twins. I have a 1966 Triumph TR6r custom that is now running and I'd like to keep it running as best as it can, and this is where I have to appeal to all the experience and knowledge the forum has to offer.
The bike was converted to a Boyer MkIII electronic ignition some time ago (I'm maybe the 4th owner in as many states) and I was wondering the best (modern)plugs to run in the bike and what to gap them at.
Can anyone recommend what oil to run in the motor, gearbox and primary? I have the Clymer and Haynes manuals, but these were written a long time ago, and don't cover electronic ignition requirements, nor modern lubricants.

It'd be great if I could tie in knowledge and materials used for present day Royal Indians to things needed to keep the old Triumph going, and possibly adding a BSA to the collection at some point.

thanks very much,
xStevex
Onionville, CT
2009 AVL Bullet 'Deluxe'
1966 Triumph TR6R Chopper

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 01:10:33 PM »
  Haven't had a Triumph in years but this might prove helpful, it's basically the whole service manual set on one site.  Will.



http://www.choppedtriumphs.net/files/Service_2.pdf
Will Morrison
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xStevex

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 03:13:48 PM »
Will,
Once again you've proven to be my guardian angel! This stuff is fantastic!

Is there any general advice/info you or any one else can give to someone who's running a vintage Brit twin nowadays...in terms of what, if any, modern stuff works to keep an old warhorse running? Modern plugs, modern lubricants, modern fuels, etc.?
2009 AVL Bullet 'Deluxe'
1966 Triumph TR6R Chopper

Chasfield

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 05:02:49 PM »
I think I ran Champion N4s in my 1972 TR6.

Change the oil frequently, so that the crankshaft sludge trap can't even think of filling up with glop.

I think those tuned up 1960s motors loved proper high octane, lead rich fuel - which is forbidden to us, so fuel additives might be worth looking at.

I am almost sure that the crank case vented into the primary case on my old bike, so the two zones ran the same oil. You put a little engine oil in the primary case to start it off and it found its own level. This arrangement might not have applied to earlier unit twins though.

T'was a long time ago and my memory dims as the years pass.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 07:05:15 PM by Chasfield »
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 06:49:16 PM »
  I'm inline with Chasfield on this.  I believe I ran 20/50 bike oil in both the primary and engine on my '71 750 Bonnie.  Used 75/90 in the trans.  And ran ethyl in the fuel tank.  You can't find 95 octane anymore.  So I'd run super and a ounce of instead of lead per tank.  Unless it's had the valves changed out to something more modern.  Can't say for sure what plugs I ran, but there is probably a more modern number than what I ran back in the 70's.  All I remember is they were champions.  Clutch plates/discs were an Achilles heel on them, don't know about the 650's.  Since you have the Boyer unit I won't tell you to carry a complete tune up set always.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

xStevex

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 08:20:51 PM »
Guys,
This is great stuff- many thanks!
I had one old time Brit bike guy suggest running 'straight 40' for my oil needs. Is that the stuff marked 'SAE 40' I see at auto places?

No choke on this bike, just the tickler on the Amal and it's a good starter..though it's rough until warmed up. Should it be idling at 2000 or so?

One owner's workshop manual called for NGK 'B8ES' plugs, which i was able to find and I hope these will work with the Boyer. All gapping specs were for the original points set-up....anyone running a Boyer in a 650 twin?
2009 AVL Bullet 'Deluxe'
1966 Triumph TR6R Chopper

t120rbullet

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 11:20:38 PM »
I've got a 68 TR6R with a Boyer Mk3 in it.
Twin PVL 6v coils.
The spark-plug's I've used,
NGK B8 ES and B7 ES
NGK BR8 EIX 
Champion N3C and N4C
Autolite 4063
All gaped at .028
The N3C is the one I use the most.
I run 20w50 in the motor.
Type F ATF in the primary.
75w90 in the gearbox.
Battery has to be 100% for the Boyer not to give you problems.

Here's a good Triumph group,

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/triumph-twins/

And here's a link to a bunch of good info,

http://www.britcycle.com/help.htm

CJ
   
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xStevex

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2009, 12:08:49 AM »
CJ,
That info and those links are the business! Thanks very much for that- just what I was looking for..

I'm about to put stock lower controls back on- the rearsets are plenty comfy, but the bike shifts on the clunky side, and 'neutral' is tricky to find, due to the wonky rearset linkage I think. My only  concern about potential trickiness is putting the stocker brake pedal on and getting the back brake dialed. I'm hoping there's good info in the haynes and clymer manuals...

thanks for all the help, guys!
xStevex
Onionville, CT
2009 AVL Bullet 'Deluxe'
1966 Triumph TR6R Chopper

t120rbullet

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2009, 12:41:54 AM »
Triumphs shift really well with the stock controls.
My Bonnie had extended controls up front and shifted real bad. I spent about a year building this slinky little rigid framed street fighter type bike and by the time I got it finished all of the "chopper build-off shows" had turned me off so much I pulled the motor and sold the rolling chassis.
I took the hot-rod motor and put it in my stock TR6R and just ride it.
So I guess I've gone full circle in the bike world now. Stock is the new cool.

You won't have a problem with the rear brake. They are simple as can be.
The brake light switch will give you the grief!

Find a copy of the factory service and parts manual for your year of bike.
Parts are fairly easy to find if you have the correct part numbers. And between the 3 manuals you should be able to handle anything on the bike.
CJ

 
 
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2013 Royal Star Venture S  "Jelly Roll"

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2009, 06:01:51 AM »
Guys,
This is great stuff- many thanks!
I had one old time Brit bike guy suggest running 'straight 40' for my oil needs. Is that the stuff marked 'SAE 40' I see at auto places?

No choke on this bike, just the tickler on the Amal and it's a good starter..though it's rough until warmed up. Should it be idling at 2000 or so?

One owner's workshop manual called for NGK 'B8ES' plugs, which i was able to find and I hope these will work with the Boyer. All gapping specs were for the original points set-up....anyone running a Boyer in a 650 twin?

 It shouldn't idle at 2k, and if you buy motorcycle 10/40 or 20/50 oil you'll be fine.  Tickling is another learned art on old bikes, so expect a little fussing on start-up.  Generally the same plug can be run with electric/point igniton. Will. 
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

Chasfield

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2009, 08:06:37 AM »
Re TR6 Idling:

My 1972 bike had a rock solid idle, well down in the low 100s of RPM I would guess.

It would sit there on its side stand going bad-ap bad-ap bad-ap, with handlebars, front mudguard and all sorts of other stuff dancing around in sympathy.

An impressive sight.    :D

I wonder if your throttle cable is hanging up, or adjusted a little short, so as to hold the slide open a fraction. The throttle should close readily, with an audible snap, if all is well.
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UncleErnie

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2009, 12:40:44 PM »
My last Triumph was over 30 years ago, but I hear this site recommended fairly often;

http://www.triumphrat.net/classic-triples-the-rocket-iii-vintage-club-cafe/
Run what ya brung

xStevex

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2009, 02:42:33 AM »
I can't thank you guys enough for all this great info!
Hopefully tomorrow I'll be putting the stock lower controls on- i understand good rearsets are worth a few bucks, so i might sit on them (the ones coming off the bike now)for a bit.
i hope to get the idling dialed in better as well. the bike starts very easily- it runs rough until it's good and warmed up..but i am a fan of the tickler, for sure.
front brake is a bit dodgy- it shudders/pulses slightly- drum might be warped?

as for the aesthetic setup of the bike: i see so many bolt-on hardtailed triumphs out there now at shows..i know that's not the way i want to go with this bike. it's a little too hodge-podgey to try and go full stocker '66 tr6 ('66 tr6r drivetrain in a '68 t120 chassis), but i like the idea of setting it up as a good, strong runner. it has a cafe seat and low, straightish flat track kind of bars on it, which i like much better than the clip-on's that were on there originally. i gotta sort the forks out some too- they don't seem to return that quickly..

i'll keep the clymer and haynes manuals handy and get back into it.

thank you guys again for all you help and guidance.

xStevex
Onionville, CT
2009 AVL Bullet 'Deluxe'
1966 Triumph TR6R Chopper

t120rbullet

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2009, 02:44:16 PM »

i hope to get the idling dialed in better as well. the bike starts very easily- it runs rough until it's good and warmed up..but i am a fan of the tickler, for sure.
front brake is a bit dodgy- it shudders/pulses slightly- drum might be warped?

i gotta sort the forks out some too- they don't seem to return that quickly..
xStevex
Onionville, CT

All of em are cold blooded.

If you have the 68 front brake it's the best TLS drum brake Triumph made.
Maybe the shoes are glazed over with rust or something.

If the forks ran out of oil they may have rusted up inside. Try flushing them out with some ATF and they might free up.
If their still sticky or sloppy they can be re-bushed.
Springs might be weak too.
CJ


1999 Enfield 500 Black Deluxe "Silver"
2012 Concours 14 (no name yet)
2013 Royal Star Venture S  "Jelly Roll"

xStevex

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Re: Vintage Brit Twin Questions from a Rookie
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2009, 03:57:10 PM »
CJ,
Thanks again for the valuable tips.
The frame and forks are for sure from a '68 t120...and i think the forks and front wheel/brake are as well.

When i hit the front brake, the forks 'dive' and don't return quickly, unless i bump the handlebars downward. I know the forks were honed, due to being dimpled from a previous owner using too long of a bolt to attach the front fender, and the bolt dimpling the fork tube in.
2009 AVL Bullet 'Deluxe'
1966 Triumph TR6R Chopper