Vintage Triumph Motorcycle FAQ

Maintained by mrivera at lightlink.com, last updated 9/26/2008

This is an attempt to gather the various information on Triumph motorcycles I come across in my quest to learn about these machines. Hope you find it useful! I have a '77 Tiger, so I think you'll find most of the information here is relevant to bikes of that era.

Contents:

1. General

How do I translate my VIN to a year/model?
Where can I find this part for my Triumph?
What are some websites of interest?

2. Maintainence

How do I do a basic clutch adjustment on my Triumph?
Where can I find more information on Amal carbs?
How do I troubleshoot electrical issues?


General:


Q: How do I translate my VIN to a year/model?
A: Lots of great information on Triumph VIN numbers at this page. Note, numbers stamped on the frame and engine should match on a stock bike.


Q: Where can I find this part for my Triumph?
A: List of vendors follows, use at your own risk:

Northern Eagle Cycle
Address:P.O. Box 553, Mitchell, Ontario, Canada N0K 1N0
Phone: n/A
Fax: n/A
Web: http://www.northerneagle.ca/
Email: sales@northerneagle.ca
Note: SPECIALIZES IN 1971 AND LATER 650 and 750cc TRIUMPH TWIN MOTORCYCLE PARTS
Name: British Only
Address: British Only Motorcycles And Parts, Inc.
PO Box 2349
Garden City, Michigan 48136-2349 USA
Phone: 734-421-0303
Fax: 734-422-9253 / 1-800-BRT-ONLY or 1-800-278-6659
Web: http://www.britishonly.com/
Email: info@britishonly.com
Note: specializing in Triumph, BSA and Norton motorcycles.
Name: Rocky Point Cycle
Address: Rocky Point Cycle
2509 Linebaugh Road, Xenia, OH 45385
Phone:937 376 9792
Fax: 937 376 8293
Web: http://www.rockypointcycle.com/
Email: rockypointcycle@aol.com
Note: stainless steel parts and fasteners, Mikuni carburetor conversion kits, lifetime silicone gaskets, Boyer electronic ignitions, and other hard to find accessories for vintage BMW, Norton, Triumph, and BSA motorcycles
Name: Klempfs British Parts
Address:61589 210 Ave.
Dodge Center, MN. 55927
Phone: 507-374-2222
Fax: N/A
Web: http://www.klempfsbritishparts.com/
Email: mitch@Klempfs.com
Note: parts for vintage Triumph, BSA, and Norton motorcycles.
Name: DomiRacer Distributors Inc
Address:DomiRacer Distributors, Inc.
P.O. Box 30439
Cincinnati,Ohio
45230
U.S.A.
Phone: (513) 871-1678
Fax: (513) 871-6684
Web: http://www.domiracer.com/
Email: DomiRacer@fuse.net
Note: n/a
Name: Chris Knight Motorcycles
Address: P O Box 6242, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 4XJ, England
Phone: +44 (0) 116 275 0982
Fax: +44 (0) 116 275 0982
Web: http://www.chris-knight-mcs.co.uk/
Email: info@chris-knight-mcs.co.uk
Note: parts and accessories for Triumph,  Norton and BSA motorcycles from the 1960's through to the 1980's.
Name: Raber's Parts Mart
Address:1984 Stone Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
Phone: 408-998-4495
Fax: 408.998.0642
Web: http://www.rabers.com/
Email: n/a
Note: parts and service for your vintage and classic Triumph, Norton, and BSA motorcycles
Name: Britsh Cycle Supply Company
Address: 604 Davison Street, RR 3 Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, B4P 2R3
& 146 Porter Street, Hackensack, New Jersey, USA, 07601
Phone: (902)542-7478
Fax: Fax (902)542-7479
Web: http://www.britishcycle.com/
Email: info@britcycle.com
Note: PARTS AND ACCESSORIES FOR CLASSIC BRITISH MOTORCYCLES
Name: Moore's Cycle Center
Address:1631 No. Orangethorpe Way
Anaheim, CA 92801
Phone: (714) 447-4402
Fax: n/a
Web: http://www.moorescyclecenter.com/
Email: n/a
Note: Specializing In Parts for Triumph and BSA Motorcycles
Name: Deluxe Cycle
Address:PO Box 3331
Auburn, CA 95604
Phone: n/a
Fax: n/a
Web: http://www.deluxecycle.com
Email: sales@DeluxeCycle.com
Note: n/a
Name: Rask Cycle
Address:1647 Evans City Rd.   Evans City Pa. 16033
Phone: 724-538-4123
Fax: 724-538-9676
Web: http://www.raskcycle.com/
Email: gary@raskcycle.com
Note: Harley - Triumph - BSA - Norton Motorcycle Parts, Service and Accessories
Name: Walridge Motors Limited
Address:33988 Denfield Rd.
RR. 2
Lucan, ON
N0M 2J0
Phone: (519)-227-4923
Fax: (519)-227-4720
Web: http://www.walridge.com/
Email: sales@walridge.com
Note: Parts and accessories for British Motocycles
Name: Classic English Motorcycles
Address: n/a
Phone: 714-594-7335
Fax: n/a
Web: http://stores.ebay.com/Classic-English-Motorcycles
Email: customerservice@classicenglishmotorcycles.com
Note: this is an Ebay storefront, parts FOR YOUR TRIUMPH, NORTON, OR BSA MOTORCYCLES
Name: Alternative Motorcycle Repair
Address: PO Box 820, Sahuarita, AZ  85629
Phone: 520-762-1429
Fax: n/a
Web: http://www.amr-of-tucson.com/
Email: mail@amr-tucson.com
Note: n/a
Name: Hawkshaw Motorcycles Ltd
Address: 6, Halltine Close, Blundellsands,
Liverpool, L23 6XX, United Kingdom.
Phone: +44 (0) 151 931 4488
Fax: +44 (0) 151 931 4488
Web: http://www.btinternet.com/~hawkshaw.motorcycles/
Email: Hawkshaw.Motorcycles@btinternet.com
Note: for Triumph Norton BSA Classic British motorcycle spare parts
Name: Tri-Supply International
Address: Meriden House, Gittisham
Honiton, Devon, EX14 3 AW, England
Phone:+44(0)1404 47012
Fax: +44(0)1404 47001
Web: http://www.trisupply.co.uk/
Email: triumph.meriden@trisupply.co.uk
Note: Pre-Unit to Unit Twins 1946-1970. Amal, Boyer, Champion, Hepolite, Lucas, Morgo, Renold, Smiths, Toga, L.F. Harris genuine spare parts
Name: Unity Equipe
Address: Quality Works
Old Fire Station
Rochdate Road
Todmorden
OL14 7NA
Phone: 44(0) 1706 839059
Fax: 44(0) 1706689348
Web: http://www.unityequipe.com/
Email: TRITONMCS@AOL.COM
Note: Manx Norton, Triumph & Triton Specialists.
Name: JRC Engineering
Address: n/a
Phone: n/a
Fax: n/a
Web: http://www.jrceng.com/
Email: sales@jrceng.com
Note: Parts for classic English motorcycles in general and Triumph motorcycles in particular. NOT OPEN TO RETAIL SALES, DEALERS ONLY
Name: British Bike Connection
Address: 58 Merwin Ave, Rochester NY 14609
Phone: 585-288-4546
Fax: 585-288-2772
Web: http://www.britishbikeconnection.com/
Email: JNoll@BritishBikeConnection.com
Note: custom, new and used parts for Norton, Triumph, BSA

Q: What are some websites of interest?
A: The History of Triumph Motorcycles: http://www.ianchadwick.com/motorcycles/triumph/ - detailed timeline of Triumph
Triumph Rat Forums: http://www.triumphrat.net/ - the Classics forum has a ton of information
Motorcycle Safety Foundation - http://www.msf-usa.org/ - Ride safe!
Rask Cycle Library - http://raskcycle.com/techtip/webdoc10.html/ - Wiring diagrams, fluid capaicities, vin number translation, and more!
Greater Atlanta British Motorcycle Association - http://www.gabma.us/ - check out tech article section here for a wealth of information

Maintainence:


Q: How do I do a basic clutch adjustment on my Triumph?
A: These instructions work on my '77 TR7V and will probably work on any '75 - '83 Triumph Twin. Thanks to htown16, daveforty and woolly for their advice on this.

Step 1) Slacken off the cable adjuster on the handlebar lever. This is adjusted by a knurled ring holding the clutch cable into the housing. Turn this clockwise to slacken off on the cable.

Step 2) Unscrew the rearmost inspection plug in the primary case (also called a chaincase, found on the left side of the bike where the gearchange lever is attached to). You will see a screw with a locknut.

Step 3) Slacken off the locknut on the centre screw, (you will need a 9/16" AF offset ring spanner), and turn the screw clockwise until it feels like it has contacted the end of the clutch pushrod i.e. it will start to tighten. Back off the screw by 1/2 a turn and tighten the nut back down to lock it in place.

Step 4) Adjust the cable at the handlebar by retightening it, allowing for about 1/8" of slack. If the cable adjuster is at the end of its range, there is another adjuster where the cable enters the gearbox. This is onthe right side, the only cable going into the Gearbox Outer Cover and protected by a rubber sleeve. Pull back the sleeve, loosen the lock nut and screw the adjuster into the case to give you more slack in the cable. Vice versus if you are trying to take up excess slack. Most of the time you won't have to mess with this adjuster unless you are installing a new cable.

To check if the adjustment is correct: To check the adjustment, with bike off pull the clutch in and cycle the kick starter a couple of times, after a couple of kicks, it should kick through without any resistance from the engine. If not, try tightening the the main adjuster and cable tension a little to get more lift on the pressure plate. Now with the clutch lever released kick it through. It should turn the engine over, if not it is adjusted too tight and the discs are slipping.

For pictures of the process, check out this link. If this procedure fails to resolve your clutch issue, a more thorough examination of your clutch will be necessary.

Q: Where can I find more information on Amal carbs?
A: Check out these links
http://www.ntnoa.org/Carbs.htm
http://www.amr-of-tucson.com/carb_facts.html
http://www.jba.bc.ca/Bushmans%20Carb%20Tuning.html
The Horse Magazine article on Amal carbs: page1 page 2
Amal Tuning Guide: page1 page 2 page3 page 4

Q: How do I troubleshoot electrical issues?
A: Check out this fantastic document called "Demystifying Electrical Systems on Meriden Triumphs", available here. Many thanks to Pete Kinlyside for putting this together.