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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys, im new to all this but was wondering if the triumph t120 is a good motor to put in the norton wideline frame to make a triton. im looking for the type of motor that the old rockers put in the tritons for the best performance and reliability back in the hay day

cheers
 

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quote:
hey guys, im new to all this but was wondering if the triumph t120 is a good motor to put in the norton wideline frame to make a triton. im looking for the type of motor that the old rockers put in the tritons for the best performance and reliability back in the hay day

cheers
Best Performance and Relaibility = Vincent motor.

There were guys who used T120 motors back in the day (depending on what back in the day means to you). The idea behind the norvin, or triton or any other kind of brit special was to build the best handeling fastest machine with what you had. Back in the day they stuffed everything in norton frames from vincent, honda, triumph, ariel, harley....basically what ever they could get their hands on that was faster than the 500cc or atlas 650 motor it replaced.

If you really want to be period correct, pick a year and try to get parts from before that year. Rememeber rocker culture didn't just embrace cafe racers they also embraced choppers when that fad became more prevalent.
 

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Some credit Dave Deegans and Dresda with creating the triton. Either way they can supply you with everything you need to build one including a replica norton frame with the triumph mounts already welded in.

http://www.dresda.co.uk/index.asp

My advice to you is to find a complete triumph that runs and just build from there since you will need all the other parts (wheels, brakes, forks, wiring harness etc) anyway to make a complete bike. This way you can tell if the motor runs too.

If you are a newbie to building a bike, it is a lot of work to do a scratch build. Try to get a complete bike so you at least know you have all the parts to make a motorcycle.
 

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You might want to contact Randy Ilg at framecrafters.net. I raced his Triton 20 years ago so he has the experience. He can make up anything you need and last time I was at his shop he had a fair number of parts around. Check out his website.
Ken

AHRMA 412
Vintage racing - old guys on old bikes
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hey guys, i checked out dresda.co.uk and also unityequipe.com and found a lot of awesome stuff...however im trying to save my wallet from all new stuff. besides ebay, is there any other good parts place to find a lot of triton parts???

also, what parts do you recommend i buy new?

thanks
 

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hey guys, i checked out dresda.co.uk and also unityequipe.com and found a lot of awesome stuff...however im trying to save my wallet from all new stuff. besides ebay, is there any other good parts place to find a lot of triton parts???

also, what parts do you recommend i buy new?

thanks
Honestly, Tritons are custom bikes so there really isn't an aftermarket since each one is different.

If you had to buy one piece new, I would suggest that that piece be the frame. When you figure out the cost of finding an original norton slimline frame with title, repairing whatever 40 years of abuse has done to the frame, and then have a professional weld the mounts in (you said you are a newbie I am assuming you are not a welder/fabricator) You will be way ahead and better off just buying a brand new frame that is already set up to do what you want. It really turns your project from an overwhelming custom build to a mostly bolt and go deal.

Dresda will sell you a rolling chassis ready to go with new parts, even though it is 3250 GBP ($6,147 USD) it still seems like a bargan to me because all you have to do is put your motor in and wire it. No swap meets looking for roadholder forks, no finding a 2ls or 4ls drum then buying spokes, then buying a rim, then having someone lace it.

Building a budget triton is doable depending on what your budget is. I can imagine one being uilt fo $5000 but the builder would have to be fairly expirenced at custom fab. Keep in mind you are now looking to for three of the most popular (and expensive) parts in the british motorcycle hobby - A norton featherbed frame (BTW You may need a wideline frame not a slimline to fit the trumpet), Norton roadholder forks, and a good running and properly assembled triumph motor (a rarity in itself - most triumph motors not in a bike are there for a reason). An unmodified norton frame can easily cost you up to $1500 if it has papers, and you still may have to put work into it.

buy a good running but cosmetically challenged triumph, tune it within an inch of its life, and then start your project. At least this way when you have a problem you know you are not chasing the ghost of an old problem but a new one that the build has caused.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks so much for the information...i was thinking about buying the frame and 5 gallon manx tank new and then trying to find as much used stuff as i can even if it takes a long time...

what are all the good wheels and forks i can use that i can find used and the wheels fully put together...

i will definitely use a wideline because ive heard the triumph is harder to fit on a slimline...

no i can not weld but i am a good designer to make things out of others and have access to welding help. other than the frame mounts, what are the other things that are good to fab yourself??
 

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quote:
thanks so much for the information...i was thinking about buying the frame and 5 gallon manx tank new and then trying to find as much used stuff as i can even if it takes a long time...

what are all the good wheels and forks i can use that i can find used and the wheels fully put together...

i will definitely use a wideline because ive heard the triumph is harder to fit on a slimline...

no i can not weld but i am a good designer to make things out of others and have access to welding help. other than the frame mounts, what are the other things that are good to fab yourself??
The forks you want are the norton roadholder forks - used from the atlas all the way to the early commandos. Back in the day it was one of the best setups.

AS far as fabricating stuff yourself, well that all depends on how much work you want to do. Rearsets are always a necessary on a bike like this, as are oil tanks, seat pans, the lighting system - it is a custom build so anything you want to make you should give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i was looking at the dresda.com site and what is the difference between the dresda lightweight frame and the norton frame...also the dresda site has the dresda lightweight forks and i was wondering how they compare with the norton roadholders
 

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i was looking at the dresda.com site and what is the difference between the dresda lightweight frame and the norton frame...also the dresda site has the dresda lightweight forks and i was wondering how they compare with the norton roadholders
http://www.dresda.co.uk/movie5.html

Degans is a triton racer from back in the day. AS far as I know the dresda frame was devloped from years of Degan refining his own wideline framed racer. Obsensibly the frame is a norton featherbed but the big differences are the rear section loop, the steering head, the box swingarm, and the triumph motor plates. I am sure there are other little tips and tricks in the frame design that he is not telling but the basic architecture is norton featherbed (see the roounded rear down tubes - def a norton style frame).

from degens website:
http://www.dresda.co.uk/profile.asp

quote:Degens began making his own frames in the late sixties - initially because he thought the compact 500cc Triumph Daytona engine didn't look quite right in a Featherbed chassis. Originally inspired by the geometry of Aermacchis he raced for importer Syd Lawton, Degens' lightweight chassis are made from Accles and Pollock T45 tube, which is preferred to the traditional Reynolds 531 for its greater elasticity. 'Remember that 531 was designed for bicycles, which don't vibrate like motorcycles,' he explains. 'That's why the Manx Norton frame was meant to be annealed every couple of seasons.'


The frame on this machine weighs about 18lb, and its duplex loop has the tubes behind the engine sloping forward where other Dresda frames have vertical members This mainly cosmetic change was first made in the seventies to blend with sloping cylinder blocks on Japanese engines.

The Dresda box-section swinging-arm has helped tame many a flexing Jap monster: Degens originally devised it to accommodate wide rear tyres for racing. The rear hub is a lightweight conical type designed for off-road machines, and rear suspension is by Italian five-position spring and damper units.


The front forks are based on Norton Roadholder, but with several special Dresda features such as the yokes - both in steel, although alloy top yokes are available - and multi-rate Manx pattern springs. Where the standard nearside bottom slider has a pinch-bolt to clamp the front wheel spindle, Degens has converted it to a split clamp with two bolts. 'Nearly all the Norton forks we get have cracked at this point,' he says. The conversion costs £25.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i noticed that the box-section swingarm is for stability and a wider rear tire...my question is, what are the recommended front and rear wheel/tire sizes for the triton...my uses of this triton will be for the street but i still want it sporty and able to handle and perform well

thanks
 

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i noticed that the box-section swingarm is for stability and a wider rear tire...my question is, what are the recommended front and rear wheel/tire sizes for the triton...my uses of this triton will be for the street but i still want it sporty and able to handle and perform well

thanks
What ever fits. Seriously. There are no "recommended" sizes because there is no mfg to recommend them. You can call Mr. Degens and ask him and he'll tell you what he uses, but if you look at the bikes in the gallery all of them have different sizes going from 120 to 180.

Personally that is going to depend on your engine and frame combination. Tire width is restricted mostly by either the swingarm, frame, or chain line. The ideal tire is the widest one that does not come into contact with any of those three through out it's range of travel. Assuming the swingarm and the frame are wide enough the biggest restriction I see is the chain.

I am not familar with the t120 motor enough to tell you how much room there is but if I had to guess I would say you'll be lucky if you canget a 150 tire on the back, so figure about a 140. For the front I would guess either a 90 or a 110. These would be on 18" rims front and rear but you could easily go with anything from 17" to 21". Most street bikes from the 70's are 18" rear and 19" front.

It will cost you a fortune but the best drum you can find used (without going to a grimeca or ceraini) is a 4 leading shoe (4ls) drum from an early suzuki GT750 (water buffalo) or GT550.

someone with brit bike expirence here want to chime in?

Just in case you have a wrecked ducati and $10,000 lying around you can build a modern powered 1970's 750 and 900ss replica:

http://www.bainesracing.com/



or for a few grand more you can just buy a new Ducati paulsmart.

Edited by - Geeto67 on Sep 28 2006 7:06:18 PM
 

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Discussion Starter #14
if i out-source forks, do i have to find a norton steering column to fit the norton frame and then find triple trees that will fit both? im not sure how else to do it. im not familiar with mixing and matching brands...its really interesting though
 

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if i out-source forks, do i have to find a norton steering column to fit the norton frame and then find triple trees that will fit both? im not sure how else to do it. im not familiar with mixing and matching brands...its really interesting though
what's a steering column? You have your forks, your upper tree and your lower tree. If the dresda forks are norton designs then it sould reason that they would all work together.

What do you mean by outsourcing the forks, using forks off a different bike? or buying aftermarket forks? Keep in mind that tritons ran wahtever the owner could afford at the time including norton roadholder forks, Ceraini, cb750, triumph, what ever he could get his hands on. Most racers used either ceraini or norton because they were the best at the time and common. Now they are neither.

I think you should start asking a ton of questions to either Degens or Randy at Framecrafters.
 

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thanks for the tips...i have a lot of questions haha...but i have to start somewhere
I don't mind the questions but my knowledge seems to be running out, and nobody else is chiming in.

A fun project that may cost less than your triton replica would be to do a TR500 replica. The early suzuki TR500 used a frame that suzuki copied from the featherbed. It looks pretty much the same. Where as a whole trumpet motor can cost you upwards of $1200 you can get a whole running T500 motorcycle for less than that. Do it up just like a triton and you will have something really unique. Plus you can sort out the chassis until you are ready to swing in the triumph motor.

One other thing - saying "however long it takes" usually means a person is not serious about their build. One thing I have learned from building motorcycles is that peoples attention spans are short, and projects loose steam from time to time as other life shit gets in the way. YOu want to make this happen - set a reasonable budget, set a reasonable time goal (as a newbie I would say two years), make a plan and go.

Back when I owned a norton and still dug brit bike ownership (before I discovered the wonder of the watchlike cb750) I looked into making a triton and did some leg work. I still kick the idea around from time to time but I have resigned to the fact that it would be an expensive proposition better suited for when I have more money and room.

Good luck and keep us posted on the progress.
 

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If you want a Triton, you want a Triton, which back in the day combined a good frame with a good engine. This was back before Triumph made a good frame or Norton made a good engine. From 63' and up, Triumph had the frame they needed, and along about then Norton mounted their engines in isolastics in a new frame and when all was adjusted properly, they handled fairly well although their rods were still a bit too light for that engine and would break when pushed for any length of time.

If you're happy with a two stroke, then a Titan cafe would be fine, but you seem to want the roar of the Brit bike. The 63' through 70' 650 Triumph's are sought after now, but in 71' Triumph changed their frame to a backbone oil in the frame. Avoid the 71' and 72's, but look at the 73' and up Triumphs. These were 750's with 5 speeds, and really very good motorcycles. I roadraced one of these and I can tell you that they handle very well out of the box. They also lend themselves to being cafe'd quite economically, really just bars, a tank and seat, maybe fenders if you'd like, and a set of pipes. Everything else is pretty good on them.

The best part is that they can be bought in fairly nice condition for less than half of what the earlier Triumphs are bringing, as in $2500 to $3500 depending on condition. Be knowledgable when you go and buy one of these, or bring someone who is in the know about Brit' bikes. The engine is, of course, the critical part. Any knocking or growling in the lower end is going to be expensive. It shouldn't smoke, either. Often, the primary chain is out of adjustment, this checked through the cap just behind the cylinders, but if this has the 1/4 inch of slck in it that it should, then a knock or growl is reason to walk away. Naturally, there will be a small bit of tappet clatter in the top end.

Good Luck,
Dgy
 

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Just out of curiosity, why do you adise avoiding '71s & '72s?
 
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