YOUR CLAS­SICS

Brian O’con­nell’s brace of Tri­umphs come from the same era, but each has its own char­ac­ter. Both of them have en­joyed the same level of TLC

Classic Bike (UK) - - CONTENTS - BRIAN O’CON­NELL, SEMI­NOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA, USA

Tri­ton, TRIBSA – and now there’s No­rasaki...

These are my two ba­bies: a 1971 Day­tona and a 1969 TR6C. I bought the Day­tona in 1981, shortly af­ter we moved to Florida, to ride to work so my wife and kids could use the car dur­ing the day. I rode it daily for a cou­ple of years till we bought a sec­ond car.

On and then off the road in the en­su­ing years, it was look­ing rather shabby, so I gave it a bit of a clean up. I stripped it down and gave it new pipes and muf­flers, a re­spray in metal­lic black, a new carb (I changed it from two carbs to one), new clocks, tyres, brake and clutch levers, new rub­bers and a tune up. It ran well, but got rather smoky, so I had the head re-done, the bar­rel bored 20 thou over and new pis­tons to suit. Other than the head and bar­rel, I did all the work my­self. It’s still on points ig­ni­tion and drib­bles a bit, but it starts eas­ily and runs fine.

How­ever, if you’re a Tri­umph guy in Amer­ica, you must have a 650, so in 2012 I bought the TR6C off ebay. It had been

off the road since 1992 and it was all there, but was well worn. It only had 17,000 miles on the clock, but the forks and swingarm were loose. It started up and ran, so I ‘took it to bits’, as you say in Eng­land. I gave it new fork in­ter­nals and swingarm bushes, wiring har­ness, clocks (I added a rev counter as the TR6C didn’t come with one), larger head­light, clutch, tyres, brakes, shocks, pipes, muf­flers, ’bars, levers and seat, and swapped the tail light for one from ’67 as they are much nicer look­ing. I also changed it to elec­tronic ig­ni­tion and fit­ted a solid state reg­u­la­tor. The fend­ers are stain­less, but were a bit rough, so af­ter a bit of filler they went metal­lic black, along with the tanks and side panel. It ran like a scalded cat, but I had to carry ex­tra plugs as they fouled af­ter about 50 miles. I re­cently had the head and bar­rel re-done, and put in new pis­tons and small end bush­ings. Re­sult – no more fouled plugs.

Both bikes are now in fine shape and are used mostly for lo­cal er­rands or ride outs. They are quite dif­fer­ent in char­ac­ter – won­der­ful ex­am­ples of the best late ’60s Tri­umphs. I still can’t de­cide which one I like the best. I sup­pose it’s like one’s chil­dren – you love them all the same.

Brian’s 17,000-mile TR6C un­der­go­ing its re­build

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