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
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