1969 Triumph T120R 650 cc
Triumph 650

   TR6Ray, a gentleman on the Brit Bike forum has a fine write up there. He has a great story about his restoration of his 1964 TR6R Triumph:

TR6Ray's Triumph (link courtesy of TR6Ray on Britbike.com).

It was so thorough that I decided I would try to emulate him with my Triumph. I feel my story is probably long. I will try to take plenty of pictures and hopefully I'll be more concise as I write.

As Ray says the sickness started a few years ago, when I had the chance to work in a Triumph shop.

I decided to ride and it was a great time. In 2014 I found an old bike and thought I would like to try to get it on the road. It proved to be a large task. I didn't know how much these old bikes could deteriorate just sitting. I started in on it and soon found out that it was really in bad shape. I thought I should walk away but also had some time on my hands so gave it a go.

When you find yourself in this situation:

Triumph 650

Looking at an old motorcycle. Make sure you know how much work it is going to need. Just guess. Then offer one tenth of the asking price. These old bikes will have gone through a lot of mechanics and owners after 50 years and there will be all kinds of issues as I soon found out! I had to work through some problems as the pictures will show. Please comment if you see mistakes as we would like to know.

Then you look closer:

Triumph 650

It sure looks nice. However, looks can be deceiving. I wouldn't drive a bike that had not been gone through. You just cannot depend on another person's work even if it looks good. So...I am very glad I went through it as you will see.

Triumph 650

The next pictures shows how it looks after years of storage.

Triumph 650

Triumph 650

Triumph 650

So...how does one get here:

Picture is Here

Lots of work:

Picture is coming! Scroll Down

Put it in the stable.

Oh, yeah!

Join along during the restoration!!

Just click on the links below to get started!

The Beginning Parts Frame Oil Filter Engine Head

Carbs Rockers Wiring Wheels Bodges Wrap Up

Link to the 1966 Bonneville Restoration

The Beginning

This category is placed here because of importance. Breakdown pictures for documentation will be very helpful to the builder especially the wiring. It is boring so you may want to see it one time then skip to better categories


It seems parts is where the money is. That is, where your money goes. I spent a lot of time finding the right parts. Most are very hard to find especially nuts and bolts of varied design from long ago. That is they are very hard to find at reasonable prices. When I got into the engine this was way expensive.


The frame and sheet metal probably need to be painted. I think I will wait until I have finished with the engine and try some polish first before painting.

Oil Filter

I installed an oil filter on this bike under the end of the downtube. So far there are not any problems with the frame. My welder teaches welding at the college and works on the Border Patrol helicopters down here in AZ. He felt it was fine. Glad I did install the filter as the pics will show.


There is a most helpful manual written by Mr. Thomas Gunn. He worked for Triumph and wrote OVERHAUL MANUAL FOR 650CC UNIT CONSTRUCTION TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE ENGINES SINCE 1963. Try to find a copy. I will try to break down the engine in categories. It is now +0.060.


The head is a special situation. I had sent it to Leo Goff in TN. Now there is an accomplished guy. All the power is in the head and it really is noticable when you have a good one. He installed new valve seats and the geometry on the head is excellent. This was an expense that I think a lot of people should look at. Mr. Leo Goff works at Memphis Machine Werks in TN . He is one of the best.


The new Premier Amal Carbs are a treat. Get them. I live at 6000 ft and have been spending a few months on them. Finally, got them running well. The bike performs so great! I am using av gas. I will next try to mix this with some pump. All I can get is 91. Then I will have to carry extra jet holders set up with 106 needle jets and 3 slides. When I go to the coast I will need to use them. Up here I have it worked out but it took me 6 months. I was working and now that I am retired it shouldn't take so long for the next adjustments. I remember I road a 650 to Zermatt in 1971. I had to park outside of town as there is not traffic there. After 7000 I had to get off and fettle the carbs. It was summer but got cold up there later on.

Rocker Box

The rocker boxes were a special category. You might even call it a bodge and I could have included it with this group. However, I read on the Brit Bike Forum that Mr. John Healy and Mr. Don Hutchinson found out why the old boxes wore prematurely. On the 69 Bonnie I have switched the spring and flat washers and gotten two spidles with groves per 750. Not many of these around that I can find.


If anyone has missed the dissertation on wiring that TR6Ray has on the Brit Bike Forum then it is time to study it! I followed his diagrams and with his help and encouragement was able to rewire both bikes using the NOS harnesses and Flextech, relays and a fuse buss. What a big relief. He even suggested to use the middle fuse on the buss to split out my power to the headlamp into two branches, one for the high beam and one for the low beam. If one leaves you in the dark one night just flick the high low switch. A big thank you for that.


Wheels, well what can I say. I used to do some spoking but nothing like what I learned from Mr Healy's excellent technical articles on the TIOC website. If you want your wheels to hold together listen to him. I would rank him at the top of our resources for anything bike. He has the experience. Thank you, Mr. Healy!


Some bodges and some repairs to the bike.

Wrap Up

Just a wrap-up to show some pics left over that may be useful.

(Best seen with 1440x900 resolution)