Mid 70s Triumphs ????

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by DaveBall, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    OK, a friend has offered me a couple of mid 1970's Triumphs. A Bonneville and a Trident. Both have been sitting for quite a while in her nice warm and dry garage. She does not want them as they bring back memories of her Brother and Father who both have passed on. She has full documentation from original date of purchase from the Triumph shop in Seattle where they were both bought brand new. All work done on them was done by that dealer, but that was quite some time ago.

    The bikes appear to be in excellent cosmetic condition and very low milage. Both under 10,000 miles. They both have aftermarket exhaust, 2 into 1 and 3 into 1. But the original exhaust is there as well and looks like it was taken off shortly after original purchase. Otherwise these bikes look fairly unmolested. They both turn over and I actually got the Bonnie running fairly easily with new gas and a couple of kicks. I realize that both bikes will have to be gone over from one end to the other, replacing seals, bearings, rubber parts, tires, etc. That part I am not afraid of. Done that to lots of BMWs, Moto Guzzis and JAP bikes. I have the garage and the tools and hopefully enough brain cells left to bring these bikes back to life. They are in way too good of condition to just let them sit.

    So, my question is, What should I offer my friend for these bikes. I don't want to rip her off and don't want to rip myself off. I know that they will be worth a lot more once sorted out, but right now, they will require a fair amount of work and time. I keep checking Fleabay, Craigslist, etc and can't find many of this era to compare to that have not been molested. I think that if it is worth it, I would fix them both up and maybe keep the one that I liked the best of the 2 and sell the other to pay for the fix up.

    Or, am I just being stupid and should stay away from them altogether? The last time I rode a Triumph was about 35 years ago and that one was in very poor condition when I got it and even worse when I got rid of it.

    Any thoughts and ideas would be appreciated.
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  2. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    These aren't two strokes so the seals and bearings in the motor are probably fine. But certainly all fluids and new batteries in both and a full checkout of the Lucas wonderful electronics. I would also look in the tanks to check their condition. I say offer what you feel is a fair price like 1000 each or so if you KNOW her well, otherwise what ever....don't take advantage of her unless you have no morals. I say get them, you don't have oppertunity like this often. I amended my price for the MID word in the 70s....the later Triumphs weren't worth as much as the 60s and early 70s models.
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  3. drhach

    drhach gorillamanufacturing.com

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    I disagree about the seals. All rubber degades over time. It is a narural affect of the ozone. That includes tires. So, that of course is a consideration. Honestly, I wouldn't call it a big consideration though, just something that would need to be done before riding them. As well as fluid changes. I don't know their value, I think that is a pretty good find though. If you read the threads posted here anyway. People are still (stupidly) cutting these bikes up, so, finding an original is abig deal. It seems that the Trident in particular is gaining steam as a collectible ans are the later 70's model twins. Having documented service is another big deal as you seem to kalready know.

    Whatever you do, make it clear to her that you will be a good steward of them.
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  4. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    I can only assume that these old Brit bikes would be the same as any other bike that has been sitting for a long time. Lots of stuff to go over. At least there is little to no rust, dirt or grime to contend with. They are both almost as clean as they came off the showroom floor. A little elbow grease and both will polish up very nicely. But, I think a totaly tear down and gasket/seal replacement will probably be in order, just to be on the safe side. Yes, the tires are the originals, though the tread is getting low on both. Unfortunately, the original owners had purchased new tires just prior to their passing, and they have just sat in the garage. I don't think I would even bother trying to use them. I can get a pretty good deal on some Bridgestone Battleaxe BT45s or Spitfires, so would just install brand new.

    The only condition of sale is that I take the present owner for a ride on each of them once they are done. I think that is a simple and enjoyable request.

    Now if I can just come up with a value for them as they sit. I know it is hard if you cannot see them, but taking into account that they are unmolested and cosmetically very good, I then have to factor in what it will cost me to get them sorted and running right. I am thinking a least $1500 - $2500 each, maybe more in parts. For this I would not be taking into account my labour. So, with current values that I have found for oil-in-frame Triumphs, they may end up with a value of around $4-6000 for the Bonnie and probably more for the Trident. Just can't find many for sale that have not been butchered.

    I will ask her if she is willing to take $1000 each with a provisio that if I can get more for one, I will kick over some more. Like I said earlier, I don't want to rip her off. But I don't want to pay more and find out I end up putting way more into them.

    Did some web searching and cannot seem to find many resources/forums for these old British bikes. If anyone knows of any, please let me know.
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  5. El Hombre

    El Hombre Banned

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    Take a look at the Las Vegas bike auction results. I think it's Mid America Auctions, or something like that. They've had lots of brit iron for sale.

    What are you gonna do with them? Just clean up for a rider, or make them pretty? The rider you could probably do for less than a $1000 each. My 67 Bonnie sat for 30 years, I was surprised how good of a condition it was. Cosmetically, it was a rat. But the mechanical bits were all in good shape; for a brit bike:lol3
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  6. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    I will ask her if she is willing to take $1000 each with a provisio that if I can get more for one, I will kick over some more. Like I said earlier, I don't want to rip her off. But I don't want to pay more and find out I end up putting way more into them.


    Wait, are you planning to buy these to MAKE money off of them? That is an entirely different story....we need more information on their condition and pics if possible.
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  7. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Ask her how much she wants :dunno
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  8. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    Look, I don't think that either of you want to feel badly about this exchange.

    Assemble the best information that you can find (auctions, postings, etc.) and share it with her. Ask her to set a price and plus it up by 25% because she'll probably be low balling the price not wanting to sound greedy. If she says $1K for each offer her $2,500 for both.

    Or, if you're intending to sell these for a profit then tell her that you'll record the cost of parts and share part of the gain with her.

    This obviously isn't a simple transaction. This is about maintaining your relationship and you don't want her thinking that you're a dick when you take her for a ride on the bike when it's done.

    Okay, one more idea: find a third party to establish a price. Did you say you're in Seattle? Maybe someone from VME - http://vmemc.org/ - can assist in this regard.
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  9. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    You ask what they are worth? Well, alot does depend on the models they are. As well, in the current recession in the USA, virtually every bike out there is worth 15% less than it was 3 yrs ago. The twin is most assuredly a T140, which in fine condition are a $5000 bike. Rolling baskets are going for $1000. The triple,,,,if it's a T160, is worth more, and they are actually great bikes. Unfortunately, the engines are attention whores, and the valve seals don't respond well to sitting around for years. In fine condition they go for $6000 +. Rolling baskets go for $1500.
    To be fair, an offer of $2500-3000 for both, anything else would be bad form I think.

    Steve
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  10. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    Here are a couple of photos of the bikes. Tried to upload the files, but cannot seem to get it to work.

    Anyway, my plan is to offer the owner a reasonable price, get them home and go over them from one end tothe other. Making them both good riders, but not total restorations. Then ride them both and figure out which one I want to keep. Maybe both. A lot will depend on which one calls out to me while riding. I am presently leaning towards the Trident just because there are very few of them around my area and it might be a fun bike for Sunday rides. But the Bonnie may call out ot me more, as I had an earlier version many years ago.

    Have a look at the photos I put on Photobucket. Can't seem to figur eout how to get them into the message here. The guy in the photos is the owners son, who has no want for these bikes. I realize that better photos would be good, but I just don't have them right now. The bikes are in the Seattle area and I am up on Vancouver Island. Will have to try and get down there for more photos and will try and negotiate a fair price with the owner.

    http://s1183.photobucket.com/albums/x476/Dave_Ball/Triumph/?action=postupload
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  11. ADV8

    ADV8 Taumarunui..Darwin..

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    I have nothing to add but great find. :thumb
    I bought two Triumph's similar in Los Angeles in 1985 and shipped them back to New Zealand.
    A 73 Bonneville,750,5 speed,disc brake (US$1000) and 75/76 T160 Trident (US$1300) both had around 12000 miles on the clock and in excellent condition tyres/tires excepted.
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  12. ADV8

    ADV8 Taumarunui..Darwin..

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    Just saw the pic link.

    The Bonneville looks like a 72 650 or there abouts.. ?
    Way more desirable than a mid 70's or Harris item..imho.

    [​IMG]
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  13. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    What? Taking "our" motorcycles offshore? Hmmm, there should be a tax for that. :D
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  14. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    Trying the image thing again.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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  15. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Yup, a T150 Trident, probably a '73. And a '71-'73 T120. Not as collectable as the T160, and the early oil in frame Triumphs, while great bikes, are worth less than the later '78 and newer ones.
    $2500 for both. They'll need money to make right, and they, especially the twin, will never be more than a $4500us bike.

    Steve
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  16. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

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    Seriously. You have access to 2 unmolested 70s triumphs that would appear to need no paint work and you have the original exhausts to go with them. I'm seeing people suggest $2500 for both of them? $1250 each?

    Try using www.craiglook.com and scan the US for the junk that's out there going for $3-5k each.

    Yes, I get that the rubber will be shot, and those years are not pulling the prices of the 60's bikes, but fer cryin out loud theses are 35 year old British bikes, and a the stuff of collectors wet dreams.

    If she put them on Ebay with great pictures today, explained that they have been sitting and showed good detail closeups, does anybody here not think they will sell for more than $2-3k each?

    What do you think they would have sold for as is at Barber? Geesh.

    Sorry, haven't finished my coffee yet.
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  17. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    Dabears. thanks for the link to Craiglook. Always wondered how to search Craigslist all over without having to go to each site. Much easier and lots of hits for those years of bikes. That gives me a much better idea of the current values. Exactly what I have been looking for. I think I will show my friend some listings and see if we can come up with an agreeable final price.

    When I get them home, I will take better pictures and let everyone see. May not be until spring, but I know they are not going anywhere.
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  18. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

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    My pleasure- it was a happy day when I found that link- I use it all the time. Best of luck with your research. I know you and your friend can come to terms that will make both of you happy. Hope you'll consider hanging on to at least one of those bikes, and thanks for sharing your pictures with us. I'm going to try really hard to not hate you. [​IMG]
    #18
  19. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

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    ooh i may be wrong but thos things would fetch a pretty penny in so cal
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  20. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    As I stated, I plan keep at least one. 2 would be nice, but "She who must be obeyed" might have something to say about it. I have already started to prime her with the fact that she has her older R45 Airhead, and I have my R100RT. So if we have a pair of airheads, then naturally, we should have a pair of nice old Brits. Maybe if I could convince her that she can fit on the Bonneville? Hmmmm, she has this vertically challenged issue. I wonder how much work to lower the suspension a wee bit. Hmm, maybe we can keep both.:clap

    Anyway, am going to have a chat with current owner tomorrow and see if we can come to a final price. Then will arrange pickup and importation from Seattle to Canada. Then the real fun begins.

    Thanks for all the info everyone. Very much appreciated.
    #20