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Helping keep British Motorcycles on the road for over 30 years - established 1977

Hope you all enjoy these pics as well. As soon as I find the ‘74 850 Commando and ’54 BSA A10 pics I’ll forward a couple of them too.

I picked up the Trident in
Niagara Falls in late ’97. It’s stock other than a Boyer ignition (and 6v coils), Bub exhaust, and removed turn signals (still in a bag under bench with orig. exhaust). I did have to replace a spun clutch bearing and snapped pull rod after my second ride! Later it blew a head gasket and broke the center exhaust pushrod after the floats in the carbs stuck. The valves were sunk too deep in the head and thus I couldn’t get proper clearance on the tappets, requiring the valves and seats to be re-done (plus the addition of shorter T150 adjusters). The bike always ran kinda crappy unless the idle mixture screws were opened up, resulting in frequently fouled plugs. Funny thing, when I showed the bike to Jack Wilson in 1998 he said: ‘Idle’s too rich – They (Tridents) shouldn’t run that good cold’. He was right. Subsequently I found a web article by Viking Exhaust in New Zealand that referenced tuning Tridents with Bub pipes (I think they are drag racers). It recommended larger main jets and different slide cut-outs as the Tridents were always a bit lean – even with the stock exhaust. Anyway, the article was spot on. I pieced together the parts recommended from the article and now the bike runs great! With a richer mid and top, the idle mixture could be set properly, resolving the plug issue. It’s been about 4 years ago, so I don’t know if they’re still around, but the tech article was excellent and I recommend it.

I bought the ‘71 Bonneville in 1978 for $500 dollars and rode it throughout high school. It was my first Brit bike (after learning to ride Dads’ ’54 A10 at age 16), and I still enjoy it after 25 years! I added the small battery recently to help the Mity Max with the lights. It also has 2 Accel coils and condensers to help the spark. All mounting brackets – seat, coils, bat, pipes, rear fender, etc. were hand made. Currently the ’71 is using my ‘67’s motor (had to fab a different head stay) because the ‘71’s sludge trap plugged when the pistons melted. I had put a Rout 750 kit on the bike afterwards (I think it was in 1980), but was too inexperienced to know about the sludge trap. Thus the motor never ran well as the big ends were starving for oil. It’s still apart waiting for the money for all the bits I always wanted to put in it, but there are too many other obligations now!

Oh, and the ’71 BSA. I found that on a car lot in Wylie , TX . (just north of Dallas ). The lot owners dabbled in bikes and had about 12 different ones, the BSA being the only classic (and Brit). I liked the ‘dove gray’ frame that Umberslade hall (Slumberglade?) was so reviled for, plus it’s the same year as my beloved Bonney and probably built on the same line. It has all the original bits, including the elusive rubber boots that connect the carb mouths to the side panel air filters. Even switch gear paddles are immaculate (unbroken), and the blinkers work! The mufflers are incorrect, but they sound better than the stock ‘71’s.The only thing it was missing was the choke lever and the junction block that splits the single cable into 2 air slides. Fortunately I had a set purchased for the Bonny rebuild and used them on the BSA instead. The motor had been rebuilt but never run and the bike sat outside for a year, sticking the new rings in a new bore. I paid $1500 (less than half of what they were asking) and chuckled all the way home. RPM cycles cleaned up the bore and I fitted new(er) pistons to finish it off. Some moron had mis-matched almost all the electrical connections under the tank, but I have schematics for the BSA twins and took less than 15 minutes to restore. In fact, when I rode it down to get it inspected I was so excited to show the inspector that everything worked. He must have remembered the BSA’s because he didn’t want to look at anything on the bike. I said ‘no, really – it all works’, and he just said ‘if it made it down here with you on it, it’s good enough for me’. I was kinda deflated at first, but got over it – enough to return later on the Trident and then the Bonny!

I’ll be calling you guys soon to look for bearings and gaskets to finish off the ’71 motor. Keep up the good work!

Jim D.

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