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

Garry's 1968 Triumph Bonneville

As far as the story goes, I grew up in the 50’s in Saskatoon, with Nicholson Bros. shop on 3rd Ave. north, but being teenagers of course we had no idea what we had. I had several friends with bikes which I rode, both Brit and Harley, but was into cars myself, involved in both stock car and drag racing, but had to move away from those pursuits when University, family and career intervened. I did return to biking in 1980, first with a small Honda, then a Goldwing, then a touring Harley, which we used for many years.

In 1990 I decided to restore a bike and picked a Bonneville, primarily because of reasonable parts availability. In Courtenay at that time was a fellow named Dick Eadie, owner of Eadie motorcycles, who specialized in Brit bikes and had a shop with a huge inventory of parts and great machinery. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Brit bikes and was a great help to me. I got a pretty sad Bonneville from Victoria (numbers matching) and started on the restoration with the goal of having a bike to ride around town. Dick rebuilt the engine and transmission, powder coated the frame and other bits and he did things like the wheels, polishing the aluminum, etc. He was also a great source of parts, providing among other things strange parts like the little brackets to hold the tire pump to the frame and a complete, NOS QD rear hub.

But two things slowed the restoration to a crawl. Dick went out of business, selling his equipment and inventory and moving on, and I went back to Saskatoon for a car club reunion which renewed my interest in cars. Subsequently I built a street rod from the ground up and restored an old convertible.

All this took a lot of time, so the Bonneville was worked on rather sporadically. As time went on and it became apparent that age and health were raising problems with riding, my goal became to end up with a bike that not only perfectly matched one coming off the assembly line but performed like one. The major problems were obtaining the correct hardware and the waterslide decals. The hardware I ultimately obtained with a few trips to Cycle Hub in Portland (you are probably familiar with them) and the last waterslide decal, for the oil tank, came from a small shop near Disneyland in 2019.

In the end, I became fairly certain that every nut, bolt and washer had an appropriate Triumph part number, so in 2018 the time had come to add fluids and test the bike. It started on the third kick and needed little carb adjustment. I took it on two ten mile rides over a couple of days and it performed beautifully. The only problem was slow response in the instrument needles which went away after things warmed up. The bike is not completely original having a Boyer-Bransden ignition, 1969 camshafts and a 1969 swing arm, which Dick assured was identical but had heavier tubing.

I drained the fluids and it has been sitting since 2018. I recently finished the convert, so decided to get the bike out, clean it, add the last decal, and fix a slight kink in the breather tube. It looks like some of the rubber bits have developed slight cracking, which explains my order. Shortly it will be going back under the cover, age having caught up with me. I have had a great deal of enjoyment working on the bike, but it is time for it to go back to sleep. Someday I think one on my grandsons will have it.