1971 Triumph Bonneville T120R, 649cc. Registration number TN...



£4000 - £5000


1971 Triumph Bonneville T120R, 649cc. Registration number TNB 138J. Frame number NE 02202 T120R. Engine number NE 02202 T120R.
The 1971 Triumph Bonneville was a totally new bike. Only the engine was carried over from 1970. Not since the 650 twin went unit construction in 1963 had so extensive a redesign taken place. 1971 model year started for the Triumph T120 Bonneville with Engine NE01436. While the new frame & running gear were getting all the attention, the engine received some updates also.
Most significant were the changes made to the cylinder head, head bolts and rocker boxes. These changes were engineered at the last minute by the Meriden factory when they found that the engine wouldn’t fit into the new oil-bearing frame. Their approach was brilliant & also yielded some added benefits. Gone were the tiny screw-in valve inspection caps. The headbolts were reworked so that they took the load off the already over-burdened rocker boxes & made the top end easier to torque down. Otherwise, there were minor changes to the pushrod tubes and their O-rings, a new crankshaft flywheel & bolts, and a new timing-side (right) main bearing. Changes were intentionally kept to a minimum because virtually every other part on the bike was new.
Despite its fine handling qualities, the chassis ran into immediate criticism because of its tall seat height and was revised three times before a lower version was standardised for 1972 along with a thinner seat. The consequences of the new models' botched introduction meant that within two years the entire BSA-Triumph Group was in severe financial difficulty, and the proposed closure of Triumph's Meriden factory led to a workers' occupation of the plant in September 1973. By this time the arrival of the 750cc T140 Bonneville had signalled that the 650's days were numbered, and the workers' occupation effectively sealed its fate.
TNB is a USA market example that was reimported in 2015, our vendor being the first UK owner. It had an MOT in 2015 at 8,765 miles, today it is at 8,868 and has hardly been used. It will need recommissioning before use.
Sold with the V5C.

Auction Date: 26th Mar 2022 at 1:30pm

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Sale Dates:
26th Mar 2022 1:30pm (Lots 300 to 586)

07469 956 936