1966 T120C TT Desert Racer Restoration - Week 3 (11 - 18 July)

Bit of a frustrating week with a number of faulty or incorrect parts received from the suppliers. This was compounded by further incorrect parts sent out to replace the incorrect or faulty ones received before and has resulted in much lost time. Little progress this week. Terry did manage to fit camshaft bushes and the inlet cam. An inlet cam with a drilled hole for the timed breather (should I decide to swap back at any point) was ordered originally but a solid one received. After several unsuccessful attempts to have it replaced we decided to go with the solid one - if I was to revert back to the timed breather then the crankcases would need to be split to fit the various parts so on this

“TT Special – The True Story”

Eddie Mulder wheelie, 1969 (Photo: Dan Mahony) Triumph, Norton and BSA motorcycles spearheaded the British invasion in the US throughout the 1950s and by the early ‘60s were dominating offroad competition, both on the dirt track and in the Californian desert. Lightweight and quick, the overhead valve parallel twins outperformed their more cumbersome, American-built rivals, the side-valve Harley Davidson 750cc vee-twins. To give the Harleys a sporting chance against the faster foreign invaders, the American Motorcycle Association, in a display of unabashed favouritism for the national brand, limited cylinder capacity to 500cc for bikes with overhead valve engines and 750cc for those with side

1966 T120C TT Desert Racer Restoration - Week 1

Week 1 (26 June - 3 July) TT Special component parts being delivered to LA shippers Steve delivered the TT Special parts to LA for shipping on a pallet on 21st April, which arrived at Terry Macdonald’s on Thursday 25th June, following arrival and customs clearance at the Port of Tilbury in Essex - used as a location in several popular films (and far more interestingly, to me at least, the waterway here was in all probability the inspiration for the setting for Joseph Conrad’s brilliantly portentous opening chapter of his classic, “Heart of Darkness”). The journey from San Bernardino, California to Lincolnshire had been trouble-free with the only damage a cracked spark plug. On arrival at Ter

1966 T120C TT Desert Racer Restoration Week 2

Update 19th August After some intial delays in receiving parts, progress has now moved ahead at full steam on the '66 TT! Tank mounting bracket has been re-welded on frame, together with a Baxter's replacement sidestand bracket which was provided with the bike, and a new rear tab on the spare tank. Terry had rebuilt the bottome end, barrels are back, rebored to + 40 with new 9:1 LF Harris pistons and rods, bearings all round. Hoping the cylinder head work being undertaken by The Cylinder Head Shop will be complete by the end of the week. In the end I had nuts and bolts zinc-plated by Derby Plating due to the difficulty of getting them cadmium plated - not too keen on the finish which is a l

Origins of my 1966 Triumph T120C TT Part 1

Back in April, Steve, a guy I'd been chatting to on and off about TT Bonnevilles over the past year or so - in particular his JoMo 1966 model - contacted me to say he'd decided to sell his bike and did I know anyone who might be interested? I'd already provided Steve with all the data from the Triumph factory records on the T120C TT Special and I'd seen photos of engine and frame stamps so was confident it was genuine. The bike has had an interesting history. A carpenter by trade, Steve lived with his wife and young daughter high up in the mountains in San Bernardino, California, close to the Mojave desert, in a wood cabin he'd built with his own hands. The air's thin and cool up in the mou

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