Dunno where to put this, maybe here? 82 Bonny build.


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I bought this 82 Bonny around 90/91, it had idiot bars on it and the speedo was very, very hopeful, showing 80 when I was only doing around 60. The bars came off it as soon as I took it home, shortened the cables and rode it around for a bit. The speedo became an annoyance so I prised the bezel off and reset the needle.

I don’t like stock bikes, so started modding it a little.: A set of 2” drag pipes into which I pressed some baffles, didn’t help much, you still couldn’t hear a brace of Harleys through the din this thing made, but as I was in the Territory at the time, didn’t matter.

Horrid colours, so I stripped it, did just a few minor mods: Rebuilt the engine, but it was in good nick, so, all I had to do was replace the rings and big end shells and cut gaskets for it. While I had it apart, I reshaped the gearbox cam plate to get rid of the false neutral. Seat was huge, so, I threw that away, made a new base, cut the foam down to a reasonable size, then bought some vinyl and sewed up a cover. Next came the frame, this model was weird, it had the ally side cover over the filters and a small, steel, triangular side cover behind that, then for some reason, Triumph installed a large plastic cover to cover it all up. That all went in the bin. I cut the filter mounting tabs from the large 3” downtube which served as an oil tank, welded a couple of other smaller tabs to the rear downtube and beat up a couple of ally side covers along with a new battery carrier, the side covers and battery carrier were mounted in rubber for which I spun up some ally T nuts to stop the gromets being squished.

For air filters I beat up an oval shaped ally filter which bolted the on to the rear of the carbs. The carb boots were rotting, so I replaced them with some hydraulic hose I sourced locally. There was only one bike shop in Katherine and he only dealt in Jap bikes, no internet either, so parts just weren’t available unless I wrote a letter to a Triumph dealer in Sydney, or went through a 1 percenter bikie in Darwin, from whom I got the 2” drag pipes. But, I didn’t like him, as he didn’t appear to know too much about Triumphs, even though he owned them. I had to show him how to change the cam timing to make his drag Triumph go faster. I think he said it ran low 13s from memory. The cam timing made it go faster, but I didn’t tell him it made the bike a pig to live with, don't know how he went with that, probably swore at me! I had the same timing on my 82 for a while, went like the clappers, but it was a pig to live with, so, detuned the cam timing.

I fitted the bike with an oil cooler and a Norton spin on filter, polished the hubs, laced the wheels with stainless spokes I also got from the 1 percenter, made a tail light, mounted it in rubber with ally T nuts, did away with the tacho, turned up a couple of stainless master cylinders and an aluminium reservoir for the rear, and finally painted tank, frame, callipers, brake anchor and side covers in metallic charcoal grey before reassembling it. Once reassembled I threw away the harness and made up a simplified one. The three zinger zenner went in the bin and I replaced that with a single zenner from an earlier model mounted on an ally heat sink with also housed the Boyer unit, rectifiers and master switch. Rectifier also went in the bin and I replaced it with two Tandy bridge rectifiers. Ignition switch was discarded and I sunk a toggle switch into the side cover for ignition and wired in a master under the seat

I rode it around like this for a couple of years in the Katherine area. The Territory wasn’t ideal for Triumphs with open speed limits and stinking hot weather. I took the wife for a few rides on both the Bonny and the pig, a Honda Bol D’or I also had at the time. I routed the Bonny’s breather hose out to the left side to breath on the road, but unfortunately, it breathed into her shoe, filling it with oil. She didn’t mind the Honda, but hated the Triumph, said there was nothing behind her except the road, whereas the Bol D’or had a long fairing thingy behind her to make her feel safer. Most of all she said it was too fast and I didn’t slow down for corners as I had to do on the BolD’or. It scared the crap out of her: I think it was mostly the din this thing made and scraping footpegs around corners that scared the crap out of her.

I was posted overseas in 93, after my stint in the Territory, so dismantled the Triumph, stuck the parts in a couple of steel trunks I was issued with in 75 and put it in storage for a couple of years. When I got back to Oz, I went to work rebuilding it again.

The 82 wasn't a good looking bike, quite ugly in fact, but at least is was a Triumph, a real Triumph that is!


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My time up overseas I was posted to Adelaide in South Oz. Once settled, I pulled the bits out of the trunks and started work, very few mods this time, as I liked the way it looked and went.

First up, I pulled the motor down and polished the crankcases, side covers, carbs, rockers, side covers, forks, switch blocks and every other bit of ally I could find.

I bought a new barrel and pistons, turned up eight, long stainless nuts for the barrel. Threw away the brake fluid reservoir I made in Katherine and turned up a new design from ally. This one was only 25mm round but quite tall, much better design for bikes. You can see it sitting above the rear engine mounts just behind the gearbox.

The Norton spin on mount was made from a floor polisher ally handle adjuster, I bored it out a little to fit around the frame tube, then polished it. I also made some ally footpegs, and bought some mufflers to please the law.. Once done, I repainted it, jet black this time.

I rode it around Adelaide and to and from work for a few years before pulling it apart again and packing the parts into steel trucks for my posting to Darwin – back in the territory again.

Once settled in Darwin I reassembled it, but never registered it as I was within walking distance to work. But I did enter it in the European Bike Show in Darwin around 99 and won best Triumph.

Couple of years passed and I was discharged, medically unfit, so I pulled it apart again and stuck the parts in the steel trunks and had it shipped down to Perth where we retired to. I never bothered assembling it again as I could no longer kick it, let alone ride it, so it sat in the trunks for a few years before I sold it as a basket case around 2001.


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