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Old 1st October 2009, 17:53   #1
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Default Restoring a Triumph 5T Speed Twin

I am just starting a restoration of a 1950's Triumph Thunderbird

This bike was gifted to me after the owner a dear uncle passed away.

Problem is that it has absolutely no papers.
No RC book, No Tax token, No proof of purchase etc.
It has been lying in the basement of my aunts house in Chennai for the last 20-30 years.

Does anyone have any idea how I can go about getting a duplicate RC book and papers in anticipation of the bike being restored.

The bike still has its original number plate (madras registration) with the original registration number visible.

Also any suggestions on parts sourcing/fabrication etc would be welcome.

/sanjay
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Old 1st October 2009, 17:59   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by san9jay View Post
This bike was gifted to me after the owner a dear uncle passed away.

Problem is that it has absolutely no papers.
No RC book, No Tax token, No proof of purchase etc.
It has been lying in the basement of my aunts house in Chennai for the last 20-30 years.

Does anyone have any idea how I can go about getting a duplicate RC book and papers in anticipation of the bike being restored.

The bike still has its original number plate (madras registration) with the original registration number visible.
Im assuming the bike was not taxed/insured/certified for the last few decades as well. To start with you can approach the RTO with a letter from your uncle's legal heir (assuming he was the registered owner). There is a provision to issue a duplicate set. A problem can arise when the RTO themselves will have no record, as it may not have been updated for decades. A known agent (check credentials) can assist you for this.

Perhaps Dussey and others can assist as well.

Do share some pictures of the project to guage an idea of condition and missing parts.
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Old 1st October 2009, 18:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Im assuming the bike was not taxed/insured/certified for the last few decades as well. To start with you can approach the RTO with a letter from your uncle's legal heir (assuming he was the registered owner). There is a provision to issue a duplicate set. A problem can arise when the RTO themselves will have no record, as it may not have been updated for decades. A known agent (check credentials) can assist you for this.

Perhaps Dussey and others can assist as well.

Do share some pictures of the project to guage an idea of condition and missing parts.
yes the bike has not been taxed or insured for the last few decades. My uncle was quite eccentric and I doubt he would have paid the tax/insurance even when he was using the bike.

I am pretty sure the RTO will have no record since a bike this old would predate any kind of computerisation of records in the RTO.

This bike was restored in the early 80's by my elder brother and his friends and at that time it was running perfectly. I have ridden it myself in the local neighborhood many times in those years (without a rc book or tax token).
We couldnt get new tyres for the bike at that time so it was pretty dangerous to drive on main roads since the tyres were completely worn out.

After that it was returned to my uncle and been unused and stored in his basement where it was once submerged in water when we had floods in madras.

I will upload pics in a few days after I get the bike out of the basement where it has been stored.
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Old 1st October 2009, 18:35   #4
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I think you would have to pay a huge amount of tax to get it back on the road with the number of years of penalty as well.By the way is a 650cc ?

Last edited by IndrojitSircar : 1st October 2009 at 18:39.
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Old 1st October 2009, 19:29   #5
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Look around and try to buy a RC book for a similar bike and use it. Though this might sound unethical but it is the practical way forward in this case.

The other alternative is to keep it unregestered and only drive it on private roads. You would have to transport it on a transporter between drving locations though, cant ride it on the streets

It the cylinder head made out of alloy or is it cast iron and does it have twin or single carbs.

Last edited by wasif : 1st October 2009 at 19:30.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:19   #6
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Default Triumph Pictures

Here are the pictures of the bike immediately after it was rescued from its basement storage location.

The basement was flooded in the last years floods so the tank and oil tank have a mixture of oil and water.

Needs a lot of work.

Somebody seems to have stolen the Triumph logos from the Tank. They were definitely on the bike when we last restored it in the early 80's.


/sanjay
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:58   #7
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Nice looking bilke and looks to be all there. Specially like that "sprung hub" at the rear makes the bike comfy to use.

Can't make out if it has twin or single carbs and is/ are tehy the original Amal type ?

Regards

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Old 6th October 2009, 12:10   #8
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Looks like a classic bullet , awaiting for the updates and all the best for the restoration its truly a legend
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Old 6th October 2009, 12:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasif View Post
Nice looking bilke and looks to be all there. Specially like that "sprung hub" at the rear makes the bike comfy to use.

Can't make out if it has twin or single carbs and is/ are tehy the original Amal type ?

Regards

Wasif
Its a single carb. I think its the original Amal. I will be working on a plan this weekend for the restoration so will have more details then.
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Old 6th October 2009, 12:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by san9jay View Post
Its a single carb. I think its the original Amal. I will be working on a plan this weekend for the restoration so will have more details then.
Carb appears to be Mikuni, which should do just fine. Easier availability of parts. I've been using a Mikuni for the last 3 years on my Triumph, I feel she runs a tad better low end.

Can you confirm this is a 650cc and not a 350 or 500cc? Do give us the engine and chassis numbers, stamped inside the front fork and on the engine block. Being a sprung hub it should be an early bike, maybe around 52.
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Old 6th October 2009, 13:43   #11
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Looks in perfectly restorable condition.Are you planning to do it on your own are are you going to be getting some mechanics?
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Old 6th October 2009, 13:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Carb appears to be Mikuni, which should do just fine. Easier availability of parts. I've been using a Mikuni for the last 3 years on my Triumph, I feel she runs a tad better low end.

Can you confirm this is a 650cc and not a 350 or 500cc? Do give us the engine and chassis numbers, stamped inside the front fork and on the engine block. Being a sprung hub it should be an early bike, maybe around 52.
Karl its got to be a 500 or 650 as they didn't have 350 twins in those days.

Looks like a 500 to me. The Thunderbird was a 650 twin though. If this is a 500 then most likely its a 5T / Speed Twin. Tiger 100 had the twin carb setup and alloy bore / head combo.

Not sure if the Thunderbird was a twin carb the 6T was a single carb
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Old 6th October 2009, 13:52   #13
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Would it be a 650?? And probably from around 1952-53. Watch the movie 'The Wild One', with Marlon Brando in it. He rides a 1953 Thunderbird in the movie.

Have fun restoring the bike and do keep updating this thread with photos of the progress.
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Old 6th October 2009, 14:17   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasif View Post
Karl its got to be a 500 or 650 as they didn't have 350 twins in those days.

Looks like a 500 to me. The Thunderbird was a 650 twin though. If this is a 500 then most likely its a 5T / Speed Twin. Tiger 100 had the twin carb setup and alloy bore / head combo.

Not sure if the Thunderbird was a twin carb the 6T was a single carb
The Tiger 100 had an alloy head and bore, but single carb. Probably the T100SS had twin carbs. I have a T100 pre unit, 1956, single carb.
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Old 6th October 2009, 16:30   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasif View Post
Karl its got to be a 500 or 650 as they didn't have 350 twins in those days.

Looks like a 500 to me. The Thunderbird was a 650 twin though. If this is a 500 then most likely its a 5T / Speed Twin. Tiger 100 had the twin carb setup and alloy bore / head combo.

Not sure if the Thunderbird was a twin carb the 6T was a single carb
Wasif,

I have a feeling its a 500cc Speed twin.

After you mentioned it the name struck a bell. I only assumed it was a Thunderbird since a picture of a 50's Thunderbird was a close match to the bike.

After a google search for pictures of the 1950 500cc Speed twin I can say that the Speedtwin picture is an exact match.

I will get the engine and chassis number this weekend and after that request an admin to rename this thread.

/sanjay
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