Restoring a 1971 Triumph TR6C Trophy - Part 3

Rejuvenation not restoration

| July/August 2007

Note: This is part 3 of a 4-part series of articles on the Motorcycle Classics restoration of a 1971 Triumph TR6C Trophy. You can go back to part 1 here or go here for part 2 and here for part 4. 

Blame a long, cold winter, but progress on our 1971 Triumph TR6C moved at a glacial pace after our last report in the March/April issue. But with spring’s welcomed arrival, we finally had a chance to get back into the shop and make some headway. And as the pics show, our project bike is starting to come together.

Frame up

The last time we showed off the Triumph we had finished stripping it down to the frame and laying it bare, giving us a better idea of what we were up against. We discovered the frame had more dirt on it than paint, and we considered going whole hog and having it powder coated. But in keeping with our “rejuvenation not restoration” approach to this bike, we decided to keep it simple. After cleaning the frame thoroughly and giving it a good going over with Scotch-Brite pads and sandpaper, we gave it a final rinse with a surface cleaner followed by a coat of primer and three coats of black enamel, all from spray cans. The biggest problem with rattle can paint jobs is getting enough paint on, but it looks like we did OK. The finish came out better than expected (then again, anything’s better than what it was), and given enough cure time it should be fairly durable, as well.

While the frame was curing we treated the front forks to a thorough cleaning and new fork seals, and likewise cleaned and greased the steering head bearings. We also cleaned and greased the wheel bearings, discovering in the process that the rear brake shoes had been installed with their locating “shoes” at the wrong end, causing a bind in their action. We also discovered that someone was in the front hub before us, evidenced by one replacement wheel bearing and a missing locating clip.

The swingarm bushings were still good, so we got off easy there, leaving us with the simple chore of cleaning and repainting the swingarm. We also cleaned and painted the steering yokes, the engine mounting plates, center stand, side stand, battery box, ignition tray, license plate frame and other assorted hardware.

Into the mill

Aside from a thorough degreasing, we’ve pretty much left the engine alone. An inspection of the cylinder barrels and the inside of the cylinder head with a boreascope (basically a flexible, pencil-thin optical tube featuring a small light to illuminate the cylinder and an eyepiece to view through) showed the insides to be in good order. The bike ran well the last time anyone tried, and we haven’t seen anything to make us think it won’t again. It did have a nasty habit of blowing fuses thanks to an intermittent dead short, but our new wiring harness from Klempf’s should take care of that.

Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway

Classic Motorcycle Touring and Events.

The latest classic motorcycle events and tours.