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T160 Restore

Home Forums Main Forum T160 Restore

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Roger Gerchas 7 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
  • #5739

    Roger Gerchas

    I would appreciate some input with my T160.  Brief background: I’m a new member; have always been fascinated with the Trident, for many years. Purchased a project bike about 5 years ago and have finally started on it, and have not worked on a Trident before, just other makes.  It was manufactured in March of 1975, far as I can tell, if that is relevant. I have the requisite factory manuals, etc.

    The bike was complete when purchased but not running. If odometer is correct (have no way to be sure) it has 9277 miles. So far have disassembled completely, including engine; have taken meticulous photos of every step and inventoried everything.  I know there is a wealth of information on restoring these, but my basic questions at the moment for all you experienced triple owners are about getting started on the engine.  I can afford to do some upgrades but this is not going to be a race bike, not looking to go crazy modifying it.

    What about the various 830, 850 kits out there?  And replacing the cylinders with aftermarket?  It looks like the even larger bore kits involve modifying the crank and middle case and I don’t want to go that far.

    I’ve read the horror stories about modified triples eating the center piston. Seems like a good idea to invest in aftermarket cylinders/pistons.

    This is a labor of love and I want to take my time and do as much as I can myself while sending out to the experts what is necessary. My thought was to send out the crank/center case and have that part inspected and reworked as necessary.  As a first timer I don’t want to mess with the main bearing journals.

    Other basic questions:

    What’s the best way to polish the aluminum cases? Best method to get that deep luster you see on the good restorations?

    How is kickstarting with an 850 kit?  I’d like to eliminate the starter.

    Connecting rods?  Aftermarket or stock with an 850 kit?

    Don’t mind shipping to the UK but it seems as there are accomplished triple engine shops in the U.S. , closer to me.

    I’ve researched a lot of this already but am not clear about best way forward, would appreciate feedback from all you experienced individuals. Thank you.


  • #5742
    David Lord
    David Lord

    Welcome to the club Roger.  I think budget is a big consideration.  A stock restoration is expensive enough but if you want to go big bore, new conrods etc it adds lots of $.  The standard 750 is a nice bike but I will admit that going to 850 adds low down torque and makes a better road bike, without modifying the crank.  Have you talked with US suppliers?  There is a list in this section https://www.tr3oc.com/north-america/.   The service notes are very useful too https://www.tr3oc.com/tr3oc-service-notes/

    Ignore the centre piston horror stories.  With modern ignition systems and new/refurbished carbs there is no problem.  These stories are rooted in issues around setting up the 3 sets of points and bad carburation.  There is nothing wrong with a stock cylinder.

    Why do you want to remove the starter?  The stock item can be made to work well and if you replace with a modern Madigan starter they are excellent.

    I’m sure some others will chime in with other thoughts.

  • #5743

    Roger Gerchas


    Very helpful information. I am checking with US vendors too, just looking for feedback such as yours.  I will read the service notes too, haven’t got that far.

    Removing the starter is just a thought, that’s why I ask, maybe a cleaner look on the motor and save the weight.  I will research the Madigan starter.

    Thank you for the input.

  • #5747

    Gary Westwater

    Hi Roger,

    I had a complete restoration of my T150V last year, and as David says, it can become very expensive. I considered changing to 850cc but as the bores and pistons were ok on my bike (and a kit was so expensive) I just replaced the rings with Goetz ones. Bear in mind that Les Williams kept his Legends at 750cc.

    Also fitted Tri-spark ignition, Madigan elephant foot tappet adjusters (without lash caps, maybe should have tried them) and alloy Premier carbs, as mine were worn. The one thing I thought about doing and still wonder if I should have, even for peace of mind, is replace the conrods. There are some very good after market ones out there, including from the States.

    I also fitted a Madigan electric starter. You’ll find its a popular addition to the T150 and I’m glad of it.

    The barrel and head were vapour blasted, but although that gives a really nice finish you really have to make sure there’s no residue after cleaning. Crankcases were ultrasonically cleaned, but finished off by hand.

    Good luck with the restoration.


  • #5748

    Roger Gerchas

    Gary,  good info, thank you

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