It’s kind of strange working on 2 bikes at once and juggling two completely different styles but I love it. There is nothing quite like putting your stamp on a build and seeing the final results. This 500 started out as what looked like a pretty decent bike but looks can be deceiving… very deceiving.
The owner said “Yep it runs, but I’ll be damned if I can get it to fire”. Upon a quick examination not only was the tank bone dry but the carbs were so varnished and full of crap that there was no way this bike had run in the last 10 + years. Ah well it’s all coming apart anyway, lets get to it.
Mounting up the hard tail so I can fabricate all the mounts required and figure out the stance before final tear down.
Nice “before” engine photo. All of the little bits are going to take up a lot of my time polishing.
Front forks are getting rebuilt and the legs replaced as they’re all pitted and full of rust.
Springs were replaced with shortened Works Performance units.
Time to start building an exhaust system for this bike. I couldn’t find anything aftermarket I liked and you have so much more control when you just do it yourself so here goes.
Started with a kit from Lowbrow Customs and went to work. My only complaint with the kit was that the inlet size for the headers at the engine mounts were all too large. No worries, I just reused the inlets from the exhaust I had with the bike. Since the Bonneville was a right exit exhaust I decided to do a left exit on this one just to be different plus it doesn’t interfere with the kick start.
Original option was this design but it was kind of boring and the bigger issue was when I re-mounted the oil tank there was a clearance issue so it was time to get creative.
Matched the angle of the frame and gave myself enough clearance with the oil tank. Perfect fit.
Also made up a cool little support for the bottom of the oil tank so it’s secured at the top and bottom.
Once again, severe lack of engine rebuild photos but this bike received a complete rebuild which was determined once I tried to drain the oil and nothing but sludge came out. Have a look at this, does that look normal to you?
Now that the engine work was underway I gathered all of the parts for powdercoating and labeled what colors I wanted laid down. The theme for this bike was the “Silver Bullet” so most everything was sparkle silver but the odd use of black to offset it and tie in with the meaty Firestone tires.
Unfortunately the “mint” tank I thought I had turned out to have 4″ of Bondo in it which is no good if you want to powdercoat everything. Sourced a replacement on eBay and we’re back in business.
With the parts back from powder I could start re-assembly.
Outside for a photo, some tuning and the test ride. Then it was time to invite Mat Manser over for the photo shoot.
Once again I have to thank the fine folks at Pipeburn for running this build and writing a fantastic story.
For both Triumph builds I want to thank:
- The Factory Metal Works
- Lowbrow Customs
- TC Bros Choppers
- Bullit Custom Cycle
- Tuffside Seats
- Monster Craftsmen