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  1. #1

    Default Should I buy this 1969 Triumph Trophy 500?

    The seller says that this bike "is all original and runs great". From what you can see in these pictures, is there anything that is not original? They are asking for $5000. Is this a fair price? If not, what do you think the price should be? Are these bikes expensive to maintain? Also, is this a fun bike to own? ... My appologies for the overload of questions, but any advice is appreciated. Thanks!192.168.0.1 routerlogin 192.168.l.l
    Last edited by coperandr54; 01-17-2021 at 12:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    I can't see any pictures so how about using the edit function and try reposting?

    Nobody is gonna fight you for a five thousand dollar 500. That's "decent Norton Commando territory" (and if ya have five grand or so I recommend joining some Commando forums and groups to learn about them and considering a Commando instead, that lovely Isolastic frame is rightly popular and they're comfortable machines with better parts support than the 500s, but 500 parts support is pretty good and most are reasonable).

    The 500 is a natural size for Triumphs and they're fun, docile machines to ride. I quite liked mine. If the one you're considering is in fantastic condition and you really want it I'd offer around 3500-4000. Most collectors want larger displacement 650s so that works to your advantage.

    I wouldn't even think of buying one to chop or modify in any externally visible way for that much money.

  3. #3
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    I had a '69 Triumph, like Farmall says, it's their natural size. They'd got the frame right by that point and the TLS front drum was OK too. Question is, what's your size? A tiny 30 bhp bike's OK if you ain't my 280 lb size ...

  4. #4

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    There’s a question within a question, here.

    500 Triumphs were once a common bike, available in reasonable shape for no great money and in junk shape for a lot less. Now, they have been out of production since the early 1970s and they are basically, quite rare collector’s pieces. That means that anybody selling one in any sort of original shape (and there is very little after-market support for non-mechanical parts, other than exhausts and seats) knows that any 500 Triumph which looks original, is either original or at least built from largely original parts.

    If you want to read about running unit 500 Triumphs, read Ted Simons’ book “Jupiter’s travels” about his round-the-world ride on one. It’s a good read, apart from anything else.

    Note that this doesn’t mean it is an original bike, by any means. Most of the parts are easily interchanged. There are certain models which are widely faked, particularly the pre-unit TR5 Scrambler (like Fonz’s bike, itself a lightly-modified machine in the fashion of the time). There is the Bonneville problem, that the T120 was built up from standard Triumph parts; it’s quite easy to assemble a Bonneville-spec 650cc bike, but it doesn’t make it an actual Bonneville for price purposes if the numbers aren’t right.

    As a quick guide it should have a single Amal Concentric carb, twin upswept exhausts on the left, points in the right side engine cover, chromed steel (not alloy, or stainless steel) mudguards, small headlight and 2LS front brake.

    Really though, if you aren’t sufficiently familiar with the model to be able to assess all this without assistance, you are most likely to make an expensive mistake, paying collector’s prices for a bike built up from spares - because that’s what most of the bikes offered for sale, consist of. This isn’t to say that bikes like that are no good, but that they are built to maximise the sale price.

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