Beginning a Triumph Bonneville Restoration

Reader Contribution by Jennifer Lankford
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Editor’s Introduction:
As many classic bike fans can tell you, when it comes to learning about wrenching on your own bike, there’s an ocean of experience out there to swim in. Our little corner of the universe is rich with people who have learned everything you could ever want to know about keeping your 1971 Honda CB750 or 1955 Harley-Davidson Hummer on the road. And while we all benefit immensely from the wisdom of practiced hands, there’s much to learn from the neophyte restorer, the person just launching their personal discovery of classic bike ownership. Jenn Lankford has just started her own voyage down this path, and when she alerted us to her blog at we knew we wanted to share her experience restoring a 1972 Triumph T120V Bonneville with the rest of the old bike community. When she started this blog, Jenn’s restoration was still very much in the early stages. She aims to share her successes and travails as she takes her Triumph from a box of bits to finished, running machine. There’s much to learn following Jenn’s jump into the vintage bike hobby, so read along and enjoy. – Richard Backus, Editor-in-Chief, Motorcycle Classics. This blog was first posted in June 2010.

If you love classic bikes and want to see them on the road for years to come, do us all a favor and pass on your wisdom. Please.

I was raised on vintage British bikes as a kid, but didn’t have a bike of my own until a couple of years ago when I picked up a 1974 Honda CL360, just to have something to quell my need to ride and be able to putt around town. When I ran into some wiring trouble last year, I was at a loss. I knew it was simple but I didn’t know what to do, and certainly didn’t want to pay a mechanic labor prices knowing that the cost to fix it would be more than the worth of the bike itself. But to my surprise, I found a co-op motorcycle shop in my area called Re-Cycle, where you can learn how to fix your bike yourself. For free. It was a dream come true, and in only a few Sundays I had her running as good as new again, by my own hand. As a newbie to the wrenching world the satisfaction of riding my bike away after fixing her myself was absolutely exhilarating and kicked off the best addiction of my life so far.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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