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1971 Triumph T150 Electric Start Conversion

If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, Motorcycle Classics, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an email with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.

Triumph T150 electric start

Q: I was reading your article in a recent copy of Motorcycle Classics about converting a Triumph T150 to electric start. I have a 1971 T150 and would like to do the same. Can you provide me with more information as to where I can buy the components (kit form?) or who might do the conversion for me?

John Damon

A: It used to be easier to find the parts from the 1975 Trident needed to convert the earlier models to electric start. Then the idea became popular and now parts are scarce. You need the clutch basket from a T160, or a late model T150 clutch basket and the ring gear that goes on it. L.P. Williams in England has the ring gear if you have the clutch basket. I believe you can have earlier clutch baskets machined to take the ring gear, which is an interference fit on the basket.

Next you need the inner clutch cover from a T160. A quick search of eBay shows there are none currently available there. David Madigan is manufacturing a cover, but it is in the early stages and not for sale as far as I know.

Finally you need a starter motor and again David Madigan is the best source. Oh, one more thing I forgot, you need three of the early Amal concentric float bowls, the ones without the drain plug. They’re needed because the T150 engine doesn’t slope forward like the T160/R3 engine, so there’s no clearance between the starter and carburetors. You’ll have to search around the various British parts shops for those. I think I’d start by contacting David at the email address above. I hope this helps. I sure enjoy my Trident more with the electric foot.

Published on Dec 17, 2019

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