Vintage
Triumph Motorcycle
Bonnie's Back Pages

 
New and Updated Stuff

Humor

Enjoy a bright moment with some vintage motorcycle humour

  • British Motorcycle Humour Aron Travis, Tiger Alldus, Bruce Miller, and a special, uninvited guest appearance by The Prince of Darkness!


Technical Stuff

Annotated, Illustrated Parts Lists for '69 Triumph Bonneville T120R

  • Reports, Lists, and Labels
    How many nipples does a Bonnie have? The sum of its parts is what makes the wheels go 'round on a motorcycle. Here are some interesting ways to view the parts on a classic 1969 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle.

New!

 Field Guide to the 1969 Triumph Bonneville T120R

  • The Bonnie Ref: A Maintenance & Repair Manual
    This compendium of useful information is a veritable treasure trove for anyone wanting to maintain and repair their Triumph 650 unit twin. What are you waiting for? Have a good look and then start wrenching.

Vintage Triumph Technotes

Special Vintage Triumph Motorcycle Tools

Resources

Books

  • Vintage Triumph Annotated Book List
    Annotated list of books on vintage Triumph motorcycles and online sources to procure them. Also includes British motorcycle books of general interest and, what the heck, a list of BSA motorcycle books too. Reviews and annotations gleaned from the BritIron mailing list.

Service Resources

  • Smith's Instruments Repair Resources
    What? Your Smith's tach and speedo are on the fritz again? Whether you want to go the Do-It-Yourself route, or simply empty your wallet, here are some resources that may help.
    Coming up. A timely tip on opening up your Smiths speedo can using only a concrete block. Very nice Bardfark, very nice! This is what's getting you the big bucks here!

More Resources on the Web

  • Brit-Iron Web Resources
    Brit-Iron, all the time. Parts, service, clubs, accessories, dealers, and info. Compiled and (sometimes) maintained by the Hermit.
    Sorry Google, no ads.

Back in the Day

  • I incrementally broke my mother into the idea of two-wheeled motorized transportation: first with Joe Bickly's Lambretta moped and then a '65 Honda Sport 50.

    After that I was home free with the '51 Triumph Thunderbird and finally with a brand new 1966 Triumph Bonnie off the showroom floor of Free State Cycle.
    First Triumph, First Bonnies

Bonnie, Found in Barn!

  • Once, a redheaded girl named Bonnie became attached to me. Another army brat, she'd lived in France. Claimed she spoke French and could teach me how. She'd sing "C'est si bon!" as she pushed me on the playground swings. Summer of '51, Dundalk, Maryland.

    When it was time for Bonnie to leave, she kissed me goodbye in the stairwell, probably tenderly. And said we might meet again someday.

    Well, I never crossed paths with that Bonnie girl again, but there were a few other Bonnies. Here's the latest; found in a barn: Frank's Brit-Barn.
    Re-kindling a Romance.

 

Travels with Bonnie

 

2016

  • Last Ride of the Season (Itinerary)
    Some years the last ride is a retroactive surprise; our hope for "just one more ride" are dashed. Devastating.

    And then there are years like this, when - with snow on the way - even as we surf a wave of warm, sunny November afternoon exhilaration, we already know this is the last time out of the barn before winter. Bitter and sweet.

  • October 16th, Burke Mountain, Vermont (18 photos)
    This year marked the Third Annual Burke Mountain Under the Wire Run. Due to scheduling conflicts it wasn't possible to make the trip on Veterans' Day as is customary. Instead, LA and I saddled on down on October the 6th, a glorious Indian Summer day. Missed the added excitement of the chained off toll road, not to mention snow and ice, but it was a great day up on the mountain.
  • Saint Etienne de Bolton, Quebec (23 photos)
    While riding along the Quebec/Vermont border in July I veered north up to the small, bucolic villiage of Saint Etienne de Bolton. There, many years ago, I built a small house for my wonderful friend, Jackie. The house has been well kept, and the present owners have made some quite attractive modifications.

2015

  • July 25th, NEK Vermont (19 photos)
    A winding ramble down The Gravel from Troy to Lowell to Eden Vermont. Features views of the forboding mountains of asbestos mine tailings along Mines Road, and a trio of fire engine finds.

  • Burke Mountain (elevation 3,770 feet, prominence 1,600 feet)
    Burke Mountain in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom offers skiing, mountain biking, and hiking, and a toll road that goes nearly to the top. Really great way to reach the peak, but keep your eyes on the road!
    No ice on the toll road for this year's Second Annual Burke Mountain Under the Wire Run. Here's the iPod pics.

2014

  • Fall 2014 Ride Calendar
    Gotta get out there and enjoy these waning days of the riding season here during the most beautiful season of the year.

  • Burke Mountain (elevation 3,770 feet, prominence 1,600 feet)
    The First Annual Burke Mountain Under the Wire Run. November 11th, 2014. The toll road to the peak was closed for the season, but Bonnie and I just slipped under the wire.
    Half-way up, the toll road was covered with snow and ice so I had to abandon Bonnie and press forward on foot. Needless to say I had the peak all to myself that day and I grabbed these pics for you.

  • Three Ponds (25 photos)
    A return visit to the ponds east of Lake Willoughby on a stunning fall day during peak colors. Includes gorgeous photos taken from the Brownington observation tower.
  • Orleans/Barton/Irasburg
    A baker's dozen of photos taken during July around the countryside between Orleans, Barton, and Irasburg, Vermont.
  • Bonnie Journal 2014
    The riding and the wrenching. The agony and the thrill of maintaining the Bonnie.

2013

  • Thousand Islands NY, September (62 photos)
    Photos of Fall 2013 trip across Northern Vermont, Grand Isle, and upstate New York to the Thousand Islands where I met up with my brother Greg and some of his fishing buddies.
  • Kancamagus Scenic Highway (14 photos, map)
    The Kancamagus Scenic Highway connects Lincoln NH with Conway NH. Not in a straight line!
  • Ponds East of Lake Willoughby (15 photos)
    Here are a few photos of several of the many ponds east of Lake Willoughby, including Long Pond, Newark Pond, and Bald Hill Pond.

Past Travels

  • Rural Eastern Townships QC and Northeast Kingdom VT
    This scenic trip takes you through just over a hundred miles of rural Quebec and Vermont, all on ashphalt. We started in Ayer's Cliff, but you can begin anywhere around the circle. The observation tower in Saint Malo and Seymour Lake are of special interest. Takes two-and-a-half to four hours, depending on how often you stop and how fast you go. Hopefully often, and not very.

Graveyard Shift

  • Graveyard Shift
    "I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome,
    swooping down from heaven to carry me home."
    Richard Thompson
    1952 Vincent Black Lightning

    When you want to stop and stretch your legs it's hard to find a more peaceful place than a country cemetery.

    Country cemeteries are nearly always situated in scenic locations, the stories they tell are universal and limited only by our imaginations, and they provide us an opportunity to reflect upon our own mortality and look beyond ourselves.

Roadside Attractions

  • Stanstead Granite Quarries
    Some photos of the Stanstead Granite Quarries Company granite quarry, located in Beebe, QC.
  • Abandoned and Vacant Houses
    I just can't resist an abandoned house. Who lived there? Why did they leave? Where did they go? What was left behind?

    Open your eyes and ears. Listen closely and you might hear faint whispers of the hopes, fears and dreams of lives come and gone.



  • Abandoned Montauk Radar Site
    What could be better than an abandoned house? How about an abandoned radar site and a little time travel?

    Back in the sixties I spent 3 years stationed at the 773rd USAF Radar Squadron, Montauk Point, Long Island, New York. I worked as part of the team of technicians who maintained the site's FPS-35, then the US Air Force's state-of-the-art long-range search radar set.

    The site had formally served as Camp Hero during World War 2. The US Army created an extensive system of underground bunkers there, home to heavy artillery for coastal defense.

    Just like the WW2 heavy artillery, the FPS-35 had its day and became obsolete. Eventually the site was given over to the New York State Parks Service, which incorporated it into the Montauk State Park. Today the enormous FPS-35 sail no longer turns under 600 horse powers of electric motors, but it still remains atop its concrete, five-story tower: a rusting monument to obsolescence.

    And a challenge to trespassers.

    During the summer of 2013 I met up with several other former members of the 773rd for a nostalgic return to the old radar site.

    Disclaimer: We hereby disavow any knowledge of 'The Montauk Project'. Rumors and conspiracy theories abound, but Our Lips Are Sealed.


  • Rallies and Shows

     

    Fave Photos

    • Foliage
      Three photos of Bonnie and maxed out automn foliage. Taken on Chemin McShane, just outside of Stanstead QC.
    • Miscellaneous Faves
      Dramatic photos of Bonnie with special lighting provided by sunsets, clouds, mist, and fog.

    The Snow Bonnie

    • Flashback to December 2006 - with the tantelizing aroma of roasting turkey filling the air everywhere, Bonnie and I get out for a 68 mile ramble on Christmas Day!

    Favorite Destinations

    • Big Falls VT (35 photos)
      Going around Lake Memphremagog is one of my favorite rides. I never tire of the counter-clockwise route. It produces unique and wonderful views on both sides of the border from some of the most scenic gravel roads around.

      The 78-82 mile circuit includes one of my all-time favorite destinations: Big Falls VT. Big Falls is situated on the Missisquoi River just outside North Troy. North Troy is pretty much exactly half-way around Lake Memphremagog from Magog QC.

      North Troy is also the home of Paddie's Snack Bar. Paddie's is the real thing, an experience not to be missed.


    • Fitch Bay Views (42 photos)
      Some photos on a ride from Georgeville to Fitch Bay to Cedarville to Beebe. Features a stop at one of my favorite destinations - a certain hilltop with truly spectacular views of Fitch Bay and Lake Memphremagog.

      Only dedicated back-road riders are likely to stumble upon this spot. The road is marked "Cul de Sac" at one end and appears as a seriously eroded farm road with lots of exposed ledge and mud holes at the other. Not recommended for passenger cars!

      Although views from here are great year-round, they are, of course, most spectacular during the Fall, as on this October 2003 ride.

    • Lake Willoughby (27 photos and map)
      Lake Willoughby is truly one of the major jewels in the crown of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. Here are photos of the Lake during summer and fall as well as detailed descriptions of several ways to get to it from Derby VT and return by way of Island Pond.
     

    Bonnie at the Castle

    2016

    • January 2016, Top End Tear-Down (15 photos)
      Leaking pushrod tube seals caused Bonnie to get pretty crudded up during the season. Fixing that meant pulling off the head so logically it was the right time to refresh the top end.

    • April 2016, Gearbox & Transmission Work (14 photos)
      Having finally obtained a brand new, high quality mainshaft, it was time to delve once more into the gearbox. In addition to installing the new mainshaft, I replaced both needle roller bearings, the only ones not renewed last year. Last year's clutch and transmission re-build was holding up wonderfully.

    • May 2016, Top End Re-Assembly (21 photos)
      Putting it all back together after an .080" overbore, new pistons and rings, and valve work. Soon to be on the road again.

    2015

    • 2015 Teardown (15 photos)
      As well receiving new electrical wiring, Bonnie's transmission and gearbox are getting a going-over.

      Extracting the clutch center was quite a job, and the reason for that was apparent when it finally let go: the half-moon key fixing the clutch center to the mainshaft was in two pieces.


    • More Gearbox Stuff
      The Triumph Gearbox Quadrant & Camplate Indexing Training Simulator. The Photos.

     

    2006

     

    2005

    • Original Wiring Harness - 2005
      A few photos showing wiring connections and routing of Bonnie's original 1969 wiring harness. (Note: while the wiring harness is original, condenser location is not).
     
    Back to Top


    Hermit.cc Home Page