Hi! Meet "Bonnie", my 1969 Triumph T120 650 motorcycle. You don't have to be a motorcyclist to appreciate Bonnie's elegant design and graceful lines. Her grace and beauty are appreciated by anyone who turns their gaze her way. Here on Bonnie's Back Pages you will find links to dozens of how-to articles, hundreds of illustrations, and tons of technical info on the complete care and feeding of your Classic Bonnie or other 650 Triumph.
A Hyperlink Junkie's Illustrated Field Guide to the 1969 Triumph Bonneville T120R , aka The Bonnie Ref, is a veritable treasure trove of info and know-how about the classic 1969 Triumph 650 Bonneville motorcycle and other late-sixties 650 unit twins. Check it out before you have another wrenching experience!
Hermit's Classic Triumph Technotes More articles, with tips and lots of illustrations to help you keep your classic Triumph motorcycle happy and in good fettle. Everything from conquering the Triumph centerstand Super-Spring, to ignition timing and carb-tuning - all with tons of photos.
Hermit's '69 Triumph 650 Bonneville Parts Lists These illustrated and hyper-linked parts lists are a uniquely convenient way to access size, thread, orientation, torque, notes, and more about every part on the 1969 Bonneville. Over two-dozen ways to view the parts.
How many nipples does a Bonnie have? We've got you covered.
Two-Wheeled Humor Some funny stories to tickle your funny bone, and a sudden and unexpected appearance by Lucas, the Prince of Darkness.
Lucas - Loose Unsoldered Connections and Splices
Classic British MC Links
All Brit-Iron all the time. Highly-organized collection of links to British motorcycle info, including parts suppliers, services, clubs, specialists, accessories, history, tools, museums, etc.
Classic Triumph Annotated Book List An annotated list of books on classic/vintage Triumph motorcycles specifically, but also including BSA and other British motorcycle as well. includes reviews appearing on the BritIron mailing list.
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 take out the plastic, here are resources to help.
Coming soon - Bardfark will demonstrate how to open up your Smiths speedo can using only a concrete block. Nice, Bardfark, real nice! With your usual finess, I'm sure!
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 a '53 6T 650 Triumph Thunderbird, and from there on to first a brand new '66 Bonneville off the showroom floor of Free State Cycle, and then another '66 Bonnie while in the service of Uncle Sam on Long Island, New York.
First Triumph, First Bonnies
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 her in a barn: Frank's Brit-Barn - Re-kindling the Romance
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. What a great day up on the mountain!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 main shaft was in two pieces.