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  • Alternate motor

    I have a 1970 t120r hardtail chopper I need to find a motor for. I've found a couple; 1 for $3500 (too high for me), and one for around 700 that was crap. Has anyone used another motor that easily fit this frame? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    "I'm working on putting an (BSA)A65 in a T120 frame right now. Had to cut out the motor mounts, move some around and fab up some others. I like the look so far and yes, the hard tail is way easier (bolt on vs weld on.) I cut out the upper cross bar (not in the picture) and am going to put in a gusset plate to make the valve cover more accessible. Leaving it in place made it pretty snug, I had to take the whole motor out to access the valve cover..."
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    "This is my '70 BSA a65 Thunderbolt 650cc in a '70 Triumph frame..."
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    Thread: bsa in triumph frame?
    does anyone know what the difference between bsa frames and triumph frames? i ve been really wanting to switch out my a65 because i cant stand the lines on the bsa frame . any ideas?

    an XS650 engine in a unit Triumph frame with hardtail:

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    • #3
      Thanks for your help!


      • #4
        British engines are delicate 1930s designs best used on restorations/restomods so if looking for something to build from a blank slate, go Japanese.

        Cheap and good no longer apply in the British world since everything cheap (unless you are lucky) is worn out and none of them are reliable by modern standards. I say this with love as I collect the fuckers but if ya want an affordable chopper to ride an XS, KZ twin, or various chain drive Jap fours are far better machinery.


        • #5
          In the 90s I saw some Triumph 650 frames with Honda CB500/550 4 cylinder engines.


          • #6
            You need new friends. Shop around. Dont fu*k up a decent chopper or bike with some hillbilly morphidite. I can understand if you live in a remote community in BFE and best you can find locally is a Japanese engine, or perversely a BMW, but only if extreme hardship is in play. Broke, and dont mind being laughed at.

            But viable motors are out there,, the days of a good running motor for a Triumph for $250-300 is long gone, but they are easy to rebuild and not that expensive unless you are a checkbook builder and pay someone to do the work.

            At a recent AMCA swap meet (Evergreen chapter regional meet in Tenino Washington) I saw 2 Triumph motors for over $1000..I took a pix of one to prove a point to a friend (The $1200 one, but no surprise,, it didnt sell)

            But I found a screwwy cheesy custom Triumph complete bike for $500 at the same meet and it came home with me. Turned out its a numbers matching 1967 Bonneville and Im stripping off the goofy parts and putting it back stock for a restoration.

            My buddy was offered a 1971 Motor for $500 and wondered if that was fair, I told him it was a bit high, but after shopping around I called him back and told him that was a fair deal,, For context, I just sold a rebuildable bottom end for $500 to a German and its worth a lot more in Europe. But deals are out there.

            Travel more, make new friends, run WTB ads on Farce book, and Craigslist, go to swap meets, ask around. Deals are out there.

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            • #7
              Alternately sell the thing and build an Evo Sportster or a recent Japanese machine to get more displacement and vastly greater reliability.

              OPs budget would go MUCH further on an Evo Sporty. If $3500 for anything makes you blink, run away from vintage machinery. Not everyone needs to build everything they fall into owning, and motorcycles are just X amount of money on two wheels.

              A chopper without an engine isn't like a car without an engine, it's like a car engine without a body. The engine is the core component of a motorcycle.

              If it's titled as a T120R the titled frame/frame loop may be desirable to collectors and parting the thing out could be profitable vs. selling it whole.

              Never marry what you can pimp.


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