1956 Triumph Blackbird

ABOVE: The 1956 Triumph Blackbird was essentially a 6T Thunderbird painted black. This earned it the name "Blackbird".

STUCK WITH THE IRON HEAD
The 1956 Triumph Thunderbird retained its old cast iron head and all its overheating problems, while the new alloy "Delta head" debuted on the Triumph Tiger T110 and the new for 1956 Triumph TR6. This not only solved the cooling problems but also eliminated the external oil drain pipes, now allowing the oil to drain back to the crankcase via the pushrod tubes. A thermal insulating block was installed between the head and the carburetor. Compression ratio was raised to 8.5:1 for the Tiger T110.

ENGINE UPGRADES
The 6T Thunderbird did get some performance upgrades, however. Shell-type big-end bearings replaced the previous white metal type. This called for larger and thus heavier connecting rods which required an rejiggering of the crankshaft balance factors.
1956 TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD GEARBOX
Inside the gearbox, old phosphor bronze layshaft bushings were replaced with sintered bronze. The composition of he rubber clutch shock absorbers was changed. Inside the clutch, the driven plates were now solid instead of being drilled & the drive plates were now had bonded Neolangite friction surfaces.

RUNNING GEAR
Inside the front forks a new hydraulic bump stop prevented bottoming out during hard braking. The rear shocks were fitted with 100-pound springs with revised bleed and bump stops. In the headstock, the top ball race was changed to match the lower race.

A new sidecar lug was fitted to the seat post & the fuel tank was now rubber mounted & featured the now-famous 4-bar parcel grid. A new center stand provided greater ground clearance. The wiring harness was now sheathed in PVC.

BELOW: The Triumph 6T Blackbird was inspired by the bike Marlon Brando rode in the 1953 movie "The Wild One".

1956 Triumph Blackbird SPECIFICATIONS

Engine type
Displacement
Bore & Stroke
Compression
Carburetor
Ignition
Engine output
Primary drive
Primary sprockets
Clutch
Gearbox
Ratios, overall:
1st, bottom
2nd
3rd
4th, top
Final drive
Final drive sprockets
Frame Type
Suspension, front
Suspension, rear
Brake, front
Brake, rear
Tire, front
Tire, rear
Wheelbase
Seat Height
Ground Clearance
Fuel capacity
Dry weight
Air-cooled OHV vertical twin
649cc / 40.0 ci
71mm X 82mm / 2.79" X 3.23"
8.5:1 (US & export); 7.0:1 (UK)
1-Amal Monobloc
Lucas magneto
34 bhp @ 6500 rpm
1/2" X .335" X 5/16" chain, 70 links
24T X 43T
Multi-plate, wet
4-speed, right foot shift

11.9:1
8.25:1
5.81:1
4.88
5/8" X .400" X 3/8" chain, 101 links
18T X 46T
Brazed lug, rigid
Telescopic fork, hydraulic damping
Swing arm, 2 Girling dampers
8" SLS drum
7" SLS drum
3.25" X 19"
3.50" X 19"
55.75" / 141 cm
31" / 77.5 cm
5" / 12.7 cm
3 Imp gal (US); 4 Imp gal (UK)
395 lbs / 179 kg

Check out these TRIUMPH BOOKS

COMPLETE BOOK OF CLASSIC & MODERN TRIUMPHS


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES IN AMERICA


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION, PRE-UNIT


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE & TR6 RESTORATION GUIDE: 1956-1983


TALES OF TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES & THE MERIDEN FACTORY


TRIUMPH 650 & 750 TWINS OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUAL, 1963-1983


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE: ESSENTIAL BUYER’S GUIDE


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE: PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND


ILLUSTRATED TRIUMPH BUYER’S GUIDE, by Roy Bacon


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE, 2001-2015


TRIUMPH: PRODUCTION TESTERS TALES FROM MERIDEN


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION GUIDE


TRIUMPH OWNERS HANDBOOK, UNIT-CONSTRUCTION 350 & 500, Kindle


TRIUMPH ILLUSTRATED WORKSHOP MANUAL 1945-1955, by Clymer


TRIUMPH TWINS & TRIPLES


FACTORY-ORIGINAL TRIUMPH TWINS, 1938-1962


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE & TR6, by Timothy Remus


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES: FROM SPEED TWIN TO BONNEVILLE


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES: THEIR RENAISSANCE & THE HINKLEY FACTORY


TRIUMPH PRE-UNIT TWINS OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUAL


TRIUMPH THRUXTON BONNEVILLE 1959-1969


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES ILLUSTRATED WORKSHOP MANUAL 1937-1951, by Clymer


TURNER’S TRIUMPHS: EDWARD TURNER & HIS TRIUMPHS


TRIUMPH TWIN RESTORATION, by Roy Bacon


TRIUMPH TIGER CUB & TERRIER 1952-1968, Haynes Repair Manual


TRIUMPH 675 DAYTONA & SPEED TRIPLE REPAIR MANUAL 2006-2010, Haynes


CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES: TRIUMPH


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE YEAR BY YEAR


TRIUMPH TRIPLES


TRIUMPH RACING MOTORCYCLES IN AMERICA


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES


TRIUMPH, by Roy Bacon


TRIUMPH 750/900 TRIPLES & 1200 FOURS 1991-1999, Haynes Repair Manual


TRIUMPH TROPHY BIBLE


TRIUMPH DAYTONA, SPEED TRIPLE SPRINT & TIGER: 885/955 1997-2005, Haynes Repair Manual


BSA & TRIUMPH TRIPLES GOLD PORTFOLIO 1968-1976


TRIUMPH TRIDENT OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUAL, by Haynes


TRIUMPH: A CENTURY OF PASSION & POWER


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE, by Osprey


TRIUMPH TIGER 100 & 110, 1939-1961, by Roy Bacon


TRIUMPH TIGER 100 & DAYTONA


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE, by Crowood


TRIUMPH by Don Morley


TRIUMPH TRIPLES & FOURS 1991 & 2004


TRIUMPH 350 & 500 1957-1974 ESSENTIAL BUYERS GUIDE


BONNIE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE


TRIUMPH SINGLES: EARLY DAYS TO 1974, by Roy Bacon


TRIUMPH: RETURN OF THE LEGEND


TRIUMPH FUEL INJECTED TRIPLES 1997-2000


BOOK OF TRIUMPH TWINS 1968-1969, by Floyd Clymer


THE TRIUMPH STORY: RACING & PRODUCTION MODELS 1902-PRESENT


TRIUMPH 350 & 500 TWINS 1958-1973, Haynes Repair Manual


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE 2001-=2008 ROAD TEST PORTFOLIO


HINKLEY TRIPLES & FOURS


TRIUMPH PRE-UNIT TWINS


HINKLEY TRIUMPHS: THE FIRST GENERATION


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE BIBLE: ALL MODELS 1959-1983


TRIUMPH TWENTY-ONE TO DAYTONA: C CLASS 350 & 500 TWINS


ORIGINAL TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE


TRIUMPH 650 & 750 TWINS


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES & CUSTOM BIKES


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES


TRIUMPH, THE LEGENDS SERIES


TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD SUPER PROFILE


TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN & THUNDERBIRD BIBLE


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120/T140


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES FROM 1950-1983


TRIUMPH & BSA TRIPLES: THE COMPLETE STORY


TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD, TROPHY & TIGER ESSENTIAL BUYERS GUIDE


TRIUMPH TIGER CUB BIBLE


ROAD RACING HISTORY OF THE TRIUMPH 500 UNIT TWIN


EDWARD TURNER: THE MAN BEHIND THE MOTORCYCLES


SAVE THE BONNEVILLE: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE MERIDEN WORKERS CO-OP


TRIUMPH DAYTONA 1991-2006 ROAD TEST PORTFOLIO


TRIUMPH DAYTONA 2003-2009 ROAD TEST PORTFOLIO


TRIUMPH TIGER 100 / DAYTONA: DEVELOPMENT HISTORY


TRIUMPH, by Daniel Gilpin


BOOK OF TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES ILLUSTRATED SHOP MANUAL 1935-1939


TRIUMPH: THE RACING STORY


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120 1959-1974, by Roy Bacon


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE GOLD PORTFOLIO 1959-1983


TRIUMPH TRIDENT SUPER PROFILE


ILLUSTRATED TRIUMPH BUYERS GUIDE, by Roy Bacon






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