1968 Triumph Bonneville

OVERVIEW
The 1968 Triumph Bonneville had a bit of a watershed year. While the slow march of progress continued, 2 major improvement were made: Amal Concentric carburetors replaced the Amal Monoblocs; and a new 8" TLS (Twin Leading Shoe) front brake replaced the age-old SLS (single leading shoe) unit. But 1968 also marked the beginning of a very brief window when the Triumph Bonneville was in it's 'sweet spot', widely considered to run from 1968 through 1970. The 'Bonnie' had truly reached its zenith, and at a time when its performance was considered world-class. This was, of course, just before the arrival of the game-changing Honda 750, the bike that reset the world's opinion of what "performance" was. And in this new 4-cylinder OHC paradigm, the ancient pushrod twin just couldn't keep up. Model designations were as before, T120R was the road version & T120C was the off-road/street scrambler (ala enduro). Absent, however, was the race-ready TT Special, the model was dropped entirely for the 1968 model year.
ENGINE UPGRADES
Big changes were made to the engine. Hepolite pistons were back, but with reinforced crowns. Grey Spot outer valve springs replaced last years Red Spots, allowing higher valve lift. Starting with Engine #DU79965, the rocker arms were strengthened by eliminating the oil passages that ran from their pivots to the contact faces. The cylinder block got 12-point base nuts. Starting with Engine #DU66246, the threaded timing hole (used to locate TDC) that was behind the cylinders was moved to a location below the front engine mount. The flywheel now had 2 notches, one at TDC and one at 38-degrees BTDC (the standard advance at the time). But to make it more convenient to time the engine, an entirely new system was employed as of Engine #DU83021, which included a new primary cover with removable inspection plate over the alternator stator and corresponding timing marks on the stator & the primary cover. Ultimately, the threaded inspection hole in front was turned into a drain plug & the timing plug moved back to its original location, behind the cylinder block. The contact breakers were now independently adjustable (Lucas 6CA) allowing more precise timing. More Unified threads inside and out. Several detail changes were made to the transmission. The Zener diode was moved from behind the engine to the front of the bike under the front yoke, where it would remain from then on.
FRAME & RUNNING GEAR
An overall strengthening of the frame was undertaken, starting somewhere between Engine #s DU75430 & DU75449 (a 19-bike disparity), thicker-gauge tubing was used for the front frame section, and as of Engine #DU81196 for a stronger swing arm. The swing arm pivot lug was also strengthened. A new set of forks were fitted that looked practically identical to the units they replaced, but had internal differences such as 2-way shuttle valve damping & changed over to American threads.
NEW TLS FRONT BRAKE
The big news for 1968 however was the new 8" twin-leading-shoe (TLS) front brake to replace the old SLS unit. A modified version of the old hub was used with an entirely new guts & an alloy backing plate that had the coolest-looking air scoop in the front. It was 'all business' in more than appearance - it really stopped!

1968 Triumph Bonneville
SPECIFICATIONS


Bonneville T120R

Bonneville T120C

Engine type

Displacement

Bore & Stroke

Compression

Carburetors

Ignition

Engine output

Primary drive

Primary drive 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

Fuel Capacity

Wheelbase

Seat height

Ground clearance

Weight, unladen

Roadster, low pipes

Street Scrambler, high pipes

Air-cooled OHV vertical twin

649cc / 40.0 ci

71mm X 82mm / 2.79" X 3.23"

9.0:1

2- Amal Concentric 30mm

Battery & coil, Lucas

49 bhp @ 6200

3/8" triplex chain X 84 links

29T X 58T

Multi-plate, wet

4-speed constant-mesh, right-foot shift


11.8:1

8.17

6.76

5.84

5/8" X .400" X 3/8" chain X 106 links

19T X 47T

Brazed lug, full-cradle, single downtube

Telescopic fork, hydraulic damping

Swing arm, 2 Girling dampers

8" TLS drum, full width

7" SLS drum

3.25" X 19" Dunlop 

4.00" X 18" Dunlop

2.5 Imp gal (US) / 4 Imp gal (UK & export)

54.5" / 140.3cm

32.5" / 77.5cm

5.0" / 12.7cm

363 lbs / 165 kg


MORE TRIUMPH BONNEVILLES:
Triumph Bonneville
Triumph Bonneville Pre-Unit (1959-1962)
.....1959
.....1960
.....1961
.....1962
Triumph Bonneville, Unit-Construction(1963-1970)
.....1963
.....1964
.....1965
.....1966
.....1967
.....1968
.....1969
.....1970
Triumph Bonneville, Oil-in-Frame
.....1971
.....1972
.....1973
.....1974
.....1975
.....1976
.....1977
.....1978
.....1979
.....1980
.....1981
.....1982
.....1983
Les Harris Bonnevilles(1983-1989)
OTHER TRIUMPHS:
Triumph TR6
Triumph TR7
Triumph Trophy
Triumph Tiger
Triumph Thunderbird
Triumph Trident
Triumph X-75 Hurricane


Check out these TRIUMPH BOOKS


TALES OF TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES & THE MERIDEN FACTORY


COMPLETE BOOK OF CLASSIC & MODERN TRIUMPHS


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE & TR6


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES, THEIR RENAISSANCE & THE HINKLEY FACTORY


TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN & THUNDERBIRD BIBLE


HINKLEY TRIUMPH TRIPLES & FOURS ESSENTIAL BUYERS GUIDE


TRIUMPH PRODUCTION TESTERS’ TALES FROM THE MERIDEN FACTORY


TURNER’S TRIUMPHS: EDWARD TURNER & HIS TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES


TRIUMPH TROPHY BIBLE


HINKLEY TRIUMPHS, THE FIRST GENERATION


BONNIE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE


TRIUMPH: A CENTURY OF PASSION & POWER


TRIUMPH TWIN RESTORATION


CONENTRY’S BICYCLE HERITAGE


HOW TO RESTORE YOUR BSA ROCKET III/TRIUMPH TRIDENT


TRIUMPH & BSA TRIPLES: THE COMPLETE STORY OF THE TRIDENT & ROCKET 3


TIGER CUB BIBLE


TRIUMPH SINGLES: EARLY DAYS TO 1974 BY ROY BACON


BRITISH MOTORCYCLES: TRIUMPH


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION, PRE-UNIT


TRIUMPH PRE-UNIT TR5, 5T, 6T, T100 & T110 FACTORY SHOP MANUAL


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION


ILLUSTRATED TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE BUYER’S GUIDE BY ROY BACON


FACTORY ORIGINAL TRIUMPH TWINS 1938-1962


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE: PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND


TRIUMPH 650 & 750 TWIN REPAIR MANUAL 1963-1983, BY HAYNES


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES IN AMERICA


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE 2001-2012 REPAIR MANUAL BY HAYNES


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE: THE ESSENTIAL BUYERS GUIDE


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES TWINS & TRIPLES


TRUIMPH MOTORCYCLES: FROM SPEED TWIN TO BONNEVILLE


BOOK OF TRIUMPH TWINS BY CLYMER


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE BIBLE, ALL MODELS 1959-1983


TRIUMPH TIGER CUB & TERRIER 1952-1968 REPAIR MANUAL BY HAYNES


TRIUMPH RACING MOTORCYCLES IN AMERICA


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES ILLUSTRATED WORKSHOP MANUAL 1945-1955 BY CLYMER


TRIUMPH 675 DAYTONA & STREET TRIPLE REPAIR MANUAL, 2006-2010


TRIUMPH TRIPLES & FOURS 1991-2004, HAYNES REPAIR MANAUL


TRIUMPH 350 & 500 UNIT TWINS ESSENTIAL BUYERS GUIDE


TRIUMPH TWIN RESTORATION BY ROY BACON


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE & TR6 MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION GUIDE


TRIUMPH: RETURN OF THE LEGEND


BSA & TRIUMPH TRIPLES: GOLD PORTFOLIO


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION GUIDE: BONNEVILLE & TR6


TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD 6T ROAD TEST 1966


TRIUMPH 500-750 TWINS 1963-1979, SERVICE, REPAIR & PERFORMANCE MANUAL


TRIUMPH TRIPLES


HOW TO RESTORE TRIUMPH TR5/250 & TR6


HOW TO RESTORE TRIUMPH TRIDENT T150/T160


TRIUMPH THRUXTON BONNEVILLE 1959-1969


TRIUMPH TIGER 800 SERVICE MANUAL 2010-2014, HAYNES


TRIUMPH TT600 MOTORCYCLE SERVICE MANUAL


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES


ORIGINAL TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE


TRIUMPH, BY ROY BACON


TRIUMPH ILLUSTRATED WORKSHOP MANUAL 1937-1951 BY ROY BACON


TRIUMPH 500 UNIT TWINS 1958-1973 REPAIR MANUAL, BY HAYNES


TRIUMPH T110R DAYTONA 1966-1969


TRIUMPH OWNERS MANUAL: UNIT CONSTRUCTION 350 & 500 TWINS

TRIUMPH INSTRUCTION MANUAL: TRW 499cc SV TWIN


TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN INSTRUCTION BOOK FOR 1939


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE YEAR-BY-YEAR


CHILTON’S TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE REPAIR & TUN-UP GUIDE


2010-14 TRIUMPH TIGER 800 HAYNES SERVICE MANUAL


TRIUMPH 650 & 750 TWINS: BONNEVILLE, TIGER, TROPHY & THUNDERBIRD


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION: PRE-UNIT, BY TIM REMUS


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION, BY TIM REMUS


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE ROAD TEST PORTFOLIO, 2001-2008


TRIUMPH TRIDENT & BSA ROCKET 3 OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUAL, BY HAYNES


HINKLEY TRIUMPHS: THE FIRST GENERATION


TRIUMPH FUEL INJECTED TRIPLES 1997-2000


TRIUMPH SINGLES: EARLY DAYS TO 1974, BY ROY BACON


TRIUMPH PRE-UNIT TWINS WORKSHOP MANUAL, BY HAYNES


TRIUMPH DAYTONA, SPEED TRIPLE, SPRINT & TIGER 1995-2005 HAYNES SHOP MANUAL


TRIUMPH TIGER 100 & DAYTONA


McQUEEN’S MACHINES: THE CARS & BIKES OF A HOLLYWOOD ICON


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


TRIUMPH 750/900 TRIPLES & 1200 FOUR 1991-1999 HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


TRIUMPH, THE LEGENDS SERIES


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES & CUSTOM BIKES


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES TWINS & TRIPLES, BY REMUS


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES: THEIR RENAISSANCE & THE HINKLEY FACTORY


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THE SCRAPBOOK SERIES I - TRIUMPH


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CYCLE WORLD ON TRIUMPH 1967-1972


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TRIUMPH PRE-UNIT TWINS


LITTLE BOOK OF BRITISH MOTORCYCLES: TRIUMPH


CHILTON’S NEW REPAIR & TUNE-UP GUIDE FOR TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES


THE TRIUMPH STORY: RACING & PRODUCTION MODELS 1902 TO PRESENT


TRIUMPH 1050 SPRINT, SPEED TRIPLE & TIGER, HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


ILLUSTRATED TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE BUYERS GUIDE POST-1945, ROY BACON


COMPLETE BOOK OF CLASSIC & MODERN TRIUMPHS


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE


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TOURING TRIUMPH TWINS, 3T, 5T, 6T, 3TA & 5TA, 1938-1966 BY ROY BACON


FACTORY TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE SERVICE MANUAL


TRIUMPH CYCLES PATENT COLLECTION


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE OWNERS HANDBOOK, ALL MODELS 1937-1951


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO ALL MODELS FROM 1937




CHILTON’S REPAIR & TUNE-UP GUIDE, TRIUMPH THROUGH 1972


OVERHAUL MANUAL FOR TRIUMPH 3-CYLINDER ENGINE


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120, 1959-1974, BY ROY BACON


TRIUMPH TIGER T100 & T110, 1939-1961, BY ROY BACON


TRIUMPH T90 & T100 UNIT TWINS, 1960-1974, BY ROY BACON


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TRIUMPH TRIDENT SUPER PROFILE


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE GOLD PORTFOLIO, 1959-1983


1969 TRIUMPH TROPHY 250 REPLACEMENT PARTS CATALOGUE


TRIUMPH 650 & 750 TWIN OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUAL


TRIUMPH: RED HOT BIKES


1966 TRIUMPH REPLACEMENT PARTS CATALOG #6: 3TA, 5TA, T90 & T100S/S


1961 TRIUMPH REPLACEMENT PARTS CATALOG: TWNETY-ONE, SPEED TWIN, TIGER 100


BONNEVILLE: THE WORLD’S FASTEST MOTORCYCLES


TRIUMPH WORKSHOP MANUAL FOR 750 BONNEVILLE & TIGER


TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE & TR6 BY TIM REMUS


TRIUMPH 650 & 750 UNIT TWINS 1963-1983, HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


TRIUMPH OWNERS HANDBOOK FOR 1973 BONNEVILLE & TIGER


TRIUMPH PRE-UNIT TWINS WORKSHOP MANUAL


TRIUMPH 350/500 TWINS WORKSHOP MANUAL






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