1969 Triumph Bonneville


COMPETITION FROM ABROAD
The 1969 Triumph Bonneville had its work cut out for it. It seemed like the Triumph Bonneville was getting faster every year, and good thing too, with new arrivals from Japan like the 1969 Honda 750/Four & the Kawasaki 500 triple. The merry men at Meriden found a few more horses hiding in the venerable vertical twin yet again. These were the Golden Years for the Triumph Bonneville and Triumph motorcycles in general, the last time they would be considered a world-class performance motorcycle. When compared to the increasingly technologically-superior, better built, and cheaper bikes from Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki, the Triumph Bonneville looked outdated and outclassed. The end was near, but no one knew it yet. The Model designations were as before, T120R the road version with down pipes; T120C, the off-road/street scrambler with high pipes. The 1969 model year began with Engine #DU85904.

ENGINE
Starting with Engine #DU86965, the engine numbers were stamped over a series of embossed Triumph logos on the number plate at the base of the cylinder block, on the drive side (left side). Inside the engine, the cams were now nitrate-hardened (marked with an "N") that solved earlier wear problems. Starting with Engine #DU85904 new revised Hepolite pistons with s domed crowns & strengthened gudgeon pins (wrist pins) & from Engine #GC23016, new conrods with self-locking cap nuts were used. In yet another attempt to solve the vibration problem, weight removed from the flywheel in 1968 was put back on, while retaining the 85% balance factor, starting with Engine #NC02256.

Numerous smaller changes were made to the pushrod tubes, the oil pump and the continuing conversion over to Unified threads (American) from British Standard (Whitworth). The twin 30mm Amal Concentric carbs, now rubber-mounted, lost their separate pilot jets, relying instead on a fixed internal drilling. Main jets went from 210 to 190 and needle jets from 0.107 to 0.106. The transmission was almost completely reworked and beefed-up, in stages: new shift mechanism, extra hardening of the gears, 'shaving the gears', larger main- & layshafts. Starting with Engine #DU88383, the clutch baskets were statically balanced.

FRAME & RUNNING GEAR
The frame remained virtually unchanged for 1969, but the fork yokes (triple clamps) were made 1/4' wider to allow for wider front times. The new-for-'68 8" SLS front brake needed some work, including the rerouting of the cable.

The seat now had a quilted top of a breathable fabric & thicker padding. The "eyebrow" tank emblem was replaced with a simpler one. Colors for 1970 were Olympic Flame (a deep reddish-orange) & Silver, with the usual pattern on UK/Exports, and a new paint scheme on US bikes, where the Silver on the tank was shaped into a flash, below the tank emblem and in front of the knee pads. The steel fenders were now painted Silver with an Olympic Flame stripe down the center. Some US machines had this reversed. Gold pinstriping separated the two colors. The gold "Bonneville" transfers on the black oil tank & left side cover were now in block letters, instead of the traditional script.


1969 Triumph T120 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


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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