1977 TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE


1977 Triumph T140 Bonneville Silver Jubliee, Triumph motorcycles

1977 Triumph Bonneville T140VJ Silver Jubilee commemorated the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign as Queen of England.

1977 Triumph Bonneville Siver Jubilee, Triumph motorcycles

The 1977 Triumph T140VJ Bonneville Silver Jubilee was essentially an appearance package, with the mechanicals virtually identical to every other 1977 Triumph Bonneville.

1977 Triumph T140 Bonneville Silver Jubliee, Triumph motorcycles



FOCUSING ON ONE MODEL
As the 1977 model year opened, the Meriden Co-op was struggling on a shoestring budget & so had to set priorities. The Triumph T160 Trident had been killed off in 1975, now they dropped the 650cc T120 & TR6 series, focusing all their energies in a single motor motorcycle, the 750cc twin, in T120 Bonneville form and also as the TR7 Tiger. For 1977, there were two bikes in the Bonneville lineup: The standard Triumph T140 Bonneville, and a special, limited-edition factory custom, the Triumph Bonneville T140 Silver Jubilee. The Jubilee was meant to commemorate the Silver (25th) Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign as Queen of England. The model year started with Engine #GP75000, with the standard Triumph Bonneville 750 model designation being T140V (the "V" signifying a 5-speed gearbox, which all of them had). The Jubilees simply added a "J" suffix after the "V" (ie: T140VJ).

1977 Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Bonneville Silver Jubilee, Triumph motorcycles

The Triumph Bonneville was a very limited edition, perhaps only 2400 made. But Triumph Motorcycles continued to produce its mainstream model, the 1977 Triumph Bonneville T140V. This one is in Polychromatic Red & Cold White.




CARRYOVER
Very few mechanical changes were made to the 1977. Funds were short & the Meriden Co-op had to make do with what they had, wherever possible. The 1977 Triumph T140 Bonneville was pretty much a straight carry-over from 1976, which was itself a carry-over from 1975, which was a carry-over from 1974. So, the basic Bonneville, other than the US-mandated switch to lefthand-shift, had gone unchanged, unimproved for 4 model years, an eternity in the fast-paced motorcycle biz of the day.

1977 Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Bonneville Silver Jubliee, Triumph Motorcycles

1977 Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Bonneville Silver Jubilee, Triumph Motorcycles

This 1977 Triumph Bonneville came in Polychromatic Blue & Cold White paint.


SILVER JUBILEE
The standard 1977 Triumph Bonneville T140 then remained relatively unchanged from prior years. The only real changes were made to the Jubilee, and they were purely cosmetic. The outer engine covers (primary, timing & gearbox covers) were chromed. A special Silver over Blue with Red pinstriping paint scheme was specific to the 1977 Silver Jubilee. The seat was even blue vinyl with red piping, the colors of the British Union Jack (their flag), along with the silver to tie into the 25th anniversary event.

RUNNING GEAR
The Jubilee got special 'upside-down' Girling rear shocks with exposed springs, and lots more chrome than the standard Bonnie. The seat was a stepped affair that, apart from the loud colors, would set the pattern for every Bonneville seat from them on. Despite the wild paintjobs, US bikes continued to get US-spec slimline tanks, and UK bikes got the larger-capacity, boxy British-spec tanks. New side covers were added with special Silver Jubilee emblems on them, with the year "1977" and the red, white & blue Union Jack. The original plan was to produce 1,000 of them for the home market to honor the Queen, but they sold so easily that Meriden quickly put together another 1,000-unit run for the US market, then another 400 (+/-) run for general export. The first batch had side cover emblems which read "One of a Thousand". But once they exceeded that, all subsequent bikes were wisely labeled "Limited Edition".

NOT A HUGE HIT
In the final analysis, if the 1977 Triumph Bonneville Silver Jubilee had any significance or relevance at all, it wasn't because of the volume of its sales. While 2,400 extra sales was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, it wasn't enough to change the fortunes of Triumph Motorcycles. And it wasn't because it was faster or technologically superior, after all, it was just an appearance package. And it wasn't because it was such a gorgeous bike. Because it wasn't. Many people were put off by the looks, in fact, finding it too flamboyant or garish.

FIRST 'SPECIAL EDITION'
No, the Silver Jubilee was significant because it was the first in a series of special, limited edition factory customs that Triumph would produce over the next few years. Again, it wasn't enough to save the company, but perhaps it prolonged the inevitable just a little while longer, and the strategy brought us some very cool Classic British Motorcycles.


1977 Triumph Bonneville SPECIFICATIONS:



MODEL DESIGNATIONS:
1977 Triumph Bonneville T140V..................... 750cc
1977 Triumph Bonneville T140VJ.................... Silver Jubliee

ENGINE:
Engine type....................................... OHV vertical twin
Horsepower at RPM............................ 49 BHP @ 6,200 rpm
Bore................................................ 76mm / 2.79"
Stroke............................................. 82mm / 3.23"
Displacement.................................... 744cc / 40 cu. in.
Compression Ratio............................. 8.6:1
Valve Clearance (cold):
Inlet................................................ 0.05mm / 0.002"
Exhaust............................................ 0.10mm / 0.004"
Valve Timing:
Inlet Valve Opens.............................. 34 degrees BTDC
Inlet Valve Closes.............................. 55 degrees BTDC
Exhaust Valve Opens.......................... 55 degrees BTDC
Exhaust Valve Closes.......................... 27 degrees BTDC

IGNITION:
Ignition Breaker Gap............................. 0.4mm / 0.015"
Spark Plug Gap.................................. 0.50mm / 0.020"
Timing (static).................................14 degrees BTDC
Timing (fully advanced):........................ 38 degrees BTDC

CARBURETORS:
Type................................................ Amal Concentric
Throat Size....................................... 30mm
Main Jet........................................... 210
Needle Jet........................................ .107
Needle Position.................................. 2
Needle Type.......................................D
Throttle Valve.................................... 2
Pilot Jet............................................ 25

TRANSMISSION:
Speeds.............................................. 4
Gear Ratios:
5th - Top........................................... 4.7
4th - Fourth........................................ 5.59
3rd - Third......................................... 6.58
2nd - Second...................................... 8.63
1st - Bottom...................................... 12.25

CLUTCH:
Type................................................ Multi-plate, wet
Number of Plates:
Drive Plates...................................... 6
Driven Plates.................................... 6

SPROCKETS:
Engine............................................. 29 teeth
Clutch............................................. 58 teeth
Gearbox.......................................... 20 teeth
Rear Wheel...................................... 47 teeth

CHAIN:
Primary, pitch.................................. 3/8" triplex
Primary, length................................. 84 links
Final Drive, pitch............................... 5/8" X .400" X 3/8"
Final Drive, length............................. 106 links

CAPACITIES:
Fuel (US versions)............................. 2.5 Imp. gal.
Fuel (UK & export versions)................. 4 Imp. gal.
Oil Tank........................................... 5 pints / 3 L
Gearbox........................................... 1 pt / 500cc
Primary Chaincase............................. 1/4 pt / 150cc
Front Forks....................................... 6.4 oz. / 190cc

TIRES:
Front............................................... 3.25 X 19"
Rear................................................ 4.00 X 18"

SUSPENSION:
Front............................................... Telescopic Forks
Rear................................................ Swing Arm

BRAKES:
Front............................................... 10" / 12.9cm disk
Rear................................................ 7" / 17.78cm SLS

DIMENSIONS:
Seat Height...................................... 32.5" / 77.5cm
Wheelbase........................................ 54.5" / 140.3cm
Length.............................................. 85.5" / 202cm
Width............................................... 28.5" / 72cm
Ground Clearance.............................. 5" / 12.7cm
Weight, unladen................................ 387 lbs / 176kg


SAVE THE BONNEVILLE!
Did you ever wonder what really happened to Triumph? This is the behind-the-scenes story of the Meriden Workers' Co-op, written by John Rosamond, the welder-turned-Company Chairman. From the factory takeover in '73, and the formation of the Co-op in '75, through their endless struggles to continue to produce Triumph Bonnevilles, despite constant setbacks & opposition, until its slow death in 1983. The book is loaded with amazing photos & information you won't find anywhere else. This is not hearsay either, this is the real deal right from the source. I lived through this stuff myself, working as an apprentice mechanic in a Triumph/BSA/Norton dealership in 1971 when the first Oil-in-Frame Triumphs arrived to a lukewarm response. There were lots of ups & unfortunately more downs for the cash-strapped Co-op, but the scrappy Brits soldiered on & even came out with some stunning new models (like the Diana watercooled DOHC 4-valve twin, the contra-rotating balance shaft Bonneville, the 8-valve TSS, Anti-Vibration frames with rubber engine mounts & more), all outlined in the book. It's a MUST READ for anyone who mourns the loss of the British Motorcycle Industry as a whole & of Triumph in particular.


You can order the book by clicking on the picture of the book cover, above.


TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE BOOKS


TALES OF TRIUMPH & MERIDEN

TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES: TRIUMPH ENGINEERING CO.

TRIUMPH WORKSHOP MANUAL, 1935-1939

TRIUMPH WORKSHOP MANUAL, 1937-1951

TRIUMPH WORKSHOP MANUAL, 1945-1955

TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES: FROM SPEED TWIN TO BONNEVILLE

TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES - HINKLEY RENAISSANCE

SAVE THE TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE

THE INSIDE STORY OF THE MERIDEN WORKERS' CO-OP.
STORY OF THE TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE - MOVIE

TRIUMPH 650 & 750 TWINS

ESSENTIAL BUYERS GUIDE TO TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE

TR BONNEVILLE 2001-08

TR BONNEVILLE, PORTRAIT OF LEGEND

TR BONNEVILLE: T120/T140

TRIUMPH MC RESTORATION

HAYNES TR TRIPLES & FOURS

TRIUMPH 21 TO DAYTONA

TRIUMPH TIGER CUB BIBLE

Triumph Motorcycles
Triumph Bonneville
Triumph Bonneville, Pre-Unit Construction, 1959-1962
Triumph Bonneville, Unit Construction, 1963-1970
Triumph Bonneville, Oil-in-Frame, 1971-1983

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