Project Bike: 2002 Triumph Bonneville T-100

SkyBlue / Warm Silver - 790cc

COLOR: SkyBlue

  • Manufacturer – PPG
  • Color Code: TRIUMPH SKY
  • Triumph Paint Code: T3120300-JQ

COLOR: Warm Silver

  • Manufacturer: Standox
  • Color Code: 269600
  • Triumph Color Code: T3120300-MD

Summer 2017

I first saw this 2002 Triumph Bonneville T-100 sitting in the driveway of a house down the street from me during the summer of 2017. It had a “For Sale” sign on its windshield. I stopped, wrote down the phone number, and gave them a call. Eventually, I was able to meet the owner’s son and take it for a short spin.

It had a number of issues including:

  • A broken mirror
  • Bent right front brake lever
  • Scratches on the right side
  • A dent in the tank
  • Bent rear brake lever
  • Bent right foot peg bracket
  • Misaligned headlight brackets
  • Idled really rough and didn’t have the responsiveness and power that it should have had
  • The chain was filthy and caked with grime
  • Tires were low and not in good condition
  • Chrome rims were showing spots of rust

Based on all of this I knew the bike had been dropped on the right side at least once. Even so, it only had 2,400 miles on it and had the unique and unusual SkyBlue/Warm Silver paint scheme. So, I gave him a realistic cash offer based on all the work and parts necessary to get it back in roadworthy, safe riding condition. He shared it with his father and got back to me with a counter offer that was still much too high. I think the owner felt he had some kind of unique “classic” bike that lots of people would pay money to own. I gave them a slightly higher final bid and told them if they ever changed their mind to give me a call.

May 2018

After putting this bike out of mind for the winter I saw it reappear again in the Spring of 2018. I knew the owner was never going to sell it for what he was asking, so I called the number and raised my cash bid a little more and told them to call if they wanted to get rid of it.

I finally heard back from them in June just as I was getting ready to move from Illinois to Wisconsin. I met them and took a look at the title, and knew we had another problem. The owner had never titled the bike in his own name. A friend of his had passed away and his wife had just given the Bonneville and title to him. I explained that he could not sell the motorcycle to anyone until he had a clear title in his name. We agreed on a final cash price and that when he had a clear title, I would come back down from Wisconsin and buy it from him.

AUG 13, 2018

I finally heard from the owner in early August that he had obtained the clear title in his name. We set a date and time for the transaction. I drove down from Wisconsin to Illinois in the morning of August 13, 2018, completed the deal and loaded it up in my Chevy “Triumph Hauler” by 11:15 AM. The battery was dead, so the owner had to help me push it up the ramps into my pickup bed… which was a little scary! Thankfully, no mishaps occurred!

After meeting my brother Barry and my buddy Lee for lunch in a nearby Italian Deli, I headed back to my garage/shop in Wisconsin. I had everything safely unloaded and on my shop motorcycle table lift by 3:30 PM.

AUG 15, 2018 – Deconstruction

For several hours I tore into deconstructing the 2002 Bonneville T-100. This included:

  • Removing the seat and gas tank
  • Removing the windshield, mirrors, bar-end caps, headlight, and front turn signals
  • Removing the rear fender and taillight assembly
  • Removing the chain guard and front sprocket cover
  • Removing the exhaust silencers and clamps, and footpegs
  • Removing the rear wheel/tire/axle/chain tension adjusters
  • Removing the battery, airbox, and carbs
  • Replacing the front brake lever
  • Performing a bafflectomy on the airbox
  • Start cleaning the chain and worst grime-filled areas
  • Remove the Air-Injection System (pollution control)

Here’s what the Bonneville looked like when I stopped for the day.

AUG 18-19, 2018

This weekend I made some significant progress.

  • Disassembled the carbs, discovered one was completely gummed with by old gas/ethanol
  • Cleaned all jets, passageways, hoses, needles, etc.
  • Reassembled and cleaned outsides of carbs, cables, brackets.
  • Installed carb assembly back on the engine intake manifolds, and reconnected throttle cables
  • Installed de-baffled and modified airbox
  • Remounted all electrical and brake component to airbox
  • Installed new battery
  • Cleaned chain, frame, engine… everything!
  • Degreased and cleaned front and rear tires, wheels and hubs
  • Degreased front sprocket cover and chain guard
  • Removed front fender, tire/wheel, brake, headlight ears (one was bent badly), ignition switch, plastic fork protectors
  • Installed bar end mirrors
  • Removed rear taillight and signal assembly from rear fender
  • Installed air injection system plug bolts on engine head
  • Cleaned and re-gapped spark plugs
  • Reinstalled gas tank, fuel line
  • Started it up to test carbs – it runs well!

It runs! It started right up (with choke) after putting the tank back on, attaching fuel lines, and connecting the new battery. Pretty sure the gas is pretty old as well! This is all a very encouraging sign!

Final shot of the weekend of work.

Parts for this Project!

Parts I am selling from this project bike:

  • Triumph Summer Windscreen
  • OEM Chrome Triumph Silencers
  • Left headlight ear (within ignition mounting hole)
  • Rear Taillight/Turn Signal assembly
  • Front Turn Signals

I am ordering many parts for this project from my friends at New Bonneville in the great state of Texas:

  • Mirror hole plugs
  • Extended seat bolts – stainless
  • Front and rear retro style lighting
  • Fork Gaiters
  • Air Injection System (AIS) removal kit
  • Norman Hyde Toga exhausts
  • Front turn signal relocation bracket
  • Motone ignition relocation bracket
  • CRG Bar end mirrors
  • EBC floating rotor and pads

Other parts are purchased from these sources:

  • Right front foot peg bracket – Bike Bandit
  • 1.9″ Mini-Tachometer – Dime City Cycles
  • Sharky headlight ears – Bonneville Brackets
  • Battery, tires, and tubes – Amazon
  • Mule swingarm bushings – British Customs
  • UPGRADE OPTION (add $1500): Sun alloy rims, stainless spokes, 2008 Triumph hubs, Avon Roadrider Tires – Buchanan

AUG 20, 2018

Today I completed these additional tasks:

  • Ordered more parts for the project, received new Avon tires.
  • Removed side reflector adhesive from rear fender using acetone (nasty stuff!)
  • Cleaned out gas inlet port of flaking and wrinkled paint – contemplated options for the dent repair
  • Removed and cleaned gas petcock valve of crusty and gummed up deposits
  • Temporarily installed Predator silencers to judge exhaust note
  • Installed front turn signal bracket behind finned regulator/rectifier (https://newbonneville.com/shop/front-turn-signal-relo-kit/)

AUG 21, 2018

Today, I worked on the following tasks:

  • Started testing the Harbor Freight Crossbar Dent Repair Kit to remove the tank dent. Making slow progress.
  • Mounted Avon 19″ tire on a 19″ alloy wheel and hub assembly I previously had built by Buchanan’s.
  • Mounted a shop vise on my Harbor Freight motorcycle lift table
  • Ordered new chrome Norman Hyde Toga exhausts from NewBonneville.com
  • Additional cleaning and corrosion buffing/removal

AUG 22, 2018

Additional tasks completed:

  • Assessed front speedo bracket and ordered new tachometer
  • Quick fit new retro-style front turn signals
  • Quick fit new retro-style taillight and turn signal assembly
  • I confess I had a couple helpers today (grandsons)!

AUG 23, 2018

Today, I only had time to do a few things:

  • Connected and tested the new retro-style rear taillight and turn signal assembly.
  • Connected and tested the new retro-style front turn signals.
  • Installed the Mule Swingarm Spacers. In the process, I discovered that the swingarm was in dire need of new grease and lubrication.

SEP 17, 2018 UPDATE

I was able to sort out the carburetors after a thorough cleaning. With the airbox de-baffled and the inlet snorkel opened up, I ended up increasing the main jets from stock 110’s, to 120’s. I left the pilot jets at the stock 40 size, and the needles untouched. The idle mix screws are set at 2.5 turns out. This has produced a strong torque pull in every gear up through the acceleration process, and can easily bring the bike to 80+ MPH in an acceptable time frame. I get 45+ MPG.

For the time being, I am running a pair of blem BC Predator exhausts while waiting on delivery of Norman Hyde Toga’s from NewBonneville. I don’t expect that I will need to tweak the carbs after I install them as they are similar in performance.

I also received a new custom instrument bracket from Bonneville Brackets that ties the OEM speedometer and aftermarket 1.9″ tach together in a very pleasing way (See before and after photos in the gallery).

I swapped out the shift and rear brake levers with ones that I had previously drilled out, tying them visually together with the design of the new Sharky headlight brackets. I plan to do the same with the chain guard.

After riding the 2002 Bonneville for 600+ miles, I find the stock handlebars and controls set up to be acceptably comfortable and visually appealing.