1970 Triumph T100R Daytona 500
This is a motorbike that every Brit Bike lover NEEDS to own at one time in his or her life. The Triumph T100R Daytona, aka…the ‘Baby Bonneville’. The T100R is actually so much more than just a ‘Baby Bonnie’ trust me on this one.
Over the years I have owned a few Bonneville’s; 650’s and 750’s, but only one Daytona 500 and that is the one I miss the most. When I first got my little Daytona I took it straight over to the best Triumph mechanic I knew to get it running and running right…Jack Hately. Because the bike had sat outside for quite a while the carbs needed to be rebuilt, the electrics gone through, tires and brakes replaced. The work on the T100R cost more than the bike!!?? and I hadn’t even considered the repainting yet! One other thing Jack advised was getting a stock Triumph mufflers to replace the JC Whitney models that were on the bike. With complete faith in Mr. Hately I found a set of mufflers in my step dads pile of orphaned parts bikes and handed them over to Jack for the final tune up. Two weeks and a lot of money later, I rode away from Jack’s shop with a huge grin on my face…and a very pissed off wife looking at the checkbook.
Calling the Daytona a ‘Baby Bonneville’ is almost an insult to the T100R. The Bonneville is a spectacular motorcycle no doubt but…the Daytona is lighter, quicker handling, more rev happy and was the first Triumph 500 to push past the ton!! Top speed was right around 110mph…fantastic! The Daytona was the bike that really could say to the Bonneville “anything you can do I can do better” and get away with it. But here was the problem in the USA… we always believe ‘bigger is better’, look at Triumph’s current Rocket 3!? So, the T100R didn’t sell all that well here. Better than the Bonneville? No. Different than the Bonneville, yes. More fun than the Bonneville, without a doubt!
I rode that Triumph Daytona everyday. It started easily, was light (around 350lbs), and would turn on a dime and give you nine cents change. At that time, for me, it was a truly perfect motorbike. Sadly, about three years later, somebody decided that they liked the Daytona more than me and took it from my garage.
I found a nice little T100R Daytona this morning on ebay that would make a very easy winter project. A 1970 model with 22K miles on the clock and really only needs a few things to be perfect. Get the stock mufflers! The bike will run so much smoother and don’t forget the original style pill box air cleaners. Give it a good paint job or don’t worry about the looks and just ride the wheels off it.
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