A largely original bike in export spec

Be kind to your ignition unit: mount it properly. This under-seat ally plate sits on a tall spacer, so there’s room for the bridge rectifier below.

A strip of 3M Dual Lock tape ensures it stays in place and also offers a hint of vibration absorption

And here’s the ignition unit, safe and sound. Next job is to evict those red and blue Halford bullet connectors

The battery area done: live terminal insulated, spacers to keep the positive terminal connections neat, a battery strap, a blade type fuse, and a weather resistant plug for the pickup cables

Martin’s Triumph T140

Martin owns a couple of healthy Triumphs but this recent acquisition wasn’t working. It had had a Pazon electronic ignition fitted, but the sparks weren’t happening. The brief, naturally enough, was to make all the electrics work.

I really love problem-solving old bikes. It’s mostly basic housekeeping: get all the bodywork off to expose the loom, and fix any obvious damage or bad connections. Nine times out of ten that’s enough. If not, I can get the meter out. This bike was fundamentally OK, but at some point the indicators had been hacked off, and there were a few wires twisted together and taped over, or badly corroded, or simply not earthed.

The ignition just needed rewiring. Brit bike forums often discuss which electronic ignition system is best. My opinion is that they will all work well if they are properly installed. That means good earths, waterproof connector blocks for the pickup wires, and fresh cable with silicone-greased bullet connectors. It’s also a good idea to mount the ignition unit on a proper custom bracket, rather than, say, cable tie it to the battery. And it’s always worth going over the charging system, getting corrosion off with a brass brush, tightening the spade connectors, and silicone greasing them to head off future corrosion.

Martin was glad to hear the bike was back on form. He also took advantage of my colleague Ben’s superb motorcycle detailing service. Not only does this T140 now run nicely; you can eat your dinner off the crankcase.

The headlight earths looked like this

A 2-1 bullet connector is a simple improvement

The zener diode spade terminal was loose and old. The new one (left) has a PVC seal, new cable, and lots of silicone grease inside the insulator

And finally, a small example of Ben’s detailing. Anyone who has run a T140 knows that this bike is seriously clean