Community Classic and Custom Motorcycles The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins | Rider's...

The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins | Rider’s Library

The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins | Rider's LibraryThe Essential Buyer’s Guide: Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins

Peter Henshaw is probably one of the foremost motorcycle authorities around. He is the co-author of “The Encyclopedia of the Harley-Davidson” with Ian Kerr and the author of “The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle” – each soon to be reviewed here.

Each of those books contains more than 440 pages and is physically huge compared to his latest offering, “The Essential Buyer’s Guide Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins,” which is only 60 pages in length, and measures only 5.5” x 7.75.”

Don’t let the size of the book deceive you; in this pocketbook-sized volume, Henshaw compresses an enormous amount of critical expertise on how to evaluate British twins built from 1957 to 1974 before purchasing one.

The subject bikes are Triumph 350 and 500cc parallel twins including the 3TA, 5TA Speed Twin, Tiger 90, T100A, T100SS, T100Tiger, T100S, T100T, T100C, T100R, TR5T, T100D Daytona Series 2.

Henshaw’s expertise on British bikes is used to shed light on the range of things to consider in buying a classic Triumph. Everything from common things most people would be aware of such as the need to beware of a bike with an engine that leaks oil and blows blue smoke to uncommon things that are unique to these bikes.

For example, Henshaw differentiates performance qualities among the single and double-leading shoe and the conical drum brakes found in this species of bikes. He also provides valuable insights into some of the issues unique to Triumph electrics and ignitions systems.

There is also a handy listing of parts that are potentially likely to require replacement to help estimate the cost of restoration. There’s even a chapter aptly entitled “Living with a Triumph Twin,” which provides a clear-eyed explanation of the difference between owning and riding a maintenance-intensive classic Triumph twin and low-maintenance modern bike.

After wising up the potential classic Triumph buyer on what to look for with regard to the bike before making the buy decision, Henshaw provides a chapter on one of the more potentially challenging ways to acquire the bike—the auction.

Then he talks about something often not included in buyer’s guides—proper documentation, so necessary to assure that the buyer is getting what he or she thinks they are getting. And, of course, there is a section on how to match up the condition of the bike based on the condition evaluation he explains in the book and pricing data sources to determine an appropriate price.

The book’s back cover carries what may be some truly sage parting words: “Stop! Don’t buy a Triumph 350 or 500 unit twin without buying this book first!”

Book Data:

  • Title: The Essential Buyer’s Guide Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins
  • Author: Peter Henshaw
  • Published: 2014 Paperback.
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, DT1 3AR, England
  • ISBN: 978-1-845847-55-5 MSRP: U.S. $19.95 U.K. £12.99

2021 Beta 300 RX First Look: Limited-Edition Motocross Motorcycle

Beta, the boutique Italian motorcycle manufacturer known for its enduro, dual-sport, and observed trials motorcycles, is making a move into the motocross market with...

Pirelli Sport Demon Street Tires: Long-Term Review Begins

The Metzeler Lasertec tires that arrived as standard equipment on my 2015 Triumph T214 Bonneville had served me well. But, with 7,012 miles on...

Voxan Wattman Land Speed Record Electric Motorcycle First Look

Almost totally unknown in the United States, Voxan Motors was founded in 1995 in France by Jacques Gardette. Voxan began life building a variety...

2021 Kawasaki KX450XC and KX250XC First Look (8 Fast Facts)

Capitalizing on the dirt bike sales boom, Kawasaki is jumping into the cross-country market with the all-new 2021 Kawasaki KX450XC and KX250XC.

2021 Kawasaki KX450 and KX250 First Look (9 Fast Facts)

For 2021, we see a consolidation of the chassis of the Kawasaki KX450 and KX250 motocross motorcycles. While the two motors are distinctive, the...

Harley LiveWire: Debut Journey from Mexico to Canada Via WCGH

The Coronavirus pandemic has halted vacation plans for many, including those of Diego Cardenas. The Californian had planned to spend his 50th birthday in Spain...