Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket III Restoration Manual
This book covers the complete restoration of a 1973 Triumph Trident T150V and a 1975 Triumph T160. Each and every aspect of the dismantling, refurbishment and reassembly of these classic bikes is covered in great detail, from the simplest of jobs, such as removing the fuel tank, through to detailed explanations of rebuilding the engine and carburettors – all accompanied over 650 clear colour photos.
It’s written by Chris Rooke, a motorcycle mechanic of many years, but someone new to Triples. This means that he is forced to learn as he goes along to some degree, and makes various mistakes that are all described in the manual. This means that you can learn along with him, and avoid some of the mistakes he makes – as well as feeling a bit better about your own mistakes!
The manual is intended to be your friend in the workshop and guide you through the complete dismantling and subsequent restoration of a Triple, with two models, a Trident T150V and a Trident T160 being completely restored from the ground up.
There’s also a Facebook page dedicated to corrections and updates for the manual – see below.
Note that this manual is intended to be a companion to the factory workshop manuals and Haynes manual, rather than a replacement for them, and they should be read in conjunction with this book.
- Complete rebuilds of a Triumph Trident T150V and T160
- Dismantling, refurbishment and reassembly covered in full
- Engine, frame, gearbox, carburation, suspension, wheels, and electrics all fully covered in detail
- DIY restoration at home without specialist equipment
- Over 360 colour photos covering each step
- Detailed explanations in layman’s terms
- Mistakes are covered and explained to help you avoid making them too!
- Helps make sense of the existing workshop manuals by covering the procedures they miss out
- Written by a DIY enthusiast for DIY enthusiasts
How to Buy a Copy
The Triumph Trident/Rocket 3 Restoration Manual is available from most good booksellers, especially those specialising in automotive books, or direct from the publishers. It is also available on-line from such places as Amazon. The links below will take you to either Amazon.UK, or Veloce publishing. If you’re in a different part of the world, then just type my name – Chris Rooke – into the Amazon search bar, and the book should come up. You might also want to try such as e-bay etc. or just type the ISBN number (see above) into Google and see what comes up.
Triumph Trident Restoration manual Updates
I’ve created a Facebook page specifically for the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket III Restoration Manual. It’s a place for additional information and updates, as well as to ask questions, post stuff about your own restoration, and for all things Triple related.
For once this is a restoration manual with one big difference, as it’s written by a self-confessed amateur enthusiast; and all the more enjoyable it is because of it.
The book is based around two restorations, both owned by and carried out by the author, Chris Rooke. The first a 1973 Triumph Trident T150 and the second a 1975 T160. It covers the dismantling process, the restoration and rebuild by a person who had never undertaken such a task on a Trident before, and because of this is written in a totally new way. One which is both entertaining and informative at the same time; what it’s like to encounter common and unforeseen problems, and those that experienced restorers might well overlook!
This book is not meant to replace existing workshop or parts books, it is meant to be read alongside them, and covers all those things that are not easily understood as a first time restorer.
Full of great colour pictures in every chapter, detailed explanations in layman’s terms, and mistakes that are described in detail to help you avoid making the same, this is an excellent book for first-time and more experienced restorers and could well save you far more than the purchase price by helping you to ‘do it’ the correct way.
Nacelle (Magazine of the Triumph Owners’ Motorcycle Club)
The author’s name is Chris Rooke. He hails from Sheffield (by way of Oxford), and it’s clear that this is no bluffer’s guide. Here at Sump, we’ve got some familiarity with Tridents/Rockets, but evidently not as much as this bloke. He owns two of ’em (a T150 and a T160), and he’s restored them both, and that’s what this volume is all about. Two accounts in one.
He’s not claiming that the book will replace a Trident shop manual, or a Trident parts manual, or even a Haynes manual. Instead, it’s a supplementary work intended to flesh out the more established bones that are already rattling around on the market, and you can never get enough alternative info when you’re working on a motorcycle.
Like most if not all Veloce books, the design is pretty uninspiring and run-of-the-mill, but it’s kind of appropriate too given the subject matter. In other words, you’re not going to spend any time admiring the typesetting or waxing lyrical over the font choice. Instead, you’re going to get straight into the meat of this particular pie and simply eat.
The photo quality isn’t fantastic either, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the author thinks. It seems that he had a camera failure about halfway through a rebuild and switched temporarily to an inadequate back-up device. But don’t get thinking that you’ll be faced with page after page of blurry, poorly-framed images, because that ain’t the case. It’s simply that here and there the resolution could be a little higher, and the contrast might be improved. That’s all.
What we especially like is the friendly, everyday tone. The author’s voice is as neutral as a road sign. He’s never superior. And he’s never patronising either. He’s not clever. Or comical. Or dry. Or wet. Or dull. Or sharp. Or academic. Or wordy. He just gets on with the business of transferring his information into your head as painlessly as possible.
There’s a nice intro detailing his biking background and explaining how he got into Tridents, and there’s also a helpful “Lessons learnt” recap at the end of each section designed to help cement in your mind the most important points.
We can’t see that Chris Rooke has missed out very much, if anything. Engine, gearbox, clutch, cycle parts, electrics, special tools, and suppliers; it’s all here in over 200 pages. The size is slightly larger than A4. The pictures are colour throughout.
It’s said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Well if so, you’re in pretty safe hands here. Recommended. Sump Magazine
The manual is subtitled as a ‘step by step colour illustrated guide to complete restoration’, but it is absolutely not an old-fashioned, blandly basic workshop manual which leaves you in the lurch at the worst possible moment. Author Chris Rooke owns several Beezumph triples. In 200-plus pages he talks the reader through his personal experience of DIY home restoration with detailed, first person explanations given in layman’s terms, using tools you’ll find in most sheds. He covers the complete rebuild of a T150V and an electric-start T160 with stacks of clearly-captioned full-colour photos for each stage, including the engine, frame, gearbox, wheels, and electrics.
The text is extremely user-friendly, eminently readable and delivered in an informal style – and Chris isn’t shy about sharing some of his less successful episodes, providing both entertainment and practical advice about the pitfalls to avoid.
A definite asset for any Trident or Rocket 3 owner. Classic Bike Guide
I’ve come across Chris Rooke’s name before, as the author of a long series of articles on restoring Jaguar E-Types. In this new Veloce publication he’s turning his hand to a couple of Triumph Tridents.
The book is subtitled ‘Your step-by-step guide to complete restoration’ and that’s a pretty accurate description. The author doesn’t take a really technical approach to the task. There’s little doubt that Chris knows what he’s doing – most of the time anyway – but it’s almost as if he’s telling the story of what he’s up to each step of the way, and taking you along with him.
The bulk of the 223 pages deal with the T150 Trident that he bought, sight unseen and then found just how inaccurate the seller’s description had been. There are 50 or so pages devoted to the rather better condition T160 he bought later and focuses on the differences between the two models from a restorer’s point of view.
I didn’t count the photos but there are hundreds of them to illustrate what Chris is describing in the text. He admits that a few of them aren’t crystal clear but they certainly do bring to life the before, during and after steps in the work involved. Just as an example refurbishing and reassembling the carburettors gets eight pages and 27 photos. Plus, in the section called ‘Teething Troubles’ that deals with problems that cropped up after the bike was on the road, Chris has another three pages on the carbs.
Each short chapter ends with a useful summary called ‘Lessons learnt’. While he does farm off quite a lot of specialist items, Chris does all the work on the bikes himself, except where he gets a neighbour to help with some heavy lifting! He stresses throughout the importance of photographing, bagging and labelling parts each step of the way, the need for parts books and other reference material and the value of special tools, which he often discovers after getting something wrong! In fact, the most valuable parts of the book might just be where Chris realises there was a better way to have done something, admits it, and shows you how to avoid repeating is mistakes!
From reassembling the primary chaincase, to refitting the electrics’ it looks like everything you’d need is here.
Bike Rider Magazine
Chris had not restored these models before, so each restoration was a real learning experience. Rather than bury the pearls of hard-earned wisdom gained in the process in the book’s extensive narrative, Chris created a very handy set of “Lessons Learnt” bullet points at the end of each chapter. This creates the opportunity for the user to read through those salient points even before diving into the chapter, alerted to key items that are expanded on in the chapter.
Many of these key points arise from some degree of difficulty Chris encountered in his hands-on restorations, profiting the reader by allowing avoidance of the same fate.
Divided into no less than 64 chapters (44 devoted to the T150V, 20 to the T160), the book provides some in-depth guidance on disassembly, refurbishing and reassembly of key sub-assemblies. Several hundred colour photographs illustrate many of the key components and steps in the process. The book is littered with cautionary tales of what can happen and how to avoid some problems, including the “buyer beware” of buying vintage motorcycles.
The book’s second chapter is particularly valuable in that it provides “Ten golden rules for a successful rebuild.” The rules cover how to document disassembly to facilitate correct reassembly—photograph, bag, label—everything; assess condition to know what parts should not be reused; remember to be patient, well-equipped and face the fact that mistakes will be made, and so on. He advises the prospective restorer to not rely on this book alone, but also have model-specific shop manuals and parts catalogs/supplier information available.
It’s an interesting read, even if you don’t own a Trident or Rocket III or do own one, but don’t plan a restoration. It could serve very well as a repair manual, as well. It includes insights that are of potential value in any motorcycle restoration, but for those lucky enough to own one of these classic triples and giving serious consideration to doing their own restoration, this book could be a time, money and frustration-saving asset.
An excellent in-depth informative book that compliments and enhances the original workshop manual with additional information on how not to do things! All presented with a tongue-in-the cheek sense of humour and further enhanced by very useful and continuous updates available through the authors website. 5*
learn from another persons experience, put across in a well humoured manner. Use with the triumph factory manual now’t else will be needed. 5*
If you are an accomplished motorcycle restorer then you probably won’t need this book, but if you are the owner of one of these magnificent machines with an average level of mechanical prowess, then this is a great book to help you along the restoration/renovation journey.
Chris details his path through the joys and challenges that working on a motorcycle of this age can bring us all. He admits his mistakes (and helps you avoid them) and deals with the challenges he faced first hand in the restoration of two of these machines.
Thoroughly recommended from someone that read the book cover to cover before embarking on his own restoration project. Be warned though, the book is the cheapest part of the process, you will need a deep pocket to get everything just right, but the joy of riding the fruits of your efforts is absolutely priceless.
Finally, what this book did most of all was inspire me to go for it myself rather than giving the challenge to a professional. The result was far better than I could ever have dreamt of, and for that I owe the author a big debt of gratitude. 5*
Good information, well written. 5*
Good book!!! Hopefully enough inspiration to start contemplating the possibility of restoring my Trident after a 32 year slumber!! 5*
A must if you’re rebuilding a T160. 5*
Must read if you are restoring or just want to know how to find and fix a problem with your Triumph T160/T150 Trident or BSA Rocket 3. 5*
Excellent book, well written, well laid out, easy to understand and carries a good sense of DIY mechanic humour. 5*
Great book. 5*
If you are restoring a Trident the three “must haves” are: parts book, shop manual and Chris’ well written restoration history. His detailed “my mistakes” will more than save a restorer the price of the book. 5*
Great book for anyone novice to expert trying to restore one of Britain’s finest bikes. 5*
Great book and super good pics. 5*