To coincide with
celebrations in Britain marking the 25th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign,
Meriden hit on the idea of a special edition of the Bonneville. It's
distinctive trim featured silver, as well as patriotic red, white and blue.
Originally it was announced that the Jubilee Bonneville would be made in a
limited edition of 1000 and the first batch side panel badges bore the legend
" One of a Thousand "
However, demand for the machine was sufficient to persuade the Cooperative to
release a further 1000 T140 J's with the wording altered to read " Limited
Edition ". A further batch, generally agreed to have been about 400 machines,
were produced for the International market, being Canada, Australia and New
The wording on the side panel badges, again being altered to read" Limited
International Edition ".
Each machine was sold with a certificate of authenticity, which differed
between the U.K. and U.S. markets. ( The US. documents were slightly more
elaborate than the UK version, and embossed.)
The Jubilee appealed to collectors who wanted a machine as much for ornament
as for riding, or as a sentimental souvenir of a British motorcycle industry
which in 1977 looked set for extinction. As a result, a high proportion of
T140J's have remained in totally original condition.
Engine numbers on
the Jubilee followed the same sequence as standard T140V models but with a J
suffix instead of the V. For 1977 engine numbers began at GP 75000 .
All the Jubilee's variations from standard were cosmetic
and are listed here :
All outer engine cases, primary drive cover, gearbox outer cover and timing
cover were finished in bright chromium plate, applied on the aluminum alloy.
introduced " upside-down " girling gas shock absorbers fitted with their
pre-load adjusters uppermost. Like the the standard oil-damped units, they
featured chrome springs.
Probably wisely, the factory opted not to change the black enameled finish of
the Jubilee's frame and swinging arm.
The wheels on the Jubilee were clearly different in terms of finish.
Instead of being in plain chrome,each wheel rim had a blue central band with
white inner and red outer pinstriping, painted over the plating.
The Jubilee's original tyres were a Dunlop K91, 4.10 x 19in at the front and a
4.10 x 18in at the rear, with red lining and directional arrows on the
The Jubilee's seat was the first of a design which would ( apart from the
special color's) become standard on all Bonnevilles for the following year.
The familiar aeration on the seat top had gone, replaced by a narrower
crosshatched panel. On the jubilee the panel was covered in blue vinyl along
with the rest of the seat. Red piping ran round the top perimeter of the rear
portion before running downwards along the sides and looping back up towards
the front of the seat. The lower rubber trim was blue with the decorative
chrome stripe, the Triumph logo was displayed in silver as were the words "
Silver Jubilee " on the back of the unit.
Mudguards were painted rather than chromed on the Jubilee Bonnevilles,and
followed the scheme of the wheel rims. A center stripe of blue flanked by
white inner and red outer pinstriping was applied over a base coat of silver.
Jubilee fuel tanks were the same as those specified for their respective
market on the standard model, except for color.
While graphics retained the same layout, the blue and silver theme continued.
A blue side panel was applied over a silver base in the U.K. while the U.S.
version sported blue flashes - curved back in the usual fashion from the top
of the tank badges - over a silver base.
In all markets, the pinstriping was in white and red, with the red sandwiched
between two white lines.
The side panels were all new, like the seat and rear shocks, but with changes
to finish were destined to become standard items on all Bonneville models.
They fitted over the existing panels and were plain silver with a special
The top of the the badge was similar to the existing " Bonneville " badges,
but there was a triangular extension underneath the Bonneville name at the
This enclosed a Union Jack in the center flanked by the words " Silver Jubilee
" and with either " One of a Thousand ", " Limited Edition " or " Limited
International edition " underneath. The panels themselves featured a new
mounting system with a single screw just below the badge, backed up by a
concealed spring attached to a metal lined eyelet on the inside of each panel,
running over the top of the carburetor's and pulling the two panels together.
On the chainguard, the Jubilee theme continued in silver with a bluestyling
stripe along the upper part about 1/2 in from the top edge, tapering down to a
point just before the rear end of the guard, the stripe was double lined in
white and red.
The only other detail of finish to mark the Jubilee apart, was it's chrome
plated rear light housing, now painted black on standard models.