Hanging it rough since 1994

Common Faults

Here we have a quick FAQ with a list of all the gotchas that have caught us out in the past when working the Speed Triple.

If we’ve missed something, share the wealth and drop us an e-mail.



Q, Brake light doesn't work?

Q, Rev counter needle is intermittent, erratic or dies?

Q, Ignition lights are on and the kill switch is off but nothing happens when I press the starter button?

Q, Ignition lights are on and the kill switch is off but all I hear is a click when I press the starter button?

Q, Bike starts and runs but as soon as I select gear it dies?



Q, The bike sounds more like a tractor than normal, there is a loose rattle from left side around the foot pegs?

Q, Bike starts and runs as normal, after a while it splutters to a halt and won't restart but does when cold again?

Q, Bike won't start from cold or very difficult to get going, once warm all seems OK?

Q, There is oil in my air box?

Q, There is oil leaking from the primary sprocket cover?

Q, Why is the coolant level falling?

Q, My speedo needle waves around a bit on higher speed runs?

Q, There is oil in the spark plug hole?

Q, When starting the bike it struggles to catch and fire up, sometimes I hear a loud clacking noise?

Q, My gear changes feel clunky and there is a lack of feel at the lever?



Q, Bike runs as if it's missing or fuel starved in the middle (ish) of the rev range?

Q, OMG, there is fuel on the floor under bike?

Q, The fuel tap spins and doesn't select any other position?

Q, After my days work the bike runs badly, won't run at all or runs for a very short period and dies?

  1. Can’t see it listed above (in common faults), but I think I’ve heard this one is also common … Neutral Light works OK when Bike Cold, but doesn’t illuminate when bike/engine hot. Neutral Light linked to Side Stand Switch (I think) – so if Neutral Light not coming on, Engine is cut-out when Side Stand is lowered. Any fixes ?

    • I can only manage a quick reply mate but it is a known issue so thanks for pointing it out our omission. It’s a sod to fix properly. Almost as bad as the sprag I believe as it’s a motor split to replace a contact plate on the gear selector drum, the neutral light needs to contact it to complete a the circuit and when hot can’t reach the plate because of scoring. All is not lost though, some smart asses over on triumphrat.net have got a work around. Best wait till when/if your sprag goes to split the cases!

  2. Hi guys

    Hope you can help

    Bike runs lovely but for some reason cuts out every now and then when at standstill, at traffic lights etc.

    Strange thing us it won’t start unless I turn ignition off and on again!!

    Any ideas?

  3. Mmmm either way something fishy is a foot ! I would be tempted to eliminate some stuff..easy to do first the wiring as it goes around the headstock it can wear on one spot is it all intact, then kill switches you have one on the side stand they rarely fail but can become sticky stick the tube on a can of W and poke it up the rubber boot and lube it well, clutch switch, small micro switch under the clutch lever you can either prize apart and clean a watch makers screw driver is perfect for the task or just replace as they aren’t too expensive, do you loose instrument lights too when the bike stops…ie total power out ? maybe check the battery earth to frame is clean and tight………well there is a few to start nothing too techy and wil move you in the right direction 😉


  4. Hi Mot

    Thanks for the reply, all instrument lights stay on and bike turns over and just struggles to fire, turn key off and on again and fires up. Very bizarre, reading on google and similar stories point towards crank position sensor! But I’ll look over what you have suggested



  5. Yeah that did go through my mind but it didn’t fit the classic symptoms which are bikes starts and runs fun until warm then cuts out and won’t restart…when left to cool the bike will fire and then repeat the earlier stall and so on…BUT.. that is not to say it’s not the sensor ;-)as they are 45 quid ish might be worth a quick run through the cheaper fixes first 😉


  6. I’ve bitten the bullet and handed it over to a Triumph guru who lives near me to look in to it!! I’ll keep you updated to the cause!! If he can find it

  7. Hi guys, help needed.
    Replacing wiring loom on the ol girl. Took photos as I took the old one out. Unfortunately I’ve lost my phone & photos. Need some guidance.

    Rear light has three connectors in which order top to bottom do the red blue and black connectors go?

    Ore importantly, how is the loom routed around the frame in the location of the solenoid & battery box?

    Any photos much appreciated.



  8. Top blue red, middle black yellow and bottom red slate


  9. Thanks MOT. Any photos around battery/solenoid area would be much appreciated.
    Started rebuilding the ol girl last winter, then birth of child got in the way.
    Looking forward to getting her back on road.


  10. The main bundle follows the top tube on the under left hand side…I’ll ping a couple of pics of what I can see tomorrow which may help give you a clue as to where you are at 😉


  11. Thanks you’re a star

  12. pics sent 😉


  13. Well thanks MOT
    Pixies helped a great deal.
    After intermittent fault getting worse where ignition on but not starting, bump start fine but something on ignition circuit, assuming switch prevented start.
    So replaced all switches in circuit and no go. So had to be a wiring fault.
    Stripped down and replaced wiring loom sourced from breakers.
    Bike all together tonight and she started first time. The old girls back on the road after a years break stripped down in garage.
    Thanks for help. Hopefully catch up on a future meet.

  14. Hi, Looking for a bit of help with a problem on my Mk1 SP, the bike is very slow to return to idle and on occasion sticks at around 3K, Throttle action seems ok, shuts with a positive crack so don’t suspect cable, have checked for air leaks on carbs all ok.
    Also have noticed that tacho does not return to zero when I turn off the engine, only when the ignition is turned back on does it return to zero, have tried another tacho and it does exactly the same. Cant see how the two problem tie together, but the chance of two tachos being faulty is strange.
    Bike is a 1997 Mk1 with just over 10K mileage, starts easy and goes as normal, have owned the bike for 12 years
    Any help or suggestions much appreciated, next plan is to balance the carbs.

    Thanks Pat

  15. Hi chaps – and now for something completely different

    Bit of a problem – the rear suspension unit spring preload adjuster doesn’t adjust! Turning the adjustment bolt in/out only varies the setting between 4 and 5. Just bought a new used unit (in very good condition) but guess what the adjuster bolt only varies the setting between 3.5 and 5! Am I missing something – surely I cant have 2 suspension units with the same eproblem? I kow I could get and aftermarket unit eg Maxton, but wanted to keep the bike standard.

    Your comments would be appreciated.

  16. Bof the unit is hydrolic and has drained you can refil it I’ll have a dig about later and get you a how to 🙂

  17. Hi Mot

    Many thanks for the info/link – much appreciated. Shall go and dig out the syringe and fork oil, I’ll let you know how I get on.


  18. Hi Mot

    Some hours and lots of spilt fluid later the preload adjuster is now sorted!

    Thanks again for the help/info MOT.


  19. Yey Nice one Brian…..can you imagine a dealer fixing it Lol eerrr dropped pants and where would you like the decimal point sir !!!!!


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