By the dawn of the 1980s, Triumph was struggling to survive. New offerings from Japan left the once mighty Bonneville looking increasingly long in the tooth, and with the British marque’s bank accounts and credit lines rapidly diminishing, the company was on its last leg. A last ditch effort was taken to spruce up the Bonnie, but with limited resources (and 2/3s of the staff laid off by this point) a complete overhaul/redesign was out of the question, prompting Triumph to release a pair of updated versions of the Bonneville: the TSS, and the TSX. Triumph did supposedly develop a water-cooled, 900cc, DOHC twin known as the “Diana”, and though it made quite a splash at the ’83 NEC Motorcycle Show, the model never made it to production.
The changes introduced to the Bonneville came in the form of revised alloy cylinder heads — each with four valves — which were supposedly derived from eight-valve heads found on 1960s Westlake racers. A new crank paired with higher-spec bearings was also added, enabling the machines to spin at up to 10,000 rpm, and the top end cooling fins were also updated. A smaller (16 inch) rear wheel was also introduced to accommodate an offset engine, and the chassis was slightly lowered.
The TSX’s bread and butter however was its style. Yamaha and Kawasaki had made it abundantly clear that the American market was very much interested in “factory customs”, and it was supposedly Triumph’s American division (TMA) that was responsible for penning the TSX, more specifically, Wayne Moulton, the same person responsible for creating Kawa’s LTD range. So like the Japanese specials that came before it, the TSX received a stepped seat, blacked out engine, special rims (in this case Morris alloys), a selection of snazzy “West Coast Style” liveries, and lots and lots of chrome.
Produced for just two years in ’82 and ’83 (just prior to Triumph folding in August of the latter), only 371 units were produced, with 200 of them ending up on US shores, 100 staying in the UK, and the remaining 71 being divided amongst the rest of the world. The US bikes were given 32mm Bing CV carbs, while the Euro machines got 34mm Amal Concentric MkII units.
This particular 1983 example is in very original condition. Aside from the 35-year-old stock battery that’s been replaced, pretty much every part on this one is original, including its stock Avon tires (which don’t show any cracks), and factory Bing carbs (which were recently rebuilt). All of the electrical components (including the starter) are said to be 100 percent operational, though things could be tidier under the seat. Cosmetically this example is in solid shape, boasting a particularly clean coat of Gypsy Red factory paint. Even the stitching on the saddle looks pristine, granted the emblems are a bit worse for wear.
In addition to the photos, the seller of this example also posted a walk-around/fire-up video to YouTube:
You can find this 1983 Triumph TSX for sale here on Craigslist in Sebastian, Florida with a price of $8,500.