Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger

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Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger
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Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger

Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger

Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger

Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger

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A little screwing is a part of it.

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The start of the long stroke inspires again and again.

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Made in England – somehow it’s not entirely clear whether this is to be understood as an encouragement or a threat …

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… The small metal plate on the timing case cover shows the patents.

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With a Triumph Tiger 750 from 1977 there is no boredom.

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Bad folks claim that classic English motorcycles are strange designs hastily knocked together from bad material. This is of course complete nonsense.

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Classic cockpit, the toggle switch turns on the light. Keeping the tachometer needle below 5000 will dramatically extend the service life …

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… Starting with the kick starter.

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The paintwork with the two white stripes on the tank and the white underside is the only one that makes the clunky Europa tank look pretty all at once. It only existed for one year, 1977.

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With a full tank of fuel and plenty of customs tools, the Triumph weighs just 185 kilograms, and together with the powerful pressure of the 750 twins from low engine speeds, it is an ideal country road motorcycle. On the autobahn? Better not.

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British humor – the black buttons around the kill switch on the right end of the handlebar are useless at the factory …

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… The front disc brake decelerated not so badly in 1977, it’s okay for today.

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Basically, the Triumph is a robust construction – yes, honestly. Larger defects or even total failures are rather rare, she just wants to be looked after every now and then. And sometimes it just oils.

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The original workshop manual from 1977 is indispensable, some passages will soon be known by heart as a Triumph driver …

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… Good customs tools are also important for a happy relationship.

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It’s wonderful how she leans casually on the side stand.

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Sports & scene

Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger

Life with an old Triumph Tiger 750
Triumph and tragedy

Life is boring, the number of real friends low? Buy an old English motorcycle, for example a Triumph Tiger 750 from 1977. Then that will change.

Hans-Jorg Gotzl

December 18, 2014

Some scientists define intelligence, among other things, in terms of the ability to learn from mistakes. Judging by that, I’m afraid I’m pretty stupid. I already had an old Triumph, back in the 80s. She was not 20 years old, but the relationship failed because there was hardly a suitable screw for a 500cc triumph from the 60s in Germany at the time. Spare parts had to be laboriously ordered on a damp island, the delivery time was long. A T100C was therefore rather unsuitable as a means of transport to university – at some point I gave up.

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Triumph and tragedy

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My further experience with British quality products was limited to four wheels: English classics that made me screw my fingers sore and kept wondering how the builders of these idiosyncratic constructions actually managed to win the war. For example, I sank a pre-war machine gun in a Scottish moor due to a broken steering, a blocked gearbox on a Triumph TR4 forced me into the emergency exit on the Nordschleife, and the crankshaft on a Mini broke while in the lead in France. Only poor MGB couldn’t help it when we hit an Irish wall. It was just slippery there.

I missed the old triumph

For motorcycles, from then on I relied on old two-valve engines from Munich and especially Italy, which are known to be famous for their reliability. Well – at least more than English products. Still, I missed the old triumph, for almost a quarter of a century I secretly missed it like a long-lost kindergarten love. That beautiful, classic shape, the slim silhouette, that stroke of genius from an engine designed by Edward Turner in 1937, the powerful, confident sound.

This unique story of a company that was founded in 1886 by the German Siegfried Bettmann in Coventry, England, produced the first motorcycle in 1902 and experienced the longest strike in industrial history in the seventies. Cooperative emerged, which finally sadly had to close in July 1983. Why? Because the world had meanwhile turned too fast and nobody wanted motorcycles that hadn’t really changed since 1937. Only I still wanted an old Triumph, even if the models currently being produced in Hinckley after the rebirth, above all the Speed ​​and Street Triple, are some of the most exciting things that have ever been built. Rare encounters with former acquaintances who had remained true to their two-cylinder Triumph Bonneville and Tiger from the 70s and 80s all these years – one of them now has 18 pieces – also kept the delicate embers glowing. Love doesn’t ask, the psychologists explain, and at some point it became clear: I need a triumph, now and here and immediately.

It was supposed to be a 1977 750 Tiger


Vintage 750 Triumph Tiger


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It’s wonderful how she leans casually on the side stand.

Now owners of old English people, whether BSA, Norton or Triumph, are usually rough, but cordial and always helpful. And when you are dealing with a willing convert, especially from the camp of Italian drivers, you will do everything possible to help him onto an English bench. At some point I got the call that Schwabisch Hall had a copy freshly imported from their wet homeland, which was basically perfect. Sit on it and just drive off.

It was a 750 Tiger, which, as experts know, is simply the single-carburetor version of the famous Bonneville. This one carburetor, an Amal Concentric, is so unbelievably primitive that the fuel could just as easily be dumped into the intake tract. It keeps adjusting itself and the throttle slide has plenty of play after just a few thousand miles. So you can count yourself lucky if only one of them is responsible for the formation of an ignitable mixture and you don’t have to synchronize two of them. Most Bonneville owners I know have long had two Dell’Orto carburetors.

The left bend glowed brighter than the right

Theoretically, the two carburettors should bring more power from 5000 revs, but above this speed, in view of a rather heavy crankshaft with only two bearings, forces that the parallel twin, once planned as a 500cc, cannot last long. Intrepid pilots who ignore the grueling vibrations achieve respectable performance with around 50 hp: In 1976, MOTORRAD beat a Tiger 750 to 100 in 4.8 seconds and attested a top speed of 168 km / h. In the later long-distance test, the testers were amazed that when driving at full throttle at night on the autobahn, the left manifold glowed brighter than the right – a statement that made the importer at the time gasp.

The Tiger tested was a 1977 model, recognizable by the paintwork with the two white stripes on the tank and a white underside, which was only available this year – and that’s exactly what I have now. It is probably the only paint job with which the somewhat clunky 18-liter Europe tank looks pretty, otherwise most Bonneville and Tiger owners block the smaller US tank. A year earlier, the Triumph technicians had proudly introduced the rear brake disc – with the brake caliper facing down, which from then on collected moisture and dirt. Great construction.

Quite a carnage, but it works

The brake calliper on my copy was practically new when I bought it, and the Triumph Tiger 750 with the confident, golden “Made in England” lettering on the frame was otherwise in good condition. An inspection and fresh tires, and nothing stood in the way of acceptance and approval. It ran nicely, but the first serious kilometers showed that the 750 twin-cylinder only revved up slowly. Wrong exhaust system, the experienced buddies recognized immediately: “No problem, put roadster pipes on it, then that’s gone.” It actually was – but now the clutch slipped. Diagnosis of the Triumph buddies: “No problem, probably confessed for a long time – remove the clutch, clean the windows of resinified oil, then it works again for a while.”

Good. Drain the oil from the primary drive, remove the chain case, disassemble the clutch. But how? The Triumph has six friction and six steel disks, everything is in one basket, is pressed together by three springs that sit in cups that are screwed from behind and that have a nose to the clutch basket to prevent them from twisting. What does a special tool have to look like for this? Look into the original, still available workshop manual from 1977: “Take a sharp knife, lift your nose …” Quite a slaughter, but it works.

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Sell? Never, never!

Soon afterwards I came home from a wonderful ride with a completely oily engine. No problem, the buddies recognized immediately: “The seal on the front pushrod tube is broken. Cylinder head down, new gasket up and down, done. Quickly done. ”Another typical problem, the cause of which lies in the rather generous manufacturing tolerances: The distance between the tappet block and cylinder head varies from model to model, which incidentally has nothing to do with thermal expansion, so that the seals sometimes more, sometimes less be squeezed together forcefully. Their quality is also very variable – some last forever, others only a few hundred miles. Still no big deal, after three to four hours everything is back together. The spare parts dealer, from whom I get most of the parts, includes a packet of matches with the British flag with every shipment. Is he subconsciously telling me something? Maybe: light the thing?

“Why are you doing this to yourself?” Insisted a friend from the Italo group recently. Good question. Maybe because it’s incredibly relaxing to mess with the British Empire after a day in the office and to get an oily engine tight again. Maybe also because it is somehow satisfying to install the rear wheel against all odds with the help of all extremities. Last but not least, maybe because sometimes I just like to have oily fingers.

In addition: Triumph has never let me down, it always took me to the garage at home, serious defects are announced long in advance. It actually runs all the time, and when it runs – even in cold weather when you step two at the latest – then it’s great. This unbelievable pull-through of the long stroke from the lowest speeds, the response, this sound. The playful handling, no wonder with only 185 kg live weight, with a full 18-liter tank and tools of course – the new retro Bonnies from Triumph weigh a good 40 kilos more. In addition, she is just beautiful when she leans casually on the side stand during a tea break. Sell? Never, never. At Christmas she gets an electronic ignition, she’s looking forward to it.

Technical specifications

Engine: air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two camshafts underneath, two valves per cylinder, one Amal R930 / 89 carburetor, five-speed gearbox, chain, bore x stroke 76 x 82 mm, displacement 743 cm, power 37.5 kW (51 hp) at 6200 / min, torque 58.86 Nm (6 mkg) at 5500 / min.

Landing gear: Double loop tubular frame, main frame tube at the same time oil reservoir, telescopic fork, two-arm swing arm, two spring struts, front and rear disc brakes, diameter 260 mm, tires 3.25-19; 4.00-18, wheelbase 1480 mm, seat height 820 mm, weight 185 kg with a full tank.

Driving performance: 0-100 km / h in 4.8 seconds, top speed 168.1 km / h (measured values ​​MOTORRAD 25/1976)

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