’78 Triumph TR7V Tiger 750
I make no bones about it, I love Triumph motorcycles. I have had Triumphs pretty much all my motorcycling life, thanks to a very sick step father and his equally twisted friends. I truly believe my mother married Michael just to make my life a two wheeled hell. What loving mother would subject a poor fourteen year old surfer to a life of torture? The torture of loving British motorcycles. It’s like marrying the woman who everybody told you to ride away from as fast as you can…including the priest marrying the two of you! It’s a life I would wish on no one.
We have all heard the stories associated with motorcycles from the Queens empire. A headlight that suddenly goes out in the middle of a night ride on a dark twisty road. Worse than that…your motorcycle just dies…for no reason, when you are as far away from home as you will get and the closest phone is a 5 mile walk. We all have lived with the jokes like, “why do the English drink warm beer? because Lucas makes the refrigerators” or, ” how do you know when a Triumph is out of oil? there’s no puddle underneath it”. Even people who don’t ride motorcycles know Triumph jokes. It’s a cruel world when you love Triumph motorcycles. But, the love of a Triumph is not an unrequited love, the love your Triumph gives back to you is like none other. Geez, this is getting sickening, somebody get me a Guinness..NOW.
Having owned and ridden Triumph motorcycles for over forty years, there are still a few on my wish list. At the top of the list is a Triumph X75 Hurricane. Would I trade my Daytona Super 3 for it? No, any others I have…oh yeah. Next is a Silver Jubilee Bonneville. It’s nothing special really, just a tarted up Bonneville with a nice paint job and a couple of cool stickers, I would still like one anyway. Then, a TR7 Tiger… really, I would. There are a lot of great things about the Tiger 750 that are lost in the shadows of other, more popular Triumph models, particularly the Bonneville.
The TR7V is a really,nice, motorcycle and that is why it’s so great, and…why it isn’t as popular as a Bonnie. The Tiger models have always been (in my recollection, which I wouldn’t completely trust if I were you) single carburetor models. The beauty of the single carb is that the motor is much easier to tune and to keep in tune than a twin carb motor. The Tigers power is a bit different…softer is not the word I want to use for a motorcycle named ‘Tiger’, but it is a good description of how it feels, and that is not a bad thing in the real world. The Tiger is also very easy to start…despite having to use your foot instead of your thumb. Yes, believe it or not, the Tiger is kickstart only…another reason for British bike jokes. Triumph put a nice long start lever on the bike so swinging it through to get going on your ride is quite ‘effort-minimum’.
The TR7 makes a great daily rider as well as a fine traveller. The 750 motor may be a little down on power compared to its contemporary Japanese rivals with only 49hp under the bonnet, but those 49 will pull you along just fine in all ‘real world‘ conditions thanks to a hefty amount of torque available at the throttle. Torque is what gets you out of harms way in traffic and, up hills with a passenger on the back. How does the Tiger handle? Great, because, the TR7 is light for a 750 bike of its time and, has all the legendary Triumph handling you expect. Honestly, the Tiger does almost everything a Bonneville does, just, with a little less flair. The Tiger is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a great motorcycle that surprises most everyone that rides one.
This morning while having my usual cup of English Breakfast Tea and perusing ebay, I found a very nice 1978 Triumph TR7V Tiger. This is a very nice bike that is just unique enough that it won’t get lost in a crowd but at the same time, it will. The later model Tiger 750′s had more of the Euro style tank than did what we Yanks were used to from Triumph and that is what this bike is fitted with. There are a couple of flaws in the paint but nothing that can’t be fixed or lived with. The owner put on a nice set of Euro bend handlebars as well, should be quite comfy to ride around town or on a good trip. The stock mufflers are still in place, and even though I am a believer in quiet exhaust pipes (most of the time) these are a bit too muffled…our government was getting a bit heavy handed with noise regulations at the time. Here’s what I’m not quite sure of, a good deal of money was invested in new rims and spokes in order to add modern radial tyres, why? I wonder if the owner still has the originals? Handling perhaps, he did add a new set of shocks to the bike, and a new clutch as well. The bike has only 10,000 miles on the clock, not all that much really, so with an average going over and through, this Tiger is ready to ride. Price should end up around $3000 which is quite good for a bike in this condition.
Click on the pictures below for more views of the bike and more info as well. A great motorcycle…vintage or not.