1939 Triumph 498cc Tiger 100
Registration no. MJO 901
Frame no. FT1614
Engine no. 9-T100 15746
Although Edward Turners Triumph Speed Twin caused a sensation when it appeared at the 1937 Motorcycle Show, few of its admirers can have guessed how influential the design would prove to be. True, there had been vertical twins before; indeed, Turners predecessor at Meriden - Val Page - had designed one a few years previously, but Triumphs newcomer established a formula that would be adopted by all of Britains major motorcycle manufacturers in the succeeding decade. And whereas previous vertical twins had suffered from excess bulk, Turners was lighter and narrower across the crankcase than the contemporary single-cylinder Tiger 90, whose cycle parts it shared, and from certain angles looked just like a twin-port single. This was just what the conservatively minded motorcycling public wanted and the Speed Twin proved an enormous success for Triumph, lifting the company out of the economic doldrums and setting it on the road to future prosperity. Performance proved exemplary for a road-going 500, around 85mph being attainable by the Speed Twin while the Tiger 100 sports version was even faster.
The Tiger 100 was launched in 1938. Performance was boosted by the use of high-compression forged pistons and polished ports and internals, the result being a machine that could touch 100mph in road trim and exceed it with the silencer end-caps removed. When production resumed in 1946, the T100 reappeared with telescopic forks in place of the original girders, and separate dynamo and magneto instead of the pre-war version's magdyno.
This pre-war Tiger 100 had been completely dismantled prior to its purchase by the current owner and was fully restored by him during 2011/2012. Works carried out include rebuilds of the engine and gearbox; blast-cleaning and powder coating the frame and cycle parts; re-chroming the original wheel rims; rebuilding the wheels with stainless spokes; reconditioning the magdyno and carburettor; and installing a new wiring loom. Departures from factory specification include the replica fuel tank; contemporary Speed Twin oil tank; pattern mudguard; silencers (post-war style); gel battery and an electronic voltage regulator (inside the original case). The Tiger has been kept in a centrally heated environment since completion and will need final adjustments and running in before serious use. (It should be noted that there is no oil in either the engine or gearbox and that the machine has not been started). Described as in generally excellent condition, this beautiful pre-war Tiger 100 is offered with Swansea V5C document.