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As I understand it, in 1969, Triumph rebranded the street version of the TR6 "Tiger" and the sports version kept the "Trophy" name. I am looking at purchasing a low mileage, original paint, (Trophy red) numbers matching, TR6R. The seller is the daughter of the long time owner, now deceased, and believes her father purchased the bike new. This bike has been well cared for and not molested. The pictures tell the story. The seller doesn't know of any wrecks or repaints. I have viewed several pictures of the bike and am planning on making the 600 mile trip to make the buy, barring any red flags.
The only thing that I find interesting is the decal on the top left side of the fuel tank is a "Trophy 650". Any of you guys who worked for dealerships back in the day ever see bikes come out of the crates with variations like this?
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Hi Robert,
interesting is the decal on the top left side of the fuel tank is a "Trophy 650".
'Cos that's a Trophy tank, not a Tiger tank ... :sneaky: Trophy had the same size thimble as the Bonneville, Tiger had a much bigger tank - 3-3/4 British gallons (misprinted in the parts book as "U.S.") = 4-1/2 US gallons.

original paint, (Trophy red)
Mmmm ... might be because the images are seller's(?) camera to my monitor via your computer but Trophy Red was a dark red, the images on my monitor show a much paler and orangey-red?

Notwithstanding, (y) bike.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Stuart. However, this is where I get lost. I understand that certain years of Bonneville in the mid 1970s would have a UK tank and a USA tank and for the most part the USA tank was the smaller of the two. Am I to understand then that a TR6R sold in the USA in 1969 was designated a Trophy and not a Tiger? Here is a picture of the paint under the seat and the rear fender behind the seat. I think there is some sun fade as well as camera affect in the top of the tank pic.
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Thanks, Stuart. However, this is where I get lost. I understand that certain years of Bonneville in the mid 1970s would have a UK tank and a USA tank and for the most part the USA tank was the smaller of the two. Am I to understand then that a TR6R sold in the USA in 1969 was designated a Trophy and not a Tiger? Here is a picture of the paint under the seat and the rear fender behind the seat. I think there is some sun fade as well as camera affect in the top of the tank pic.
View attachment 770613 View attachment 770614
The old celulose paint does bleach with age but this looks to have been stored with care over the years. Also remnant/aged polishes can alter the colour. If you ever secure this bike be mindfull if /when you decide to clean it... then the denatured paint will also come off...real easy....So, best to leave the canvas alone! Speaking from experiance.
 

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Happyfeet,

There were three tanks used for 650 models between 66 and 70. All UK and general export bikes had the largest 4 gallon tank. The export model TR6R ( and for 66 the 6T ) used a 3.5 gallon tank, while the Bonneville and competition models had the 2.5 gallon ( Slimline ) tank. For 69 the TR6 and TR6R were re named " Tiger " while the competition TR6C models kept the Trophy moniker. It would seem that either your bike was requested with the smaller TR6C tank or it was replaced at some point after sale. The paint, to me at least appears to be original.




From left to right. Home Market, Export TR6R and 6T, Bonneville and competition models and Emgo re pop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies! It's all coming into focus. The gas tank could have been switched at the dealership or maybe the bike was ordered from the factory with the smaller tank. I was not aware that there are 3 tank versions out there, I only thought there were 2. I love learning about these bikes as much as I love riding them! A close examination of the tank when I actually see the bike in person will give me a better idea if the paint is original from the factory. I prefer the over all look of the slimline tank. Maybe the seller will have more info to share when I speak to her in person. I was excited to find this bike. If it is as advertised, sitting along side my original paint 69 Bonneville, it will be a nice addition to my small collection. Thanks again!
 

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Hi Robert,
I understand that certain years of Bonneville in the mid 1970s would have a UK tank and a USA tank and for the most part the USA tank was the smaller of the two. Am I to understand then that a TR6R sold in the USA in 1969 was designated a Trophy and not a Tiger?
It's possibly(?) easier to understand if you start from the beginning ... :)

The Triumph Engineering Co. was formed in 1936 by Jack Sangster (who already owned Ariel) to take over the motorcycle making part of the original Triumph company. Edward Turner already worked for Ariel, Sangster put him in overall charge of the new Triumph Engineering Co. Turner inherited SV and OHV 250, 350 and 500 singles plus a 650 twin; to get some money coming into the company while he designed what was to become the Speed Twin, he made cosmetic changes to the singles and called 'em respectively "Tiger 70", "80" and "90" (the numbers being references to top speeds). The new Speed Twin came out in late 1937 and, a year later, the "Tiger 100" version superseded the Tiger 90 500 single (although the Tiger 100 wasn't just cosmetic changes, it had some internal engine changes from the Speed Twin). So, essentially, 'til the first '59 Bonneville, Meriden called a tuned road-going version "Tiger".

Otoh, "Trophy" was derived from Triumph winning the manufacturer's prize, and the three team riders winning individual gold medals, at the 1949 International Six Days Trial; these were days of timed trials over mostly unpaved roads with various checkpoints and special stages throughout each day. The factory bikes were specials based on Speed Twin engines in 3T cycle parts but customer bikes weren't much more than Speed Twins with off-road tyres and separate headlamp in place of the nacelle. Nevertheless, they were a sales hit in the US and the importers soon persuaded Meriden to produce a 650 Trophy.

Long story (relatively :rolleyes:) short, in the last year of the pre-units ('62), the 650 versions were: US and 'UK & General Export' variants of the 6T Thunderbird road bike, T110 Tiger road bike (with nacelle and bathtub), TR6SR Trophy road bike (without nacelle or bathtub), TR6SC Trophy off-road bike (all single-carb.) and twin-carb. T120 Bonneville ...

'63 unit 650's, Meriden dropped the "Tiger" name/version from the 650 range, using it only in the 500/350 range. To answer one of your questions above, "Tiger" first reappeared on a unit 650 in '69, when it was applied just to the TR6R, the TR6C continued to be called a Trophy. :)

For 69 the TR6 and TR6R were re named " Tiger "
Mmmm ... Harry Woolridge says that in The Triumph Trophy Bible under "1969 Model Tiger TR6" but, two pages on is a photo. captioned "Bird's eye view of the 1969 TR6R (sic)" clearly showing the D678 (60-0678) "Trophy Sports" tank transfer and tank rack ... :oops: Both the '69 and '70 UK&GE-specific 650 parts books (SPC9 and 99-0901 respectively) call the TR6 "TROPHY" and both list the aforementioned transfer. Mind, those parts books don't show the tank rack, so summat's awry ...

But it doesn't matter to @Happyfeet Robert, '69 TR6R is a "Tiger". (y) :)

I understand that certain years of Bonneville in the mid 1970s would have a UK tank and a USA tank and for the most part the USA tank was the smaller of the two.
As @Redmoggy Roy has posted, pre-'71, there were three 650 fuel tanks, one (large) specific to the TR6R '67-'70. '71, Triumph rationalised out many of the previous differences between US and UK&GE versions (e.g. wheel and tyre sizes), essentially leaving fuel tanks and handlebars as the only differences. At the same time, they needed completely new fuel tanks for the OIF so, while they kept a TR6R model version, they appear to have fitted it with the same small US tank as the T120R and TR6C. TR6C only lasted to the end of '72, leaving just the single-carb. Tiger and twin-carb. Bonneville to become 750's. The "Trophy" name continued for '73 and '74, on the TR5T (Triumph 500 twin engine in a BSA B50-based OIF).

either your bike was requested with the smaller TR6C tank or it was replaced at some point after sale.
The gas tank could have been switched at the dealership or maybe the bike was ordered from the factory with the smaller tank.
I'm pretty-certain the tank is a post-sale replacement. In 1968/9, there wasn't any concept of a customer not in GB ordering a variation to be built by Meriden; Meriden took orders from British dealers and appointed foreign importers in the previous year and planned a production schedule of batches of bikes through a given model year.

In the US, not only did different dealers make changes to bikes to suit local tastes before putting them on sale, the two importers supported dealers by helping with the cost of changes to make a sale - e.g. if a potential customer wanted a different colour, Bob Leppan in Detroit is well-known for respraying many tanks and fenders for other dealers.

My feeling is, if the new buyer wanted this bike with a small tank, the dealer could've had it resprayed so it could still have a "Tiger" transfer on it. That it has a "Trophy" transfer on it, when '69 TR6R's were definitely Tigers, says it was simply lifted off a TR6C and fitted to this TR6R, possibly when it was new but probably later.

It looks to be a very good bike. i would get it as quick as you can.
What he says. :)

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Hi, When I bought my ‘73 Tiger, I knew I wanted Tiger, but like Red/Gold Bonnie color. Dealer would swap tank no charge. But the blue Tiger air nos badges would match. He offered Bonnie badges in red. But I didn’t have Bonnie. No charge for swap. I ended up with stock blue/white tank. Dealer swapped bars for western earlier Bonnie bars. Turns out I didn’t like them. Hurt my back. Dealer just gave me original bars. He was going to through them away. I put them back on.
Very well could be swapped at dealer. The slim tank looks really sporty. It seems to hold closer to 3 us gallons. The larger Tiger tank certainly gives more range. Makes bike quieter too as sound from engine is more blocked between riders legs.

Finding mostly original unmolested bike is quite rare. Very few around. Took John 5 years to find his. 92 year old guy from Colorado went to assisted living. Wife sold it to help pay for care. Not cheap. Turned out to be very good purchase. Now it’s worth even more. 100% sorted, ridden regularly.
Crossover over pipe clamps makes this appear to be earlier production. These are great bikes. A good find.
Hope it works out good when you arrive. End of day Tiger is really easy bike to live with. Easier to adjust intake valves. No carb syncing to deal with. Run really well. I personally like the open look behind cylinders with single carb & the polished manifold.
Don
 
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