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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, All!

This past weekend I ran into an Offer I Couldn't Refuse... and I am now the proud owner of a 1973 Triumph Tiger 750 (TR7RV).

There are problems; the bike hasn't been on the road since 1984, and it was just shoved to the rear of somebody's garage and forgotten for 25 years. :(

I've never restored a bike before, and restoration this one surely needs. Rusty gas tank, a fuel system full of pure varnish, throttle and clutch cables frozen with rust, tires that are holding air but suffering from dry rot, front brake was kludged and needs correction in addition to a master cylinder rebuild... the list goes on and on.

The bike is about 95% there; only things I see missing is the front fender and it's fittings, and a few small cosmetic items.

It appears to be essentially stock... it hasn't been chopped (Thank Gawd!), and the only modification I can see is the addition of 12" Baby Ape Hangers (which I'd probably have added anyway; I like the look and feel of them), and the ugliest and most impractical bolt on back rest you ever saw in your life!!! :eek:

Here's the punch line...

I'm a new biker; I started riding 3 years ago at the age of 57... and the bike I've been on up to this point is a Russian made 2000 model Ural Bavarian Classic; a hack rig! A GREAT bike and a lot of fun, but not enough power or speed to get out of it's own way. Anyone who rides a 650 Ural on an expressway has a SERIOUS death wish!

After taking a MSF hack class I used a waiver it issued... so my license is clearly marked THREE WHEEL OPERATION ONLY! Gotta go back to school again and learn the ways of 2 wheelers... then do a road test!

In any case... I've been bitten by the Triumph bug. There's just something about an older one that just definitively says Class and Dignity... and I had to do something different, like a Brit Bike; I work with a bunch of Harley owners, and live within 100 miles of the Hawg Farm factory! :p

This restoration should be an interesting process.

At the moment, I'm debating if I should tear the beast down completely and do powder coating of the frame, rather than just a general cleanup and touchup of the factory black enamel.

In the end... I figure to have a pretty classy bike that can hold it's own on the expressways. :cool:



Mr. T.
 

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Mister T. It is your choice really as to how far you want to go.
Powder coating can be a pain...needs to be masked carefully.
My old Bonnie had stood for about 25 years, almost all of the components were naff.
I thought I could salvage some of the old components...clean them up, this proved to be impractical. Any new parts make the old ones look like junk.
I have spent rather more than I anticipated on this hobby/restoration.

The picture below is before I realised the engine needed attention.
 

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Well one good thing, you don't have to balance the carbs. Another good thing is during this reccesion you can bid a bit meaner for parts, our local classic show had more stuff than in the past as people cleared out their garages. Go easy and just aim for a runner as its the chrome and paint that adds up. Expect for the tank of course, a wire brush and Hammerite paint , keep the rust at bay. It can come as a hell of a shock if you replace every part in one hit, only to find decent pieces offered later as the word spreads that you are fixing up an old'un.
 

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Hey Mister T,

Great job on your find. I have ridden bikes all my life (45) and just recently got my first Triumph - yep a 73 Tiger.

I love it. Wait till you get er running, its such a blast. Plenty of power and the 5 speed is nice.

Good luck to you,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Mister T. It is your choice really as to how far you want to go.
Powder coating can be a pain...needs to be masked carefully.
My old Bonnie had stood for about 25 years, almost all of the components were naff.
I thought I could salvage some of the old components...clean them up, this proved to be impractical. Any new parts make the old ones look like junk.
I have spent rather more than I anticipated on this hobby/restoration.

Howdy, Caulky!

I hear exactly what you're saying about spending more than anticipated. I've got too damned many hobbies here... ham radio, acoustic guitars, guns... and in every one of them you can hear the same refrain. I got led down that garden path already.

I came into an old, abused Ruger Mark I target pistol. I'd been wanting one for a while (had several at various times... they come and go), and this particular one caught my attention. The serial number said it was part of the first group bought by the U S Air Force for teaching basic marksmanship. I got bit by the restoration bug.

I kinda got obscessive about it... everything HAD to be PERFECT. The services of gunsmiths aren't cheap, as I quickly discovered... not to mention period parts!

In the end, I wound up with a beautifully restored pistol, almost a museum piece, but there was a small problem. In the end I realized that it had cost me more than a NEW pistol... not only that, if I ever sell it, there's no way I'll break even, let alone turn a profit! I'd produced a very pretty, but rather costly, daily use shooter.

It was a lesson learned, and I figure I got off easy in terms of money. The lesson was simple, really... when you start a restoration, decide in advance exactly WHAT you want to do with the finished product, and stick with that goal.

On this bike, I'm not looking for a museum piece; I want a complete, ridable Tiger 750 that I can use day in and day out... and I'll be approaching the bike's restoration that way.


Re. the powder coating; I'm trying to decide on that in terms of utility and function. Powder coating will protect the frame from rust much more effectively than the factory stock coating of enamel can. Right now, I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the extra cost and the effort involved; powder coating will necessitate completely tearing the bike apart for the job. Touching up the minor dings and chips in the existing paint can be dealt with without resorting to total disassembly.


I'm figuring this particular bike is a VERY good candidate for a cleanup and restoration.

The previous owner had it on the road for about 11 years (last plate is a 1984). It appears from the title to have been a dealer's demo bike (title odo milage is marked UNKNOWN; apparently they didn't give a figure at the dealership), and after that it had one owner, who titled it in 1973.

I got it from a Brit Bike fan in the area (Craig's List offering) who had bought it, apparently during a garage cleanup, for restoration. However, I can understand why he sold it to me; in his garage there were FIVE restored Truimphs and BSAs! At the last moment, sanity kicked in for him! :p

Total milage on that Smiths odometer is 4100 and change. I'm convinced that it's an accurate number. Hell... this guy barely got the engine broken in before he shoved it into the back of the garage!I figure that either he got bored with motorcycles, or the bike scared him... or more importantly, scared his WIFE! :eek: That'll do it every time!

Based on mileage, I have my fingers crossed; hopefully, there's no major engine problems hiding here that have to be wrestled with. I've got good compression on both cylinders, and spark too. My first task to to tear down that Amal carb and clean the varnish out of it.

Fuel system first, electrical system next, cables / control rod adjustment / brakes after that, and finally we put on new tires and it's time to boogie!


BTW Caulky... My Complements on your restoration job! I only hope mine comes out looking half that good! :)



Mr. T.
 
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