1948 Triumph 500cc T100 Tiger
Engine Number: T100 9111942
Big shoes had the legendary Speed Twin of 1938, yet Triumph’s head designer, Edward Turner, managed to fill them, and it only took him a year. The Tiger 100 was a lighter, more powerful twin designed for the performance-minded enthusiast, with an improved top speed. He achieved this with forged alloy pistons – a new technology of the day – ported and polished engine internals, higher compression ratio, anda single 1in. Amal carburetor. The cylinders were more rigid as they are a forged single casting and secured by eight studs rather than the six of the Speed Twin. The Tiger also employed gear-driven instead of chain camshaft drive. The additional 8bhp over the Speed Twin lead to a potential 100mph, though it may take a bit of a tail wind in standard trim. But in race-prep it set records including the 1939 lap record at Brooklands at 118 mph.
After interruption by World War II, production returned in 1946, now with a telescopic fork that featured two-way hydraulic damping. For postwar American riders, many of whom were accustomed to hulking big V twins, the nimble Triumph 500s were a revelation, as related in the book, Triumph Motorcycles in America: “New riders without allegiance to Harley or Indian who test rode a Speed Twin or Tiger 100 were often sold the first time they heeled the bike over into a fast turn.” Available as an extra-cost option in 1948 was Triumph’s rear ‘Spring Wheel’, a self-contained hub that included the brake drum and internal springing that gave a few inches of rear wheel travel, providing the rider with a measure of defense against potholes.
The bike offered here, is fresh from a frame-up restoration to the very highest standards. Owned and built by a Southern California collector with many years of experience with ‘40s and ‘50s Triumphs and their restoration. He acquired the bike from Australia as a complete bike with matching numbers according to factory records, but in need of much love and attention…lots of missing and incorrect parts. On to a freshly powder-coated frame, all cycle parts were renewed or refurbished and installed, while a fully rebuilt engine and gearbox hang in the middle. A new top end was fitted with +.020 pistons, Hastings rings, Kibblewhite valves, guides, springs, keepers, etc. Tin-wear is all restored with exquisite paint finishes throughout. A correct smaller size nacelle (first year) and original gas tank were sourced, restored and installed. The bike has the optional sprung rear hub to give a couple of inches of rear suspension. All aluminum and chrome is freshly plated/polished and in very good condition. All bolts are cad plated and electricity travels around the bike on the new cloth covered loom. The bike runs on new UK chrome rims with stainless spokes and new Avon tires.
To ready the bike for sale, it was recently serviced by local Triumph and classic bike aficionados, Glory Motorworks, to ensure the bike is not just the show piece presented, but a reliable and fine running machine, ready for any tour or rally. The bike starts easily, idles smoothly and rides as well as the presentation leads you to believe. Brakes and suspension match the power and smoothness of the bike. Everything works as it should.
This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a ready-to-go concours show bike, which is ready to be ridden on any rally or tour with great ease and reliability.