Restored by Baxter Cycles,
1974 Triumph 750cc T160 Trident
Engine Number: T160 GK04783
Frame Number: T160 GK04783
‘That three-cylinder mill forms the solid gold heart of Trident appeal,’ reckoned Bike magazine in 1978, going on to declare that ‘the Triumph Trident is the best British motorcycle ever made.’ Essentially a ‘Tiger-and-a-half’, the Triumph and BSA 750cc triples were launched in the UK in 1969 as the first modern multi-cylinder superbike. Not a “parts bin” exercise by any stretch, the bike was magical. In race trim, the triple won all over the world, including a dominating 1-2-3 sweep at the 1971 Daytona 200.
Differences between the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket III were more than just cosmetic: the two models used different frames and in BSA guise the motor’s cylinder block was inclined forwards. Only the Trident survived the Group’s collapse in 1972, continuing as the T150V (with five-speed gearbox) and later the T160 (using the BSA-type, inclined engine). The number of important production race victories achieved (notably by the works Triumph ‘Slippery Sam’) is testimony to how effective a triple can be.
The bike on offer here was in long-term ownership as part of a small collection in Southern California. Built in June, 1975, this matching-numbers UK spec machine was frame-up restored by one of the best Triumph shops in the country, Baxter Cycles in 2010. Iowa’s Baxter Cycles work is recognized as one of the best as can be seen in restoration photographs that accompany the bike. The restoration was carried out for Richard Derby of Pipestem, WV, with only some of the work being documented at a cost of $4,447. Obviously used very little, once purchased by our vendor, the bike was in need of and subject to a substantial overhaul at a cost of $5,127 by marque specialists, Century Cycles in 2015, including some minor customization: new carbs, Renthal ‘bars, Excel rims with new tires, Rizoma indicators, a general go-through, test ride, fluid change and overhaul of front suspension. Receipts accompany the bike for nearly $10,000 in 10 years!
The bike is in good cosmetic condition throughout. The repaint on the gas is in excellent order. The mature owner was a Superbike racer 20+ years ago, so always kept the Trident in excellent running order. However, work and family commitments took over and the bike was used very sparingly in recent times. Now, the machine is in need of some re-commissioning of fuel and spark systems to return it to the road.