Eric, Triumphant

I haven’t really had much to say for the past week, not wanting to turn this into a strictly motorcycle-related blog when my interests are so varied, but there’s no point in having a blog if I’m not writing. So, since I’m still on a bike kick…

I finally bought one. Well, two, really, but that’s a story for another day. Today it’s all about the wonderfully awful little rattletrap I found: a 1973 (?) Triumph Tiger 750.

The TR7RV. I still need to decode the AH24334 in the VIN to verify the year.

After my disappointment with the KLR, I decided to sell it and found this treasure at Red Rock Harley in Las Vegas. Bike for cash, then cash for bike. Nice.

It’s definitely a project- for liability the guys at Red Rock would prefer I not ride it home and simply offered to deliver it to me, free of charge. But that’s kind of what I want right now. I’m not even going to bother registering or insuring it. No, instead this was purchased to be my big boy version of Legos and just something to get me out of the apartment (and into the garage) on my days off. And it’s just so deliciously weird I couldn’t pass it up.

The shifter is on the wrong side. It’s burdened with Lucas, Prince of Darkness electrics. It’s kick-start only. It’s carbureted, but has no choke. Starting requires flooding the bowl by holding a piston until petrol spills out on the engine case, at which point you can begin kicking. And praying. Maybe some light cursing… The mirrors are some tacky add-on and the grips have that awful sticky feeling of old rubber. It’s got the typical garbage bench seat of the era rather than a nice sculpted saddle. It’s a single carburetor and therefore not very desirable. It’s an oil-in-frame model (no oil tank), and it leaks.

It’s terrible. And I am in love.

I don’t have any illusions about this bike, it’s a play toy to satiate my need to tinker on something. This is something I plan to tear down to the frame, play with, rebuild, tear apart again… And it’s small enough so as not to take up much room in the garage. Because I haven’t worked on anything carbureted since high school auto shop (think 1996), this is a theoretically functional learning device. Like most of us, I learn by doing much better than reading or observing. So even though this bike has particular quirks (and can be quite beautiful when restored) I’m not only going to be learning the bike but also the underlying principles. From carburation to electrical, I’m pretty excited.

And it doesn’t hurt that I bought it so cheap I can turn right around and sell it or even turn a profit should I sell it after a full restoration.

The mad tinkerer lives!

It’s not a motorcycle. It’s potential.