Triumph Tiger TR7V

Guy Fenstone's 1976 high-mileage 750cc Tiger. It's a rough diamond

 

"I got my TR7 Tiger in 1985 and paid about £250. It was fairly rough. At the time, I was despatching on small Jap bikes and began using the Tiger instead. I was doing roughly 500 miles a week for 3-4 years. The bike was great throughout.

It needed a new set of points every 3-4 months. Otherwise, it was just a question of changing oils. The gearbox oil can get a bit mayonnaise-ish, especially if youíre doing regular short runs. So I used to change the gearbox oil when I changed the engine oil.

 

Aside from that and the tappets and drive chain, there wasnít much else to do. Itís never been wonderfully oil-tight. I was told never to use gasket cement, and Iíve kept to that.

The only time I had a top-end problem was when I was messing about with the timing and melted a piston. But that was a self-inflicted wound, not a fault of the bike.

The wiring loom burnt out, but that was also my problem by badly routing it. Iíve never had a problem with the valves. It runs on unleaded, and the carb is an Amal Mk1.

 

Drive chain life has been around 20,000-25,000 miles. Tyres are now an Avon Speedmaster at the front and a Dunlop K81 on the back, but I prefer Avon Roadrunners.

I get about 12,000 from a rear tyre and forever on the front. Taking the back wheel off is a pain. It can be a nuisance, especially if youíre on your own, but Iíve done it a few times.

 

The single carb makes it more torquey than a standard T140. I rebuilt the engine once myself. Had the crank reground, fitted new mains, etc. Some years later, Andy at FD Motorcycles rebuilt it. FD Motorcycles is my local shop.

It now has lower comp pistons (7.4:1 instead of 7.9:1 to one). It helps. But generally, I like to keep things standard.

 

When I got out of despatch riding I kept the Triumph and got rid of my other bikes. Iíve visited Belgium on this Tiger, plus France, Italy, Wales and Ireland. Itís always been good, if a little rough looking.

I really like British bikes, and I think 750 Triumphs are the most useable. The performance is good enough for modern traffic. Itís now just a pleasure bike. I donít suppose I currently ride more than 2-3000 miles a year on it.

I donít know the mileage. Iíve been through about 5 speedos, so I havenít a clue.

 

A lot of the chrome became quite poor, so I blasted and painted the headlamp bowl. The bike never came with a rack.

Riding two up on it was always okay. When abroad, I just take the usual cables, tubes, plugs, and enough spanners to take off both wheels and the petrol tank.

Thereís been no vibration damage. Cruising speed is anything from 55mph to 80mph Ė whatever the road needs. Never had the crank balanced. Vibes simply have never been too bad."    [Triumph T140 buyers guide]

Triumph TR7V Tiger and owner Guy Fenstone

 

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