Motorworld’s newspaper №81
While testing his square four engine at Ariel, Turner made up a 360-degree twin crankshaft, and ran this uncoupled in the back half of his four, an arrangement otherwise known as a parallel twin. Turner said in the Ivor Davies’ book It’s a Triumph that Page paid particular attention to the characteristics of his ‘experimental’ twin. Whether Turner’s work was an influence or not, in 1932 when Page, himself a keen engineer and designer of rather striking motorcycles, left Ariel for employment at Triumph he soon had a running 650cc vertical twin motorcycle.
Introduced in 1933 at the Olympia Show, the Model 6/1 was part of Triumph’s 1934 sales program.
In a 1935 Triumph brochure, and the ad copy for the 6/1 twin states: “This modern power unit of new design has many features which are entirely original. The cylinders, while cast ‘en bloc’ are vertical, side by side, one cylinder each side of the centre of the crankcase (having a firing angle of 360 degrees), and have adequate air passages between them. They maintain the characteristics of two single cylinders, having separate detachable single port heads. The valve gear (two valves per cylinder) is operated by push rods fully enclosed and working between the two cylinder barrels.”
In 1936 at Triumph, Turner became chief designer and managing director. His first exercise was to take three examples of single-cylinder machines, originally designed by Page, and dress them up with a sportier image. He created the 250cc Tiger 70, 350cc Tiger 80 and 500cc Tiger 90, all with polished alloy primary cases, chrome plated gas tanks with silver-sheen painted side and top panels and purposeful high-level exhaust systems. The frames were rigid, and front suspension was supplied by a set of girder forks. These singles proved quick sellers, but Turner had something else in mind for Triumph, and it was an entirely new twin. Turner drew a twin-cylinder engine, and dubbed it the Speed Twin.
When the Triumph Speed Twin was launched in 1938, it was a top-of-the-line sport bike. Just one year later, they were already hopping it up. With hotter cams and higher compression, the new T100 Tiger became the new hot rod Triumph, supplanting the Speed Twin as Triumph’s top-line model.
The Triumph Tiger was the natural evolution of the constant & relentless quest for more & more power. By 1939, Edward Turner, designer of the Speed Twin & defacto father of every vertical twin that came after, raised the compression ratio from 7.2:1 in the Speed Twin to 8.0:1 for the new Triumph Tiger 100, along with a ported cylinder head. In Triumph parlance, the alpha-numeric model designations like “T100” were meant to indicate the claimed top speed of the bikes. The numbers started low in the 1930s with the T90, but the new Tiger was good for a true 100 mph, and so the title T100 seemed right. These early bikes came with rigid frames & girder front ends. The new 1939 Tiger 100 came in silver with black pinstriping, set apart from the stodgy dark red of the Speed Twins.
The Triumph Tiger became the fastest bike on the market overnight & Triumph had its second major hit in 2 years. Life was good for Triumph Motorcycles, then World War 2 intervened & all civilian production ceased to make was for war production.
|Manufacturer||Triumph Engineering Co. Ltd., Great Britain|
|Years of manufacture||1939-1940|
|Quantity produced, units|
|ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION|
|Type||Twin cylinder, inline, vertical arrangement of cylinders|
|Engine capacity, cc||498|
|Bore and stroke, mm||63 х 80 / 2.48″ X 3.15″|
|Engine rating||34 hp at 7000 rpm|
|Carburetor||Amal, type 276|
|Clutch||Multi-plate in the oil bath|
|Transmission||4-speed, foot gear|
|FRAME AND WHEELBASE|
|Frame type||Brazed-lug, full cradle, rigid|
|Wheel size||Front – 3.00 X 26, rear – 3.5 X 26|
|Length, mm||2 134|
|Height, mm||1 035*|
|Wheelbase, mm||1 416|
|Ground clearance, mm||160|
|Seat height, mm||790|
|Gas tank size, l||
|Maximum speed, km/h|