Triumph Tiger Cub

Last updated

Triumph Tiger Cub
Triumph Tiger Cub 200 T20.jpg
Manufacturer Triumph Engineering Co Ltd
Parent company Birmingham Small Arms Company
Production1954-1956
1957-1968
PredecessorTriumph T15 Terrier
Engine 199 cc (12.1 cu in) single cylinder OHV, four-stroke, alloy head, Amal Monobloc carburettor, earliest Amal 332 1954-57 or Zenith 17MXZ/CS5 1958-61 [1] [2]
Bore / stroke T20 63x64mm, T15 57x58.5mm
Compression ratio T20 Sports 9:1, T20 and T15 7:1 [3]
Top speedT20S 74 mph (119 km/h), [2] T20 66 mph (106 km/h) (as tested, averaged) [4]
Power T20S 14.5 bhp (10.8 kW) (claimed) @ 6500rpm
T20 10 bhp (7.5 kW) (claimed) @ 6000rpm
T15 8 bhp (6.0 kW) [3]
Transmission 4-speed sequential manual gearbox / chain-drive
Brakes 112mm (5.5 inches) front, 112mm (5.5 inches) rear
Tires 3.00x19 1954/55, 3.00x16 1956/65, 3.00x18 from 1966 [1] [4]
Wheelbase 49 in (1,200 mm)
Fuel capacity3 Imperial gallons
Oil capacityoil tank 2.5 pints, gearbox 1/3 pint (200 cc), chaincase 1/2 pint (300 cc) [3]

The Triumph Tiger Cub was a 200 cc (12 cu in) single-cylinder British motorcycle made by Triumph Motorcycles at their Meriden factory. It wased on the Triumph T15 Terrier 150 cc, itself a surprise announcement just before the 1952 show, [2] the 200 cc T20 Tiger Cub designed by Edward Turner, and launched at the Earls Court show in November 1953 [5] competed well against the other small-capacity motorcycles of the time, such as those using Villiers two-stroke engines.

Contents

Development

Triumph Terrier T15 150 cc with plunger rear suspension and contact breaker points behind cylinder 1955 Triumph T15 Terrier Coventry Transport Museum.jpg
Triumph Terrier T15 150 cc with plunger rear suspension and contact breaker points behind cylinder

The first T20 Tiger Cub (1954-1956) was derived from the 150 cc Triumph T15 Terrier (1953-1956) with the same frame and forks. [1] [2]

The earlier version of the Cub used the Terrier's plunger rear suspension frame, but from 1957 this was updated to a more modern pattern of rear swinging-arm with twin suspension units. [2] The ignition points were positioned in a 'distributor'-type device on the crankcase behind the cylinder. [6] A later development in 1963 was to site the points at a more conventional location on the end of the camshaft, accessed via a chrome cover below the base of the cylinder. [2]

The Sports Cub designated T20SH featured slimline mudguards, no rear panelling or headlamp nacelle and with a higher compression ratio and other engine modifications were timed at 74 mph mean maximum by Motor Cycle magazine. [2]

Off-road versions produced with high level exhaust, altered suspension and studded tyres, were designated TS20 Scrambles Cub and TR20 Trials Cub. [7] [2]

The last model made was the T20 Super Cub, which, for economy of production cost, [8] used a basic frame and other parts common to the BSA Bantam D10 including larger diameter wheels with full-width hubs. [4] Launched in November 1966, it was discontinued in 1968, [9] being briefly replaced by the 250cc TR25W 'Trophy' , based on BSA's B25 Starfire.

Unloved design features

The top frame tube of the Tiger Cub was lower than normal, leaving the headstock poorly supported. Some rigidity was recovered by internal bracing of the petrol tank. A plain bearing on the timing side main bearing sometimes wore rapidly. [10] The primary chain ran in a shallow oil-bath but if the level dropped, the chain could suffer lubrication failure and stretch. The chain was not tensioned - and even worse, the primary chaincase on early models was a slightly 'waisted' shape. A worn chain could strike both the inside of the cover and the crankcase itself, making the oil-level even more difficult to maintain in the future. Another common complaint was that the Cub would travel at highway speed (50 mph) for 1/2 hour and then stop unexpectedly. Some attributed this to overheating, but a cure was never found. [11]

Legislative boost

In 1961, the driving licence law for Triumph's home market in Great Britain was changed, restricting learner motorcyclists to a maximum of 250cc. [12] The Tiger Cub became one of the most popular ways of getting onto two wheels.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident 1960s/1970s British motorcycle made by Triumph Engineering, Meriden

The Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 was a technically advanced, high-performance roadster motorcycle made by Triumph Engineering and BSA from 1968 to 1975, and sold under both the Triumph and BSA marques. Alongside the Honda CB750, and later the Kawasaki triples, it brought a new level of sophistication to street motorcycles, marking the beginning of the superbike era. The Honda CB750 overshadowed the Trident to be remembered as the 'first superbike', in spite of the Triumph Trident actually debuting before the Honda by a few weeks.

Unit construction

Unit construction is the design of larger motorcycles where the engine and gearbox components share a single casing. This sometimes includes the design of automobile engines and was often loosely applied to motorcycles with rather different internal layouts such as the flat twin BMW models.

Ariel Motorcycles

Ariel Motorcycles was a British maker of bicycles and then motorcycles in Bournbrook, Birmingham. It was an innovator in British motorcycling, part of the Ariel marque. The company was sold to BSA in 1951 but the brand survived until 1967. Influential Ariel designers included Val Page and Edward Turner. The last motorcycle-type vehicle to carry the Ariel name was a short-lived three-wheel tilting moped in 1970.

Geoff Monty British motorcycle racer

Geoff Monty was an English professional motorcycle racer, constructor, rider-sponsor and retail dealer, initially based in Kingston on Thames and later – under the name Monty and Ward – Twickenham areas, near London, with a move to Edenbridge, Kent by 1968.

BSA Gold Star Motorcycle made by BSA from 1938 to 1963.

The BSA Gold Star is a motorcycle made by BSA from 1938 to 1963. They were 350 cc and 500 cc single-cylinder four-stroke production motorcycles known for being among the fastest bikes of the 1950s. Being hand built and with many optional performance modifications available, each motorcycle came from the factory with documented dynamometer test results, allowing the new owner to see the horsepower (bhp) produced.

Ariel Square Four Ariel motorcycle

The Square Four is a motorcycle produced by Ariel between 1931 and 1959, designed by Edward Turner, who devised the Square Four engine in 1928. At this time he was looking for work, showing drawings of his engine design to motorcycle manufacturers. The early engine with "two transverse crankshafts" was essentially a pair of 'across frame' OHC parallel twins joined by their geared central flywheels, with a four-cylinder block and single head. The idea for the engine was rejected by BSA, but adopted by Ariel. Thus it became the Ariel Square Four.

Edward Turner (motorcycle designer)

Edward Turner was an English motorcycle designer. He was born in Camberwell in the London Borough of Southwark, on the day King Edward VII was proclaimed King. In 1915, Turner had his first ride on a motorcycle, a Light Tourist New Imperial.

Motorcycle frame Frame of a motorcycle

A motorcycle frame is a motorcycle's core structure. It supports the engine, provides a location for the steering and rear suspension, and supports the rider and any passenger or luggage. Also attached to the frame are the fuel tank and battery. At the front of the frame is found the steering head tube that holds the pivoting front fork, while at the rear there is a pivot point for the swingarm suspension motion. Some motorcycles include the engine as a load-bearing stressed member; while some other bikes do not use a single frame, but instead have a front and a rear subframe attached to the engine.

Doug Hele British motorcycle engineer

Douglas Lionel Hele was a pioneering British motorcycle engineer with Triumph and other firms: BSA, Douglas and Norton. He was born in Birmingham in 1919 and died in Hagley, Worcestershire on 2 November 2001.

BSA Golden Flash Type of motorcycle

The BSA Golden Flash, commonly referred to as the Gold Flash, was a 646 cc (39.4 cu in) air-cooled parallel twin motorcycle designed by Bert Hopwood and produced by Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) at Small Heath, Birmingham. The Golden Flash was the first model in the BSA A10 series. It was available in black and chrome; but it was the distinctive golden paint scheme that gave The Golden Flash its name. Production continued until 1963, when it was superseded by the BSA A65 Star.

Triumph Tiger Trail British motorcycle

The Triumph Tiger Trail was a motorcycle model manufactured by Triumph Motorcycles at the Meriden factory. The Tiger Trail was made from 1981 to 1982 in both 750 cc (TR7T) and 650 cc (TR65T) capacities, and under 180 examples were built. Emission regulations precluded export to the USA but otherwise the model was available to all Triumph's other markets particularly in many British Commonwealth nations and western Europe.

Featherbed frame Motorcycle frame

The featherbed frame was a motorcycle frame invented by the McCandless brothers and offered to the British Norton motorcycle company to improve the performance of their racing motorcycles in 1950. It was considered revolutionary at the time, and the best handling frame that a racer could have. Later adopted for Norton production motorcycles, it was also widely used by builders of custom hybrids such as the Triton, becoming legendary and remaining influential to this day.

BSA A7 Motorcycle

The BSA A7 was a 500cc motorcycle model range made by Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) at their factory in Armoury Road, Small Heath, Birmingham. The range was launched in 1946 using a 495 cc (30.2 cu in) long stroke engine. An improved 497 cc (30.3 cu in) version based on the BSA A10 engine was launched in 1950. The various A7 models continued in production with minor modifications until 1961/2 when they were superseded by the unit-construction A50 model.

BSA C15 British, 250 cc single cylinder motorcycle, produced by BSA in the 1960s

The BSA C15 was a 250 cc single-cylinder ohv motorcycle manufactured by the British company BSA from September 1958 until 1967, and was BSA's first four-stroke unit-construction bike. For most of that period, after the introduction of 'Learner Laws' in 1961, a 250 cc was the largest capacity solo machine that a learner could ride unaccompanied when displaying L-plates in the United Kingdom. A road-going Sports derivative was added in 1961, and off-road versions, for Trials and Scrambles, were also available in the range.

Maicoletta Type of motorcycle

The Maicoletta was a motor scooter built by Maico from 1955 to 1966. It was noted by motorcycle journalists in the United States and the United Kingdom for being powerful, responsive, and comfortable. It was one of the heaviest and most expensive motor scooters with typical styling and engineering of its time, and comparable to other manufacturers' products such as Heinkel Tourist, Zündapp Bella and the British Triumph Tigress and BSA Sunbeam.

BSA motorcycles Former British motorcycle marque

BSA motorcycles were made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA), which was a major British industrial combine, a group of businesses manufacturing military and sporting firearms; bicycles; motorcycles; cars; buses and bodies; steel; iron castings; hand, power, and machine tools; coal cleaning and handling plants; sintered metals; and hard chrome process.

BSA unit twins Type of motorcycle

The BSA unit twins were a range of unit construction twin-cylinder motorcycles made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) and aimed at the US market. A range of 500 cc (31 cu in), 650 cc (40 cu in) and 750 cc (46 cu in) twins were produced between 1962 and 1972, but they were really developments of the older pre-unit A7/A10 model range with less weight. The engines had a reputation for vibration, but acceleration was good for the time, to a top speed of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).

BSA A10 series Motorcycle

The BSA A10 series was a range of 646 cc (39.4 cu in) air-cooled parallel twin motorcycles designed by Bert Hopwood and produced by Birmingham Small Arms Company at Small Heath, Birmingham from 1950 to 1963. The series was succeeded by the A65 unit construction models.

BSA B25 Series of motorcycles made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company

The BSA B25 was a series of 250 cc (15 cu in) unit construction single-cylinder OHV four-stroke motorcycles made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company. Developed from the BSA C15, the machines were produced between 1967 and 1971. The B25 was the fastest British production 250.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Motor Cycle Data Book, Newnes, 1960. p.80, p.154
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Motor Cycle, 30 July 1964. Readers report on Triumph Tiger Cub. "The Cub's ancestry dates back almost 12 years—to November 1952 when Triumphs introduced a "stimulating, last-minute eve-of-show surprise", the 149 cc Terrier. This was followed, a year later, by the first of the Tiger Cubs, with a 199 cc engine in the Terrier's plunger-sprung frame. Here we are dealing only with Cubs from 1957 onwards when the pivoted-fork model was introduced." Accessed 2014-01-29
  3. 1 2 3 Motorcycle Mechanics (magazine), March 1972, p.30. Engine analysis: Triumph Cub Accessed 2014-02-06
  4. 1 2 3 Motor Cycle, 9 March 1967. Super Cub road test Accessed 2014-01-28
  5. Motor Cycle, 9 March 1967. Super Cub road test. "Baby brother, sizewise, of the Triumph family, the Cub has been with us now for just over 13 years". Accessed 2014-01-28
  6. Motorcycle Mechanics (magazine), October 1967, p.52. Spark Sense: "Owners of the Triumph Cub or BSA C15 often write into us about routine maintenance of the contact breaker unit (or distributor as it is commonly miscalled)". Accessed 2014-03-10
  7. The Motor Cycle , 15 March 1962. "Quickest way to the top! The new Trials Cub. The new Cub Scambler". Accessed and added 2014-08-08
  8. Motor Cycle, 9 March 1967. Super Cub road test. "One of the ways in which the cost has been kept down is by using a similar frame for the Cub and the BSA Bantam". Accessed 2014-01-28
  9. Kemp, Andrew; De Cet (2004). Classic British Bikes. Mirco. Bookmart Ltd. ISBN   978-1-86147-136-9.
  10. Estall, Mike (28 February 2004). The Triumph Tiger Cub Bible. Veloce Publishing. ISBN   978-1-904788-09-6.
  11. Estall, Mike (28 February 2004). The Triumph Tiger Cub Bible. Veloce Publishing. p. 110. ISBN   978-1-904788-09-6.
  12. UK Government History of road safety, the highway code and the driving test, section 3.19 Retrieved 2014-02-09