|First gen Tiger from the late '30s|
Tigers followed the steady evolution in motorbike technology throughout the Twentieth Century, and also followed some rather silly styling trends, like shrouding the mechanicals in 1950s aero inspired nonsense.
|'69 Tiger made in the UK the same|
year I was! Nice high pipes!
|Pam Anderson riding|
It's one of the best examples of British manufacturing rising out of the ashes of old money and old ideas and embracing a more effective approach to manufacturing. Without the conservative establishments of aristocratic ownership and unionized labour Bloor was able to reignite British engineering and give it chance to shine again. You might think that it isn't properly British if it isn't mired in limited social mobility and the kind of Kafka-esque bureaucracy that makes building something well next to impossible, but that was only a moment in Twentieth Century British history and doesn't speak to the engineering prowess of our little island.
After Triumph rebooted in the early '90s, the Tiger reappeared in '93 during the second wave of model introductions. An early example of what came to be known as adventure bikes, the Tiger was a tall, long suspension, multi-purpose machine running a three cylinder engine.
Having tapped into this trend while it was still only popular in continental Europe, Triumph's Tiger line has been a key part of their brand for the past twenty plus years. If asked what bike I'd want to take around the world tomorrow, the Tiger Explorer is at the top of the list.
Tigers have been around, in one form or another, since before World War Two. I'm looking forward to getting to know the one I found this month.