Triumph Tiger 110 649 cc Review

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  • Build quality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

Bertie's review of Triumph Tiger 110 649 cc

★★★★★

“The Triumph Tiger 110 was THE bike to own in 1954....”

Written on: 26/06/2004 by Bertie (27 reviews written)

Good Points
In 1954, the fastest production motorbike on the road.

Petrol consumption in the high 70s.

Arguably, the most stylish machine available in 1954.

Bad Points
Quick-wear swinging-arm bearings.

High oil consumption when ridden hard.

Feeling of instability on tight corners due to single down-tube frame flexing.

General Comments
The Triumph Tiger 110 was THE bike to own in 1954. Combined with outstanding fuel economy came outstanding performance. The only faster bikes were the Vincent 1,000s at considerably more expense and their manufacture had ceased.



The claimed brake horse power from its twin-cylinder engine was 42 at 6,500 RPM which figure could well have been a flash reading on the factory's dynamometer as the 110's top speed and acceleration was not ALL that better than the Triumph Tiger 100 at a nominal 500 cc.



Apart from the frame flexure on tight corners, the bike is very rideable and the gearchange on the separate gearbox is light and very precise. Braking is just short of 30 feet at 30 MPH - a very good figure in those days being helped by the air-cooled 8 inch front brake.



As was typical of most of the British motorbikes 50 or so years ago, home maintenance was within the scope of the owner who possessed the necessary tools and even faults on the lighting and ignition circuits were not beyond home repair, unlike most of the modern machines with their high-tech construction and specification.



In 1954, the original cast-iron cylinder head was replaced with an aluminium alloy job called the 'Delta' head which was claimed to have better heat characteristics which allowed tighter valve clearances giving improved engine performance. The barrels remained cast-iron. The Tiger 100 had an all-aluminium engine.



All in all, a viable motor cycle today. The fuel economy will depend somewhat on whether the valve seats have been modified for unleaded petrol, otherwise LRP will be necessary unless genuine leaded petrol is available and apparantly not many garages sell it.



I must imagine a modern Japanese 400 will outperform the Tiger 110 now but not by too much! If an affordable one in good running order were available, I'd buy it but good examples are rare and therefore expensive.



I hope the examples that are still running will continue to do so for a long time to come for I understand that most spares are readily available.

  • 1954

    Year Manufactured

  • 4 years

    Length of ownership

  • Build quality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

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Roy Nash's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 03/05/2005

In the early 60`s I had a 110, black and ivory.
<br>Whilst trying to get a speedo reading of 110mph at Pease Pottage Hill south of Gatwick I had a large fright when overtaking on the Dual Carriageway.An idiot car driver pulled out without checking and I went grass track riding at around 100mph.Brakes were not too good in the 50`s were they! I subsequently pulled a lot of revs trying to shake of the fright.I then heard a clunk and a rev dependant knocking.To cut a very long story short, after many engine strip downs,I found a broken sludge trap bolt wedged between the barrel webs that protrude into the alloy crankcase.A Triumph dealer informed me that in May 1959 Triumph changed the composition of the said bolts as they had had two cases of the bolts breaking at high revs.In both cases the riders were killed when the bolt part shattered the alloy crankcase and they went for an unplanned trip over the handlebars.My bike was a Feb 1959.I am alive today as the bolt chose to fly off vertically and not one of the remaining 359 degrees thus hitting cast iron not alloy.I was told by a friend who was with me that he had never seen someone go that white before.I phoned Pride and Clarks(Sharks)to sell the bike for £60 and they took it away that same afternoon.I then started motoring with a Ford Anglia 100E 1200cc side valve.So, if your buying or rebuilding an pre May 1959 T110 check the sludge trap bolts(in the flywheel circumferance)and don`t pull over 5500rpm.

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Guest's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 16/06/2011

T110 1954 and 1955 both retained cast iron cylinder head. Delta head first became available in 1956 on the 650 range.

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Guest's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 16/06/2011

T110 1954 and 1955 both retained cast iron cylinder head. Delta head first became available in 1956 on the 650 range.

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Guest's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 16/06/2011

T110 1954 and 1955 both retained cast iron cylinder head. Delta head first became available in 1956 on the 650 range.

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Duncaninnes's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 23/10/2008

My parents went round the world on a Triumph Tiger 110 between 1956 and 1958 travelling through Europe, down through Africa and then across to Australia/New Zealand and finally through Canada/USA. We have quite a lot of information about the trip and are trying to get it together in some sort of book form in time for my Dad's 80th birthday next May (2009).

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Tricolour's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 20/07/2008

The price of a new Triumph Tiger 110 listed on the factory price list of 1st September 1954 was &pound;240: 0s:0d. This was U.K. pounds, shillings and pence pre-decimal currency. A comparison can be made with modern day prices when it is realised that the average wage in 1954 was about Five U.K pounds per week and an average 'terrace' house could be bought for less than &pound;1000.

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Tricolour's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 15/07/2008

The 1956 T100 & T110 were finished in Shell Blue Sheen (A pale blue metallic finish) The 1957 Standard finish for the T100 & T110 was Crystal grey with an export and optional colour scheme of Meriden Blue and Ivory.

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381422_Shelleyn's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 10/07/2008

I'm trying to find out, what was the new price of a 1954 Tiger 110, can anyone help?

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A Birkett's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 07/09/2005

PLEASE ! CAN ANYONE HELP ME. I AM LOOKING FOR THE PUBLICITY PHOTO, THE FACTORY PUT OUT ON THE 1956/1957 MODEL TIGER 110, IT WAS THE FIRST TWO TONE PAINT JOB THEY DONE , THE BOTTOM HALF OF THE TANK WAS BLUE, AND THE REST OF THE BIKE IN "ICE" CREAM , THE PAINT JOB WAS CALLED
<br> ICE CREAM/BLUE
<br> <br> I HAD ONE OF THESE MODELS FROM NEW , AND HAVE LOST ALL THE PAPERWORK WHEN I LAST MOVED HOUSE .

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A Birkett's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 01/08/2005

Refering to the phrase ( the fastest road bike of the day) for the 1954 Tiger 110, is strictly not true.
<br> According to a rumour, the normal tests were done in the morning with the Press, who were then taken to dinner. in that time , Triumph took the bike to the race shop and changed the head for the speed run in the afternoon .
<br> THIS IS ONLY A RUMOUR, but no way would the road bike do 117mph in standard form . God I did try

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A Birkett's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 30/07/2005

a truly fantastic bike . I had 3 of them 2 1954 and one 1957 , from new ,
<br> To improve the road holding , I replaced the rear shocks with woodhead monrow with spring rating of 150lb, plus reducing the rear tyre size to the one below standard, I could still get 4,000 miles out of it , Front forks , just hang on and never shut the throttle halfway through a corner . GREAT DAYS

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Triumph Girl's Response to Bertie's Review

Written on: 21/07/2005

I have a 1956 T 110 Motor cycle.the frame was chromed probably about 40 years or more ago.(either by Factory or by owner)In the chrome in the frame is stamped "M & B" it is stamped in a few places on the frame.Does ANYONE know what "M & B" means?If you do or even THINK you do...please E mail me with your answers. My email address is
<br> <br>bikergirl125@hotmail.com
<br>
<br>I will be checking it too see if anyone can help.Thank you.
<br>
<br>Triumph Girl

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