1972 Triumph T100R Tiger Daytona
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Thanks to the organizational chaos and production problems at BSA Group, the 1972 Triumph T100R Daytona was the last, best 500cc effort in Triumph’s motorcycle lineup. Just two years before, there had been four Triumph T100 models. Based on an aging design, it was spared some of the “advances” imposed upon the Bonneville. The frame was still bolted and brazed together, and being less rigid than the Bonneville’s all-welded steel frame had some advantages as far as dispelling the vibration created by the 490cc parallel-twin engine. The oil tank also remained a separate item, whereas the Bonneville’s frame doubled somewhat indifferently as an oil reservoir.
The T100R was still a lightweight at about 350 pounds (dry), and the twin-carb overhead-valve twin’s output of 41 horsepower was outstanding and certainly made street bike a hot performer. A magazine test had even wrung 107 mph from the T100R Daytona in 1969. It shared the superb 8-inch twin-leading-shoe front brake used by the Bonneville before 1971, and for a high-performing bike, the T100R Daytona could return impressive fuel economy at more than 50 mpg. But this roadster with a slender tank was even more than the sum of its parts, being able to boast the heritage that derived from winning the Daytona 200 in 1966 and 1967, when Triumph was the only marque to interrupt a long skein of Harley-Davidson victories. For 1971, the T100R Daytona had used heavier connecting rods and incorporated standard turn signals. There was little else new to discuss in ’72. For Triumph purists, that was a good thing.