Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Triumph TR5T Adventurer

Wed, May 26th, 2010

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Featuring a different Triumph street bike each day.

1973-74 Triumph TR5T Adventurer 'Trophy Trail'
The traditional charms of Triumph parallel twins are there, but the single-carb 500cc motor is significantly down on power compared to the larger, more popular Bonnie 650s and 750s. It makes up for this in part through lighter weight, but not by all that much. The Adventurer was lower geared for the dirt, which made the deficiency all the more noticeable.
It was basically a TR5 motor in the chassis and running gear of the B50, so it was much like that bike. Unfortunately, the bigger twin-cylinder motor made the TR5T more cumbersome and top-heavy in comparison with the BSA singles. Exacerbating the problem was the questionable use of the woefully small front brake sourced from the BSA Victor model.
Charmingly quaint, but a bit cobby in parts, especially the sheet-metal exhaust chamber.
The TR5 motor is one of the more reliable British engines from its era, but that isn't saying all that much, and doesn't help with the dodgy electrics.
The substandard suspension makes any sort of actual off-road travel a chore, and the dirt-oriented gearing, tires and ergonomics don't help it any on the street.
The TR5T is one of those bikes I always consider when thinking about collectable vintage bikes, but seem to dismiss and forget just as quickly.
The TR5T is endearing, but in the end not all that special or especially capable.