Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Triumph X-75 Hurricane

Fri, May 28th, 2010

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Featuring a different Triumph street bike each day.

1973 Triumph TRX75 Hurricane
As legendary as this motorcycle is, its performance was unchanged from the obsolete (and already discontinued) '60s-era BSA Rocket 3 from which it inherited its kickstart-only engine and four-speed gearbox.
The light, slim bodywork lowered the CG, but the extended forks flexed, the fancy triple exhaust reduced ground clearance on the right side and the front brake (perhaps the worst to ever be fitted to a bike of this power) was an unfortunate anachronism.
Upon first viewing Craig Vetter's original prototype, Peter Thornton of BSA notoriously exclaimed 'My god, it's a bloody phalus.' Ever since, the Hurricane has been rightly counted among the most sensual-looking bikes of any era.
The standard BSA Rocket 3 was no great shakes in the reliability department. The Hurricane added low-volume fiberglass bodywork and build quality typical of BSA/Triumph at its lowest point.
No, let's not even go there.
There are motorcycles that are just machines, and those that are icons. The Hurricane could be motorcycling's grandest icon ever.
Few individual designs have so suddenly, so obviously, so single-handedly re-wrote the rules of motorcycle design. Despite its considerable limitations and inescapable ties to a moribund corporate progenitor, the Hurricane simultaneously marked the passing of what the industry had been and laid down a roadmap the industry would follow for the next two decades.