1959 TRIUMPH Tiger 100 Purdy Engineering

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1959 TRIUMPH Tiger 100 Purdy Engineering



We were first graced with the presence of the Triumph Tiger 100 in 1939. After the success of the Triumph Speed Twin, Triumph’s designer looked further into developing the twin parallel motor and a more powerful and lighter Tiger 100 was born. Taking a motorcycle straight from a Triumph dealer showroom, the bike was tested for endurance over 1,800 miles and then six hours of high-speed laps at the Brooklands circuit, this cemented the Maudes Trophy for Triumph.

But, sadly, the production ceased in 1940 when the Triumph factory was destroyed by German bombing. Once the factory recovered, production recommenced in 1946 and the Tiger 100 reappeared with a new telescopic fork assembly. Not stopping there, Triumph continued to develop the Tiger 100 and 1954 saw the introduction of the first swinging arm rear suspension, which was developed alongside other models.

The Tiger was the sports bike of the Triumph marque and was extensively used for racing by many people. A racing modification kit was available which included pistons, camshafts, valve springs, oil tank, two Amal carburettors, racing handlebars and tachometer.

1959 saw the end of the pre unit engines and in 1960 it was completely redesigned to the new unit style, the T100A followed by the T100SS, T100C and T100R. Other models came and went throughout the sixties and up until 1973, when the production of the Tiger 100 ended.

The Vehicle

This bike is nothing short of stunning! The Triumph Tiger 100 was manufactured in 1959 and started life as a normal Tiger 100, but since 2018 the build has taken it to completely another level. This bespoke bike is build number 7 carried out by Triumph specialists Purdy Motorcycles in Buckinghamshire. Built to the previous owner's specification, the bike is a 1950s Triumph T100 rigid frame, with a pre-unit 500cc engine installed with some unique and bespoke features.

The build was completed in 2018. The brief from the previous owner to the team at Purdy Motorcycles was to build a bike that was reliable and usable, something that was top-quality with some restomod features that would enable use on a daily basis. He wanted something to stand out amongst the hoards of Harley Davidsons, where it was to be used in the warmer climate of the South of France to travel to the local shops and beachfront restaurants. In the previous owner's care it covered just 349 kilometers. Now back in the UK, the Triumph was purchased by the seller through this platform in 2021, having been given a fresh MoT and full service by a Triumph main dealer.

On the Outside

The Triumph is a work of art. Starting at the front of the bike, what stands out most is the colour. You don't see many bikes painted in Old English White, including the frame. The forks used on the Triumph were sourced in India and are a reproduction girder-fork front end, which has been extensively re-engineered to fit the frame. Also, on the front end the Triumph has been fitted with an early Royal Enfield twin leading shoe unit that has been polished and modified to fit the girder forks. The Triumph rolls along on a 21-inch stainless steel rim to the front, covered with an Avon Speedmaster tyre.

Moving up from the front wheel is the mudguard, again painted to match the frame with gold pinstriping highlights. Further up, the Lucas 'King of the Road' headlight and also the speedometer are colour-coded with the body, with contrasting brass plating highlights to the bezel. You will see further around the bike there are also more brass highlights added to parts such as the mirrors, fuel cap, oil cap and various brackets. Another nice touch is the inverted handlebar levers which are 1920s style. Whilst on the handle bars, the Triumph has been fitted with a rare Brown & Barlow throttle system. Used in the 1920s, the system works by pushing the outer cable as opposed to the conventional way of moving the inner cable. Just 10 sets of these cables were reproduced from an original and Purdy Motorcycles managed to bag half of them.

Moving to the sides of the bike, you can see the attention to detail is everywhere, from the polished engine and gearbox to the brass inserts installed to the primary drive cover. Just behind the engine is the battery, which sits nicely hidden away in the Italian-made leather battery box. The exhausts are bespoke, made to look like the original items, but they do in fact sit a lot closer to the frame. The rear wheel is stainless steel like the front, but it's 19 inch, which keeps the stance of the bike just right. It also wears an Avon Speedmaster tyre. There is a pillion pad which can be attached via a pivot and spring system.

On the Inside

As mentioned, the attention to detail has been taken to the next level, going so far as having the seat, pillion pad, brake cables, speedometer cable, grips, battery box and the matching messenger bags on each side custom made in leather. These were made by an Italian company called Wild Hog Co based in Reggio Emilia, Italy. They specialise in bespoke handmade leather items using old-fashioned tools for an authentic finish for bike saddle bags, panniers and gun holsters.


The engine on the Triumph Tiger T100 is a pre-unit (separate engine/gearbox) 500cc which Purdy Motorcycles completely stripped and polished. The rebuild was carried out with new old stock bearings, the barrels were re-honed and Purdy opted for Harris pistons and rings. The cylinder head received new old stock valves and springs which were mated to the re-ground valve seats.

On the fueling side of things, Purdy engineering went for a new single Amal 276 pre-monobloc carburettor with a separate DL1AT float chamber. This was set up with a 150 main, 107 needle and a 3.5” throttle valve, which was then mounted to a cast aluminium inlet manifold giving an even distribution of fuel/air mixture. The dynamo and magneto have been rebuilt by APL Magnetos, with the addition of a new automatic advance and retard magneto wheel.

Due to the new set-up which is well balanced and fettled by the finest people in the business, the Triumph is said to start on the first kick, hot or cold.

History Highlights

The present owner bought it from a chap who commissioned the Tiger 100 to be built by Purdy Motorcycles and received the finished bike in November 2018. Built just as he wanted, at a cost of over £24,000, it’s safe to say that nothing has been left untouched. In parts and specialist services alone, there was £14,853 spent, and then a further bill for 350 hours of build time (Purdy say the total build was circa. 700 hours), and let’s not forget the custom made Italian leatherwork. It certainly has been a no expense spared bespoke project.

The Triumph has never been ridden in the wet, either in the South of France or the UK. When it's in storage it has been kept in a bike bubble to protect it from any damp or moisture. The result of this is that it is still in a fresh build appearance.

What We Think

The Triumph Tiger 100 is undeniably a classic British motorcycle, but this one as you can see has a twist! Built to be ridden with ease every day should you wish to do so. The high level of design, craftsmanship and performance engineering has resulted in a bespoke original classic Triumph.

The ideal bike to jump on, take to a local meet, sit back and enjoy the view. Be prepared to get bombarded with a thousand questions because this is certainly a motorcycle that turns heads at every corner!

Summer is on its way, so this is the time to enjoy some British country roads on a cool and very well-built British classic.

We estimate it will bring in the region of £15,000 - £20,000.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular bike is located with the seller in Leicester. To arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.


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  • Location: Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 378km ( 236 miles)
  • Chassis Number: Number 7 out of 10
  • Engine: 500cc
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: N/A
  • Colour: Old English White
  • Interior: N/A
  • Estimated Price: £15,000 - £20,000

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