More Patina Than You Can Handle: 1973 Triumph Hurricane X75

1973 Triumph X75 R SideI’ve gotten into the habit of occasionally posting these Triumph X75 Hurricanes, although they’re actually proto-choppers more than they are actual sportbikes. But I think they’re pretty cool, and since they’re powered by the Triumph/BSA three-cylinder engine, I think most of our readers probably like them too. 1973 Triumph X75 R Side Tank DetailStyled by icon Craig Vetter, the X75 Hurricane was intended for the US market, and the bosses at BSA felt that the original look planned for the bike was far too vanilla for the riders on this side of the pond. He might have gone a bit overboard with the Hurricane, but the result sure is distinctive and features Vetter’s signature one-piece tank-and-bodywork, along with that fan of tailpipes along the right side of the bodywork.

Just 1200 were made, using engines set aside when BSA went under and the bike was rebranded as a Triumph. 1973 Triumph X75 R Side EngineThe 741cc overhead-valve three-cylinder engine was fairly traditional in terms of design and construction, but put out a healthy 58hp and could push the bike well over 100mph and would have been perfect for blasting away from stoplights in a storm of noise. It should also turn left pretty well, but fast right turns could prove to be a bit of a problem… 1973 Triumph X75 R Side Exhaust DetailFrom the original eBay listing: 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane for Sale

We are thrilled to offer such a unique and rare piece of motorcycle history. If you’ve got a Triumph-sized hole in your collection and want something pretty wild and very cool, this might fit the bill. To the best of our knowledge this amazing Triumph Hurricane X75 is all original and untouched. Please review pictures for overall condition and please feel free to ask any questions.

Well I have a question: “Does it run?” While it’s nice to have a bit of the model’s history, I think most buyers would appreciate a bit more information about this specific example, especially considering the $32,000 Buy It Now price. I’m pretty sure anyone even remotely interested in dropping that kind of money on a bike probably already knows a bit about the bike’s general background. 1973 Triumph X75 R FrontThis particular example is positively dripping with patina. For many folks, originality is absolutely key, and this one’s got more originality than you might be able to deal with. To be honest, it looks like it’s in need of a complete, ground-up restoration. Mechanically, at least: many collectors want to keep that original paint intact as much as possible. Me? I’m all for resto-mods and restorations: many vintage vehicles were never intended to be collectors items or last though the ages, and were built to a price, with ugly wiring, parts-bin switches, and low-quality paint on frame and bodywork.

Is this Hurricane really worth $32,000? We’ll just have to wait ’till the end of this auction and see if someone ponies up the cash for this iconic motorcycle.

-tad 1973 Triumph X75 R Side Front

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3 Responses

  1. Triumph Hurricanes, John Player Nortons, and Harley XLCRs all suffer the same disease – Instant Collectibles, and thus hardly ridden. Lots of low-mileage examples around. Last one to sell at auction went for more like $26k – these folks are fishing.

  2. sr88 says:

    Another bike in this group is the ’83-’84 H.D. XR – 1000, also lots of bucks, low mileage. It is interesting that the JPN’s, XLCR’s, and XR-1000’s did not sell very well when introduced and sat on dealers show rooms for extended periods of time, Said dealers usually had to put large discounts on these bikes to sell them. My goodness, how the market has changed.

  3. tad says:

    Well, that’s the thing about the whole collector car/bike industry: I don’t think it really existed at all back then. Sure, people hoarded old bikes, but did anyone “speculate” on them? I’m too young to have been around for the changes, but I hear plenty of stories about people buying “old race cars” for pretty cheap because they were just that: old and non-competitive, so there wasn’t much of a market. Now there’s a track record for machines like the Hurricane actually increasing in value. But then? No history. I mean, was anyone paying big bucks for “unrestored, numbers-matching 1940’s Triumph Speed Twin” in 1973? Probably not.