1973 Triumph Hurricane X75

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The 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane.
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Although a classic now, the X75 was radical stuff in the early Seventies, which may explain why it wasn’t a run-away best seller.
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The Hurricane is a slender machine.
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The Hurricane is unmistakably British, a point Triumph emphasized on the frame of every bike it made.
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Originally conceived as a BSA, the Triumph Hurricane used the forward-sloped BSA version of the BSA/Triumph triple instead of the upright Triumph iteration.
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Glenn Bator shows off the Hurricane’s performance. “The bike handles well, you can really throw it into corners,” Bator says.
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Originally conceived as a BSA, the Triumph Hurricane used the forward-sloped BSA version of the BSA/Triumph triple instead of the upright Triumph iteration.
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1973 Triumph Hurricane X75
Years produced: 1973 
Number produced: 1,172
Claimed power: 58hp @ 7,250rpm
Top speed: 114mph (period test)
Engine type: 741cc air-cooled, OHV inline triple
Weight (dry): 458lb
MPG: 40-45
Price then: $2,295
Price now: $6,000-$18,000

The Triumph X75 Hurricane has been hailed as the first factory custom and the first cruiser. Its story is unique, and while it’s been told many times, its tellers have often gotten the facts wrong.

In the beginning …

The Hurricane’s roots are in the BSA/Triumph triple, first designed by Bert Hopwood and Doug Hele in 1961 and 1962. Unfortunately, neither dared show the drawings to Triumph boss Edward Turner (who saw no need to update the product line) until 1964, when rumors of a Honda 750 began to surface. If they’d acted with haste, the triple could have been in showrooms in 1965. Instead, BSA Group management, figuring it had all the time in the world, handed the styling of the new design to the Ogle Group, then famous for award-winning toaster design. Ogle played with the triple’s styling for over a year, while Honda perfected its 736cc 4-cylinder engine.

When American dealers and distributors were finally shown the new triple in late 1968, there was widespread disappointment. Ogle had produced two versions, a BSA called the Rocket 3, with cylinders sloping forward and boxy, dark red bodywork, and a Triumph called the Trident, with upright cylinders and boxy, greenish-blue bodywork. Dealers and customers alike agreed the new bikes were ugly. They were also expensive, and sales were slow. Several months later, Honda introduced the CB750.

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