Garage Queen: Larry Orlick's 1976 Triumph Tiger 750

Often overshadowed, the single-carb Triumph Tiger 750 performed much like its big brother, the Bonneville.

| November/December 2015

  • Larry Orlick’s 1976 Triumph Tiger 750
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • 1976 Triumph Tiger 750
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • 1976 Triumph Tiger 750
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • Single carb doesn't hurt performance and means easier tuning.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • The left foot shift is more familiar for riders.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • 1976 Triumph Tiger 750
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • Larry Orlick riding his 1976 Triumph Tiger 750
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • In a world increasingly filled with sophisticated multi-cylinder engines, Triumph’s classic vertical twin was considered dated in 1976.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • There’s no mistaking the Tiger’s classic profile — it’s a Triumph through and through, and possibly a better riding proposition than earlier models thanks to better brakes, a bigger engine and a 5-speed transmission.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • Owner Larry Orlick has subtly modified his Tiger to his own tastes, including old-style, one-piece sidecovers and mufflers meant for a Norton Commando.
    Photo by Nick Cedar

1976 Triumph TR7RV Tiger
Top speed:
112mph (period test)
744cc air-cooled OHV parallel twin, 76mm x 82mm bore and stroke, 8.6:1 compression ratio, 47hp @ 6,700rpm (claimed)
Weight (w/half tank fuel):
425lb (193kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG:
3.5gal (13.2ltr)/40-50mpg
Price then/now:
$1,795 (approx.)/$6,000-$10,000

Larry Orlick is best known in his local motorcycle circle as a Ducati fanatic, since he at one point cornered the market on single-cylinder 450 Ducatis. In actuality, he has owned a lot of different makes. “I’ve owned a lot of Brit bikes,” Larry says. “I owned two 500 Triumphs, two Bonnevilles and a few BSAs. In fact, I previously owned a 1975 Triumph Tiger. It was a good-looking, fast bike. I sold it so I could buy a BMW, quit my job and go touring around the U.S. and Central America.” 

Larry was on the road for a year and a half, and when he got back he found a job and got married. Some years went by. He still had the BMW, and while he claims he wasn’t looking for another bike, “In a moment of weakness, I succumbed,” he says. The object of affection? Another  Triumph Tiger, a bike he refers to as his Garage Queen.

Tiger travails

By some measures, Larry is lucky that Triumph survived long enough to build his bike. By the early 1970s Triumph was almost dead, bloodied by an astoundingly clueless management and a widening cultural divide between American and English motorcyclists. But it hadn’t always been that way.

10/26/2015 11:01:50 AM

Great Article. I bought a '77 TR7 20 years ago. 45,000 on the clock (15,000 when I bought the bike). One minor mechanical issue in 20 in years...a few electrical though; but since I had it converted to Boyer ignition, it starts nearly first kick every time. Great classic, lead substitute smooths the vibrations and keeping up with highway speeds of 70 mph is not a problem. I still like the original side cases and pipes but that is a matter of taste. My only mods are fork gaiters and P90/Enfield Interceptor bars with mirrors under the bars.Love the magazine and the appreciation of the performance and handling that these bike provide.

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