1960 TRIUMPH T100 TIGER BATHTUB STYLING
Bathtub styling was part of a brief flirtation with enclosed bike that infected England from the mid-50s to the mid-60s. After WWII, Brits were in dire need of basic transportation, and most couldn’t afford cars, so they commuted on bikes to and from work. The problem is the weather. Every night after getting home from work, the owner had to wipe his bike down of all the wet road grime to combat rust. Enclosing the bikes seemed like a good idea, until you realize that the moisture still found its way into these new enclosures, you just couldn’t see it, or dry it off. So rust became a bigger problem in some cases. Triumph wasn’t the only one to flirt with enclosed bikes. Norton, Velocette and even Vincent all tried their hand, with similar results. Triumph actually faired better than most. Their first Bathtub bikes were the 1959 Twenty-One (3TA 350 twin) and it’s big-sister, the 1959 5T Speed Twin (500), and by 1960, it had spread to the 6T Thunderbird (650) line. While the Bathtub bikes sold reasonably well in England (their intended market), by now the US was the Brits’ biggest motorcycle market by far, and Americans hated bulky, enclosed bikes. In fact, Yanks were famous for stripping every non-essential bit off their bikes already. Those unfortunate few who ended up with a Bathtub Triumph often swapped out the bulbous bodywork for more conventional fenders, side covers and headlight. Triumph quickly realized this and began cutting back on the Bathtub’s bulkiness year-by-year, until it all but disappeared by 1965, and the Bathtub-era was over.
Special thanks go out to Bonham’s Auction Co. for giving us use of these pictures of this lovely 1960 Triumph T100 Tiger.