Triumph Tiger - 1968 (Tiger)

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What's Cool About My Ride

Yes Pakistan has a “Café Racer” too By Faisal Malik “I had a Dream” Before I start my story, let me explain that I am a capital markets professional in Pakistan and before a year ago I had no idea about motorcycles except that how beautiful they look. Although I am not really a biker but I have always been fascinated with bikes; to me they depict an ultimate sense of freedom, free spirit and adventure. Having had various cars over the years, it was quite a surprise to many when they saw me riding a bike! Almost every day I used to get excited by browsing various websites of custom vintage motorcycles. I used to fight internally with my own conscience that “Should I have one or not?”… In hast one year this passion reached its pinnacle and my dream to own a classic motorcycle ultimately defeated by conscience. Stage 1: Sourcing a Motorcycle Which motorcycle to buy? This question haunted me when I made my mind to own a classic motorcycle. With a bit of research on internet and local buy/sell portals I decided that the best motorcycle for me would be a Triumph Tiger 100. Although initially I was skeptical about its engine size as I targeted to limit myself to a maximum of 300 cc engine capacity. After a desperate search I settled for a Triumph Tiger 100 (T100-S) number H67123. It was built on Sept 7, 1968 and dispatched to Universal Engineering Karachi, Pakistan on Sept 18, 1968. It is a 500cc twin cylinder motorcycle. The original color was Lincoln green and white Silver with black frame and forks. Stage 2: Selecting a workshop/mechanic The desire was to build a café racer which is one of its kind in Pakistan. The project bike I bought was in its pseudo original shape. There was a huge amount of oil leakage from the engine and that used to upset me a lot. Once I bought the bike, my next target was to find and locate a credible workshop/mechanic. I took references from many of my friends and identified an elderly fellow who was relatively close to my residence. In my first meeting with him I was able to judge that he is technically average but an honest man. So the two of us teamed up to work towards building my dream café racer. Stage 3: Sourcing parts and accessories Small engine Japanese motorcycles are extremely famous in Pakistan and therefore it was not possible to source out parts locally. There is a small fraternity of vintage motorcycles in Pakistan but most of the times they are exchanging old parts amongst each other. When we started stripping of the engine, we encountered a lot of latent surprises. My background of engineering helped me a lot and I was quickly in a position to decide whether to replace the part or to go for repairs. I had to replace majority of the important parts including clutch plates, carburetor, gear box casing, valves, valve guides, springs etc. All of these parts had to be bought online from UK. For the café racer parts I experimented through amazon. This was good fun as I purchased the smallest of the accessory from amazon directly. It has cost me an arm and leg to get all these parts from around the world as most of the suppliers don’t ship to Pakistan and sometimes I had to re-route the shipments to various location which increased my shipping cost manifolds. There is a practice in Pakistan of having developed counterfeit or copied parts and accessories of vintage motorcycles but I didn’t want to fall in that trap. I am of the firm opinion that the finesse can never be acquired through this process therefore without an iota of doubt I went for the original ones. Stage 4: Putting it all together As my first ever experience with a motorcycle I didn’t know where to start. I had a vague image in my mind that how it should look like but struggled badly in how to go about it. So it was a classic case of trial and error. I didn’t want to consult any other experienced vintage bike owner because what I wanted to create was something totally on my own without any external influence on my original thought. I changed the paint theme twice from matt black and copper combination to metallic black and red. The engine was overhauled as most of the parts in it were either worn out or not functioning properly. The oil leakage and dripping was the toughest challenge for me but with the help of my mechanic we were able to overcome it to almost 99%. Stage 5: Completion In almost 5 months the Retro Tiger Project was complete and the motorcycle was on the streets. With its exquisite look and sound, it immediately caught attention of a lot of professional photographers, video makers and motorcycle enthusiast. I remember riding a friend’s motorcycle almost 20 years back which was a two stroke 100 cc Kawasaki. It was a challenge to be able to ride properly a British vintage motorcycle and that too after such a long time. I take this bike around almost once or twice a week and enjoy the experience while riding it. It’s in a perfect condition as lot of hard work and money has been put in to build it. The engine specifications are the same as of 1968 Tiger 100. Whenever I look at this machine I see one of my dreams coming to reality. With this experience I feel more confident to take on more challenges in life. I dedicate this project to the people of Pakistan who have tremendous potential to excel and hope that very soon the dark clouds of war and terror shall fade away from our homeland. ,

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Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik

Member Since 10 Apr, 2013



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