A rare Triumph X75 Hurricane

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The Triumph X75 Hurricane is a rare motorcycle, only 1,152 were built for the 1973 model year, and they all feature the styling of American motorcycle design legend Craig Vetter.

The project to build the X75 Hurricane was undertaken in the United States, not Britain, and it was originally intended to be a BSA model – before BSA went bankrupt.

Quick Facts – The Triumph X75 Hurricane

  • The Triumph X75 Hurricane was released as a 1973 model, only 1,152 were built and today they are among the most collected British motorcycles of the era.
  • The project was launched by the vice-president of the American distributor of BSA, Don Brown. He commissioned American motorcycle designer Craig Vetter to take the somewhat boring looking BSA Rocket 3 and make it “sleeker and more balanced”.
  • Vetter designed a single body piece that ran from the front tip of the fuel tank under the seat to the rear grab bar.
  • The styling was criticized by BSA/Triumph executives in Britain, but when it was featured in Cycle World Magazine the American public loved it, based on this reaction it was put into production .

Craig Vetter and the Hurricane

Craig Vetter is an American motorcycle designer whose name should be much better known, he was instrumental in the creation of modern motorcycle fairings and he devoted much of his life to advancing both aerodynamics and fuel economy.

Description of the imageThe 740cc air and oil cooled inline three cylinder engine was developed to move Triumph past the vibration prone parallel twins with their 360º cranks.

Early in his career he was approached by the VP of US distributor BSA/Triumph with a usual job offer – he was asked to take the somewhat stuffy looking BSA Rocket 3 and return it. cool.

Vetter created a new one-piece body that extended from the front tip of the fuel tank to the rear of the seat. Its clean and slender lines have won it a following worldwide, especially in its target market, the United States.

The disappearance of BSA

Although the model was intended to be released as the BSA X75 Hurricane based on the BSA Rocket 3, plans had to be abruptly changed when BSA went bankrupt.

Demand for the model was such that Triumph resumed production, and it was launched as the Triumph X75 Hurricane instead.

The arrival of the Triumph X75 Hurricane

Vetter originally unveiled his design in 1969, US distributor executives loved it, BSA’s old guard didn’t like it at all, but they were overwhelmingly outvoted by an impatient American public.

Triumph X75 Hurricane 7

Description of the imageThe beautiful bodywork created by Craig Vetter created a single line of bodywork running from the fuel tank under the seat to the rear of the bike.

Sadly, BSA was on the verge of bankruptcy, largely due to earlier bad decisions made by the same old guard who hadn’t liked the Vetter Hurricane.

The bike was put into production in 1972 for the 1973 model year as a limited production run of 1,200 units planned. In the end, only 1,152 examples were built. Today they are considered collector’s items, but it’s important to make sure you get an original – many replicas have been made over the years.

Triumph X75 Hurricane – Specifications

Vetter had based his design of the Hurricane on the BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident motorcycle. It was an air-cooled inline three-cylinder motorcycle with a displacement of 740 cc that produced 58 bhp at 7,500 rpm.

Early versions of the model had a 4-speed gearbox (unit construction), later models received a more modern 5-speed transmission. All models had a tubular steel duplex cradle frame, with standard telescopic forks up front and twin shocks in the rear with a tubular steel swingarm.

The standard factory design of the BSA Rocket 3 and the Triumph Trident was very similar. It was closely based on earlier designs and lacked the revolutionary new look that American distributors had been hoping for.

Triumph X75 Hurricane 5

Description of the imageThe engine is fed by triple Amal carburettors, it exhales into triple manifolds which each feed their own muffler.

This disappointment is what led them to approach Vetter, setting the wheels in motion for the creation of the X75 Hurricane.

The Triumph X75 Hurricane shown here

The bike you see here is a 1973 model year Triumph X75 Hurricane, as they all were, and it benefits from an older restoration. It was first recorded in the UK in 2019 and it is an example of matching numbers.

Since its restoration, this bike has been largely kept off the road, it only shows 15 miles on the odometer, and it should be noted that it may require a re-commissioning before being used on the road .

If you want to know more or register to bid, you can click here to visit the list. It is due to clear the auction block with Silverstone Auctions on May 14 and the price guide is £20,000-£25,000, which equates to $26,400-$33,000 USD.

Triumph X75 Hurricane
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Triumph X75 Hurricane 3
Triumph X75 Hurricane 2

Images courtesy of Silverstone Auctions

Triumph X75 Hurricane 1

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