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GLR99

Triumph 3HW

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I've got a Triumph which is a Tiger 80 look alike with a 1938 model frame (39866) and a 3HW engine (46708). It was registered in Italy in 1950 stating 1938 as the year of manufacture (I see from the Orchard & Madden book that it was assembled under an April 1943 contract) but I was wondering if there was any history that any of the learned members of this forum could provide?

 

Is there anything I should be looking for / wary of?

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

Gareth

Bike 20.jpg

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Have you confirmed your frame as Tiger 80? I've never seen one with a centre stand. What is the complete frame number and where is it located (a picture would help). Your forks are not made by Triumph. They are the Web forks that were fitted to 3HW's. I'm also curious about your front hub with that speedo drive. A Tiger 80 and 3HW would have had and angle drive through the 'steel' brake plate. Strange headlamp also. I'm not trying to piss on your firework, I just assumed you want some info. Ron

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Thanks for the prompt reply Ron and don't worry about offending me - I'll always bow to the facts.

 

I'm guessing the front end has had a bump because, as you say, the forks are different, as is the front hub and the wheels have alloy rims which I wouldn't expect someone to fit unless they had to make a change for one reason or another. That might also explain the different (but very good) headlight and the speedo drive. I found out today that the speedo drive is not original when I tried to get a replacement cable !

 

The frame number is stamped on the LHS of the gusset plate welded behind the headstock and simply says 39866. I'll try and post a picture. The centre stand was definitely an after market addition because it is great (!) but hard to find with your foot sometimes.

 

Thanks again for your help guys.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Gareth

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Well a 3HW would have it's frame number on the left side headstock and would be prefixed TL. The earlier bikes would have had their frame number stamped around the front edge where the top steering stem bearing is located, like on my 3SW here. There is often a date on the top lug of the saddle tube which is prefixed TEC (Triumph Engineering Co). I'm fairly sure a Tiger 80 would also have it's frame number in this location and be prefixed TL. But I would have to check to be certain. Ron

3SW 004.jpg

5SW 018.jpg

Edited by Ron

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Nice photo and clearly a triumph stamp from Sept 44 ..At this stage of the war most production was military . The bike looks as if it's had a series of post war rebuilds and I anticipate other than the frame engine and tank are civilian parts ..lots of bikes were civilised after the war and I have seen a number of these bikes based on wartime frames...

If you could send a series of photos of the stamps on the bike and engine we can probably unpick some of its history

 

Jenkinov

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Gareth .As you have highlighted your frame number is consistent with contract number s2114 from Sept 1943. If correct you should find a 43 stamp on your seat post ...prefixed by 09 to 12 . Triumph engine builders were prolific in their stamps so the contract number is likely to feature on the engine .

The petrol tank on 3hw s had a rear corner cut short to allow for an air pipe . A photo from above and underneath would help...military frames were fitted with field stands 3sw had a welded fitting on the frames left under the seat ..on 3hws this was bolted on but the mounting point for theretaining clips on the leg to the rear are likely to be there ...again photos of these areas would help.

 

Jenkinov

 

P.S. a great looking bike...

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It's the other way round Jenk! The 3 and 5SW's had a bolt on field stand (I guess just a carry on from the civy frame). I don't know when they started to weld the spigot on? But certainly for the 3HW. But all appear to have the lug for the field stand clip welded on. Here is a 3SW, 3HW and a 5SW. Also a pic of the fluted cut out for the Vokes filter tube. Ron

 

PS click to enlarge I think.

3SW 103.jpg

3SW 105.jpg

5SW 150.jpg

3HW 077.jpg

Edited by Ron

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Thanks guys, you've posed a lot of questions ! I'll try to answer them;

 

Frame number and location

The only stamping I can find on the frame is on the left hand side of the headstock (see photo). Sorry for the earlier error - I was talking about the frame number on my L2/1. I've attached some photos of the top of the headstock which does not appear to have any markings - I'm reluctant to scrape off the paint to check further. I've also attached some photos from under the seat and again it doesn't appear that there are any numbers stamped there either.

 

What is interesting is that the area where the frame number is was scraped clean by the seller and it shows that under the class black enamel paint there is a beige (sand colour?) primer.

 

 

Petrol tank cut short ?

I don't think the tank is the shortened variety but have a look at the photos.

 

Field stand lug

It doesn't look like there is a field stand lug welded onto the frame

 

Engine

Finally, here's a photo of the engine stamping

 

I appreciate your help in sorting out the history of my lovely Tina.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Gareth

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Is there definitely no TL prefix to your frame number? Ron

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Hi Ron,

 

I've scraped a bit more paint off the frame and cannot find a TL stamp on the headstock. Hope that helps....

 

Cheers,

 

 

Gareth

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Gareth . The engine is clearly a wartime 3 h w but the frame appears to have none of the tell tales that you would expect . I have checked the triumph wd register and all the military frames from 38 onwards have a TL prefix ..the date is also commonly found on the frame as a TEoxxx format and the frames also have 2 welded points for the field stand .. I think I would explore civilian triumph models to see if I could find matching characteristics .

The national motorcycle museum has a good range of Triumphs if you are near it. Potentially you have a civilian frame that has been refitted with a 3hw engine it's a great engine and I have seen quite a few bikes both military and civilian fitted with these because of their performance

 

My spare 3sw engine came from a bike that had been upgraded to this faster engine..

 

Jenkinov

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Thanks Jenkinov,

 

That appears to be the case because the registration documents (from 1950) show it to be a 1938 bike. Obviously the owner would have wanted to show it as a 1943 bike i.e. the age of the engine, but the authorities must have forced him to use the age of the frame (as there is only a frame number shown on the Italian documents) to date the bike. So instead of having a 7 year old Triumph, he was forced to have a 12 year old bike.

 

I've looked everywhere for other stamps on the frame but found nothing. I live 10 miles from the NMM and will be down there next Saturday for their open day and will take your advice and have a look then.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

Best regards

 

 

Gareth

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Gareth I'm fairly convinced that you Frame is 3HW. The front lugs on the rear part of the frame are WD and the frame stamping is in the correct location for a 3HW. The earlier bikes all had their frame number around the top bearing housing and sometimes also on the top of the saddle tube. The build date for TL 39866 was around Oct 44 and would have been issued with census number C5272916. I'm sure I can see a 4 on your top saddle tube lug. Which would be part of the TEC Date (Triumph Engineering Company) **.44.

 

I think you would have to properly sand off some paint to expose it ad the TL on the headstock which I'll bet is there. Ron

Edited by Ron

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PS. Here is an example. The lower front frame rails on my 3SW and 3HW are basically just shaped and squashed tubes. The earlier pre war models had a steel casting brazed into the lower rails. Also here is my 3SW frame number, repeated on the saddle tube lug.

 

Sometimes the detective work can be fascinating. Ron

3SW 107.jpg

3SW 109.jpg

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Thanks Ron,

 

The lower frame tubes are definitely "squashed". Sometime this winter I'll take the tank and handlebars off and see if I can scrape away enough paint to see the numbers.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Gareth

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