Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Rare Hurricane is final Triumph for Grampian Transport Museum curator

Mike Ward with the GTM latest addition for the season, the rare Triumph Hurricane.
Mike Ward with the GTM latest addition for the season, the rare Triumph Hurricane.

Grampian Transport Museum (GTM) finally welcomes the dream machine Triumph Hurricane to the floor as Mike Ward finishes up his final year as curator.

After 37 years at the helm of GTM, motorcycle lover Mike Ward made sure to see out his last season before retirement with a rare Triumph Hurricane gracing the display alongside the other classic bikes – including an even rarer Triumph Bandit.

Mike said: “With 2021 being my last season at GTM, I was determined to have a Hurricane in this year’s exhibition.

I remember rushing out with my first pay cheque and buying one of the last Triumph Trident T160’s – a dream come true

“They are extremely rare, very valuable and much sought-after, but they’re not being used on the roads and to find one was difficult.”

Mike on the Cafe Racer c. 1974.

Mike employed the help of the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club, before Scottish-based club member David Currie, from Irvine, rode to the rescue and offered to loan his rare motorcycle to the museum.

Mike’s love affair with Triumph motorcycles began in the early 70s when he was at Lincoln College of Art studying museum conservatorship. As an 18-year-old student, he was the proud owner of a 350cc Triumph 3TA “café racer” complete with clip-on handlebars.

Isle of man Triumph programme c.1975.

BSA / Triumph had just swept to success with their 750cc triple production bikes, the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3, with the most famous Trident, “Slippery Sam” – so called after springing major oil leaks in an early race – winning five consecutive production 750cc class TT races at the Isle of Man from 1971-75.

The Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 was made by Triumph Engineering and BSA (both part of the Birmingham Small Arms Company) from 1968-75. The high-performance bike was technically advanced, bringing a fresh face to street bikes and marking the start of the superbikes era.

The Hurricane has remained a rarity and one of Britain’s most exciting motorcycles of the 1970’s.

Mike said: “That was the golden era of the Triumph Triple just ahead of the Japanese multi-cylinder tsunami which swept the British motorcycle industry aside. Every young enthusiast coveted one, and as soon as I graduated and found employment in 1976, I remember rushing out with my first pay cheque and buying one of the last Triumph Trident T160’s – a dream come true!”

Mike’s T160, Slippery Sam, which went on to win a show in Inverness-shire only four years ago under a new owner.

However, with Japanese superbikes hot on their heels, BSA decided a revamp was on the cards. The company sent one of their Rockets over to American fairing creator Craig Vetter to boost the showroom appeal of their Triples.

Vetter employed a sweeping fibreglass combined fuel tank/seat and extended front forks giving it the now-vintage “Easy Rider” look. With its stunning paint job and outlandish triple exhaust, the bike stood head and shoulders above the standard BSA range and, winning popular public appeal, the X75 Hurricane was badged as a Triumph motorcycle.

Winter biking: Mike and a friend’s T160s: “We used to use bikes all year round.”

Norton Villiers Triumph (1973-78) was liquidated in 1978 and in the end only 1,172 Hurricanes were built. Since then, the Hurricane has remained a rarity and one of Britain’s most exciting motorcycles of the 1970’s.

“The Triumph Hurricane has such an amazing story attached to it, said Mike. “It’s a really colourful and cheerful machine – and everyone needs cheering up just now, don’t they?”

The Hurricane will sit with the dedicated British Motorcycle Charitable Trust (BMCT) display for just this season.

  • GTM is open Thursday-Tuesday with plans to resume seven day weeks in summer, tel: 01975 562292. To book tickets go to gtm.org.uk
Mandy Ward on the 1976 T160, Mike’s first pay-cheque motorcycle and “a dream come true”.

Chasing the dream: Street rod creator’s work on show at Grampian Transport Museum

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]