Meriden’s best

Having just picked up the latest OBM, I was somewhat taken aback to see what I thought was a picture of my first ‘big bike’ on page 6.

My Tiger (where are you now WGH 882M?) served me well, and for a short while mine even had crash-bars as per the bike shown in The Highway Code.

After that, as well as road work, it was also used for anything and everything – from exploring green lanes (with, of course, the obligatory Trials Universal on the back) as well as many hill climbs and sprints – with the addition of a twin carb head and Spitfire cams. Ah, memories.


The attached pic is of me and my Tiger/Bonneville at a rather chilly Hartland Quay in March 1980.

Also, a shot of the bike circa 1975 (a year or so after I bought it, new, from Elite Motors, Tooting) complete with Dunstall exhaust system (the original pipes and silencers shook themselves to pieces remarkably quickly). 

The Dunstall system was a great improvement, adding considerably more mid-range power.


I actually bought a second engine, a TR6P, in around 1979 for £150 – try doing that these days! – which I rebuilt with Spitfire profile cams and a twin carb head.

I used to fit that engine to the bike for hill climb use and put the standard engine back in for green lanes. If my memory is correct, I could swap engines in about an hour. Great days.

Peter Cowlan


Read more Letters, Opinion, Reviews, News and Views in the March 2019 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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