Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1970-1975 Triumph Slippery Sam

Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1970-1975 Triumph Slippery Sam

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Featured In the March 2021 issue of Roadracing World:   

         In the late 1960s, production or stock road race classes were gaining popularity but as support races to the established Grand Prix classes. When BSA, Honda, Norton, and Triumph launched 750cc streetbikes, racing in the production class would help sales. 

        Honda had a race kit for the CB750 (See the July 2015 issue of Roadracing World, Historic Racebike Illustrations) and Norton had a ready-to-race Norvil production racer (See the March 2014 issue of Roadracing World, Historic Racebike Illustrations). 

        In 1968, BSA launched the three-cylinder Rocket 3 and Triumph launched its version, the T150 Trident. Both models were more powerful than the company’s Twins, but weighed a lot more. In 1970, both BSA and Triumph started race-prepping stock bikes in their experimental/ race departments. Initial reactions to the factory T-150 racer were not very encouraging with complaints about the bike being too heavy, the engine cases dragging on the ground during cornering, and poor brake performance. But experimental department staffer Les Williams saw the benefit of the class and with Doug Hele’s help, started to develop the T-150…

 

—Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1970-1975 Triumph Slippery Sam, by Mick Ofield

 

Oil on the tires puts most racebikes onto the ground or into the dumpster. But an ill-located breather hose on this machine gave it the nickname “Slippery Sam,” and a five-year winning streak at the Isle of Man TT gave it legendary status. Explore the evolution of this amazing machineit’s in the latest issue of Roadracing World!

 

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