Dave Kendrick’s 1969 Triumph Tiger TR6R


I bought this 1969 Tiger TR6R in June of 1970 from a teacher at the old Leicester Junior College. It had about a thousand miles and it was very clean. I was very excited because this was my first bike. And I was very nervous because I had only ridden a friend's bike in his driveway.

For my first real ride, I was going to have to take this bike home to Millbury, a distance of about 15 miles. The other thing I was nervous about was that I hadn't told my folks about it. I knew my mom wasn't thrilled with bikes. My plan was to hide it at my brother's apartment. Well, I don't remember the ride so it must have gone OK. I rode a lot that summer, with friends around town and down to the Cape. Sometime in July, my mother said to me, "When are you going to bring the bike home?" She never told me how she found out but mothers do have their ways, don't they? Anyway, she never hassled me about it, God bless her.

When you've had a bike this long, there are bound to be stories to tell. One of my Cape trips was with a friend who had a chopped BSA. His clutch cable broke and we couldn't find a replacement or get it fixed. So we hitched up a rope between the bikes and I towed him back home. Got a lot of funny looks.

Another story is one I've told before in our newsletter a while back but I'll repeat it. A girl I was going with had never driven a bike. We were out on a straight country road with little traffic so I told her to reach around me and take the handle bars. Now I'm leaning forward with my face right over the gauges. She takes the bike up to 70mph before I can grab the bars away from her and pull over to the side. I ask her if she knows how fast she was going. She points to the tach and says, "40?" We lived to tell about it.

Last story: the only time I dropped this bike was one time when I was trying to start it. That was embarrassing. It's been a good bike over the years. Mechanically, the only problem was when it ran out of oil once. I'd gotten out of the habit of checking the oil because it had never lost any up until that time. The red light started coming on and staying on. I checked out all the electrics but could find nothing wrong. It seized up shortly after that. I later found out that on their '69 bikes, Triumph had added an oil pressure sensor and had wired it into the red light circuit. But they neglected to update the owners manual. Ouch! I learned how to rebuild that motor in the kitchen of my apartment the following winter. Turned out to be a good experience, I think.

That's enough. Time to go riding.

Dave Kendrick