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#893237 10/15/22 3:20 am
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Here's an article from the September 1970 issue of "Cycle World". Maybe some of you knew this, but I didn't, that this design was originally conceived for the BSA Rocket Three. I also did not know that the designer was Craig Vetter.

In the article, there was no mention of the name "Hurricane" or of the fact that this design was commissioned for a Triumph-tagged bike, as the article predates the production of the Hurricane.
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Yep, the "Vetter Three" was originally going to be a BSA, and "Hurricane" fits in with BSA's aircraft-derived model names.

At least some of the early machines had V75V engine numbers, and the engines and frames are modified Rocket 3 items.

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Thanks L.A.B. for the link, that article fills in some of the blanks. I probably won't go on to read the 9000-word "Hurricane Dialogue", as I'm an admitted example of a "latter-day attention span".


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I do remember seeing the X75 in magazines with the BSA logo on the tank. Of course, by the time they went into production BSA was no longer in business.
Another case of too little too late.


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Years ago we had a member. I think his name was Tom ( Fyfe?) who had a BSA badged Vetter bike. Sold it here on the board for $7000 and that was a LOT for that bike back then.

He was a very interesting gentleman......well connected with one of the California BSA owners clubs and maybe someone here remembers him? Collected A65s........a garage full.

He told me of meeting Vetter at his house.....don't remember the details but Vetter had a mocked up triple (no engine) hanging from the rafters of a vaulted ceiling......Tom said Vetter considered it his "Earthquake detector.

I ended up with a lot of stuff from Tom........even a hand full of personal photos I need to dig out and look over again. When I met him he was loosing his eyesight and was having to get out of the hobby.

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In October of 1969 three of us used my truck to take a 360 Honda down to Vetter's shop in Rantoul, Illinois, to have a Vetter "Phantom" fairing installed.
It was on a Saturday, and at that time, Vetter's shop was a four-car garage building, and Craig Vetter himself did the installation.

In a dusty corner sat a new, stock, BSA three-cylinder, with several pencil sketches piled on it's seat. Thus was the beginnings of the "Hurricane."
And from out of that small shop came the "Vetter empire." Yet in the 1990s, when Craig Vetter was the guest speaker at our Wauseon, Ohio AMCA meet,
he was still the same, plain, outspoken, regular guy he was in that garage in 1969.

And when I approached him, he still remembered the three of us, that blue truck, and installing the fairing on that Honda.

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One of the things that I never understood about the BSA/Triumph triples was that BSA had the canted engine seen in later t160’s
Yet the T150 had vertical.

Typical of the relationship between the two yet needing a ton of different parts.

I love the Hurricane look, regardless of the badge

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Originally Posted by AngloBike
One of the things that I never understood about the BSA/Triumph triples was that BSA had the canted engine seen in later t160’s
Yet the T150 had vertical.

Typical of the relationship between the two yet needing a ton of different parts.

I love the Hurricane look, regardless of the badge

They spent a couple of weeks building T150 engines, then changed loads of tools, settings and parts to spend a couple of weeks building Rocket 3 engines with different crankcase castings.

The BSA and Triumph versions of the triple had different frames, too.


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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Years ago we had a member. I think his name was Tom ( Fyfe?) who had a BSA badged Vetter bike. Sold it here on the board for $7000 and that was a LOT for that bike back then.
That would tend to contradict Cycle World's claim that the design was rejected by BSA and never went into production.

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
He was a very interesting gentleman......well connected with one of the California BSA owners clubs and maybe someone here remembers him? Collected A65s........a garage full.

I didn't know all that about Tom, but when he was a member here, he sold me a complete 3-bolt clutch "for a song".


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Originally Posted by Mark Z
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Years ago we had a member. I think his name was Tom ( Fyfe?) who had a BSA badged Vetter bike. Sold it here on the board for $7000 and that was a LOT for that bike back then.
That would tend to contradict Cycle World's claim that the design was rejected by BSA and never went into production.

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
He was a very interesting gentleman......well connected with one of the California BSA owners clubs and maybe someone here remembers him? Collected A65s........a garage full.

I didn't know all that about Tom, but when he was a member here, he sold me a complete 3-bolt clutch "for a song".

Mark......I'm going on memory and that really can't be trusted.

There was a story that went with the bike and Vetter was involved.....that's why Tom was at his house. I don't think it was a production bike. But I could be remembering it wrong and it was more like " This is really a BSA but is badged a Triumph" I do remember when he put it up for sale.....it didn't last a day.

I tried looking for the folder with those photos but so far I've come up empty. I did find a group of other photos he sent me......but they aren't the ones I was looking for. I'm still looking......the missing photos are with a newspaper clipping of a fellow who hoarded Vincents? because his son died on one......there was a photo of a storage building with Vincents? ( it was Vincents or Broughs) packed inside. It's around here somewhere.

So far the only interesting photo I found is of his all chromed A65

That was a long time ago........and I was hoping the photos would help clear up my memory.

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I have an idea that Craig wound up with the prototype.
Tridentman and Stuart have encyclopaedic knowledge of the triples, but they may not frequent this particular forum very often.

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The book with the facts in it is
"A Hurricane Called Vetta"
Long out of print but copies do turn up from time to time
From memory Brad covered the Vetter 3 in his book "From the Inside" about the R & D set up in Umberslade Hall which is still in print
I am yet to find an authorative article about the history & developement of a model in any glossy monthy
Most contain a lot of myth & psuedo facts that have been bouncing around the web for decades
Which when you consider the journos have to pump out 5000 words a month in less tiime than MM takes to check a single one of his posts is no surprise .
When I was part of a consortium of motorcycle enthusiasts trying the buy Classic Australia ( long since defunct ) from the publisher, the reason why most of their articles were so bland became very apparent
The editor Jerromy ( can not remember his last name right now ) put out Which Bike, Classic Australia & another bike mag ( cant remember that right now either ) on top of that he also put out a rugby magazine in winter & a surfing mag in summer .
He had a full time staff of 2 to do sll that and shared the 4 person art department with the 27 other titles they published . He also considered the biggest selling point was the soft porn ( big brested woman hanging all over bikes scantily clothed ) and was not overley concerned with accuracy.
That explained why he rejected just about every article I wrote & printed a lot of trash with bresty photos.
That was the last day ever believed what was printed in the motorcycle press unless I could independently verrify it.
When EMAP took them over a decade or so lattr we made another attemp to then resurect Classic Australia but EMAP wanted an obscene amount of money for the then defunct masthead . On top of that they reduced the number of staff & increased the number titles published so I seriousy doubt that the editores actually had enough time to read any of the submitted articles let alone do a fact check .


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That's kind of like how "CYCLE WORD" magazine in the USA ended up in it's final years. The articles were weak in content, the pages were fewer in number, and subscription price just went higher and higher. CYCLE WORLD finally lost so many subscribers they dropped the subscription price to about 25 percent of list price in a futile attempt to retain old subscribers. Even THAT didn't do it.

The main purpose of magazines is to sell magazines, but especially to sell advertising space. Showy photos (and lots of them) help in the "sell."
The articles are just "filler" to get the consumer to buy the,magazine. The articles need not be accurate, just readable and eye-catching.

This is why nobody restoring a bike should rely on magazine articles showing somebody else's "restorations" as correct references.

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I couldn't agree more with everything you're saying about bike magazines, but isn't this a bit off-topic? My thread started with an article from 1970, when bike magazines like Cycle World actually road and/or track tested the bikes they reported on and published specifications and test results. There's no such thing as complete objectivity, but deficiencies and dislikes were routinely reported on along with accolades.

Back to the matter at hand, the photo in the article more or less proves that at least one BSA-tagged Hurricane was built. The existence of a prototype is likely, and it would explain how Tom Fyfe reportedly exacted a $7K price for it way back then.


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I would not be surprised if Vetter still has a prototype or a mockup in his garage in Carmel. On some local sightings, he has been seen with an other bizarre mock up creation for aerodynamic attempts. The last I saw on the road was a cardboard creation, ugly but testing is often not pretty! He was a visionary “back in the day”. Don’t think his contribution helped much to save the industry though, as it was too far along in the death spiral! Interesting times.


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I have a photo of Tom's bike somewhere.....I'm still looking.

The bike he said was hanging from the rafters in Vetter's home was complete.......but no engine internals.

The more I look at the two photos.......the more I'm sure Tom's bike was badged as a BSA.

At one point Tom was sending me all kinds of obscure personal photos......I have several of him and his wife. Some of his son and a few of bikes he'd owned over the years.

One of the photos I know I had at one time (so they must still be here) shows his garage FULL of A65s I'm going to guess 10-15....all runners. He told me a story about a realtor trying to sell the house across the street and would ask him to not bring his bikes out because it looked like a bike gang lived there. Another story about taking the A65's down to the local gas station to keep a little gas in all of them. He'd ride a red one down there and someone would comment on how nice it was.......but by the time the customer came out......Tom would standing there fueling a different color bike and it'd cause a little confusion.

Sorry Mark..........I'm reliving some of my past.

I'm 99.9% sure Tom's bike was badged a BSA........just like the photo posted above this post.

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Originally Posted by Mark Z
I couldn't agree more with everything you're saying about bike magazines, but isn't this a bit off-topic? My thread started with an article from 1970, when bike magazines like Cycle World actually road and/or track tested the bikes they reported on and published specifications and test results. There's no such thing as complete objectivity, but deficiencies and dislikes were routinely reported on along with accolades.

Back to the matter at hand, the photo in the article more or less proves that at least one BSA-tagged Hurricane was built. The existence of a prototype is likely, and it would explain how Tom Fyfe reportedly exacted a $7K price for it way back then.

Bike mags from the 70's were still bike mags and even back then they were full of tosh all that varied was the volume of it .
Remember stories about the "Poxy Pot Metal Carbs" originated in the motorcycle magazines
and "BSA's tooling was so old the calibration marks had worn off the handles " another bike magazine gem .
And while Cycle World may have been a better one it still had to be a profit making enterprise and the bulk of the content was factory PR at best edited slightly .
Then when it came to interviews, they all had to be run past the legal dept just in case there may have been the possability of a law suit and all of them needed to get pre-production models for testing & evaluations so no one was really willing to print the whole truth least they fall out of favour & become last on the press bike list .
As to weather they really did all of the tests they claimed to have done, I am not totally sure as again most printed the exact same photos and these were the ones that came with the press kits distributed to all publishers , then rehashed 30 years latter & printed as Roy Bacons "authorative" histories about every thing that moved .

For a while there was a Vetter style kit available for the OIF A 65's and if I could get my hands upon one it would encourage me to drag the 73 A65L ( reworked 71 ) out of the shed & finally fix it .
And if the link to the web article is correct you can still buy the actual history ( Hurricane named Vetter ) directly from Craig which I might do as my copy is falling apart .


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I may be wrong about this but, maybe, the prototype is in the AMA museum in Ohio? I was a BSA guy back then and had one of the first Rockets here in NJ so it was hard not to notice the Hurricane sitting unsold at the M/C shop. It was one of those 'instant classics' like the Harley Cafe Racer and Honda GB 500. Unloved in their day but now sought after. PRT

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Back in the 90's, when the rally was bigger, the show at BIBR included a class for triples. It didn't matter how nice your Trident or Rocket 3 was, the X75 was gonna take the trophy.
I haven't seen one in years. Maybe they followed all the T160s back to Blighty?


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Hurricanes have previously gathered at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I have seen a Hurricane circulate at speed around Cadwell, there was a lot of graunching and grinding on some of the corners.

For styling, the Hurricane really needed another three silencers on the other side.

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The best thing to do with Hurricane exhausts is to remove them and wrap them up carefully. Then fit a 3 into 1 to stop it lifting the rear wheel on right handers
BTW the only thing triumph on a Hurricane is the sticker on the tank, even the background to the engine number is stamped BSA


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It has probably been mentioned by now but this hard to find book is worth a look.

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As a result of NYBSAGUY and I having a Hurricane in 'The Art of the Motorcycle' at the Guggenheim (we also had one in Brisbane), Craig and I spoke at several venues over the next several years and became good friends. As well as speaking frequently on the phone, his now-late father lived in a town fairly near me so for a number of years we would have dinner together on his annual trip to visit him.

Craig also sponsored several motorcycle runs whose purpose was to develop bikes of maximum efficiency. One rather odd project was when he was commissioned to design a retro motor scooter based on a Harley engine. It looked like a 50% larger Cushman.

As can be seen from the following two photographs from the Guggenheim catalog, Craig's X-75 looked exactly like the Rocket 3 it was based on, except where it differed...

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

These two machines are excellent examples showing the importance of the designer, since Craig and Ogle Design took the same motorcycle and created designs that are so completely different.

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