Catching Freedom: Serge’s 1973 Triumph Tiger 750

DaveM

Rock & Roll
Premium Member
Administrator
Local time
Today, 01:20
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
52,389
Points
1,327
First Name
Dave
My Ride
Speedmaster
Catching Freedom: Serge’s 1973 Triumph Tiger 750

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

A British Tiger, German Friends, and One French Beach…

We love motorcycles themselves — the sight, sound, speed, sensation, even the smell — but if we had to pick one thing that makes this two-wheeled contraption truly special, it’s the greater family it’s created. It’s the people.

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

Across borders, languages, and generations, riders share a special bond with their bikes, with other riders, and with this marvelous, dangerous, freedom-making machine. At BikeBound, it’s in the name itself — we are bound to the bike, and to one another through it. So today’s story is especially poignant, as it shows how powerful the motorcycle community can be when we surround one of our own.

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

On July 11, 2020, France’s Serge Reveneau (@sand_rocks_makers) was riding near his workshop, checking the latest carb adjustments on one of his builds, when a driver made an illegal U-turn in front of him.

“I took his 4×4 hood head-on between the two middle lanes of the road…I’m so lucky the car behind me was an ambulance!”

https://www.instagram.com/sand_rocks_makers/

Surgeons spent 10 hours working (successfully) to save his leg and arm. Serge spent 19 days in a coma, followed by five months in a physiotherapy center, with more surgeries to come. As anyone who’s been in a life-changing accident or undergone reconstructive surgery knows, the battle with pain, darkness, and despair is fierce, often testing your spirits to the very limit and beyond.

Fortunately, Serge has friends like Germany’s Kati Dalek (@kayadaek_photography) and her boyfriend, Basti. Not only is Kati one of the world’s best moto-photographers, she’s one of our favorite people in the entire motorcycling world — a true example of what makes our community great. She started an Instagram campaign (#staystrongserge) to rally the custom and flat track community around Serge’s recovery, and she and Basti came to visit Serge in the recovery center:

“Despite how far away they live, they didn’t rest! Kati and Basti came to see me at the physiotherapy center while they were in the Basque country, she sent me prints of my XL600R beach cruising shots, she connected me with so many motorcycle people who are part of the greater motorcycle family, who know who I am and sent me so many good vibes that I was not permitted to give up! So I did not and so I won’t!


Serge was determined not to give up riding, either. Fast forward to 2022, and Serge picked up the 1973 Triumph T140 TR7RV Tiger you see here — a bike with quite the history itself:

“The first owner was a woman who never had a car, and she was interviewed in a French magazine about her and her bike! After that, the Tiger had another owner who set it up as a scrambler but didn’t use it a lot. So I am the third owner and I give her the love she deserves!”
Triumph Tiger Scrambler Triumph Tiger Scrambler
More than two years after his accident, while still recovering from his injuries and preparing for another surgery, Serge got together with Kati and Basti on the same French beach where they’d shot together during Wheels & Waves 2018 and rode his “new” vintage T140 for the first time, sliding through the lens of Kati’s camera with a huge smile on his face. Truly, never has the name Triumph been so apt:

“That’s what is truly behind those shots that are really one thousand times more than only beach cruising shots…. It’s a big reward after the first battle in a war of all days for three friends to be able to share a sunset beach, riding an old bike that deserves a bite of life as much as its rider!”

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

Afterwards, still smiling, the friends sat back to have a hard-earned drink in front of the ocean. Says Serge:

“It’s for these kinds of moments that I think we all love motorcycles. It brings us a way of catching freedom as close as we can.”

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

Well said, Serge. Very well said. Next up, Serge plans to rebuild his SR500, to lend his personal touch to his British-born “Tigresse,” and then there that old Honda XL250 waiting in the back of the shop…

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

Serge, we’re damn glad you’re here with us, we look forward to seeing what you do with your Tiger, and we look forward to hoisting a beer the next time we make it your way for Wheels & Waves.

Below, Serge gives us the full story of his love for two wheels, his accident, and long journey back into the saddle. Also, a very special thanks goes out to Kati Dalek for bringing us this story, for the gorgeous photos, and for being such a ray of light for all of us in the greater motorcycle family.

Triumph T140 Tiger: In Serge’s Words…​


Triumph Tiger Scrambler

My name is Serge, I’m 31 years old, and I’ve always had a link with two-wheel toys. Since I was able to walk I’ve been on two wheels: cross country, enduro, MTB , BMX, and “lastly” motorcycles. In 2015 came my driving licence…my parents never wanted me to get a motorcycle as I’ve always wanted, and life made it late coming.

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to get a motorcycle and ride it. When I was young, we lived far away from town — we used to say more cows than humans there! All my friends had 50cc or 125cc cross bike — when I was with them, hiding from my parents, I used to ride their bikes and work on them!

The first one I worked on was the mythic French Peugeot 103sp that one of my best friends owned! It came out of his father’s garage, full of rust, and we ended up polishing the intakes to get more power! At its fastest, something like 100km/h! At 13 years old trust me you’ll have loved it! At my own house as a child, the only motors I was able to work on were the mowers! But that was also a good school!

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

Anyway my first motorcycle was a Yamaha SR400 FI…damn it worked well. It had the same chassis as the old ones, and true, it had the same engine. But why did I say “true”? Because it had fuel injection, not a carb! I’m joking, but at the beginning the problem was that I could only do aesthetic work, nothing with the motor except the basics.


Serge’s XLR ( @ted2wheels)

And that’s truly where the story begins with my Honda XL600R 1983 PD03. I bought one — or two, actually — to build the one! That’s when I really put my hands in the grease, in the deepest parts of the engine with the old ladies bleeding oil from everywhere. I learned motorcycle mechanics at this stage, metal shaping, fiberglass work, foam shaping, TIG welding, wiring, etc. — all the stuff you need to build a good rideable bike! One you can push to its limits everywhere! And that’s what I used to do in the Basque backcountry and what I did at Wheels and Waves 2017 Swank Rally! Full of mud at St Pée sur Nivelle!!

Serge Swank Rally Serge Swank Rally
My bike, my fully hand-painted helmet, always wearing my scarf, and fuuuullll of mud!! So much pleasure and also so heavy the mud!!

Serge Swank Rally

A couple months later on Instagram, that’s where Kati found me!! She said, “Hey you! You are the guy with the scarf, the hand-painted helmet, and the green Honda full of mud! Look at those shots I’ve got!” Haha nice shots she did of my Honda just out of the workshop, his rider clean, and two hours later both full of mud!


As I said, I used to push my bike always to its limits, and that’s exactly what I was doing while I was drone filming a sand beach cruising close to the waves! Kati saw that on Instagram and said, “Serge you need to show me this place!! We need to shoot!” I didn’t know her that well, but yeah truly if you wanna go to this prohibited place, then we will go! Next Wheels and Waves 2018 meets were held! She told me about a shoot she needed to do for a Yamaha project by Kingston Custom, and that it will be the occasion for do both! I said let’s go!

Serge Beach Ride

I had the luck to meet all of them on a good sunny day, perfect conditions to ride the beach! And that’s what I did while they were shooting their stuff! All of that was a super great moment and then we had to leave before having trouble with authorities! A while after this, Kati sent me the pics! Whoa, she was 100% on point! The pics were really cool — I was so happy! My own build at one of my “secret spots” — whoa, this moment was perfect!? That was the beginning of a good friendship with my two German friends Kati, and her boyfriend Basti!

Serge Beach Ride

Now the bad part begins…

While I was riding one of my builds on the 11th of July, 2020, checking the latest few carb adjustments close to my workshop on a perfect sunny day, an old man thought it was right to turn around on a 2×2 road just before a bridge despite he was in the outer lane of this damn road!

I wasn’t able to do anything better than what I did without visibility of what was coming in front of me. Anyway it was done — I took his 4×4 hood head-on between the two middle lanes of the road. I don’t know what I could have done better, and I’m so lucky the car behind me was an ambulance!

Today I am able to walk again, eat again, use my arms, etc. — just breathing and living. They worked on me for 10 hours straight. I owe my right leg and arm and more to the super surgeons who worked on me!

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

I was in a coma for 19 days, physiotherapy center for 5 months, and many other surgeries to come. Nowadays, I’m still doing 6 hours at least of physiotherapy a week. We can easily say that it was a huge crash that changed my life. Having one through that, I’m a very lucky man, as I’m now in one piece, in a quite functional body, and I have so many friends to support me and my family.

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

And Kati and Basti, despite how far away they live, didn’t rest! Kati and Basti came to see me at the physiotherapy center while they were in the Basque country, she sent me prints of those XL600R beach cruising shots, she connected me with so many motorcycle people who are part of the greater motorcycle family, who know who I am and sent me so many good vibes that I was not permitted to give up! So I did not and so I won’t! And that’s what is truly behind those shots that are really one thousand times more than only beach cruising shots!

Triumph Tiger Desert Sled

It’s a big reward after the first battle in a war of all days for three friends to be able to share a sunset beach riding an old bike that deserves to bite of life as much as its rider!

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

About her: “Mon p’tit tigresse,” “la tigresse,” and “Tigrou” are nicknames I frequently give her. A Triumph T140 TR7RV Tiger from 1973 built into a scrambler / desert tracker by her previous owner, but road legal, which I’ve just acquired.

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

The bike has a great long story. It was sold in France in 1973, and the first owner was a woman who never had a car, and she was interviewed in a French magazine about her and her bike!

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

After that, the Tiger had another owner who set it up as a scrambler but didn’t use it a lot. So I am the third owner and I give her the love she deserves!

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

And what is the target with this bike is to have a bike from the 70’s built in this period style for both on road and off road, a bike built to have fun everywhere you go!

Triumph Tiger Scrambler Triumph Tiger Scrambler Triumph Tiger Scrambler Triumph Tiger Scrambler
To be honest, this was the first time ever I rode this bike the day of the amazing beach shots Kati did! And I have to say that it’s really different than my Yamaha SR and XLR on the sand, but it’s so cool!

Triumph Tiger Desert Sled Triumph Tiger Desert Sled Triumph Tiger Desert Sled Triumph Tiger Desert Sled
Triumph Tiger Scrambler

A bit heavy, as it’s a two-cylinder — same as the Bonneville but powered by a single Amal carb — but on the wet sand, with a good rock melody out the exhaust pipes, and that’s it, full throttle then a bit of angle! Close to the waves and a crazy smile on our three faces!!

Triumph Tiger Scrambler

Triumph Tiger Desert Sled Triumph Tiger Desert Sled Triumph Tiger Desert Sled Triumph Tiger Desert Sled
We all deserved it!! The feelings of being there riding again with this bike and my friends!? Impossible to describe, as it was so incredible! And after all of that a good drink in front of the ocean before the next surgery!

Triumph Tiger Desert Sled

It’s for these kinds of moments that I think we all love motorcycles. It brings us a way of catching freedom as close as we can. As for me, I’ll always fight to be able to enjoy these moments of friendship, riding, and sharing! Next steps are to rebuild my SR and then bring some love and give my touch to the Triumph Tiger and…there is an old XL250 that sleeps in the back of the workshop!

Triumph Tiger Desert Sled

So for all of that I want to thank everyone who has and is taking part in my recovery, and for this moment especially Kati and Basti, my two good German friends. And life, I’m still alive and able to ride motorcycles!

Follow Serge: @sand_rocks_makers
Follow Kati: @kayadaek_photography


Continue reading...
 
Premium

Support TriumphTalk by becoming a Premium Member.

 What You Get

Donate

 

 

Search

Back
Top Bottom