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Norton Triumph Prototype

Triumph Engineering

Triumph Co Ltd was a British motorcycle manufacturing based originally in Coventry and in Solihull at Meriden. A new company, Motorcycles Ltd based in Hinckley the name rights after the end of the in the 1980s and is now one of the world’s major manufacturers. [1]



The company began in 1885 Siegfried Bettmann emigrated Nuremberg. part of the German to Coventry in England. In 1884, 20, Bettmann founded his own company, the S. Co. Import Export Agency, in

Bettmann’s original products bicycles. which the company and then sold with its own name. Bettmann also sewing machines imported Germany.

In 1886, Bettmann a more general name, and the became known as the Triumph Company. A year later, the registered as the New Triumph Co. Ltd. . [1] now funding from the Dunlop Tyre Company.

During year, Bettmann was joined as a by another Nuremberg native, Schulte.

Schulte encouraged to transform Triumph into a company, and in 1888 Bettmann a site in Coventry using lent by his and Schulte’s families. The began producing the first bicycles in 1889. In 1896 initiated a factory in Nuremberg for production in Bettman’s native

In 1898, Triumph decided to its own production to include motorcycles and by the company had produced its first bicycle fitted with a Minerva engine. [2] In 1903, selling more than 500 Triumph began motorcycle at its unit in Germany. During its few years producing motorcycles, the based its designs on those of manufacturers.

In 1904, Triumph building motorcycles based on its own and in 1905 produced its first in-house designed motorcycle. By the end of year, the company had produced than 250 of that design.

In after the company opened a plant, it produced 1,000 Triumph had also initiated a lower-end brand, Gloria . in the company’s original plant.

H. the Trusty Triumph, 57000 made between 1915 and

Confusion between motorcycles by the Coventry and Nuremberg Triumph resulted in the latter’s products renamed Orial for certain markets. However there was a company Orial in France so the motorcycles were renamed as TWN. representing Triumph Nürnberg . [3]

World War I Edit

The beginning of War I was a boost for the company as production was to provide for the Allied war effort. than 30,000 motorcycles—among the Model H Roadster also as the Trusty Triumph, often as the first modern motorcycle—were to the Allies.

After the war, and Schulte disagreed about with Schulte wishing to bicycle production with Schulte ended his association the company, but during the 1920s purchased the former Hillman car factory in Coventry and produced a car in 1923 under the name of the Motor Company. Harry produced an engine for their motorbike.

1924 Triumph

By the mid-1920s Triumph had become one of main motorcycle and car makers, a 500,000square feet (46,000-m²) capable of producing as many as motorcycles and cars each Triumph also found its demanded overseas, and export became a primary source of the revenues, although for the United Triumph models were by license. The company’s first success was the Super Seven which debuted in 1928.

after, the Super Eight was developed.

1930s Edit

OHC Triumph Prototype

When the Depression began in 1929, sold its German subsidiary as a independently owned company, later merged with the Company to become Triumph-Adler The Nuremberg company continued to motorcycles as TWN (Triumph Werke until 1957. In 1932, sold another part of the its bicycle manufacturing facility to Bicycle Company.

By then, had been struggling financially, and had been forced out of the job of chairman. He completely in 1933.

In 1936, the two components became separate Triumph always struggled to a profit from cars, and becoming bankrupt in 1939 was by the Standard Motor Company. The operations fared better, been acquired in 1936 by Sangster. who also owned the Ariel motorcycle company.

same year, the company its first exports to the United which quickly grew the company’s single most market. Sangster formed the Engineering Co Ltd largely directed by employees, including Edward who designed the 500cc 5T Triumph Twin — released in 1937, and the basis for all Triumph until the 1980s. Contrary to belief, however, this was not first parallel twin.

The first was the Val Page designed, but model 6/1. After arrived, with his usual manner, the 6/1 ended, later to be with Turner’s design. The 6/1 was later reused, somewhat as the BSA A10.

In 1939, the 500cc T100. capable of 100miles per (160km/h), was released, and then the war

World War II Edit

Motorcycles produced at Coventry until War II. The town of Coventry was virtually by the ‘Coventry Blitz’ (7 September to May, 1941). Tooling and was recovered from the site of the and production restarted at the new plant at West Midlands in 1942. [1]

era Edit

The Triumph Speed designed by Edward Turner the war was produced in large numbers the war. Efforts to settle the debts caused nearly 70% of post war production to be shipped to the States. Post War, the Twin and Triumph Tiger 100 available with a sprung hub, Triumph’s first at a rear suspension.

Triumph Twin

Privateers put wartime alloy barrels on their 100 racers, and won races, inspiring the GP model. By 1950 the supply of was exhausted, and the GP model was ended. The market applied considerable to reverse this action, and a cast close finned barrel was made available.

The head made the valve more obvious, so ramp cams were introduced for head models to reduce the

Another motorcycle based on the generator engine was the 498cc TR5 Twin, also introduced at the Motor Cycle Show. It a single carburettor, low compression of the Grand Prix engine. won the prestigious 1948 International Six Trial.

The Triumph works had finished unpenalised. One team Allan Jefferies, had been what amounted to a prototype [4]

To satisfy the American demand for suited to long distance Turner built a 650cc of the Speed Twin design. The new was named the Thunderbird (A name would later license to the Motor Company for use for a car model). one year after the Thunderbird was a motorcyclist in Southern California the 650 Thunderbird with a twin head intended originally for GP and named the new creation the Wonderbird.

650cc motor, designed in had the world’s absolute speed for motorcycles from 1955 1970.

Triumph Thunderbird

The Triumph received considerable publicity in the States when Marlon rode a 1950 Thunderbird 6T in the motion picture. The Wild One .

The Motorcycle concern was sold to rivals Birmingham Small Company by Sangster in 1951. sale included Sangster a member of the BSA board. Sangster was to Chairman of the BSA Group in 1956.

The 650cc Thunderbird (6T) was a tourer, and the 500cc Tiger 100 was the motorcycle. That changed in with the change to swing arm and the release of the alloy head Tiger 110, eclipsing the Tiger 100 as the performance model.

Tiger 100

In 1959, the T120, a double carburettor version of the Tiger T110. came to be as the Bonneville . As Triumph and other gained market share, became aware that 1 litre-plus motorcycles were not as as modern riders would resulting in a decreasing share of the The Triumphs were models for a small Harley Davidson as a the now-fabled Harley-Davidson Sportster. started as Harley’s version of a Bonneville. With its anachronistic the Sportster was no match for the Bonneville, but it a solid competitor in US sales and also in longevity. — needed —

During the despite internal opposition those who believed that it reduce the macho image of the Triumph produced two scooters; the Tina . a small and low-performance scooter of about 100cc automatic clutch and a handlebar basket, and the Triumph Tigress . a powerful scooter available either a 175cc 2-… or a 250cc 4-… twin for the enthusiast.

In 1962, the last of the pre-unit models, Triumph a frame with twin down-tubes, but returned to a traditional single front downtube for the construction models that The twin down tube, or frame, was used for the 650 twins, as a of frame fractures on the Bonneville. in 1959, for the 1960 model it soon needed strengthening, and was in 1962, with the advent of the engines for the 650 range.

The 3TA (21) was the unit construction twin, followed by the short-…, 490cc 500

From 1963 all Triumph were of unit construction .

In Malcolm Uphill, riding a Bonneville. won the Isle of Man Production TT with a race average of per hour (160.92km/h) per lap, and the first ever more 100miles per hour (161km/h) lap by a motorcycle at 100.37miles per hour For many Triumph fans, the Bonneville was the best Triumph ever. — citation —

American sales had maximised, in 1967. In truth, the for motorcycles was increasing, but Triumph not supply the demand.

During the 60% of all Triumph production was exported, along with the BSA’s 80% made the group susceptible to the expansion. By 1969 fully 50% of the US for motorcycles more than belonged to Triumph, but technological at Triumph had failed to match of the foreign companies.

Triumphs electric start mechanisms, on push-rods rather than cams, vibrated noticeably, leaked oil, and had antiquated systems; while Japanese such as Honda were more advanced features attractive new motorcycles that for less than their competitors. Triumph motorcycles, as a were nearly obsolete when they were Further, Triumph’s manufacturing were very labour-intensive and inefficient.

Also disastrous, the early 1970s the US government that all motorcycle imports have their gearshift and pedals in the Japanese configuration, required expensive retooling of all the for US sale.

The British marques badly equipped to compete the massive financial resources of heavy industries that competitors for elimination via long-term much subsidized by the Japanese Triumph and BSA were well of Honda ‘s ability but the Japanese were only smaller engined models, the engine market was considered When the first Honda four cylinder was released for to the public, Triumph and BSA had trouble. A engined motorcycle was developed to against the Japanese fours: the BSA 3/Triumph Trident .

The 1970 re-design and taller twin downtube oil tank frame had a reception from Triumph at the time, and was insufficient to win back already riding the Japanese that had been vended 1969; the Honda 750 Four, and the 500 Mach 3. The Triumph 350cc received pre-publicity, but its development was brought to an end. Triumph was making motorcycles, but they no looked like the motorcycles fans expected. The Trident its own market, but the Japanese motorcycles improving more rapidly.

1971 Triumph Daytona

The BSA group had losses of £8.5 in 1971, £3 million for BSA motorcycles The British government became The company was sold to Manganese Holdings. which also Norton. AJS. Matchless.

James-Velocette and Villiers .

Norton Triumph Edit

A new company Norton Villiers Triumph managed by Dennis Poore, in 1972 when the BSA group bankrupt. Government help in a merger with the Manganese Holdings subsidiary Norton-Villiers. The remaining brands to be produced by the were combined to create the new name Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT).

this restructuring would in a number of closures and redundancies, due to the end of the government aid (as an inducement to Dennis to assume control of Triumph) by the Labour Minister, Roy Hattersley. many consultations with the personnel explaining the consolidation to compete with the Japanese, in 1973 NVT Group chairman Poore finally announced the of the Meriden works effective 1974.

Of 4,500 employees, were made redundant. about unemployment and having products given to a rival the workers at the Meriden factory against a relocation to Small Birmingham, the BSA site and staged a for two years. With political aid of the Labour government and, in the then-minister for trade and industry, Benn, the Meriden worker’s was formed, supplying Triumph motorcycles to its sole customer,

The Meriden Motorcycle Co-Operative

The demolition of the Triumph Motorcycle at Meriden. 1984

After the of NVT in 1977, the co-operative bought the rights for Triumph with government loans, later Triumph Motorcycles (Meriden) The venture, with only two models, the Bonneville and Tiger, well with a successful the 1977 Silver Jubilee T140J and by 1978 was the best European motorcycle in the vital USA

Introducing emissions-compliant models 1978 and 1979 such as the Triumph T140D Bonneville and T140E Bonneville to the dominant USA could not attract buyers to a now made prohibitively expensive by a UK pound. Moreover, despite the model such as by introducing starting and a faired Triumph Executive T140EX with by 1980 Meriden’s debt was £2 pounds — additionally than the earlier £5 million In October 1980, the new Conservative government wrote off £8.4 owed but still left the owing £2 million to Britain’s Credits Guarantee Department .

Meriden introduced several new such as the dual purpose Tiger Trail and budget Triumph TR65 Thunderbird its last years but none able to stop the decline, by a UK recession and a continuing strong harming their US market. the Triumph Royal Wedding Bonneville celebrating HRH the Prince of nuptials was a popular collector’s for 1981 and that year a TR7T Tiger Trail won the des Pyrenees on/off road

Large orders for police from Nigeria and Ghana won at critical moments thereby the firm during 1981 and respectively. 1982 was the last of full production, with the Triumph T140 TSX and 8-valve T140W TSS model initiated—although a cylinder head made by contractors and insufficient development eroded the latter’s initial popularity.

In 1983, the debt-ridden briefly considered buying the Hesketh Motorcycles. and even one as a marketing trial. Despite touting a 900cc prototype twin at the 1983 National Show to attract outside Triumph Motorcycles (Meriden) Ltd became bankrupt on 23 August [5]

Triumph Motorcycles (Hinckley) Ltd

Triumph Motorcycles (Hinckley) Ltd is the surviving British motorcycle When Triumph went receivership in 1983, John a former plasterer who become a English property developer and became interested in keeping the name active, and bought the and manufacturing rights from the Receiver. [6] The new company, initially Coventry Ltd . ensured that has produced motorcycles since winning it the title of the world’s continuous production motorcycle

A licensing agreement granted to spares manufacturer, Les Harris. the Triumph Bonneville in production 1988 until Triumph a new range during 1990 and Triumph now makes a range of reviving model names of the including a newly designed twin.

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