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The Triumph Story
The original triumph motorcycle company was first founded in 1885 and was called triumph engineering. It was started in coventry, United kingdom by Siegfried Bettmann who was a german that migrated to coventry. It was not until 1902 when triumph started motorcycles, the first production 2 wheeled vehicle being a bicycle with a minerva engine.
During the first world war triumph supersized its production of motorcycles for allies and by the end of the war had built 30,000 units for allied forces. This of course made a name for triumph and boosted its reputation ten-fold. The most famous of the units being the triumph model H, also known as the trusty triumph. The model H was made from 1915-1923 and 50,000 units were built in total. By the 1920s Triumph were one of the biggest car and motorcycle producers in the UK.
During the second world war most of coventry was destroyed, including the factory. Tooling and machinery from the rubble was salvaged which was still useable and triumph re started production at the new factory in Meriden, Warwickshire.
Post WW2 triumph got back to making the Speed twin again and the Tiger T100 but this time with a sprung rear hub unit, this was the first attempt at rear suspension for triumph motorcycles.
In 1959 Triumph brought out what they are best known for today without question, the beautiful triumph T120 Bonneville. This ever so iconic motorcycle was a massive success and fetches very strong money today. Triumph still make modern versions of the bonneville range to this day. In 1969 A triumph bonneville lapped at over 100mph at the isle of man TT, the first production motorcycle to lap at over 100mph.
The 1960s saw the downfall for triumph as the japanese were producing more reliable, modern motorcycles . By the late 1960s the japanese had big cc engine motorcycles which gave triumph lots of trouble as they simply could not compete.
1983 Meriden triumph went bankrupt and were rescued from extinction by John bloor and was reborn almost immediately. The bonneville was the first bike to be brought immediately back in to production, they were first built on licence by Les Harris in Devon. Production was very slow, in 5 years from 1983-88 14 Bonnevilles were built per week.
From 1983-91 it was all about getting up to the levels of the Japanese competition, so the company got up to modern day standards and finally brought out the first hinckley triumph in 1991 which was the triumph trophy.
As of today Triumph are one of the most well known motorcycle manufacturers in the world, with models to cater for every type of ride. Triumph are so well known for their triple design engines which make the distinctive exhaust whistle sound.
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