When it comes to Triumph motorcycles, the origin of the company's name is very obvious—because that's exactly what this brand has seen a lot of throughout its nearly 130-year rich history. Ever since creator Siegfried Bettman first strapped a 2hp Minerva motor to a bicycle frame, Triumph has always been obsessed with speed and innovation. This original model, appropriately named the No. 1, was intended to travel faster and further than any bicycle had ever done before. Triumph has never looked back since.
Setting the pace with suave speed.
Triumph set its sights on crushing land speed records, becoming the trailblazer and the authority on the matter from 1955 to 1970. Throughout those years, almost in entirety, a Triumph bike and its rider held the world record for fastest motorcycle. In 1955, Triumph went down in the history books with famed Texas trio, Jack Wilson, Stormy Mangham, and Johnny Allen, as they commanded their 650cc Triumph "Devil's Arrow" bikes down the Bonneville Salt Flats at a crushing world record speed of 193.3 mph. Only to be quickly followed by an AMA-sanctioned 214.7 mph world record speed only a year later with the "Texas Cee-gar" bike.
Triumph's pursuit of speed has continued until today on- and off-track with grandeur performances by such bikes as the 240hp Rocket III "Silverback", the Daytona 675R, and the aluminum-framed T508 Speed Triple.
The perfect marriage of design and performance.
In a simple word, Triumph bikes are refined. They combine the perfect marriage of horsepower and design. Every meticulous feature has a purpose behind it—creating a symbiotic relationship between the bike and the rider. Triumph bikes are always designed with the rider and the purpose of the bike in mind—meaning better handling and constant improvements to create the ultimate experience for the rider.
Triumph is more than just a bike. It's a culture.
As equally famous as the bikes themselves are the Hollywood Titans that Triumph bikes are synonymous with. Iconic models, such as the Thunderbird, Bonneville, Tiger, and Trident are seen as more than just bikes—they're a lifestyle. Hollywood greats such as Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando, to name a few, have all understood this undeniable principle. That's because when you take the wheel of a Triumph, it almost becomes an out-of-body experience. You, the bike, and the road are in perfect harmony with the path you're taking.
A long history of triumphs.
Perhaps most important about Triumph is the undeniable legacy it leaves behind. A Triumph bike is timeless. You, your children, and their children can equally appreciate the classic beauty and style that a Triumph bike inherently owns. More than just a ride, taking your Triumph out for a spin is an experience—one that combines that classic spirit of the legends that rode before and the feeling of freedom that ties you to them today.
Interesting Facts - Triumph
- The origin of Triumph began in 1884 by a man named Siegfried Bettman in Coventry, England. Bettman owned an Import Export Agency that operated under his name. Early production largely included the trade of bicycles.
- In 1886 Bettman decided to change the company name to something more general—Triumph Cycle Company. A year later, the company would become New Triumph Co. Ltd, which it remained until it switched ownership in 1983.
- In 1902, Triumph created its first motorcycle, which in actuality, was a bicycle fitted with a Belgian 2hp Minerva engine.
- Up until 1905, Triumph based their designs on the prototypes of other manufacturers. At that point, they switched gears and focused on their own, unique interpretation.
- The beginning of World War I marked a pivotal time in Triumph's history. Triumph boosted production substantially to provide more than 30,000 motorcycles to the Allies. Among their bikes included a popular standout—the Model H Roadster, also referred to as the "Trust Triumph"—which is often considered the first modern motorcycle.
- The modern design of the Model H Roadster ended up paving the way for Triumph's next motorcycle—the Triumph Ricardo, named after the engine's producer—Harry Ricardo. This innovative four-valve bike was a speedy marvel with 20 hp and a top speed of over 70 mph. The "Riccy," as it was called, set three world speed records between 1921 and 1928 and equally displayed its versatility by winning the International Six Day Trial off-road event in 1923.
- In 1939, the company underwent a major internal change, separating the two sides of their operation—motorcycles and vehicles. The motorcycle side was acquired by Jack Sangster, who also owned rival Ariel Motorcycle Company. That very same year, Triumph began their long history of exporting to the United States, which quickly took off as being their top market.
- Performance, performance, performance. In 1937, Edward Turner designed the 500cc 5T Triumph Speed Twin, which has formed the basis for all Triumph Twins designed thereafter up until 1980. Another prototype based on this design was the 500 cc Tiger T100, which was capable of traveling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. This new combination of power and reliability dawned a new important era—the British Twin era, setting the stage for record-shattering times in the land speed record books.
- Nearly the entire town of Coventry was destroyed by the events of World War II between 1940 and 1941. In 1942, they literally picked up the pieces and shifted production to Meriden, West Midlands. Nearly 70% of the post-ward production was then shipped to the United States.
- In 1953, the Triumph brand was famously featured in motion picture, The Wild one, in which Marlon Brando rode a 1950 Thunderbird 6T.
- Triumph then set its sights on crushing land speed records, becoming the trailblazer and the authority on the matter from 1955 to 1970. Throughout those years, almost in entirety, a Triumph bike and its rider held the world record for fastest motorcycle.
- In 1955, Triumph went down in the history books with famed Texas trio, Jack Wilson, Stormy Mangham, and Johnny Allen, as they commanded their 650cc Triumph "Devil's Arrow" bikes down the Bonneville Salt Flats at a crushing world record speed of 193.3 mph. Only to be quickly followed by an AMA-sanctioned 214.7 mph world record speed only a year later with the "Texas Cee-gar" bike.
- In 1966, this record was broken by another Triumph—the Gyronaut X1. This bike featured twin 650cc Bonneville motors and reached a record speed of 245.6 mph, which stood for nearly four years.
- Land speed records weren't Triumph's only performance achievements over the years. Off road records were also set. In 1962, Bill Baird won the AMA Grand National Enduro Championship on his 500cc Triumph Trophy.
- Riders like Gary Nixon and Gene Romero ruled AMA road and flat track racing in the late Sixties and early Seventies, both scoring AMA Grand National Championships and Daytona 200 wins.
- Other major victories included TT victories throughout the Sixties by racer, Eddie Mulder, who went on to dominate the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb aboard his vintage 1969 Bonneville with an impressive 9 victories. Also in 1969, Malcolm Uphill, riding a Bonneville, won the Isle of Man Production TT race with a race average of 99.99 miles per hour per lap, and recorded the first ever more than 100 miles per hour lap by a production motorcycle at 100.37 miles per hour.
- Impressive performance has continued on until today with AMA Road Racing victories by Latus Motors Racing Team—Jason DiSalvo and Dustin Dominquez.
- And Carpenter Racing's 240 hp Rocket III "Silverback" is known for consistently having low 9-second quarter mile times at more than 150mph.