Sunday, May 19, 2013

TRIUMPH - The Real Motorcycle


Siegfried Bettman (1863 - 1951) , a German by descent , was importing and selling bicycles and sewing machines in England. In 1886 , he created S. Bettman and Co for importing bicycles and selling under the name "Triumph". In 1887, the company was renamed as  Triumph Cycle Company and later as New Triumph Company Ltd. In 1888 manufacturing bicycles were started in England on the insistence of his partner Moritz Schulte.

Triumph expanded in to motorcycles in 1902 and the first motorcycle was fitted with a Minerva engine.


In 1907 , Triumph started manufacturing their own engines as well as used engines designed by the famous Sir Harry Ricardo. During the war , Triumph motorcycles were used by the Allied army.

A 1914 Triumph Model H motorcycle used by the army -


A 1924 Triumph Ricardo Motorcycle -


While continuing to make and excel in motorcycles, Triumph expanded in to manufacture of cars. In 1921, they acquired the Dawson Car Company and launched their first car in 1923 - a Triumph 10/20 -



In 1930 the company was renamed as Triumph Motor Company and  launched the very successful Triumph Super 7 , in competition to the Austin 7 car.



Unable to keep in pace with the competition, Triumph shifted its focus from small car to large and luxury cars. Successful models like the Triumph Gloria followed.



By 1944 the company was bankrupt and was sold to Standard Motor Company. Standard Motors shifted Triumph to performance and sports cars and continued to sell normal cars under the Standard brand name.

A 1955 Triumph TR2 -



Triumph changed many hands in the following years - 1960 Leyland Motors; 1968 British Leyland Motor Corporation ; 1986 Rover group; 1994 BMW. When BMW sold the Rover holdings , it retained the Triumph brand  and the brand name is currently with BMW.

The last Triumph was a 1983 Triumph Acclaim -



While the Triumph cars ceased production, the motorcycle continues till date. In 1936 the motorcycle division was sold to Ariel Motor Cycle Company and was renamed as Triumph Engineering Company Ltd. In 1951, the Triumph Engineering Company was taken over by BSA.  In 1956 , BSA sold off the bicycle division to Raleigh Bicycle company but retained the motorcycle division. In 1971 , the Triumph Motorcycle Division was sold to Norton-Villiers to become Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT). In 1977 NVT was sold to The Meridien Motorcycle Co-operative to become the Triumph Motorcycle (Meridien). 1983 saw the bankruptcy of Triumph and a builder /property developer John Bloor invested in Triumph to keep the brand alive till date as Triumph (Hinckley).

A 2011 Triumph Thunderbird Storm -




The Triumph Logos -

A Triumph Bicycle head logo


A Triumph Motorcycle Logo -




A Triumph Car Logo -