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Old and Classic Motorbike History, Triumph TRW

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Information courtesy of Glenn Roberts
Triumph TRW

Date of Manufacture: 1957
Engine Size: 500CC

Triumph was founded by Mauritz Schulte and Siegfried Bettmann, two German emigrants, in 1885 as a bicycle company. 1902 saw the first bicycle turn motorcycle with a 239cc Belgian engine. Triumph started its illustrious racing history in 1907 when it finished the very first Isle of Man TT with a second place finish and finished first the following year with a fastest lap at a blistering 68kph. Triumph continued to prosper and contributed approximately 30,000 motorcycles to the Allied war effort in World War 1. Triumph proceeded to develop new engines in the 30's and continued to collect racing trophies. The Coventry factory was destroyed by a German air raid in 1940 and the factory moved to temporary premises but focused its war effort on making wartime equipment. By 1944, Triumph was once again producing motorcycles. Triumph was forced to join into the BSA merger with Norton-Villiers to form NVT in 1973. The newly formed company had labour disputes from the Triumph employees who had locked the factory doors from the inside for 18 months. The government granted a loan to the employees and the plant opened again to produce motorcycles once again as Meridian Motorcycles. 1983 saw the Triumph factory close for good as liquidators auctioned off any assets. The Triumph name was bought by John Bloor who built a new factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England and the new Triumphs were launched in 1990. One of England's largest industrial fires destroyed the plant but was again rebuilt and was producing motorcycles 6 months after the disaster.

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