The Triumph Story
Triumph is indeed alive and well today, but over the incredible 133 years of its history, that has not always been the case!
Siegfried Bettman, a 20 year old German came to live in Coventry, then the hub of bicycle manufacturing in 1883. He soon established an export agency to sell bicycles made by Wm Andrews in Birmingham. In 1886 Bettman changed his company name to Triumph and The Triumph Cycle Company was born.
In 1889, Triumph produced and sold its first bicycles but it was some 13 years later in 1902 that the first Triumph motorcycle was produced – essentially a bicycle with an engine strapped to its frame!
By the outbreak of the First World War, Triumph was manufacturing 4,000 bikes a year and for the war years, Triumph assisted the effort, producing 30,000 bikes for Allied forces.
By the outbreak of the Second World War, Triumph was selling over 30,000 motorbikes a year. Triumph, like many other manufacturers turned their factories over to assisting the war effort and built an incredible 40,000 motorbikes for use by the military. They also made aircraft components as well as two wheeled stretcher carriers.
John Bloor, a wealthy British property developer, purchased the brand name and rights and licenced a small UK producer to keep the name alive during hard times.
This year Triumph has begun to phase out its air cooled parallel twin engines on the back of government regulations, replacing them with water cooled versions. The first three motorbikes with the new engines are the 900cc Bonneville Street Twin, the 1200cc Bonneville T129 and the new 1200cc Thruxton.