Pre-Hinckley Triumph logo

The history of Triumph Motorcycles

From 1883 to 2003,
from Coventry to Meriden to Hinckley

Updated and revised March 9, 2003
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1906 Triumph

The early years

1938 T80

The classic years

1950s Thunderbird

Recovery and growth

1965 Bonneville

The glory years

1977 Bonneville

The fight to survive

1997 Trophy (love this bike!)

Triumph resurgent

Models and source list 1996 Thunderbird review

Links to related sites

Triumph Sprint ST review - Kawasaki W650 Review
I've included some brief histories of other famous British motorcycle marques, plus commentaries on contemporary motorcycle development at various dates identified with yellow background below the main text. Click on the name of the manufacturer where highlighted a brief overview of that company. These are not comprehensive, but allow viewers to understand the history of Triumph in context with its historical framework and the development of contemporaneous motorcycle technology. This work is still in progress, and more will be added as I find the pictures and data. 
Input, information, images and data about these marques are welcome. 
There have been more than 3,000 individual motorcycle marques since the late 1800s when the first motorized bicycles were built. Nowhere was the motorcycle more developed and promoted than in the United Kingdom - almost 700 marques alone (according to Hugo Wilson). The story of motorcycling in the UK shows how imagination, drive, and entrepreneurship can create an entire industry. In my pages below you can find out about a few of the more well-known marques.
Other British motorcycle
Click here for my brief histories of British motorcycle manufacturers from 1880s to today.


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Last updated: March 9, 2003

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Compiled by Ian Chadwick. Send comments and corrections to me at: