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 Triumph - H
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Triumph D2-492-35-10
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 550
Model : H
Production : 1914 - 1917
Category : (R) Street Bike


500/550cc TT Model - 1912

The machine that made Triumph's name

Founded by German-born Siegfried Bettmann, Triumph began making bicycles in Coventry in 1885. They turned to motorcycles in 1902, though it was not until 1905 that the first Triumph with an original engine appeared. It also introduced Triumph's own design of sprung fork. By 1906, this robust and reliable 250cc machine had established a fine name and some 500 were sold that season, revitalizing the British industry.

TT Success Boosts Sales

A new 3 1/2 hp 450cc Triumph appeared for 1907, and enlarged to 477cc took second place in the 1907 Isle of Man. In 1907, Triumphs finished 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 in the TT, and sales followed racing success. In 1909, Triumph was selling 3000 machines a year. For 1910, the engine was uprated to 500cc and two models were offered.

Successful Racer

The Roadster model had a longer wheelbase, pedaling gear and – as an option – a multiplate hub clutch. The TT model had a slightly shorter wheelbase and no clutch or pedalling gear, so a run-and-jump-on start was called for. Said the catalogue: "Two sets of foot rests are provided to allow the rider to assume a racing or upright position." Triumph offered an adjustable belt pulley that could be altered when the machine was at rest to give final drive ratios of 3.75-5:1 (roadster) or 3.25-4.5:1 (racer). This indestructible 500 was the dominant force in the single-cylinder class of the Tourist Trophy Race.


Engine: 499cc (85x88mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 3 1/2 hp

Valves: side

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: variable pulley; direct rubber V-belt drive

Suspension: Triumph patent spring forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: rim (front); belt rim (rear)

Wheels: 26x2. 25 inch wire clincher (front & rear)

Weight: 176 lb

Maximum Speed: 62 mph

Available either in "roadster" or "racer" trim, the 3 1/2 hp Triumph Tourist Trophy was one of the first "over-the-counter" replicas of a works racer.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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