Motorcycling manufacturing giants like Triumph didn’t start with the large operations we see today, most of them had humble beginnings.
When John Bloor purchased the Triumph name and manufacturing rights in 1983, he was faced with an outdated manufacturing plant and designs. It was an uphill battle from there; purchasing and developing new prototypes in secret in 1985, funding the construction of a new factory, and Bloor didn’t break even on his investments until 2000.
But his efforts churned out the first Triumph motorcycle in 1902. Simply named No. 1, it was essentially a strengthened bicycle powered by a 2.25bhp one-cylinder Belgian Minerva engine, which drove the rear wheel via a belt from the engine crankshaft. The original bicycle’s pedals, chains and crank were kept in case of an engine failure and it helped start the bike.
Since then, Triumph has made a name for itself by setting and breaking numerous land speed records with now iconic motorcycles like the Thunderbird, Bonneville, Tiger and Trident. They were even associated with the likes of Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando in the 50s and 60s.
Now Triumph Motorcycles Ltd has grown to become the largest British motorcycle manufacturer and has given us exceptional new motorcycles to live life on including the new Bonneville Bobber.