The Pre-1941 Triumph Motor Cycle Pages

From Peter Cornelius - Triumph Specialist for the VMCC - of Britain.

Triumph's 1906 to 1909 Models

The 1906 Accumulator/coil Model

The 1907 Magneto Model

1908 Model
1908 Model

Having sorted out the frame breakage problem Triumph's 1906 models were similar to those of later 1905 machines, but with the major difference that 1906 saw the introduction of the Triumph renowned to-and-fro front forks. With changes almost annually, with a new declaration each year that THIS was the combination of springs which wouldn't break (!) the concept ran through to 1924.

For 1907 the engine capacity was increased, and in an attempt to give a lower seating position the frame sloped back slightly from the headstock to the saddle. However, this looked rather strange and distracted from the otherwise smart presentation of Triumphs.

The engine capacity was again increased slightly for 1908 and the frame returned to an almost horizontal frame top-tube.
Following the success of a Triumph coming Second in the first Isle of Man TT Races of 1907, for 1908 Triumph produced a special TT model; for pedals were not to be allowed for the TT Races that year. (with a petrol allowance of one gallon per 100 miles, for single-cylinder engines.)
A Triumph rider won, of course, at an average speed of 40.49 mph and a fuel consumption of 117.6 miles per gallon. (Fuel in those days was a very different, and more efficient, fuel than that sold today.)
The 1908 TT Model was not catalogued for general availability.

The engine capacity of the 1909 models remained the same as for the 1908 machine, and now a Tourist Trophy Model was listed. (Two pounds more than the standard Roadster Model.)
There was also limited availability of machines fitted with a Triumph Patented clutch, in an enlarged hub in the rear wheel - the "Free-Engine Model".
Triumph's motor cycles were becoming more practical to share the roads with other traffic (mainly horse drawn).

Brief Specifications and Variations

1906 - 398cc 3 hp (at 1,500rpm). 78mm bore X 76mm stroke.
........... Available as Accumulator/coil or Magneto ignition.
........... Unsold stocks of the JAP 293cc 2 hp. engined machine were also listed.
1907 - 450cc 3 hp (at 1,500rpm). 82mm bore X 86mm stroke.
........... Two models, as above.
1908 - 475cc 3 hp. 84mm bore X 86mm stroke.
........... Only available with Magneto ignition. Accumulator/coil was not to return again until the 1950's!
........... A Tourist Trophy Model was manufactured but not generally available.
1909 - 475cc 3 hp. 84mm bore X 86mm stroke.
........... A Tourist Trophy Model was now listed for general sale.
........... Limited availability of a Free-Engine Model with the Triumph Patented clutch hub.

Triumph were progressing year by year. What had probably started as a generally available proprietory engine was gradually being improved with slowly learnt knowledge of the workings and requirements for the manufacture of an efficient internal combustion engine.

Belt drive, no gears. Direct drive (Fixed-engine). Pedal, or run and jump, and hope that the controls were set so that the engine would start. The later 1909 Free-engine model with the clutch hub made starting and riding much easier.

The well recognised Silver fuel and oil tank, with Brunswick Green panels, lined Gold and Red, had become Triumph's major recognition feature.

Reliability was also being recognised as being 'standard' with any Triumph motor cycle.

Production gradually increased year upon year.
1906 - Approximately 800.
1907 - Approximately 1,700.
1908 - Something in the order of 2,350. (Seven a day!)
1909 - Something in the order of 3,200. (50 a week!)

I have knowledge of Triumphs from this period surviving in Australia, Britain, Canada, Holland, Ireland and New Zealand.

For more details you really need to refer to the booklets I have written covering the Early Models.

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