The Pre-1941 Triumph Motor Cycle Pages

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

Triumph's 1913 offerings

1913 Type C ~ 3-speed
1913 Type C ~ 3-speed Roadster

By 1913 Triumph, and Charles Hathaway, had their motor cycle pretty well sorted out. The engine size was settled at the quite common size of 500cc, and by then this was a recognised capacity in competitive events, but improvements continued to be made to it. Also the troublesome springs of the front fork had been replaced with a single spring, which although not foolproof was certainly a big improvement.
Triumph had been experimenting with gearing for a number of years, in the rear hub as well as various frame mounted devices. The final agreement was to settle for the well proven Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub in the rear wheel. It had been used with Triumph's TT Race bikes the previous June, although with just a 2-speed selection, as that was considered all that was necessary for the particular requirements of that race circuit.
So Triumph's range for 1913 gave no less than SIX different options. There were three Roadster Models, with choices of; no clutch or gears, just a clutch, or with clutch and 3-speed selection!
The three TT Models came with no clutch or gears, or with just clutch options.
With, now, six models from which to choose, each was given its own identity. So there were TYPES A through to F.
An additional, and separate, brake rim, was needed on the right-hand side when a 3-speed hub was fitted, for there was no point in braking a free-wheeling belt rim!

1913 was a further 'defining' year for Triumph. It was to be the last year with two straight horizontal cross-frame members, and sometime during the year the Silver of the tank was replaced by what is now the more commonly recognised French Grey.
(A grey with a greenish tint.)
For home-market machines the silencer cut-out was discontinued due to a regulation which had been announced in October 1912, to come into force from March 31st, 1913, whereby exhaust gases were not allowed to be expelled without first passing through a silencing type device.
This may well not have been applied to the manufacture of machines for the export market, for my very unmodified December 1912, 1913 model, was still fitted with the cut-out (as well as the new long 1913 tailpipe) which allows more speed and noise when out of sight of the law!

1913 was also the year when Triumph produced their first twin-cylinder engine, but for reasons too lengthy to mention here it did not appear fitted to a production machine.

Brief Specifications and Variations

All engines 499cc 3 hp. 85mm bore X 88mm stroke.
Type A - Roadster Free-Engine model.
Type B - Roadster Fixed-Engine model.
Type C - Roadster Three-Speed model.
Type D - TT Roadster Fixed-Engine model.
Type E - TT Roadster Free-Engine model.
Type F - TT Racer Fixed-Engine model.

All models had a distinctive front mudguard with a flair at the end.

The first year to have a long exhaust pipe.

Fuel capacity 1 gallons, oil 2 pints. A clock-face fuel gauge in the tank indicated Empty, , , or Full.

The Type D, TT Roadster Fixed-Engine model, had two sets of footrests, for 'getting down to it' when out of town....
... and out of sight of the law, for the speed limit was 20mph.

As well as the customary toolkit of spanners, etc. each machine came with a bound leather log book containing an accident insurance coupon, riding hints, and other useful information.
Someone must have mislaid the one for my bike.

Production approximately 7,300 machines.

I have knowledge of 1913 models surviving in Australia, Brazil, Britain, Germany, Sweden and New Zealand.

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

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