The Pre-1941 Triumph Motor Cycle Pages

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

The Model LW (Junior/Baby)

1914 Model

1914 Model

1925 Model
1925 Model
Note the low seating position
Note the low seating position

You could have arrived at this page by making either a Veteran or Vintage selection, for this model spans the 'date line' for both. At the bottom of the page you are given the opportunity to return to which of those you wish.

Triumph's 500cc machines were high and somewhat difficult for a lightly built person to mount and handle, even with a clutch in the hub of the rear wheel. So Triumph decided to manufacture something more suitable - the Model LW - Light Weight. This idea might well have originated from Siegfied Bettmann's partner, Mauritz Schulte, or even Schulte's daughters, for the three daughters enjoyed riding behind Work's Testers and when the Model LW was produced Schulte took one home for his eldest daughter and claimed to have made the first order. (Not 'made the first sale', because doubtless he wouldn't have paid for it!)

The Model LW, also known as the Junior, and nicknamed the 'Baby' for it was the baby of Triumph's models, broke new ground for Triumph as they had not produced a two-stroke engine before. However, Triumph 'got it right', and with my experiences of two-stroke engines I still cannot fathom how owners tell me that with a couple of 'paddles' (steps while seated) the engine almost invariably bursts into life.
With its low weight, such ease of starting and the low saddle height the model gained immediate popularity amongst District Nurses, Ministers of the Church, and schoolboys with wealthy parents! (The legal minimum riding age in those days was fourteen.)

Initially the Model LW engine was of 225cc capacity, and although it had a diminutive 2-speed gearbox there was no clutch or kickstart. (A clutchless gearchange was achieved by a swift opening of the engine's pressure relief valve.)
For its last three years the engine capacity was increased to 250cc and a clutch and kickstart were added.

Production continued during the 1914-18 war years for the Model LW was also used on war service.

Manufacturing competitors and owners of products of those other motor cycle manufacturers, claimed that the Model LW was nicknamed 'the Baby' because it never went anywhere without its rattle!

Brief Specifications and Variations

First sales leaflet dated November 1913. Catalogued for 1914 to 1925.
1914 - 1922 225cc 2-stroke 2 hp. 64mm bore X 70mm stroke.
........... Two-speed gearbox. No clutch or kickstart.
1923 - 1925 249cc 2-stroke 2 hp. 67.25mm bore X 70mm stroke.
........... Two-speed gearbox. With clutch and kickstart.

Belt drive, with rear brake operating on, or into, the rear belt rim.

The later models would obviously be the better choice for a rider today for reasons of engine capacity, clutch, kickstart and improved rear braking, but that would, of course be a Vintage machine. If a Veteran is desired then those improvements are obviously not available. "You pays your money and you takes your choice."

The easily recognised round fuel and oil tank would, of course, have been French Grey with Gold lined Brunswick Green panels and the overall Red lining, for that had become Triumph's new colours during 1913.

Triumph did not to return to 2-strokes again until 1930.

Production of the 225cc model was approximately 8,600.
Production of the 249cc model was approximately 3,000.

I have knowledge of Models LW surviving in Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, India, Ireland, New Zealand and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

For more details, technical information, performance figures, and much more, you really need to refer to the booklet I have written covering this model.


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