Just as Frank Halford had designed an over-head 4-valve cylinder head and barrel to fit a standard Model SD frame in 1921, so Liverpool engine tuner Vincent (known as Vic) Horsman did something similar two years later, but with significant differences. Vic's over-head valve cylinder head was of but two valves and by August 1924 he had put the engine into an entirely new frame. With variations of this engine of 498cc, 596cc, 599cc and 607cc he broke many British and World solo and sidecar speed records during 1923 through to 1926.
Having no wish to repeat their embarrassing performances with the Halford/Ricardo engined machines Triumph appproached Vic for such as his machine to run under the Triumph name in the Senior Isle of Man TT Race in 1925. 'Playing safe', Triumph did not enter a Works team but offered the ride to South African C.H. Young, who had come 4th on a 4-valver the previous year.
However, Young didn't do so well in 1925 and finished 18th, but at least the machine had run the whole course and finished. (Which was more than many Halford/Ricardo engined machines had done!)
Thus, having paid £1,500 for the design (Vic said that Triumph could have had it for free had they asked) in July 1926 Triumph announced that they would be putting the famous "Victor Horsman" Triumph into production. Thus October or November 1926 commenced the production of what was debatebly Triumph's most successful sporting Vintage Triumph.
The Model TT continued for the 1928 season, unchanged apart from a Doherty quick-action twist grip being a standard fitting, and the fuel tank changing, with all other 1928 models, to the new colours of black with saxe blue (sky/pale blue) panels. Also the previous nickel plated wheel rims became gold lined black.
Most Triumph models had their flat-tanks replaced by a saddle tank for 1929, and the Model TT was no exception, and with the saddle tank it was renamed to the Model ST. (Saddle Tank!)
Catalogued for the years 1927 to 1929.
A good engine with a good frame.
A genuine sports machine, and in 1930 the British 20mph speed was to become unlimited!
498cc 2-valve overhead-valve, 80mm bore X 99mm stroke.
An entirely new Triumph 3-speed gearbox.
Popular as a solo mount for those who could wait for the 1930 removal of the 20mph speed limit!
Ample power to take a sidecar if desired.
A twin shoe brakes front and rear right from the start.
With the 1929 saddle tank holding only petrol a separate oil tank was fitted rear of the saddle down-tube.
From my current researches it would appear that approximately 3,150 Models TT were produced, and around 450 Models ST. Surprisingly small figures considering that, although top-of-the-range, the price was initially £66 (rising to £70 in 1928, and back to less than £60 for 1929) and this was almost half the price at which the Model R had started in 1922. Maybe potential owners were cautious after experiences with a Model R, or maybe it just wasn't realistic to own such a potentially fast machine when it could only be ridden legally at 20mph.
Models TT and/or ST, or parts thereof, still survive in Australia, Britain, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Holland, Italy, New Zealand and Switzerland.
For more details, technical information, performance figures, and much more, you really need to refer to the booklet I have written covering these models. (And maybe also the 'Racing Years 1921-1928' booklet.)
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