Triumph motorbike history

Triumph is the oldest surviving motorcycle manufacturer in the world, having started in 1902. However, it went into receivership in 1983, only to be rescued by John Bloor, who’s the owner today and has managed to turn the company around. Triumph is based in Leicestershire, UK.

Triumph has carved a niche for itself by building 3-cylinder bikes and parallel-twin engines that shrewdly slot between Japanese mass-market offerings and European and American 4-cylinders. There is also a line of retro-looking bikes, like the Bonneville and Thruxton that look exactly like the originals but feature modern mechanicals. This was all due to Bloor’s hard work. He revived the company by re-hiring many of the previous designers to work on new models around 1984. The team visited Japanese production facilities and determined that the manufacturing techniques there were the best to adopt, especially the use of computers to precisely control machinery.

The company has achieved some stability now, and has even licensed subsidiary companies to sell the bikes in Germany, France and the USA. In 1995 the company started Triple Connection, its in-house clothing and motorbike accessories range. A factory fire in 2002 destroyed a large part of the main factory, but the company quickly recovered and even opened a new manufacturing facility in Thailand in 2003.

Triumph bike range

The company’s products today are mostly sport and standard bikes. Some of them are names revived from the glorious old (pre-receivership) days. On sale in New Zealand are the Thunderbird, Adventurer, Bonneville, the famous Daytona sportbike, Scrambler, Sprint, Trophy, Thruxton and TT600. Also on sale is the award-winning Rocket III, the largest production motorcycle in the world with a 2.3 litre engine- larger than many mid-size cars and small SUVs.

Looking at buying a Triumph? Check the vehicle history of any Triumph by entering its number plate in the field above.