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1917 Triumph Model H

1917-triumph-model-h_1

The Triumph Company Limited got its start in England around the same time Ford Motor Company, Indian Motorcycle Company and the Harley-Davidson Motor Company were being formed in America. In 1902 Triumph launched its first motorcycle, a 2.25 horsepower lightweight machine. For the first few years the engine was sourced from a Belgian manufacturer.

With its origin as a bicycle manufacturer starting in 1885, in 1905 Triumph began making its own engines, no longer relying on Minerva, Fafnir or J. A. Prestwich (J.A.P.) as suppliers.

The Model H arrived in dealerships in 1915 equipped with a hand-shift Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed “countershaft” transmission. The Model H, which lacked the pedals of its predecessors, served in large numbers during World War I. Discontinued in 1923, records show about 57,000 Model H Triumphs had been manufactured.

The original Triumph company, Meriden, England, went bankrupt in 1983 and closed its doors. Industrialist John Bloor bought rights to the name around that time and began the successful manufacture of Triumphs at his plant in Hinckley, England around 1990.

Classic Triumphs are highly sought after by collectors. New Triumphs are available in a wide range of designs from adventure bikes to bobbers and high performance sport bikes. A good number of new machines feature three cylinder engines, a design used in Trident models in 1968 to 1976, but twins and four cylinder engines power much of the new line-up.

When you visit the National Motorcycle Museum you’ll see Triumphs from many eras in stock trim but also specially built for drag racing, land speed record, hill climb and dirt track. There are also several fine customs including the Von Dutch Triumph, a machine remarkable for its sleek minimalist lines.

Specifications:

  • Engine: Vertical Single, Air-Cooled
  • Type: Pushrod, Side-Valve Head
  • Bore & Stroke: 85mm x 97mm
  • Displacement: 550cc’s
  • Horsepower: 4 HP
  • Induction: Triumph Semi-Automatic Carburetor
  • Ignition: Magneto, Chain Driven
  • Lubrication: Manual Oil Pump
  • Primary Drive: Chain Driven
  • Transmission: Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed
  • Final Drive: Belt
  • Clutch: “Free Engine” Multi-plate Clutch
  • Starting: Kick-Starting
  • Suspension: Spring Fork, Rigid rear
  • Seat: Sprung Brooks-Triumph Saddle
  • Wheels/Tires: 3.00” x 23”/ 3.00” x 23” Dunlop
  • Brakes: Foot Pedal on Belt Pulley – Front Brake / On Rim, Hand Lever
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4 comments

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  1. Dennis Swinford

    They are still a great machine. I have owned a few over the years and loved them all.

  2. Daniel Proper

    I have a question – I own a 1969 Triumph Bonneville. It is not completely together though I have the parts. I have owned it for 46 years and feel it is time for some to breath new life into her. It will be a great project for someone. Can you recommend a favored way for me to advertise to potential Triumph enthusiasts that I would like to sell mine? Thank you for your help.
    The bike that I have been buying all my parts for from J&P cycle over the years has been for my 1999 custom softail.

  3. Mark

    Danie,

    Please email me and I’ll see if I can give you a few options for selling the Triumph.

    mmederski@nationalmcmuseum.org

    Mark

  4. Jim Pierson

    She’s a beauty! I have a 1972 TR6R that has been taken apart several times and is currently stripped down for restoration. I have the head off the engine because it was not stock. I am currently looking for a TR6R head and have a very low hours T120 head with new valves and guides that I would throw into some kind of deal.

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