The first Triumph motorcycle of 1902 used a Belgian Minerva engine, but within a few years the Coventry firm, originally a bicycle manufacturer founded by German immigrants Siegfried Bettman and Maurice Schulte was building its own power units. The first of these a 298cc single-cylinder side valve arrived in 1904. This first engine was not without its weaknesses, pistons and bores wore out quickly and the curious ‘tandem downtube’ frame in which in was installed broke, but these shortcomings were soon sorted and within a couple of years ‘Triumph’ was a by-word for reliability.
The company was soon involved in racing, and the publicity generated by competition success, Jack Marshall won the 1908 Isle of Man TT’s single-cylinder class for Triumph having finished second the previous year greatly stimulated sales. By the outbreak of The Great War the marque’s reputation for quality and reliability was well established, leading to substantial orders for ‘Trusty Triumphs’ for British and Allied forces. The 3.5hp model first appeared in 1907. Originally of 453cc, its side valve engine was enlarged to 476cc in 1908 and finally to 499cc in 1910 before being superseded by the 4hp model in 1914.
This 3.5 HP Triumph was purchased for the Hitchcock collection from motorcycle designer and manufacturer Bert Greeves, of Invacar and later Greeves motorcycles Ltd, and originally bore the registration number OLD 1.
The buff continuation log book which accompanies XBV 210 shows the owner in 1955 as Waits Motorcycle Mart of 21 Mare Street Hackney, and then Oscar Bertram Greeves and subsequently Greeves’s company Invacar before being sold to Donald Hitchcock of J A Hitchcock & Sons. A Pioneer Certificate that was issued to the bike suggests that is was still in the ownership of Bert Greeves in the early 1960’s and that the original registration was in fact LF 1224, this certificate is supplied with the bike.
Having been ‘hidden’ in the collection since the 1960‘s this is a once in a life time opportunity to acquire one of the earliest surviving Triumph motorcycles in existence, more over the bike is more or less complete and in structurally sound condition considering it is now 105 years old. Supplied with a UK V5C logbook.