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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Triumph Speed Triple

Triumph Speed Triple

The Triumph marque looked dead in the water in 1983, when the once-famous firm went into receivership. If it was to survive, it needed a saviour - and fast! Up to the plate strode multi-millionaire building magnate, John Bloor. A new HQ was set up in Hinckley, England. Which was actually quite close to the original Triumph factory - in Meriden, Birmingham. For the next eight years - behind walls of secrecy - Bloor and his colleagues planned a new range of Triumphs. Throwing off the shackles of the wilderness years, the new bikes would be modern marvels of engineering. There would also, though, be designer references to Triumph's glory days.

In '91, six new Triumphs rolled into the showrooms. The parallel twins of yore were no more. Instead, there were three- and four-cylinder engines - complete with double overhead camshafts, and water-cooling. Stylistically, a sea change had occurred. The new machines were every bit as slick and futuristic as their Japanese counterparts. Indeed, suspension and brakes on the new bikes were manufactured in Japan. Notwithstanding, they were welcomed into the bosom of the 'Brit Bike' family with open arms. No doubt, there were a few 'dyed-in-the-wool' riders with reservations. Overall, though, a new generation of bikers was just glad to have one of the great British brand-names back in the mix.

Certainly, the naming of the new arrivals harked back to the past. Trident, Trophy, Thunderbird ... this was the stuff of legend! In '94 came the 'Speed Triple'. Its name recalled the 'Speed Twin' of the Sixties - but in every other respect it was state of the art. Of course, Triumph had long turned out a tasty 'triple' - and this new bike was no exception. Clocking up a top speed of 130mph, it output 97bhp from an 885cc motor. Looks-wise, the 'naked' layout pared weight down to 460lb dry - and lent itself to lean and aggressive styling. The Speed Triple was more than competent in every department. Unsightly oil stains were definitely now the stuff of history! The mighty Triumph marque was back on its feet ... and looking like it would be around for a while!

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