Triumph 1951-1952

Triumph 1951-1952

 

Previous posts:

Triumph the legend

Triumph Speed Twin

Triumph Tiger 100

Triumph 1943 to 1949

Triumph Thunderbird 6T

 

 

USA land of opportunities. Triumph 1951-1952

Triumph 1951-1952

 

Although sales in the US were extraordinary and were still growing, Edward Turner was not completely satisfied, he believed that there was still a lot of market to work and for that he needed a wider distribution than Johnson could provide from the West Coast.

Continuing with his expansion plan, in 1951 he created Tricor, a distributor of its own based in Baltimore, Maryland. With this new variant, Johnson now supplied vehicles to 19 states, from all of west Texas to the north along the Canadian border and Tricor would distribute to the rest of the country. Turner chose Denis McCormack to lead the new company.

Triumph Thunderbird 6T 1951 | Triumph 1951-1952

This movement was very important for Triumph, because in 1951 the import tripled from 1,000 to 3,000 units in a year.

Another key event this year was the sale of Triumph to BSA, Jack Sangster did not include in the sale to Tricor. Turner remained at the head of Triumph and although he did not agree with this sale, for him it was a very good sale because it was included in the negotiation to ET Developments for which he received a quarter of a million pounds significantly increasing his fortune personal.

The Thunderbird 650cc was still the most popular model in the US and its sales made it the flagship of the brand. For 1951 the most significant update was the change of color, from that soulless blue that did not finish convincing the clients to a blue with more charm, polychromatic and much more attractive. There were minor improvements in the engine, in the braking system and starting this year the engine and chassis numbers began to be shared.

In the USA, the Thunderbird did not stop to set new records, in Daytona Beach it reached the 207 km / h and in Bonneville 212 km / h, this was the record AMA of class C faster of motor with gasoline pump, the record stayed during seven years.

The Thunderbird began to become popular as a racing vehicle, during 1951 with Jimmy Philips winning the class of 80 cubic inches in the Peoria TT and Walt Fulton the first Grand Prix of the Catalina of 100 miles. This was just the beginning of a successful era for the Triumph twin-cylinder engines in the United States competitions.

In the USA, the Thunderbird did not stop to set new records, in Daytona Beach it reached the 207 km / h and in Bonneville 212 km / h, this was the record AMA of class C faster of motor with gasoline pump, the record stayed during seven years.

 

 

The Tiger 100 becomes faster

Triumph 1951-1952

 

With the demand for a higher performance T100 Tiger, especially in the US, where competitions were extremely popular and generated much publicity, in addition to serving as a test platform for new developments, Triumph upgraded its T100 with a new cylinder and cylinder head of aluminum.

Triumph 1951-1952

Triumph Tiger 100C 1951 | Triumph 1951-1952

Johnson Motors in California also requested a competition upgrade kit, which was developed in Meriden and offered as an option. This year, the T100 received updates on the chassis, clutch and brakes. The double seat began to come standard with the bike.

For an additional 35 pounds, a competition kit could be purchased to convert the T100 to the T100C. This included a higher compression ratio, camshaft and racing valve springs, in addition to high performance Amal carburetors. A 3.5 liter oil tank, Smiths tachometer of 8,000 RPM and megaphone style exhaust.

There was also a gearbox with a shorter ratio. All this made the T100 reach 190 km / h, although the maneuverability and reliability were questionable.

Triumph 1951-1952

Triumph TR5 Trophy 1951 | Triumph 1951-1952

In 1951 the Speed ​​Twin 500 looked the same as in previous years, but within the engine there were several updates that made the specification more in line with the 6T Thunderbird, in addition to receiving improvements in the brake system and carrying luggage racks in the tank gasoline like the other models.

long with the T100, the other model to stand out for its improvements in 1951 was the TR5 Trophy 500, which was no longer driven by the Grand Prix engine but for this year would receive the aluminum engine of the T100, although the ratio of compression was lower the engine was identical. The TR5 was a very attractive machine and a good competitor, in the US it was very popular with customers who liked driving off road.

Johnson Motors in California also requested a competition upgrade kit, which was developed in Meriden and offered as an option. This year, the T100 received updates on the chassis, clutch and brakes. The double seat began to come standard with the bike.

 

 

1952

Triumph 1951-1952

 

Although Triumph was part of the BSA group, there was considerable antipathy between Meriden and BSA. Edward Turner saw Triumph as a market leader and in fact in the US it was, with a network of dealers and official services wide enough, the demand always far exceeded the offer, this despite the significant price increase of the Thunderbird, going from $ 712 in 1951 to $ 837 in 1952.

However in the United Kingdom BSA was outperforming Triumph. The Gold Star dominated the on-road and off-road races, while its also single-cylinder Bantam and C11 250 carved a niche in the entry range allowing BSA to gain more market share.

Triumph 1951-1952

BSA Gold Star 1952 | Triumph 1951-1952

Turner had plans to overcome this, but the equivalent of Triumph, the Terrier, would not appear until 1953.

Meanwhile, Britain was still struggling with fuel rationing, and improving the consumption of its motorcycles was the most urgent problem for Triumph in 1952. And with the shortage of nickel due to the Korean War, some chrome finishes disappeared. The handlebars and wheels were painted in 6T and 5T, and the previously chromed parts were coated with silver cadmium.

To improve fuel consumption, the Thunderbird 6T 650 mounted a unique SU MC2 carburetor to replace the Amal. This required a new intake manifold and an improved frame.

Although the consumption savings data were not exceptional, this was an advance for a country where fuel was considered a luxury good. Another update for 1952 included a larger headlight gondola with a light underneath.

The Tiger 100 500, the Speed ​​Twin 500 and the TR5 Trophy received minor upgrades in their engines, the CP100 race kit now included higher compression pistons, as well as a cast iron cylinder for use with alcohol fuel. This was enough for Bryan Hargreaves to win the Clubmans Senior TT competition of 1952.

However in the United Kingdom BSA was outperforming Triumph. The Gold Star dominated the on-road and off-road races, while its also single-cylinder Bantam and C11 250 carved a niche in the entry range allowing BSA to gain more market share.

 

 

 

 

Source: “Triumph motorcycles 1937-today” of Ian Falloon

Klauer & Iannuzzi | 2019 | Triumph 1951-1952