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1913 Triumph TT500

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1913 Triumph TT-500 Superb condition.

This was the top sports model in 1913. This bike has the correct short TT frame and no pedals. Very nice top quality restoration. You won't find a better one. Frame number is correct for 1913 214565, but the engine number is unusual- 000 stamped 4 times on the crankcases. We are investigating this number, it looks like original factory stamping. Any ideas please? Added benefit of an original Philipson type engine pulley.

Siegfried Bettmann was a German immigrant from Nuremberg who started work in England with the White Sewing Machine Company as a translator helping to sell sewing machines. Siegfried was very aware of the public enthusiasm for bicycles, so in 1884 he founded the company S. Bettmann & Co, to sell bicycles made by the Birmingham firm, William Andrews, but labelled under his own name. In 1886 Siegfried changed the name of his company to the "Triumph Cycle Company Limited", as he considered the trade name Triumph to be a positive and exciting name that was readily understood in a number of languages. His business flourished. In 1887, Siegfried Bettmann was joined by the engineer Mauritz Johan Schulte, also from Nuremburg, and they started to manufacture their own bicycles, which began at their Coventry factory in 1889.

It was in the late 1880's that the internal combustion engine began to develop into a more reliable and useful power source, so Bettmann and Schulte thought about adding motor powered bicycles to their range of products. At first, they considered building the Hildebrand & Wolfmuller motorcycles under license, and imported one in 1895 for testing. They also considered building the Beeston Humber motorcycle, but both these plans came to nothing, so they decided to produce their own motorcycle. In 1902, the No 1 (as their first motorcycle was known) was built. It was designed by Mauritz Shulte, using a strengthened bicycle and a 2.25bhp one-cylinder Belgian Minerva engine driving the rear wheel by a belt from the engine crankshaft. The bicycle pedals, chain and crank were retained to both start the engine and provide power in the event of engine failure. The Minerva engine was chosen as it was one of the best available. These powered bicycles proved a great success so their next challenge was to build a motorcycle of entirely their own design. In 1905, the first Triumph designed and built motorcycle was made. It was designed by Mauritz Schulte and Charles Hathaway, who was the Triumph works factory manager and an enthusiastic motorcyclist and gifted engineer. The new Triumph motorcycle had a 3 bhp 363cc side-valve engine with, unusually, the crankshaft mounted on ball bearings. It was also equipped with alternator ignition (with an option of the Simms-Bosch magneto). The motorcycle could cruise at 35 mph and top speed of 45 to 50mph. They produced 250 in their first year. In the following years Triumph continued to develop their design, always testing and proving each idea to ensure good reliability. In 1906 they added a new front fork design and by 1908 the engine had a displacement of 476cc with a power output of 3.5bhp and a variable pulley system to allow the crankshaft to wheel ratio to be varied between 4:1 and 6:1 allowing the rider to tackle inclines as well as get speed on the flat.

The good reliability and handling of Triumph motorcycles brought success on the racing track. Jack Marshal won the 1908 Isle of Man TT on a Triumph and a well known observation, (Eight Triumphs started, and eight finished) helped reinforce Triumph's reputation for reliability. . Triumph were now building thousands of machines a year and their reputation was continuing to grow.

This TT500 is a collectors dream, a perfect example of this rare veteran.

1913 Triumph TT-500 Superb condition.

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