Triumph 1909 3½ HP Roadster 475 cc single speed frame # 159664 engine # 4686
The first Triumph motorcycle appeared in 1902. It was equipped with a Belgian Minerva engine. In 1903 and 1904 JAP and Fafnir ( German) engines were employed and by 1905 Triumph’s own engine, designed by Charles Hathaway was in use. Winning the single cylinder class in the 1908 TT races on the Isle of Man gave an enormous boost to sales of Triumph machines. The cubic capacity of the engine grew from 363cc in 1905 till 550cc in 1914. The 1908 and 1909 models have bore and stroke dimensions of 84×86 mm, giving 475 cc. High quality of finish and workmanship were always very strong points with Triumph; year by year details in the design were improved. Some of these improvements listed in the 1909 catalogue were: slightly lowered frame, stronger handlebars, stronger spokes in rear wheel and new, “ absolutely waterproof”, front hub.
Impressive long distance records underlined the reliability of the veteran Triumph. Harry Long rode a 1911 model for 40,037 miles in 44 weeks; Ivan Hart-Davies set the End-to-end record of 886 miles in 29 hours and 12 minutes and Albert Catt rode his 1911 Free Engine model for six consecutive days to reach a distance of 2557 miles in May 1911, to name just a few remarkable feats.
This machine is a well-presented restoration with Pioneer Certificate and current Dutch registration. It should be noted that the front frame section carries a frame number that refers to 1911, so the frame must have been changed at some time in the past; all other specifications clearly point to 1909. Accessories fitted are bulb horn and tool bag. This veteran “Trusty” has been part of a private collection for quite some time, so some recommissioning might be advisable.