Triumph 1910 “Roadster Free engine” 3½ HP 499 cc frame # 155338 engine # 8206
The first Triumph motorcycle appeared in 1902. It was equipped with a Belgian Minerva engine. In 1903 and 1904 JAP and German Fafnir 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 363 cc in 1905 till 550 cc in 1914. High quality of finish and workmanship were always very strong points with Triumph; year by year details in the design were improved. An important change for 1910 was an upgrade of the cubic capacity by changing bore x stroke dimensions from 84x86mm to 85x88mm. Other improvements were heavier rimmed flywheels, lower compression ratio, larger filler caps in the petrol/oil tank, and a new pattern of oil pump placed in an inclined position, dispensing with the tap. The handlebars were also redesigned, they got sloping ends for a more comfortable position.
Impressive long distance records underlined the reliability of the machine. Harry Long rode a 1911 Triumph 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 Trusty Triumph has a practical foot-operated clutch in the rear wheel. This wheel is a later wired-on type with 2.75×21 tyre and the brake fitted is more powerful than the original device, a sensible improvement since this motorcycle has been used quite regularly for veteran and vintage runs over the years. The machine would benefit from some cosmetic attention but she’s technically in good condition and comes with current Dutch registration and P&H acetylene lighting system.