Triumph 1912 3 ½ HP 499 cc “ Free Engine” frame # 194311 engine # 21017
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 363 cc in 1905 till 550 cc in 1914. This 1912 model has bore and stroke dimensions of 85×88 mm, giving 499 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 the refinements ( as the company put it) listed in the 1912 catalogue were: new petrol tank with needle valves instead of taps, foot controlled magneto ( waterproof Bosch, also new for 1912) and adjustable spring tappets.
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 machine is equipped with model H carb. It’s an older restoration and a good runner.
There’s a clutch in the rear hub so it is a practical, ride able veteran.