Triumph discovers 1901 prototype of its first motorcycle


Triumph discovered the 1901 prototype of its first motorcycle, developed from a standard Triumph motorcycle, with an engine supplied by the Belgian manufacturer Minerva.

This incredible historic find, discovered and restored by Triumph’s premier vintage collector Dick Shepherd, was produced in 1901 to generate interest and gauge public demand for a Triumph motorcycle, adding a new chapter before official Triumph sales began in 1902.

Dick Shepherd said: “When approached by a friend of a collector, who unfortunately had recently passed away, to evaluate an antique Triumph, I was incredibly excited to find that the bike had unique details that weren’t present in the first Triumph produced. Along with the motorcycle, the collector also received a letter from Triumph, dated 1937, describing the motorcycle’s unique origins and providing important details.”

“With an engine number consistent with references in Minerva’s engine records to a first contract with Triumph in 1901, the historical significance of this motorcycle has become incredibly clear. As a passionate fan of the history and achievements of this British incredible brand, to have discovered this survivor and restored it to its glorious condition when it was first shown in 1901, has given me immense satisfaction,” he said.

prototype triumph 1901

Shown for the first time at the UK Motorcycle Live fair, the 1901 prototype will also be displayed in an exhibition at the ‘Factory Visitor Experience’ space, next to the Triumph factory in Hinckley, England, from December 14th. There, this machine will be piloted in public for the first time in over 100 years.

This incredible historic motorcycle will be on display alongside the one millionth Triumph built in Hinckley since 1990, in a new exhibition celebrating the brand’s 120th anniversary.

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Marcelo Souza

Author, Editor and Administrator of the MotoNews World website, graduated in Accounting, passionate about motorcycles and technology.

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