Key Information...

Triumph Motorcycles is an English motorcycle manufacturer, originally based in Coventry. A new company in Hinckley took over the name rights after the collapse of the company in the 1980s.


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The history of Triumph...

1884: German immigrant Siegfried Bettmann sets up S. Bettmann Import Export Agency in London and begins distributing bicycles under Bettmann name. 
1886: The company changes its name to Triumph Cycle Company. 
1888: Triumph buys a factory in Coventry to begin producing bicycles. 
1889: The company moves its headquarters to Coventry. 
1902: The first Triumph motorcycles go into production using a Belgian engine. 
1903: A manufacturing subsidiary is created in Nuremberg, Germany, to produce Triumph motorcycles for the German market. 
1905: The first fully company-built motorcycle is produced. 
1915: Switching to wartime production, the company produces 30,000 "Trusty Triumph" motorcycles for the Allies during the World War I. 
1923: The first Triumph car model, the 10/20, is launched. 
1929: Triumph's German subsidiary is spun off as a separate company, which continues to make Triumph motorcycles until the 1950s. 
1936: Triumph car and motorcycle operations are broken up into two companies; Jack Sangster, who owns Ariel motorcycles, buys the motorcycle division. 
1939: Triumph Cars goes bankrupt and is acquired by Standard Motor Company. 
1940: The company switches to wartime production, building over 50,000 motorcycles for the Allies. 
1950: The Thunderbird model debuts. 
1951: Triumph is acquired by the BSA Group, which also makes BSA motorcycles. 
1954: Marlon Brando rides a Triumph Thunderbird in the film The Wild One. 
1958: The Bonneville, hailed as the greatest motorcycle of all time, is introduced. 
1969: Triumph production peaks at nearly 48,000 motorcycles. 
1972: Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT) is created in an effort to rescue the British motorcycle industry. 
1973: After NVT chairman announces the closure of the Triumph plant; its workers stage an 18-month sit-in, shutting down production. 
1974: Meriden Motorcycle Cooperative is created with government backing and production soon resumes at the Triumph plant. 
1983: Triumph goes bankrupt, and its brand and manufacturing rights are acquired by John Bloor. 
1990: Bloor opens a state-of-the-art plant in Hinckley and unveils new Triumph models. 
1991: The company begins full-scale production of new models. 
1995: Triumph returns to the U.S. market, distributing through Triumph USA subsidiary set up the year before. 
2000: The company relaunches the Bonneville and approaches the break-even mark .
2006: With the 2007 model year bikes, the 790 cc engine is phased out completely.



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