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1912 Triumph TT Roadster Pictures

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Many thanks to Martin Quince for this fabulous picture, taken by his Grandfather.  The picture was taken in South Mymms, Hertfordshire (between St Albans and Potters Bar) in 1915.  And many thanks to Peter Cornelius, the VMCC Triumph specialist for this identification of the bike:

Yes, certainly a Triumph, and somewhat earlier than 1915. In fact it is a 1912 model and the drilled drive pulley, two sets of footrests and lack of pedals, tells me that it is a TT Roadster Model. (A TT Racer model would not have really been practical on the road, so Triumph came out with a TT Roadster machine for ‘boy racers’ of the time. Hence the forward footrests for riding quietly past the local bobby within the 20 mph speed limit of the time, but once out of sight the rear footrests could be used for ‘getting down to it’.) Notice the silencer beneath the magneto – it had a series of holes in the end and a circular plate with matching holes, which could be rotated so that the holes did not line up and the silencer, silenced! A small rotation of the plate and the holes did line up! This allowed the exhaust gases to escape without passing through the silencer. Noisy, but theoretically faster! The movement of the plate was foot operated and 1910 saw the introduction of a ratchet mechanism whereby a depression of the pedal rotated the plate by enough to align the holes, while on entering a village or spotting a bobby another quick stab at the pedal and another partial rotation brought the silencer back into use. “Not me, copper. I weren’t not making no noise.” 1912 was the last year that Triumph fitted such a device for a regulation was announced in October that year, to come into effect from the 1st March 1913, which prohibited “any device which allowed exhaust gases from the engine to escape into the atmosphere without first passing through a silencer, expansion chamber, or other contrivance, suitable and sufficient for reducing as far as reasonably practical the noise which would otherwise be caused by the escape of the said gases.”

The leather cover over the magneto appears to have lost its wire support and is dragging on the ground. Also the rear tyre could do with some more air as the weight on the bike has compressed it considerably. The Kempshall Anti-Skid Tyre on the front looks good. I can almost read the engine number, and would go so far as to say that it was early’ish 1912 model.

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  • Year: 1912
  • Decade: 1910s
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