Saturday, 19 November 2011

Featured Bike - Triumph Trident Prototype (1965)

Looking like a mid 60's Bonnie this was the first prototype Trident.

I snapped this bike in the London Motorcycle Museum. If you are in the capital it's worth searching this place out. And search you will have to. It is located in old farm buildings now surrounded by housing in Greenford, Middlesex.


  1. As much as I like Triumph/BSA triples, I was amazed, the first time I tore one down in the seventies, at the complexity of the engine cases.
    They were built pretty much as the prototype. It really is too bad that they didn't develop them further, but of course they were playing catch up to Honda at that point. I still wouldn't mind having one someday.

  2. Was that the three piece vertically split crankcase because of its origins as a twin? I was also amazed to read that the Trident could have been on the market a year earlier but the factory waited to develop a slightly different engine with canted forward cylinders for the BSA Rocket 3 version.

  3. Yeah, basically it is a 500 twin with an extra pot. On paper they had designs for singles,twins,triples,etc. using common parts and built along modern lines with horizontally split cases and so forth. It's a pity that those in charge were so stuck in the past. It's the only bike I know of that ended up with ball, roller, and split shell bearings on it's crankshaft.But it did work, and I've read that if assembled properly they work well. I only ever tore one engine down at the shop that was to be parted out. Did tune-up work on a few. One in particular that seemed to run like it had performance cams and other hot rod tricks applied to it.It had a three into one exhaust system that terminated into a short open pipe. It definitely would come on the pipe and made a pretty glorious racket. One of those bikes that everyone in the shop wanted to do a test ride on.