A touring Triumph


Intrepid motorcycle tourist Ida Crow and two companions take a European jaunt on their TR5 Trophies.

Words: ADAM REARPhotographs: MOTONS MEDIA ARCHIVE

At first glance, the photograph asks more questions than it answers, with a particularly intriguing scene taking place. In the foreground, a 1951 Triumph TR5 Trophy can be seen fitted with some rather dusty and thoroughly used luggage.

The TR5 was based on the Speed Twin, offering riders a trials machine that was designed with road use in mind – it featured a high level two into one exhaust system, allied with good manners on the road.

Its name (Trophy) derived from the three ‘specials’ that Triumph built for the Italian International Six Day Trial in 1948, which went on to win three gold medals and the manufacturers team trophy.

Marlon Brando’s 6T Triumph Thunderbird in ‘The Wild One’ inspired none other than James Dean, the young man who epitomised the stylish rider look, to purchase a Triumph TR5.

The bikes also featured prominently in American ‘Class C’ racing until 1969, with the American export models showcasing some components from the Tiger 100 to make it more suited for the tricky desert terrain, an addition which would have proved useful for the riders in the image.

Read more in the November 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!

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