It was to be in 1904 that the Triumph company hit its stride with its own 300cc four-stroke engine fitted with side valves. In 1906, Triumph was already manufacturing 500 motorcycles annually, all of which were very much improved over the original—such was the rapid ascend of the company.
The 500cc model presented in the Museu do Caramulo is referred to in the history of the British brand, as the SD (Spring Drive). It is in fact nothing more than an evolution of the famous model H, which drew so many fans to Triumph, helping build the legend of the firm. In the mid-1920s, the use of timing belts gradually lost its appeal amongst motorcyclists, and as a response, Triumph brought out a model equipped with a secondary transmission. The main belt which sat in an oil bath was also protected by an aluminum housing. The belt in oil solution was an addition that Triumph designed to minimise the bike’s service and maintenance intervals.
The 1924 Triumph exhibited in the Museu do Caramulo was donated by Joana Lacerda Correia de Barros. It’s previous owner, Diamantino de Almeida Neves of Cabril, had retired the bike in an old shed. It was bought for $300 by João de Lacerda and registered in 1968. Following a complete and meticulous restoration, the bike hit the roads again for the first time in 1984.
Interestingly, that was around about the same time as when the original Triumph Engineering Company went into receivership. The company was bought out in 1983 by John Bloor who was determined to keep the esteemed Triumph name alive in Hinkley, United Kingdom.