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How to Find Vintage Triumph Motorcycles

Jul 21, 2008
Triumph has been a company ever since 1885 when a man named Siefried Bettmann began producing bicycles in England after emigrating from Germany. In 1902, the company started making motorcycles. By the mid-1920's Triumph was one of England's leading car and motorcycle manufacturers, with Triumph motorcycles and cars topping 300,000 each year.

Triumph motorcycles have been in continual production since then, although the car production department of the company did branch off into its own company in 1936.

As one could imagine, there are a great quantity of vintage Triumph motorcycles out in the world, and motorcycle collectors want them. But, they aren't always easy to find. It can be difficult for people to locate any vintage Triumph motorcycles at all, let alone trying to find a specific vintage model of a Triumph motorcycle. So, here are some tips on how to track down one of the Triumph motorcycles you have always wanted.

First of all, make certain you know exactly what you are looking for. You may know that you would like to have a Tiger 80 that was manufactured back in 1937, but, do you know exactly what this particular Triumph motorcycle model looks like? Maybe you think you would be able to recognize this motorcycle if it were sitting by itself on a driveway or in a lot. Or, perhaps you could even choose the correct model if the Tiger 80 were sitting next to a 1955 TR5 Trophy Triumph Motorcycle. But, would you be able to tell the difference between the Tiger 80 and Tiger 100 that was manufactured in 1939 if they were sitting side by side? Not many people could.

So, it is essential that you find an accurate photo of the exact Triumph motorcycle that you want. This way, you will have a basis of comparison. No, most people who are selling vintage motorcycles are not out to swindle their customers; however, they can easily make mistakes as well. If you have a photo (or, better yet, more than one photo), you will have proof of what your model looks like and you won't end up purchasing the wrong motorcycle.

Next, don't limit your hunt. Check your local classified advertisements, of course, but don't stop there, especially if you live in a smaller town. Get the largest nearby newspaper and look in the classifieds. You may even consider placing a "wanted" advertisement. There are plenty of sources other than newspapers, though.

Ask around everywhere. Talk to mechanics, clerks at the auto-parts stores, and salespeople at motorcycle lots. It may also be worth your while to visit a few bars that are frequented by bikers; ask around at the bars to see if anyone knows of any vintage Triumph motorcycles for sale.

Finally, don't be picky. You may find the ride of your dreams, the exact bike that you have been wanting for years, only to see that it doesn't run. Well, you may still want to purchase it and make it a rebuild project. Take it to a mechanic first, however, to make sure that this is a feasible possibility.
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