A bit of history and some stories about vintage bikes for sale

’52 Triumph TRW500

Now, who wouldn’t feel really cool riding around on a genuine military issue Triumph? I’d love riding around on one of these. My friend Jeff, has a BMW sidecar rig that is about as close to a military rig as they come without being full military. All he needs to make it the real deal is an authentic paint job and a couple of machine guns. Considering what he does for a living and traffic issues, I would imagine the machine guns are a little higher on the priority list than the paint job. And don’t ask me what he does for a living cuz I won’t tell. Well, maybe if you ask real nice…Anyway, there are a lot of riders out there that have great collections of all things military and a Triumph TRW500 would be a perfect addition.

There isn’t a whole lot of information available about the TRW500 out there but there is some. The British military during WW2 knew that a motorcycle was the best way to get around. BSA came up with a bike as did Triumph. Triumph was the winner. Here’s how it worked. The military wanted a sturdy reliable motorbike but it also had to be quiet, better to be sneaky behind enemy lines, the twin that BSA came up with was too noisy as was the basic Triumph twin. Side valve motors were deemed the better choice. Triumph had a prototype ready, they slid it into an existing Trophy 500 frame.

The bike was originally designed in 1943 but it wasn’t put into production until ‘The Big One’ was over?! So as you can imagine, a large portion of the 15,000 or so TRW500’s were just sitting in a warehouse. In 1948 Triumph started selling these military vehicles off to foreign countries. Pakistan, Nigeria and Canada were just a few of the countries buying these bargain basement vehicles. Most of the TRW500’s that you find here in the US of A came out of Canada, probably not too many arrive here from the mountains of Pakistan. The sales of these motorbikes carried on through the early 1960’s.

I found one of these gems on ebay yesterday and it’s a pretty neat bike. It comes with 7278 miles on the clock, and almost all the good military stuff. It just needs the saddlebags. There are a couple of dings on the bike, as any good military bike should have…war wounds is what you would call them and needs a battery. Other than those things it’s a rider. The owner has a video up to show the bike running. This is one of those motorcycles that you can ride to any bike gathering place and be guaranteed you’ll have the most interesting motorbike there.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “yeah neat bike, but parts for this thing don’t exist”. Wrong World War Two breath! There is a great source of parts for this Triumph, http://www.burtonbikebits.com These guys have a great supply of parts and knowledge available. This really would be a fun motorbike to have.

Click on the pics below for more pictures and info. I don’t think the bike comes with machine guns though…sorry Jeff.





’52 Triumph TRW500

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