1956 Triumph TRW
1956 Triumph TRW
Ready to Ride
For sale is my Ex-Military Triumph TRW 500cc side valve twin. I became fascinated with these motorcycles the first time I had laid eyes on one for the first time nearly 3 years ago. I it was one that belong to my dear friend, and after much begging him pleading, I was able to convince him to sell it to me. With that bike, my antique military motorcycle collection began...
And so did my love for the TRW. I began extensive research on the TRW's, and have always had a special place in my heart for them. I was able to compare mine against example in the barber motorsports Museum, and promised myself that if I ever found another one to add to that my collection, I would.
Other TRW collectors and I began to network, which is when I bought this wonderful example from a Canadian gentleman who had made his way down from Canada with his TRW. Fulfilling my promise to myself to purchase the next beautiful one, I did. He and I were able to build a wonderful relationship off of that sale, and actually led me to meet other military motorcycle collectors, whom of which I later purchased more WW2 military bikes from.
Some Model History of the TRW:
In November 1940, Triumph’s Priory Street factory in Coventry was all but obliterated by the Luftwaffe, and that more or less put paid to the 3TW. A limited number had already been delivered to the war office, but in May that year, many—if not most—of these bikes ended up wrecked and abandoned on the shores on Dunkirk.
By May 1942, Triumph (after a brief spell operating from temporary premises in Warwick) had relocated to a new factory near Meriden, Warwickshire and had taken the next step up with a prototype 500cc sidevalve twin, the 5TW.
The 5TW project was stillborn due to cost and time restrictions.
Following the cessation of hostilities,
The TRW (as differentiated from the 5TW prototype); featuring an all-enclosed drive chain utilising rubber sleeves over the top and bottom chain runs. It appeared at a military vehicle exposition. But the costs were mounting, and the British army was lukewarm about it, and so this project was also shelved.
By the time the TRW (as we know it today) actually appeared, the war was won, but world peace was far from assured. There were looming conflicts that soon resolved themselves into the Greek Civil War (1946), the Malayan Emergency (1948), the Korean War (1950), the Vietnam War (1955) and the Suez Crisis (1956). And the military still needed to keep its equipment up to date as far as that was possible in the generally crippling post-war home market austerity years. So Triumph tried again.
This TRW sidevalve can be viewed as the third version and was launched in 1948. The pre-unit engine dimensions of 63mm x 80mm gave the bike a capacity of 499cc. As with the 5TW, the valves were set transversely across the front of the cylinder block. Excluding prototypes, the TRW was the only twin cylinder sidevalve that Triumph produced.
So how many are left? We’ve no idea, but we reckon that there are hundreds rather than thousands, and certainly the TRW register created by Burton Bike Bits is, at the time of writing, boasting around fifty machines.
The TRW was never sold new to the public. It was for forces and other governmental use only. But machines were later sold off secondhand—and were all but given away in the early days.
If I did not have a second TRW here, with significantly more sentimental value attached to it, I would not be selling this out of my collection.
This bike has great patina, and looks to be mostly original. The paint seems to be an early repaint, or paint that was restored back in that time period. This is a genuine numbers-matching TRW.
This well sorted example a true "one-kick" bike, and it always fires right up, and just idles beautifully. All gears interchange smoothly and the brakes work extremely well (these were far more than adequate in the day) Everything feels nice and tight mechanically, and completely electrically sound.
My hope is that it will go to another owner who will be able to appreciate it as much as I have.