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Article: MERIDEN



Hello, this is Harada.

This time
HF lineup model
I would like to talk about the Meriden series.

Kadoya, a specialized manufacturer of leather jackets

Meriden is a small village in the West Midlands, England.
This is the name of the place where the Old Triumph factory used to be.

During and after World War II
During the time when architect Edward Turner was employed.
The company that created many famous motorcycles that remain in the history of motorcycles to date is

Turner is responsible for both development and management.
What is said to be one of his greatest creations is
This is a 1938 model SPEED TWIN.

2 cylinders with the same bore and stroke as the existing OHV single cylinder
The engine is a vertical twin with a displacement of 500cc.
It has a maximum output of 28.5ps and a maximum speed of 150km/h.
This has had a huge impact on the industry and users.

In 1939, World War II broke out.
The British military requests Triumph to deliver military aircraft.
All vehicles already in production were sent to the military.
Production of civilian motorcycles will be discontinued.

Coventry was a major producer of munitions, including Triumphs.
In November 1940, the factory was destroyed by German air raids.

Production has resumed at a temporary factory in nearby Warwick with government funding.
Production efficiency did not increase as before, and even though the factory was rebuilt in Coventry, it became a target for bombing again.
The government did not approve of this, fearing that it would be exposed.

The construction site for the new production base was determined and progress was made.
Meriden factory.

From March 1942, when production resumed, to August 1945, when the war ended, Triumph
It is said that approximately 50,000 military vehicles were produced.

After the war, normal production resumed.
We will resume production of prewar models such as Speed ​​Twin and Tiger 100.

In 1946, the Speed ​​Twin participated in the historic national trial tournament [ISDT].
The British team won, making it the first off-road model.
The TR5, nicknamed Trophy, was developed.

After that, Turner aimed to develop a better motorcycle business.
In a country where riding a motorcycle as a sport is popular.
We are planning to expand into America, the world's largest motorcycle market.

At that time, in the United States, large displacement cars exceeding 1000cc such as Harley-Davidson and Indian
V-twin engines are the mainstream, and the key to success in the American market is large-displacement engines.
Because it was essential, in 1949, the Speed ​​Twin engine was expanded from a two-cylinder 500cc to a 650cc.
Featuring telescopic forks and nacelle headlights, it is a lightweight, stylish and fast machine.
Developing 6T Thunderbird.

Thunderbird sold well in the American market.
It became one of Turner's masterpiece machines and was a major step for Triumph after the war.

1959: Triumph's most successful flagship model in history
Introducing the T120 Bonneville (commonly known as Bonnie).
The model is named after the Bonneville Salt Flats, where the top speed record attempt is held.
It has become a racey production car with a high cam specification and a twin carburetor set on an aluminum cylinder head.
In 1962, he set the top speed record and achieved a speed of 361km/h.

This is the last model created by Edward Turner while he was with Triumph.

After the war in 1950, until the mid-1960s when high-performance machines made in Japan began to emerge on the world stage.
It was the golden age of the Meridian Triumph, created by Turner: Speed ​​Twin, Trophy and Bonnie.
Many famous cars such as the Tiger and Thunderbird were created.

Kadoya, a specialized manufacturer of leather jackets

The photo is of my beloved 1950 6T Thunderbird.
20 years ago, at the age of 24, I got my first coveted Triumph 1969 TR6R.
At the age of 35, in his fourth year at Kadoya, he started participating in vintage motorcycle races.
I got Thunderbird.

Old Triumph tuning shop that I always use
I pushed the president of TRIDE MOTORCYCLES, Mr. Oishi, to find a rare car.
After searching for it for about a year, I finally found it.

The morning after it was found, I received a call from Mr. Oishi.

“I found something great! I’m going to go get it now!!”
“It’s California, we’re at the airport!”
``I...I found Thunderbird...I'm going to go get it...California...''
Ooishisangaaaaa. . . . . . ”

At that time, I was on the Shinkansen heading to Akita for a business trip.
With such sudden and happy news
My eyes were completely blown away by the scenery I saw passing by at a tremendous speed from the window.
I still vividly remember how my work mode was completely destroyed for a moment. . .

From delivery to getting the racing tune done
I had the experience of riding in the current normal mode for a while.
The Thunderbird was finished in preparation for the race.
It became a different machine with Mr. Oishi's spirit,...

Because the basic structure of the engine has many parts in common with later models.
Bonnie's high cam is set and detailed internal combustion engine processing is applied.
A rare twin carb manifold is set on the single carb specification head.
Valve processing and reinforced springs improve intake and exhaust efficiency.
Thunderbird became ferocious
It ran tougher and more aggressively than I expected on the racetrack.

Kadoya, a specialized manufacturer of leather jackets

Anyway, it's fun and fun to run around at full throttle on the racetrack...
Before I knew it, I had put a lot of abuse on the car over the past 4-5 years.
Currently, my Thunderbird has been retired from racing and is now being used daily for commuting around town.

The roaring engine vibration at low and medium speeds suddenly subsides at high speeds.
The experience of being at a racetrack where it turns extremely smoothly and accelerates is
Although you can't really enjoy it on public roads.
You can enjoy it slowly and comfortably while feeling the torque of the iron engine.
It's a bike I really like.

Born in Meriden, England, raised in California, USA
My 65 year old Thunderbird is
Loved and protected by various people from various countries, currently living in Japan.
Turner, the creator
The previous owner, who was the parent who raised him, had no idea.
He is currently showing great success.

Kadoya, a specialized manufacturer of leather jackets

The first Triumph I got was a 1969 TR6R.
It's also made by Meriden.
It has been transformed into a racing vehicle, replacing the Thunderbird.

A snapshot with Edward Turner at the racetrack.

I don't have the experience of riding various bikes.
I can't say that ``Triumph is the best'' like my predecessors, but
Just like the last 20 years since I started riding tigers.
From now on, “All I need is Triumph”
I am confident that you will be able to live a happy life on a motorcycle.
I am always injected with the energy I need to make my favorite leather jacket.
It sparks inspiration.

Going back 13 years from now
Launching the Head Factory brand in my second year with the company
I was fortunate enough to be entrusted with being a brand model.
It was launched at the same time as the American standard model.


I would like to share with you the various thoughts that have arisen as I have continued to ride Triumph.
Dreaming of Meriden, the golden age of Triumph in England
Inspired by famous Triumph cars
A rider's jacket from the Meriden series lineup.
This winter, the brand tag will also be new.

A new model will be added.