Page 24. 1948 Triumph 5T 500cc Speed Twin

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I completed the restoration of this Triumph 5T this year. It had been off the road for over 20 years and had no documentation – so I don’t know much of its history beyond its number plate JVR 343 and the fact that it had spent most of its life in North Wales.

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As DVLA would not allow me to keep JVR 343, I located a registration which looks good on it – JAZ 1946. Yes, I know it’s not a 1946 model, but it was hard enough to find a plate with 1946 in it; there were no cheap plates reading 1948 🙂

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The above photos were taken at a local run, the Engineerium Run in April, around the Sussex countryside.

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Although I enjoy riding pre-war bikes and also various odd 2-stroke scooters, cyclemotors, etc, the Peugeot S57 scooter is the only 2-stroke in my collection reliable enough for regular use. However, I really don’t want to scratch it (again), so I use the Triumph as my regular bike. It’s less delicate, starts first kick, is comfortable to ride and handle, and has not let me down yet. And, of course, it takes regular unleaded rather than a mix.

I’ve a particular soft spot for these, as a Triumph Speed Twin was my first bike…

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I’d owned scooters while at school, and my first motorcycle was a 1950 Triumph Speedtwin purchased in 1973 for £20. It was a combination with a small open box on the side. I only owned it for a few months. My friends Barry and Dave came down from London to visit. My car was a Bond Bug, which only had one passenger seat. We decided to go out to the countryside so Dave volunteered to ride the Triumph; he said he knew how to ride one, but I suggested he try it out up the road, and I sat in the box while he rode it. Unfortunately he didn’t know the golden rule of riding an outfit – which is to only use your right hand to hold the controls, as a combo always pulls you to the left – and one hand only on the bars will steady it. Before I could stop him he had driven it into a wall! We didn’t bother going to the countryside, but spent the afternoon waiting around the local hospital instead.

Luckily Dave was okay; and my £20 purchase price had been reasonable enough that I could resell the bike for the same price even though the chair was a bit bent. They don’t cost £20 any more though…

Here are some period ads of the Triumph Speed Twin…

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Published on August 27, 2007 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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