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Triumph TR5 Trophy

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Title: Triumph TR5 Trophy  
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Subject: Fonzie, The Wild One, William Kincaid, List of Triumph motorcycles, Triumph Adventurer 900, Triumph Tiger Trail, Triumph TR6 Trophy
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Triumph TR5 Trophy

The TR5 Trophy was a standard motorcycle made by Triumph Engineering at the Meriden factory from 1949 to 1958.[1]

Based on the Speed Twin, the TR5 was a trials machine designed for off road use with a high level two into one exhaust and good handling on public roads.[2] The name 'Trophy' came from the three 'specials' that Triumph built for the Italian International Six Day Trial in 1948, which went on to win three gold medals and the manufacturers team trophy.[3] Featuring prominently in the AMC "Class C" racing until 1969, the American export models included components from the Tiger 100 to create a motorcycle for desert competition.[4]

From 1951 the 498 cc (30.4 cu in) engine (used as aircraft generators during World War II) was updated with a new alloy barrels and heads. The TR5 was replaced with a new range of unit construction twins in 1959.[3]

The Trophy name was resurrected for the TR6 Trophy in 1970 and the Trophy 500 (T100C) in 1971, which in turn was replaced by the Trophy Trail (TR5T) in 1973. This model enjoyed competition success gaining the British team individual gold medals and 2nd place overall in the 1973 ISDT competition held in the critical USA market. The new Triumph Motorcycles company also used the Trophy name for the Trophy 900 and Trophy 1200 models.

James Dean

Inspired by Marlon Brando's 6T Triumph Thunderbird in The Wild One, James Dean bought a Triumph TR5 Trophy. Phil Stern's series of iconic photographs of Dean show him on this bike. It was sold after the actor's death, and then was retrieved, restored and displayed at the James Dean Museum in Fairmount, Indiana.[5][6]

Happy Days

The Fonz, a character played by Henry Winkler in the popular and long running American sit-com Happy Days, rode a mildly customised 1949 Trophy TR5. The motorcycle was provided by stuntman and Triumph dealer Bud Ekins, who removed the front fender, painted the fuel tank silver and changed the handlebars. The bike used in the sitcom was put up for auction in October 2011.[7][8]


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