The British Triumph 4 HP from 1916, 550 cc, 80 km/h

Triumph Engineering Co Ltd was a British motorcycle manufacturing company, based originally in Coventry and then in Meriden. A new company, Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, based in Hinckley, gained the name rights after the end of the company in the 1980s and is now one of the world’s major motorcycle manufacturers.

The company was started by Siegfried Bettmann, who had emigrated from Nuremberg, part of the German Empire, to Coventry in England in 1883. In 1884, aged 20, Bettmann had founded his own company, the S. Bettmann & Co. Import Export Agency, in London. Bettmann’s original products were bicycles, which the company bought and then sold under its own name. Bettmann also distributed sewing machines imported from Germany.

In 1886, Bettmann sought a more specific name, and the company became known as the Triumph Cycle Company. A year later, the company was registered as the New Triumph Co. Ltd, now with funding from the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company. During that year, another native of Nuremberg, Moritz Schulte, joined the company as a partner.

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