1974 Triumph Trident, Restored to Original Specifications, Runs and Rides as New

1974 Triumph Trident

Price: US $3,150.00
Item location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Make: Triumph
Model: Trident
Year: 1974
Mileage: 22,923
Vehicle Title: Clear
Contact seller: Contact form


1974 TRIUMPH TRIDENT T150V, OTAL RESTORATION OF A LOW MILEAGE ORIGINAL MACHINE, 200 MILES FROM RESTORATION,22,923 TOTAL ORIGINAL MILES,FRAME AND ENGINE # T150VGJ43019 This Triumph Trident 750 epitomizes the early 1970’s British motorcycle that became a permanent part of British motorcycle history and still represents the classic style…

The condition of this machine is very nice, s it was completely restored approximately 9 years ago. The frame and engine numbers are factory correct and original. It is the 750 cc engine. The gearbox is also original to the machine. This Trident was restored from the frame up. It is a great rider and a perfect candidate for any motorcycle concours. I also have a 1978 Bonneville 750 in almost the exact same condition, hich is also for sale.

This machine has been in my collection for some time, s started on a regular basis, nd ridden occasionally. I’ve been in the process of downsizing my collection over the past few years, ainly because I can’t ride everything as much as they deserve to be ridden.

When I purchased the bike, t was in basically the same restored condition shown in the photos. Besides a complete cosmetic detailing, have recently been through the entire machine and checked all of the major engine, ransmission, nd braking components for wear and safety. The gas tank was cleaned and the carburetors inspected, leaned, nd re-installed along with a new air filter, ll fluids were changed, nd both front and rear brakes were inspected. I've ridden abouthalf of the 1,200 miles the bike has had put on since its restoration.

The tires on the front and rear are Dunlop Roadmaster TT100s, nd are the original style and size that the machines was fitted with at the factory. They are in almost new condition. The wheels have also been restored to the original specifications and are in beautiful condition.

The seat cover, hile it might be original, s in almost new condition, nd the seat pan is very nice, s are the original exhaust pipes (both commonly replaced and now very hard to find in original condition).

The engine, ransmission, nd all related mechanical parts were re-built when the machine was restored, nd are in excellent interior condition.

A complete cleaning and detailing was performed before the photos were taken, nd although the bike was restored 9 years ago, he overall condition of the finishes is still amazing, nd is in line with the original mileage. The aluminum and chrome parts are in excellent condition overall. The one exception is the rear fender, hichlooksgreat, ut could use amachinepolish orbuffinginstead of a handpolish, s there are some slightblemishes that arenoticeable. Please take a look at the photos of the parts inquestion.

The paint was applied in the original color scheme along with the correct badges applied to the gas tank, lso original to the machine. The paint on the tank and the sidecovers is in beautiful condition.

The Triumph on the road is very easy to handle, nd rides down the road very tight, ith no shakes, himmies, r rattles. It shifts and accelerates smoothly and holds the road as it should.

There is absolutely NOTHING that needs to be done to this machine to ride it and enjoy it. It is also the perfect candidate for any motorcycle show and a very rare machine, s all of the hard to find original parts are accounted for. Unlike other vintage British bikes for sale on the internet, his one is ready to ride and not in need of any expensive service once you get it home.

I am always looking for new machines to add to my collection and love talking shop about bikes. Please contact me if you are looking for something or have something interesting available.


The description of this motorcycle is written to the best of my knowledge. However, am by no means an expert on vintage Triumph motorcycles. Please don’t hesitate to ask for more photos and, f possible, ome and look in person before the auction ends. ALL SALES ARE FINAL! If you have any questions, lease contact me before the auction ends.

If you have any questions, lease contact me. If you live close to Chicago, encourage you to come and inspect the motorcycle in person!

In an effort to protect the eBay user information and to help ensure the authenticity of correspondence between sellers and bidders, Bay’s new listing format does NOT display any bidder information. Nevertheless, STRONGLY encourage bidders to contact me directly to answer questions or to verify correspondence. Seller reserves the right to not accept bids or sell the vehicle to anyone with a zero or negative eBay feedback rating.

This motorcycle is being sold as is, here is with no warranty, xpressed, ritten or implied unless there is a warranty in effect from the factory. The seller shall not be responsible for the correct description, uthenticity, enuineness, r defects herein, nd makes no warranty in connection therewith. No allowance or set aside will be made on account of any incorrectness, mperfection, efect or damage. Any descriptions or representations are for identification purposes only and are not to be construed as a warranty of any type. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected the motorcycle and to have satisfied himself or herself as to the condition and value and to bid based upon that judgment solely. The seller shall and will make every reasonable effort to disclose any known defects associated with this motorcycle at the buyer's request PRIOR to the close of sale. Seller assumes no responsibility for any statements regardless of any oral statements about the motorcycle.

Please remember that your bid constitutes a legally binding contract to purchase this item. If you require an inspection, ave it done prior to bidding. I strongly encourage all bidders to inspect the motorcycle personally or enlist the services of a professional inspector prior to placing a bid. After the sale, nspections are not recognized as a contingency to completing your obligation to your winning bid. If there are any questions regarding the above terms, lease e-mail prior to bidding.

Please do not waste my time or yours bidding on an item you do not intend to pay for. If you bid on this motorcycle and win, ou are expected to pay and pick it up in a timely manner!

I welcome ALL international bidders and am happy to assist with making shipping arrangements. I can also arrange crating for shipment on my end for a nominal extra charge. If you are an international buyer, understand it can take some time to arrange shipping, o I do not mind keeping the motorcycle for a longer period of time until pick up. Please contact me before the sale ends, f possible, o discuss the specifics.

Thanks for your interest!

For more on the Triumph 750 Trident and the history of the Triumph motorcycle company, lease read on past the photos…


The BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident was the last major motorcycle developed by Triumph Engineering at Meriden, est Midlands. It was a 750 cc air-cooled unit construction pushrod triple with four gears and a conventional chassis and suspension. The motorcycle was badge-engineered to be sold under both the Triumph and BSA marques. The Rocket 3/Trident was part of Triumph's plan to extend the model range beyond their 650 cc parallel twins.

Created to meet the demands of the US market, he smooth 750 cc three-cylinder engine had less vibration than the existing 360° twins. Although BSA experienced serious financial difficulties, 7,480 Rocket 3/Tridents were produced during its seven-year history.


Although designed during the mid-1960s, he BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident engine originated in a 1937 parallel twin: the 500 cc Triumph Speed Twin, esigned by Edward Turner. The 1938 Tiger 100 was a sports version of the Speed Twin; the Trident three-cylinder engine is a larger version (although the triple has a longer stroke than the Tiger 100 engine). Following Triumph tradition, he OHV Trident engine has separate camshafts for the inlet and exhaust valves.

The three-cylinder design was developed in 1962 by Bert Hopwood and Doug Hele. Test engineers developed the chassis' handling characteristics by affixing lead weights on a standard 650 Bonneville. The first prototype (P1) was running by 1965, nd it seemed that Triumph might have a machine in production by 1967.

However, he decision to produce a BSA version with sloping cylinders and employ Ogle Design to give the early Tridents/Rocket 3s their "square tank" added bulk and 40 lb (18 kg) of weight, elaying production by 18 months.

In 1966 a P2 prototype was produced with a more production-based Trident engine, ifferent bore and stroke dimensions and improved cooling. Hele got 90 bhp (67 kW) from a Trident engine, eading to speculation that if development had quickened in 1964 a 140 mph (230 km/h) British superbike could have been produced by 1972.

Although most British motorcycles used a wet multiplate clutch, his triple had a dry single-plate clutch in a housing between the primary chaincase and the gearbox. Mounted on the end of the gearbox mainshaft (where the clutch would be expected) was a large transmission shock-absorber.

All the three-cylinder engines (and the Rocket 3 motorcycles) were produced at BSA's Small Heath site, ut final assembly of the Triumph Trident model was carried out at Meriden in Coventry.

The major differences were the engine and frame: the BSA had an A65-style double-loop cradle frame (with engine mounted at a slant), hile the Triumph had a Bonneville-style single downtube frame with vertical cylinders. Other differences were cosmetic. Triumphs sold better in the US, espite BSA's Daytona racing successes during the early 1970s. Sales did not meet expectations; for the 1971 model year a fifth gear was added, reating the BSA A75RV and Triumph T150V.

At the time, SA was having financial difficulties, nd only some 205 five-speed Rocket 3s were built before production of the BSA variant ceased. Production of the five-speed Triumph T150V (with a front disc brake replacing the original drum) continued until 1974. For the 1975 model year, he Trident was updated to the T160.

Racing achievements:

Doug Hele continued to develop the engine, nd in 1971 joined frame expert Rob North to produce the Formula 750 racing machines. At the 1971 Daytona 200 the British three-cylinder bikes took the top three places; Dick Mann won on a BSA Rocket 3, ollowed by Gene Romero on a Triumph Trident and Don Emde third on another BSA Rocket 3. John Cooper rode a BSA Rocket 3 to an upset victory over 500 cc world champion Giacomo Agostini in the 1971 Race of the Year at Mallory Park. Cooper finished three-fifths of a second ahead of Agostini's MV Agusta.

The best-known bike was Slippery Sam, production-class Trident prepared by a team led by Les Williams. Slippery Sam won consecutive 750 cc production races at the Isle of Man TT for the five years between 1971 and 1975, nd in the new F750 event for race-specification machines, riumph and BSA machines with Rob North frames placed first and second.

Bert Hopwood recommended a production version of the racing triple, roducing 84 bhp (63 kW) at 8,250 rpm, ut his suggestion was not adopted. Further racing development was done in Duarte, alifornia under racing manager Dan Macias.

Tom Mellor went on to set four world speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in September 2008 with a 1969 Triumph Trident T150.

End of production:

Financial and management problems at BSA and the disintegration of the British motorcycle industry during the early 1970s led to a government-sponsored merger in July 1973 with Norton. However, he restructuring plans announced by the newly formed Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT) triggered a strike at Triumph's Meriden factory in mid-September. Production of the Trident was eventually transferred to BSA's Small Heath factory in March 1974, ut the long disruption resulted in the production of few 1974 Tridents.


-1974 Triumph Trident T150V-

Total production: 27,000 (approx./all years and versions)

Engine type: 741cc air-cooled OHV inline triple, 7mm x 70mm bore and stroke, :1 compression ratio, 0hp @ 7,250rpm (claimed)

Top speed: 125mph (est.)

Carburetion: Three 27mm Amal Concentric

Transmission: 5-speed, hain final drive

Electrics: 12v, oil and breaker points ignition

Frame/wheelbase: Dual downtube steel cradle/57in (1,448mm)

Suspension: Telescopic forks front, ual shock absorbers w/adjustable preload rear

Brakes: 10in (254mm) disc front, in (178mm) SLS drum rear

Tires: 4.1 x 19in front and rear

Weight (wet): 497lb (226kg)

Seat height: 31in (787mm)

Fuel capacity/MPG: 4.2gal (16ltr)/28-32mpg (observed)

Here’s an article from the SUMP on the joys of living with the T150…

IF LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY, hen the T150 Triumph Trident is where it all kicks off, ecause this superlative piece of top-flight British motorcycling engineering has just entered its fifth decade and is faster, ore surefooted, ore reliable and a better value than it ever was—or is ever likely to be.

From the moment you prod into life the 741cc, 7mm x 70mm, ll-alloy engine, ou get your first inkling that all the doom & gloom gossip commonly bandied around about these classic pushrod triples is long past its sell-by date. And that delicious surge you feel when you first wring the throttle heralds one of the best threesome experiences you’re ever likely to get, aking you all the way up to around 120mph—and beyond—depending on what state on tune has been dialed in on the assembly bench and whether you’re riding with your knees in the breeze, r your feet in retreat.


Although (unsurprisingly) not as taut and sharp as its race-bred brethren, basic, ntweaked T150 or T150V is nevertheless triumphantly predictable and gives ample warning of an imminent breakaway—which you’re never likely to get even close to due to the relatively low-slung foot pegs and a grinding centre stand that’s guaranteed to set alight any roadside tinder on a hot, ry summer’s day.

That said, odern tyres and suspension tweaks have revolutionised what was once a slightly wallowy ride, hile braking upgrades (for both drum/drum and disc/drum variants) have long since got all that heavy metal momentum on a short leash. Which is why even a mildly modified bike will kick sand in the faces of all but the best riders.

At low revs, he engine throbs and pulses in a manner quite unlike any other Triumph. It's a big dog straining to sink its teeth into something juicy, deally in big chunks. By the time you hit the mid-range, he engine note takes on a hollow, nxious rasp and you get your first inkling of the real appeal of these backstreet bruisers.

At around 4,500-5,000rpm, rident warp drive kicks in and you can quickly forget your love for British parallel twins and go boldly where lots of men have been before.

At 85-90mph the engine isn't merely singing; it's a full blown choir filling the air with a delicious three-pronged blast of mechanical music.

There are vibes. Plenty of them. But you don't notice them on a short, ast, ixed-speed run. Or, ather, ou do notice them, ut you don't care. You're too busy enjoying the lusty induction scream and howling exhaust note that belongs to no other motorcycle in the world, xcept another Triumph/BSA triple.

Bert Hopwood, oug Hele and Trident Production:

On longer hauls, ay 120-150 miles, our fingertips begin semaphoring a signal that these vibrations will ultimately take their toll if you don't spread the power around. So you naturally look for a winding "S" road, afe in the knowledge that you can straighten whatever bend comes at you and eat up those open sections like a bulimic on a bender.

First produced in 1968, he T150s trickled off the Meriden assembly line as the bastard child of Bert Hopwood and Doug Hele, wo of England’s most forward thinking engineers who rightly saw the rising multi-cylinder Honda 750-4 threat from the Far East and were determined to pre-empt it.

Which they did, f only by a few weeks.

And “bastard” was the appropriate word, ecause the Trident was always a complicated bike to produce and a difficult one to sell with its asking price being almost double that of the T120 Bonnie which was at the height of its popularity.

T150 racing from Thruxton to Talledega:

The Trident also suffered numerous technical failures that were expensive and time consuming to fix. And its early slabbish “breadbin” styling was an added bugbear that prompted rapid revision in response to American sensibilities; guys who, n many respects, roved to be even more conservative than the Brits. It was amazing that the bike ever saw volume production at all.

Where the Trident excelled was on the world’s racetracks where, long with its BSA Rocket Three counterpart, he T150 trounced all comers on both sides of the Atlantic at Montlh?ry, ntario, aytona, allory Park, rands Hatch, e Mans, alladega and Thruxton. To cap it all, hese awesome triples won the 750cc Isle of Man Production TT no less than 6 times.

Great Trident/BSA virtuosos include Dick Mann, ob Heath, ercy Tait, ay Pickrell, aul Smart, ony Jeffries, ohn Cooper, ick Grant, alcolm Uphill and Dave Nixon, ach of whom found the Trident to be both challenging and exhilarating, nd always a machine to be reckoned with.

In 1972, he four-speed T150 became the five-speed T150V. In 1973 a front disc brake appeared. In 1974 the T150V was dropped from the range giving way to its successor, he heavier and therefore slightly more ponderous electric-start T160 Trident.

And another article courtesy of Motorcycle Classics…

In 1963, ngineers at Triumph started developing a 750cc triple. In an era when twins reigned supreme it would have been a standout, Superbike before there were Superbikes. Had it been pushed into production Triumph, hen at the top of its game, ould have been miles in front of the competition.

Triumph’s engineering heads Bert Hopwood and Doug Hele were often quoted as saying the 3-cylinder Trident could have gone into production as early as 1965. Unfortunately, t took until 1968 for the production Trident to hit these shores. In the meantime, onda was busy developing the revolutionary CB750 Four, nd when it was introduced just months after the Triumph, he Trident quickly became an also-ran.

And that’s really too bad, ecause the Trident is an excellent motorcycle and a classic example of what the British did best, hich was extending existing platforms and technologies to their absolute limit. Triumph’s marketing hype aside, utside of its 3-cylinder configuration and dry, ingle-plate diaphragm clutch, here was nothing particularly novel about the Trident. In fact, he first prototype engine was basically a 500cc Speed Twin with an extra cylinder grafted on.

The Triumph Trident stayed in production for the better part of nine years. And while never the best-seller Triumph hoped for — and needed — the Trident made a name for itself on the road and track, here it consistently proved its winning capacity at venues like Daytona and the Isle of Man, here Les Williams’ “Slippery Sam” won its class five years running.

The motorcycle mags loved the Trident. Cycle said it went around the track “like it was on rails,” while Cycle Guide called it the fastest street machine they had ever tested, bar none.” Unfortunately, merican riders did not love it as much, n large part because of the slab-sided toaster styling of the original models. Triumph finally got the look right for 1971, itching the “ray gun” mufflers and giving the Trident a proper Bonneville-style gas tank, ut by then the market was evolving even faster and Triumph’s products were looking even older than before.

Then and now…

Early Tridents suffered from reliability issues ranging from oil leaks to mushroomed valve stems, lus valve guide and transmission gear wear. High oil consumption was often noted, nd testers and owners alike complained of a hard-to-adjust clutch. Even so, ycle praised the clutch in a 1972 test where the editors launched their bike down the drag strip 21 speed-shifting times with nary a missed shift. For all its foibles, he Trident was strong as an ox.

By the time they built our feature bike, 1974 Triumph Trident T150V (“V” for 5-speed, ntroduced in 1972), riumph had things pretty much right. Electric start was still waiting in the wings (that would come in 1975, ith the T160), ut the Trident now had a disc front brake, raditional styling, nd most of its reliability issues, ave for the occasional oil leak, ddressed. And it was still fast. A Cycle shootout of 1973 Superbikes put it third out of six in lap times and the quarter-mile, ehind Kawasaki’s fearsome 750 2-stroke triple and new 903cc Z1 four but ahead of Norton’s 750 Commando, ucati’s 750 GT, arley-Davidson’s 1000 Sportster and Honda’s CB750.

Swing a leg over the Trident and you settle into familiar territory, ith relatively high handlebars giving an easy reach from the forward sloping seat. Switch gear is standard Lucas, nd the view across the tank reminds you of a Bonneville of the same period. Turn the key, tickle” the carbs and the Trident 150 fires to life with a surprisingly easy jump on the kickstarter. Credit goes to an aftermarket Tri-Spark ignition replacing the stock — and troublesome — trio of points, aking this a one-kick bike. Proper carb synchronization is critical to a good running Trident, nd once the carbs are dialed in, he bike will settle into a steady idle after only a short warm-up.

Shifting is on the right (left hand shift came with the T160), ne down and four up. Period reports gave the Trident’s gearbox mixed reviews, ut the one in Keith’s bike shifts nicely, ith an easy catch into first gear and smooth shifting across the board. In 200-plus miles of riding I never missed a shift and it never hung up on me at a stop.

The engine spins up readily, nd pulling away the first thing you notice is the Trident’s ample power. While period reports complained of lackluster urge below 3,000rpm, he Trident pulls strongly from idle. Around town it’s easy to ride, ts nicely weighted steering aided by a slim profile that makes the bike feel smaller than it is. It feels civil, ot raucous.

That is until you get out on the road. Twist the throttle hard and the Triumph Trident T150 sheds any pretense of civility. The revs climb quickly and easily — much faster than a Bonneville twin — and the exhaust, ven with stock cans, mits a lovely, lightly muffled howl. Things really start to happen above 5,000rpm, nd from there to 7,500rpm it fairly flies. Period testers claimed you could rev the triple to 8,500rpm without concern thanks to the Trident’s near bulletproof bottom end, nd speeds of 120mph-plus were easily reached. In the 80mph range the Trident is sure and steady, lthough engine vibes start to intrude above 5,500rpm.

High-speed handling is excellent, f not quite in the same league as a contemporary Norton Commando. A 2-inch rise versus the 6-inch rise of the stock bars would push your weight farther over the front end and, n my opinion, ake the Trident a much nicer high-speed machine. The downside to fast riding is abysmal gas mileage: A low of 28mpg and a high of 32mpg, y all accounts normal for the model.

The suspension is period-typical, ith limited travel front and rear and a fairly hard ride. Yet it’s not unduly harsh, nd the front end feels planted most of the time. One place where the Trident pulls up short is in the braking department. The single front disc feels wooden and disconnected. And while the rear drum bites well enough, t’s the front brake that really matters, nd this one just doesn’t deliver the sort of confidence you’d like from a bike that’s so easy to ride fast.

At around 500 pounds fully fueled it’s not exactly light, ut it’s well-proportioned and feels lower than it actually is. A nicely weighted clutch, mooth-shifting transmission and highly tractable engine let you dial in your favorite speed with ease. The Triumph Trident 150 is comfortable, ast and, roperly set up, uite reliable, ualities that are often at odds in a vintage Superbike.

Parts are surprisingly easy to source, nd there’s a healthy community of knowledgeable enthusiasts ready to share information. The Trident’s strong bones have made it a perennial favorite for racers (in 2008, om Mellor took his streamlined Trident to a record breaking 180.317mph at the Salt Flats), nd Trident fans like Randy Baxter at Baxter Cycle in Marne, owa, re still developing the bike. Randy expects to have a new dual-carb conversion — complete with new manifold — available by the time you read this.

One has to wonder how Triumph’s fortunes would have fared if the Trident had gone into production in 1965-1966. Even if Honda could have trimmed its development time with the CB750, he Trident would have owned the Superbike market for at least two or three years.

...Thanks to Richard Backus and Motorcycle Classics, uly/August, 013


Bacon, oy (1995). Triumph Twins and Triples. Niton Publishing. ISBN 1-85579-026-2.

Davies, vor (1991). Triumph-The Complete Story. The Crowood Press. ISBN 1-86126-149-7.

McDiarmid, ac (1997). Triumph-The Legend. Parragon Publishing. ISBN 0-7525-2080-6.

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