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1955 Triumph 5T Speed Twin

1955 Triumph 5T Speed Twin

All Triumph twins had acquired swinging arm rear suspension by 1955, acknowledging that the system already adopted by other leading motorcycle manufacturers was superior to Meriden's sprung hub. The new frame enhanced comfort while roadholding was generally better, although mid-fifties Triumphs has a reputation for developing a wriggle when cornering at speed.

Coil ignition replaced the 5T's magneto in 1953, making the engine easier to start than ever. It was also oblingly flexible and emitted an inoffensive burble from the twin silencers. Triumph's traditional tank-top grid allowed small items of luggage to be carried securely.

Maroon livery, catalogued as Amaranth Red, has been a hallmark of the Speed Twin since its dramatic appearance for 1938 and the tidy headlamp and instrument nacelle were a familiar Meriden fature from 1950. Four bar aluminium fuel tank trims carrying the Triumph logo were not only elegant but cut production costs. Tanks for earlier Speed Twins were chrome plated by an outside contractor, a costly process prone to quality control problem.

  • Engine - 498cc (63 x 80 mm) air-cooled overhead valve parallel twin, 7:1 compression, 15/16in Amal carburettor, coil ignition
  • Transmission - Chain primary drive, wet multi0plate clutch, four-speed gearbox, chain final drive
  • Chassis - Tubular cradle frame, telescopic fork front suspension, swinging are rear suspension, drum brakes. Wheels, 18in
  • Power - 26 bhp @ 6300 rpm
  • Dry weight - 380 lb (172 kg)
  • Top Speed - 90 mph