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  #1  
Old 24-09-21, 14:03
Dave Stapleton Dave Stapleton is offline
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Default Triumph TRW Motorcycles

Hello from the UK.

I have just joined the Forum and own a 1957 ex-Canadian Army Triumph TRW. I am hoping to trace the history of my motorcycle and learn more about the use of the TRW by the Canadian forces. All I know so far is that my motorcycle was despatched from the Triumph factory on 1 January 1957 and supplied to the "Ministry of Supply, Canadian Army" (quote from the factory records).

In 2015 it was one of 17 ex-Canadian Army TRWs re-imported back to the UK by a dealer in Wales. It has had one previous UK owner since then and I purchased the motorcycle last month.

Any information on where I might find out about my motorcycle's history during it's time in Canada would be very welcome (even if it was just stuck in a crate in some military warehouse).

The photo below shows my motorcycle as it is now with its UK registration number.

Dave


Last edited by Dave Stapleton; 24-09-21 at 16:01.
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  #2  
Old 24-09-21, 22:15
edstorey edstorey is offline
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Default Triumph Motorcycle

That is a slick looking motorcycle, although sadly most of the data on these bikes is no longer available and the search is even more difficult without a CFR number. More than likely your bike sat crated in an Ordnance Depot and was never issued to a unit.
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  #3  
Old 24-09-21, 22:44
Dave Stapleton Dave Stapleton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edstorey View Post
That is a slick looking motorcycle, although sadly most of the data on these bikes is no longer available and the search is even more difficult without a CFR number. More than likely your bike sat crated in an Ordnance Depot and was never issued to a unit.
Hi, That's a shame, here in the UK the Army still holds all the records for military vehicle going back to WW2 and the RAF vehicle records are held at the RAF Museum, both sets fully accessible to the public. I have one lead that a batch 21 motorcycles depatched in january 1957 went to London, Ontario possibly to an Ordnance Depot but it was anecdotal and I am still tring to identify the location and depot.
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  #4  
Old 24-09-21, 23:14
edstorey edstorey is offline
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Default Vehicle Records

The landfills around Ottawa are full of good records. Mostly boring files about vehicles and equipment, the stuff no-one would be interested in. Also a large number of equipment files have to be declassified, which there is no urgency to do.
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  #5  
Old 25-09-21, 02:54
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Robin Craig Robin Craig is offline
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Welcome to the group Dave,

saw you appear on the other medium recently, wondered when you would show up here. If Ed says its hard for the reasons stated, its sad to say but the Oracle has spoken.

Th CFR about which he speaks is a specific series of numbers that hopefully you can find somewhere.

Welcome in
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  #6  
Old 25-09-21, 03:02
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Jon Skagfeld Jon Skagfeld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stapleton View Post
Hello from the UK.

I have just joined the Forum and own a 1957 ex-Canadian Army Triumph TRW. I am hoping to trace the history of my motorcycle and learn more about the use of the TRW by the Canadian forces. All I know so far is that my motorcycle was despatched from the Triumph factory on 1 January 1957 and supplied to the "Ministry of Supply, Canadian Army" (quote from the factory records).

In 2015 it was one of 17 ex-Canadian Army TRWs re-imported back to the UK by a dealer in Wales. It has had one previous UK owner since then and I purchased the motorcycle last month.

Any information on where I might find out about my motorcycle's history during it's time in Canada would be very welcome (even if it was just stuck in a crate in some military warehouse).

The photo below shows my motorcycle as it is now with its UK registration number.

Dave


I was a Dispatch Rider in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals Reserve during the late '50s and the '60s, riding that very type of bike. The CFR of "mine" was 56-90674.

BTW, picky point...the saddle bags are not the correct type as issued.

Thanks for posting and bringing back good memories!

PS...just noticed, there's something about the muffler (silencer)..it seems to me that it was somewhat "fatter".
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Last edited by Jon Skagfeld; 25-09-21 at 03:07.
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  #7  
Old 25-09-21, 03:44
rob love rob love is offline
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How did the dealer manage to round up 17 TRWs in Canada? That is no small feat.



Can you post your serial number? There is a very small chance that it could be researched over to a CFR.
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  #8  
Old 25-09-21, 11:21
Dave Stapleton Dave Stapleton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Skagfeld View Post
I was a Dispatch Rider in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals Reserve during the late '50s and the '60s, riding that very type of bike. The CFR of "mine" was 56-90674.

BTW, picky point...the saddle bags are not the correct type as issued.

Thanks for posting and bringing back good memories!

PS...just noticed, there's something about the muffler (silencer)..it seems to me that it was somewhat "fatter".
Hi Jon, Thanks for your interest and comments. I was aware the saddle bags were incorrect, these were fitted by the last owner and are in fact webbing back packs. I am on the lookout for a pair of the correct saddle bags, which I am informed were green canvas with 'Y' straps? Maybe you can confirm this?

The exhaust system has also been replaced so the silencer may well be slightly different.
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  #9  
Old 25-09-21, 13:49
Dave Stapleton Dave Stapleton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
How did the dealer manage to round up 17 TRWs in Canada? That is no small feat.



Can you post your serial number? There is a very small chance that it could be researched over to a CFR.
Hi Rob

Thank you for your interest. I am still waiting to hear back from the dealer who re-imported the 17 bikes to the UK as to where he got them from. Below is a photo of the 17 outside his premises after they were unloaded. Sadly I don't know which one is mine.

I also think mine particular bike has had some minor cosmetic restoration at some point as it doesn't have the serial number on the tank.

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  #10  
Old 25-09-21, 13:52
Dave Stapleton Dave Stapleton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edstorey View Post
The landfills around Ottawa are full of good records. Mostly boring files about vehicles and equipment, the stuff no-one would be interested in. Also a large number of equipment files have to be declassified, which there is no urgency to do.
Hi Ed

Thanks for your interest, I guess it will be difficult to trace this bikes history but you have to try, you never know what might turn up.
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  #11  
Old 25-09-21, 14:07
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Jon Skagfeld Jon Skagfeld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stapleton View Post
Hi Jon, Thanks for your interest and comments. I was aware the saddle bags were incorrect, these were fitted by the last owner and are in fact webbing back packs. I am on the lookout for a pair of the correct saddle bags, which I am informed were green canvas with 'Y' straps? Maybe you can confirm this?

The exhaust system has also been replaced so the silencer may well be slightly different.
Dave...Yes you described the saddle bags much as they were.There was a left and right, dictated by the buckle arrangement over the rear structure. I have one bag but reckless storage has allowed some mildew to appear. If you are interested, I think I still have it in a shed out back. If I find it I'm agreeable to sending it to you if you think you can tackle the surface mildew.

One point of interest... the front shocks (dampers) are prone to compressing sufficiently to allow the headlamp to smash down and be damaged by the upright licence plate so don't do too much cross country...the bike was designed as a street bike, not suitable for cross country operation. If you ever see a Canadian military registered bike, you'll invariably see the plate corner bent over in order to cushion the hit.
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  #12  
Old 25-09-21, 15:44
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Default Canadian motorcycles

Welcome, and my condolences to your significant other. The Green Disease as we here often call it, is unmerciless. Just last week I was compelled to agree to drive 2 hours out and back to help fuel another member's need for military surplus parts. The disease is not pretty in its final stages.

You will learn that Canadian records, as Ed describes are sporadic or simply unavailable. The numbering system for land vehicles has a finite five-digit format and older records are constantly being overwritten as new equipment is taken into service. A few years ago I followed a staff car with the plate # 01234.

Good luck on the rebuild and the preservation. Too often the owners of surplus equipment delight in thrashing it to death and ignoring its maintenance. Parts are harder and harder to find and owners give up.
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  #13  
Old 25-09-21, 15:45
rob love rob love is offline
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It looks like a bit of a mixed bag of bikes: some restored, some original, some civilianised. I am going to guess that someone harvested all the bikes that came up for sale on kijiji and various forums for a year or three. I have noticed that the supply of bikes has slightly dwindled on kijiji for the past while....prices have gone up as well.
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  #14  
Old 25-09-21, 17:17
Dave Stapleton Dave Stapleton is offline
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Having a look around the bike today, which by the way is showing 4,000+ miles on the clock, and opened the toolbox for the first time. This is what I found inside, the brown colour is old preserveative grease. Could this be a pointer to its history?



Last edited by Dave Stapleton; 25-09-21 at 17:52.
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  #15  
Old 25-09-21, 18:14
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Jon Skagfeld Jon Skagfeld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stapleton View Post
Having a look around the bike today, which by the way is showing 4,000+ miles on the clock, and opened the toolbox for the first time. This is what I found inside, the brown colour is old preserveative grease. Could this be a pointer to its history?


Now that's a bonus find! Our bikes were issued during a Canadian military era known as "austerity", thus many vehicles, especially for Reserve Force, were issued "MFU" (minimum for use). That meant that an item issue was bare bones, no manual, no tools, often not even a spare tire (tyre,lol).
PS...that tool box was just the right size to fit in a "mickey"=13 oz bottle of booze...for those damp and cool days ya know.
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  #16  
Old 25-09-21, 18:53
rob love rob love is offline
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The GRAY Canada wrenches were common issue back in the day (and can still be found in some of the toolboxes) so the RCAF engraving on the one wrench does not really mean anything. It just means at some point that wrench was in Air Force service, and later found it's way likely to Army service. Often you did not order a wrench set, but rather had to order each wrench as individual items.



The wrenches themselves were good quality. I have many that I have acquired thru surplus yards in use out of my tool boxes.



I have found a small number for wrenches marked with triumph form the local scrapyard. These would have been out of Cdn service.
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  #17  
Old 26-09-21, 03:04
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Jon Skagfeld Jon Skagfeld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
The GRAY Canada wrenches were common issue back in the day (and can still be found in some of the toolboxes) so the RCAF engraving on the one wrench does not really mean anything. It just means at some point that wrench was in Air Force service, and later found it's way likely to Army service. Often you did not order a wrench set, but rather had to order each wrench as individual items.



The wrenches themselves were good quality. I have many that I have acquired thru surplus yards in use out of my tool boxes.



I have found a small number for wrenches marked with triumph form the local scrapyard. These would have been out of Cdn service.
Rob...were these originally known as Gray-Bonney?
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  #18  
Old 26-09-21, 03:39
edstorey edstorey is offline
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Default Triumph 56-90205

Attached is a photograph of a Triumph being employed by 1 RCHA in Germany in 1961.

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  #19  
Old 26-09-21, 04:59
rob love rob love is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Skagfeld View Post
Rob...were these originally known as Gray-Bonney?
There was some form of partnership with Bonney that took place sometime in the 30s and lasted until 1961. However, a more common found brand from Gray, especially in the military wrenches, was Dreadnaught. That was a Gray sub-brand.
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  #20  
Old 26-09-21, 12:45
Dave Stapleton Dave Stapleton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
There was some form of partnership with Bonney that took place sometime in the 30s and lasted until 1961. However, a more common found brand from Gray, especially in the military wrenches, was Dreadnaught. That was a Gray sub-brand.
I noticed these spanners I have were marked Dreadnaught.
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