Triumph Motorcycles Trident
- MotornummerT150V EH04452
Property of John Parker, the 1981 CRMC 'Classic Race of the Year'-winning
1973/1977 Triumph 974cc Trident 'Rob North' Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 10
Engine no. T150V EH04452
Built, raced and offered for sale by John Parker
Winner of the 1981 CRMC 'Race of the Year'
Kept in storage for the last 33 years
Built and campaigned by John Parker, this machine is typical of the last Triumph Tridents to be raced during the late 1970s in the open class at national and club level, and has an excellent record in over 120 races against fast Japanese opposition. This bike won races outright in 1979 and 1981 and has been first British bike across the line in most of its open class races.
The era of Triumph's works participation in racing had ended circa 1975, though the Triumph and BSA triples were still successful open class racing machines at national and club level up until around 1977. From then onwards, Japanese 750cc four-cylinder two-strokes and large-capacity multi-cylinder four-strokes began to dominate racing.
In 1979 John won a Bemsee open class 501-1,000cc race on this machine and in 1981 won the 'Classic Race of the Year' on it, beating the likes of Dave Degens and John Cowie on similar 1,000cc 'Rob North' Tridents. The T150V engine remains complete and is as it was when it last won that race in 1981. Due to a controversial CRMC rule change, this bike was not eligible to defend the title John won in '81.
The original engine installed in the frame was an ex-Dresda 750cc T150T, brought in December 1977. Some time around late summer 1978, this was swapped for the engine currently installed, 'T150V EH04452', which had been raced very successfully in the production class in the mid-1970s by Brian Griffiths. The Norman Hyde big bore kit was installed during the 1978 season for open class racing.
In addition to the Norman Hyde big bore kit and stroked crankshaft, the Trident's specification includes works TH6 cams, works steel-billet con-rods, lightened timing gears and triple Amal 30mm carburettors, while the valve gear is to works specification. Other noteworthy features of this unique machine include Lucas RITA electronic ignition; Quaife five-speed close-ratio gear cluster; Ceriani forks; Essex Wheels hubs; Borrani alloy wheel rims; Lockheed front brake callipers; and a 3-into-1 exhaust system (115dBA).
This 'Rob North' Trident was raced by its creator between 1977 and 1982, and is an original from that era. It does not claim to be a genuine Rob North or an ex-Triumph factory racing machine. However, it does have direct connections to those raced by the factory team. The Rob North frame is one of the early frames built under the skilled hand of Mick Pearce by Miles Engineering of Twickenham, which had acquired the rights to the design and the original jigs from Rob. The frame is stamped 'ME0010' and there are receipts on file to prove its date of manufacture. Triumph development engineer Norman Hyde and Triumph works team mechanic Jack Shemans had a direct hand in tuning this motorcycle, and it has been test ridden by former works team riders Paul Smart and Alex George. Motor Cycle News carried an illustrated report on the Smart/George test in its 29th September 1982 edition (copy on file). The history of the Rob North Tridents is well described in the book 'Triumph Experimental' by Mick Duckworth.
Since 1982, the Trident racer has remained in John Parker's ownership, being stored in a garden shed for the last 33 years. Periodically the engine has been turned over with the spark plugs removed until the oil was seen to be returning to the oil tank. New brake hoses and brake repair kits were fitted circa 2005 as the original ones were plastic and had hardened. The carburettors have been 'exercised' and the slides kept lubricated, while the exhaust pipes were removed and sprayed a heat-resistance matt black as they were becoming rusty.
The Trident was started again for the first time on 7th April 2015, the event being captured on video, a copy of which is in the documentation file. Accompanying documentation also includes copies of bills, race results, race programs, newspaper cuttings, video footage from two races at Brands Hatch (taken in 1981) and race photographs. John also kept a rough log/notebook recording changes made, and that too is included in the sale together with his fascinating 70-page history of this machine, which is essential reading for any prospective purchaser. Particular attention should be paid to his advice in the event of an engine rebuild.
This motorcycle is by no means race ready and still has the tyres it last raced on in 1981. The fuel tank has a dent on the left-hand side, the result of the crash while leading the race at the CRMC August 1981 Snetterton meeting. The tank also has had some brake fluid spilt on it, while the swinging arm bears the scars of a home-made paddock stand, which has now been replaced with a commercially available one. The machine would need a careful strip down and through checking would need to be carried out if it was to be considered for parading or racing.