Triumph Trophy TR25W. BSA's revenge

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The concept of the adventure motorcycle was far from conceived in the late XNUMXs. So if you wanted to play in the sand with a motorcycle, you had to choose from the 'Scramblers' on sale at the time, like something from Honda's CL range. These really weren't serious off roaders, but street machines with a high exhaust and a cross handlebar.

The slip-on of Triumph in this market was the TR25W Trophy

It was intended to replace the 200cc Tiger Cub. And the Trophy was just a BSA Starfire 250 with “Triumph”On the fuel tank, a high handlebar and a high exhaust. It was one of BSA's last desperate attemptsTriumph to keep their quarter-liter singles on a ventilator. The 1971 B25T and B25SS 'Gold Star' were the end of the song.

From 15 to 24 pk

At the heart of the Trophy was BSA's four-stroke OHV, developed from the C15 unit construction of 1957, and pumped up from its original 1969 hp to 15 hp for 24.
The Trophy's 67mm piston ran in an iron-clad aluminum cylinder and powered a one-piece crankshaft with bolt-on flywheels and a 70mm stroke. The main bearings were drive side rollers and timing side balls, with drive to the wet multi-plate clutch and four-speed gearbox with chain. The pushrods danced on a single camshaft and the rocker arms had eccentric shafts to adjust valve clearance. A 28 mm Amal Concentric provided the mixture and ignition was by battery, coil and contact breaker, with automatic advance.

A great bicycle part

The drivetrain fitted into the single cradle frame was almost identical to that of the Victor, and also shared its BSA hydraulic fork, suspension and damping, and 7-inch drum brakes with a single ascending shoe. The tank (and side panels) were unique to the Triumph Trophy TR25W. They were fiberglass reinforced polyester for 1968 and steel for 1969-1970. Other changes made during production included an increase in compression to 10: 1 and an upgrade of the front brake to double ascending shoes for 1969.

The quality and the reliability

Two things stood in the way of the success of the Triumph Trophy TR25W: the build quality and the reliability. First, it was not built by Triumph, but in BSA's troubled Small Heath plant, with its chronic industrial relations problems. The strikes and work stoppages were only interspersed with tea breaks. As a result, the assembly quality was simply poor and the 250s were notorious oil boats even for that period, Lindsay Brooke and David Gaylin wrote in their book. Triumph Motorcycles in America.

Hermy Bayer, then a dealer in Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, recalls that from a delivery of Trophies he received, none ran smoothly: “Everything you could imagine was wrong with the engine,” he says. Bob Leppan, then a Detroit, Michigan dealer, remembers a batch of 250s with pistons mounted backwards! But when the engine issues were resolved, such was Triumph Trophy TR25W quite a tough thing. Unfortunately, he was vulnerable at persistently high revs. And however relatively sustained and high they were: The Trophy ran best at high revs. Where most of his assets could be found.

The engine problems were unfortunate, especially since the Triumph Trophy TR25W shared the frame, forks and brakes of the 441 Victor. That stuff was all tested and proven in competitions. But the Triumph was still no match for Yamaha's new 250cc DT-1, Suzuki's TC250 Hustler and the other Japanese and European street scramblers who also entered the market.

The looks got better

A cosmetic makeover for 1970 did nothing to fix reliability issues. Brooke and Gaylin wrote, “Although the American Triumphdealers sold thousands of TR1968Ws between 1970 and 25, the engine some called `` BSA's Revenge '' caused more damage to Triumphs reputation then well brought. When it came time to trade in again, many TR25W owners flocked to other brands instead of switching to a Triumph-twin. ”

In the meantime, the little Trophy's have gone as with more 'misses'.

A serious circle of enthusiasts has emerged. They appreciate the Triumph because of its rarity and its looks. In the meantime, most teething problems have disappeared from these endearingly brave single-cylinders. And the survivors are treated with a lot more respect than when they were young. Thus, the revenge of BSA has become a desirable, useful classic. We found our fashion model at Anne de Leeuw. A man trained in real estate and brokerage, but with his heart in the classic motorcycle world. For the time being, this led to the Histories Antique Motorcycles, located in an old school building. The Triumph had already been reserved at the time of our visit.

Fun, affordable classics usually have a short-stay permit on sale at the moment. We are not in favor of impulse buying. But to wait about four weeks during this time before you respond to the advertisement of your dream bike? Then you could just fish behind the net.

A reaction

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  1. The vast majority of people are familiar with the sad developments around BSA and Triumph simply called this model a BSA. But a 70's in original colors which came into the hands of the illustrious bookkeeper and Triumph specialist Marten Morren, however, became one Triumph called. Because it said 'Triumph'mentioned on the thing? - was his crushing logic.

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Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
  • Report Wemeldinge Classic Races
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVI
cover 8 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

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