1975 Triumph Trident T160 3-Cylinder
Lot 179
1975 Triumph T160 Trident
Sold for US$ 3,510 inc. premium

Lot Details
1975 Triumph T160 Trident
Frame no. TBD
Engine no. TBD
The Triumph Trident 150, the company’s three-cylinder entry into the Superbike sweepstakes, was introduced in 1968. Originally conceived in 1961, by the time it got to market, it was nowhere near state of the art, and the Honda CB 750 soon usurped its intended position, which was better finished, had an extra cylinder, a disc brake and a self-starter. Accordingly, sales of the Triumph lagged at a time when Triumph dealers were experiencing record sales with their other models.

Such prosperity was not to last, uninspired management and emboldened unions soon had the company in trouble. In 1973 the workforce illegally seized the Triumph plant and shut down production. After a year and a half, and a change of ownership to the workers, Triumphs were again available. In 1975, a redesigned Trident, the T160 arrived on US shores.

The over 200 mechanical modifications resulted in a much better bike. It had the engine canted 15 degrees forward like the BSA Rocket 3 and this allowed room for a self starter. Styling was redolent of the much-loved Bonnevilles of yore. Because of the low volume now experienced by the company, price became a problem in the US, at $2,850, more than a Kawasaki Z-1 and on a par with a Honda Gold Wing. With Triumph’s English parent coming unglued financially with a $4 million loss in 1974, the Eastern American distributor closed and the Western one significantly reduced its staff. In a desperate bid to survive, the US inventory was sold off at fire sale prices.

The T160 was the most modern British Superbike of its era and would remain the greatest mass-produced Brit until Triumph was reconstituted in a different corporate form fifteen years later. This T160 has disc brakes front and rear and the left-hand gear change required by US regulations. Seated above the wide 5.8-gallon gas tank, one has a feeling of omnipotence as the 60 horsepower engine easily keeps up with modern traffic, even on the freeway. With only 7960 miles showing, this T160 Trident has had a sympathetic restoration to bring this old warrior back to its original condition; as it was when it was a beacon in the sea of a failing British motorcycle industry.

Without reserve

Saleroom notices

  • The engine and frame for lot 179, a 1975 Triumph T160 Trident, is T160XK01980.
Auction information

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20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

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