Triumph Trident T160V

Triple Threes

This isn't about the Hinckley and District MCC that was originally called the Treble Threes (for unknown reason), it is about three Triumph Trident T160Vs with registrations SAY 956R, SAY 957R and SAY 958R, owned at the same time by three Leicester Phoenix MCC members Kevin Brewin, Ben Crossley and John Ashworth.

The sad thing is that these three bikes were never lined up together, and rarely were two out on the same run.

In its later non-standard form.

Kevin and I did take a camping holiday together near Newton Abbot in Devon. Things I recall most were watching shooting stars in the clear night air, and a ride down the A380 at indecent speeds to the thrill of two big triples howling to the moon!

Two Tridents together for camping in Devon. Kevin Brewin and SAY 956R in background.

For some reason that I can't recall (probably a BMF meeting) I also visited London with John Ashworth and negotiated the streets at snails pace using a Monopoly board as a map. Even in traffic crawl our matching bikes attracted admiring comments from many drivers.

Read what happened when I went on a London MAG demo.

The Trident wasn't made for London's streets, or any other town work for that matter. Nothing wrong with its tractability but the clutch was heavy and could soon overheat.

The clutch is operated by a pull-rod and on several occasions the head sheared off the pull-rod leaving me to ride home without a clutch. Apart from starting, I found this was easy if I pretended the clutch worked, in which case the throttle/gearchange were in perfect synchronisation. But as soon as I started thinking about it, the gear changes became a grind. Any-road-up, I began to carry a spare pull-rod in my kit.

Club camping holiday in Exmouth. Steve White with his Honda 500/4 and Jane Bryan in the background.

Seeing Double

Not that we ever went out of our way to pair up. Stuart Drage and Phil Barton at the Kettering and District MCC often had matching bikes (coincidentally I'm assured) Once they had matching Bonnevilles and later, when the club had morphed into the Corby and Kettering MCC meeting at the George in Desborough, they came to the club on matching Yamahas. From the club-room window we watched them arrive, about half an hour apart, and they parked at opposite ends of the pub yard. As soon as they were in the bar ordering their drinks, we rushed down stairs and swapped the bikes over, taking care to transfer aeroelastics that were the only visible difference.

Phil Barton

Stuart Drage

Later in the evening Stu, looking from the club window, suddenly noticed that the bikes had been swapped and looked round to see if he could identify the culprits; we evaded his suspicion. Next time they were both in the bar we rushed down again and swapped them back.

At leaving time Stu walked to his own bike, moved his bungees to the wrong bike and tried to get his key to fit! We told him not to buy identical motorcycles and drink less if he couldn't remember where he parked his bike!

Trident still in standard form at the BMF show 1977 in company with Ron Rutherford's Yamaha XS 750. Helen Ayriss standing guard.

Kevin sold his Trident and moved on to a BMW (more fool him) but not before he made a discovery. He came into the club one evening with an ear-to-ear smile. I've found out how to make it go, he said. Don't use fifth!

John had adventures as mentioned in his own report and then his Trident moved on to Derek Jordan who will put it on the road any time soon.


- Ben Crossley