Norman Hyde

Last updated
Norman Hyde on his Roadrunner sidecar outfit at the National Motorcycle Museum Woodward-hyde-roadrunner.jpg
Norman Hyde on his Roadrunner sidecar outfit at the National Motorcycle Museum

Norman Hyde (born February 1945) is a British motorcycle development engineer, racer and world record holder. [1]

Hyde joined Triumph motorcycles as an apprentice in 1964. Following the closure of the factory at Meriden in 1973, Norman moved to the Kitts Green site run by Norton Triumph International. When that shut down in 1975 he used his redundancy payment to establish his own business, designing and selling performance parts for Triumph twins and triples. Having passed his mechanical engineering diploma with flying colours in 1968 Norman secured a position in Triumph’s racing development department, working under Doug Hele, the legendary Chief Development Engineer. As a result, Norman was directly involved in the development of the T120, T140, T150, T160 and T180 twins and triples, as well as projects that never made it into production, like the four-cylinder Quadrent, OHC Triple and 350cc Bandit twin. He and his colleagues also supported the factory’s racers, including Percy Tait. Hyde is particularly proud of the Triumph Trident triple, launched in 1969, which, along with the Honda 750/4, redefined the sportsbike sector of that era.

Hyde also used his engineering skills to compete in drag racing and sprinting. In 1968 he took the World Record for a standing start 1/4 mile in his Triumph 350cc sidecar outfit and in 1969 he beat the World Record for a standing start kilometre on a Triumph 500cc twin (set by the works Gilera two years previously). In 1972 Norman captured the World Sidecar Land Speed Record on his Roadrunner III 850cc Triumph Trident powered outfit, at an average speed of 161.8 mph, a record that remained unbeaten for over 35 years.

Having started his own performance parts business early in 1976, Hyde used his engineering experience to design his own bikes and in 1987 he introduced the Hyde Harrier, a café racer kit for Bonneville and Trident engines using a frame developed with Harris Performance in Hertforsdshire. This was followed up in 1995 by the Hornet, a 126 mph single-cylinder motorcycle, also Harris-framed, powered by a 600cc Rotax engines tuned to produce 70 bhp. Following the rebirth of Triumph at their new Hinckley factory and the introduction of the retro-styled Bonneville, Norman introduced a wide range of performance and styling parts for the new British twins.

Hyde retired in 2018 and was recognised for his contribution to the British motorcycle industry by the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club, who appointed him as their patron.

Related Research Articles

Norton Motorcycle Company British Motorcycle Manufacturer

The Norton Motorcycle Company is a brand of motorcycles, originally based in Birmingham, England. This company is owned by Indian multinational giant TVS Motor Company. For some years around 1990, the rights to use the name on motorcycles was owned by North American financiers. From 2008 to 2020, a line of motorcycles was produced under owner and chief executive Stuart Garner. Due to financial failure with large debts, in April 2020 administrators BDO agreed to sell certain aspects of Garner's business to Project 303 Bidco Limited, a new business established for the purpose with links to Indian motorcycle producer TVS Motor Company.

Triumph Engineering Co Ltd was a British motorcycle manufacturing company, based originally in Coventry and then in Meriden. A new company, Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, based in Hinckley, gained the name rights after the end of the company in the 1980s and is now one of the world's major motorcycle manufacturers.


Laverda was an Italian manufacturer of high performance motorcycles. The motorcycles in their day gained a reputation for being robust and innovative.

BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident 1960s/1970s British motorcycle made by Triumph Engineering, Meriden

The Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 was a technically advanced, high-performance roadster motorcycle made by Triumph Engineering and BSA from 1968 to 1975, and sold under both the Triumph and BSA marques. Alongside the Honda CB750, and later the Kawasaki triples, it brought a new level of sophistication to street motorcycles, marking the beginning of the superbike era. The Honda CB750 overshadowed the Trident to be remembered as the 'first superbike', in spite of the Triumph Trident actually debuting before the Honda by a few weeks.

Triumph Bonneville

The Triumph Bonneville is a standard motorcycle featuring a parallel-twin four-stroke engine and manufactured in three generations over three separate production runs.

Triumph Trident

The Triumph Trident is a three-cylinder motorcycle of either 750 cc or 900 cc capacity. These bikes were produced from 1990 onwards at Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, by Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, the successor business to the defunct Triumph Engineering at Meriden Works, Warwickshire, England.

Norton Villiers Triumph (NVT) was a British motorcycle manufacturer, formed by the British government to continue the UK motorcycling industry, until the company's ultimate demise.

The so-called Triumph Quadrant was a "bitsa" designed and built in secret by Doug Hele in 1973. It was a 1,000 cc four-cylinder motorcycle made up from Trident parts. Essentially, the fourth cylinder came from grafting on an extra middle crankcase unit; but since the primary chaincase and final drive sprocket could not be relocated, the fourth cylinder protruded on the right hand side of the bike. The top speed was reputedly 125 mph.

Doug Hele British motorcycle engineer

Douglas Lionel Hele was a pioneering British motorcycle engineer with Triumph and other firms: BSA, Douglas and Norton. He was born in Birmingham in 1919 and died in Hagley, Worcestershire on 2 November 2001.

Triumph Thruxton British motorcycle

The Triumph Thruxton is a series of British motorcycles with parallel-twin engines and sports styling. The name Thruxton was first applied to a handbuilt machine for endurance racing in the mid 1960s, and later revived in the 2000s.

Triumph Motorcycles Ltd English motorcycle manufacturer

Triumph Motorcycles Ltd is the largest UK-owned motorcycle manufacturer, established in 1983 by John Bloor after the original company Triumph Engineering went into receivership. The new company, initially called Bonneville Coventry Ltd, continued Triumph's lineage of motorcycle production since 1902. They have major manufacturing facilities in Thailand.

Triumph TR65 Thunderbird British motorcycle

The Triumph TR65 Thunderbird is a motorcycle made by the Triumph worker's co-operative at the Meriden factory from 1981 to 1983. The TR65 was a reintroduction of the Triumph Thunderbird model name first used on the original 6T Thunderbird of 1949. A short stroke model, the Daytona 600 was designed in 1983 but not produced.

Norton Dominator

The Dominator is a twin cylinder motorcycle developed by Norton to compete against the Triumph Speed Twin. The original Dominator was designed in 1947 and 1948 by Bert Hopwood, who had been on the Speed Twin design team at Triumph. Available for sale from mid 1949, this design set the pattern for Norton twins for the next 30 years.

Triumph Bonneville T120 British motorcycle

The Triumph Bonneville T120 is a motorcycle originally made by Triumph Engineering from 1959 to 1975. It was the first model of the Bonneville series, which was continued by Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. The T120 was discontinued in favour of the larger 750 cc T140 in the early 1970s.

Triumph Bonneville T140 Motorcycle

The Triumph Bonneville T140 is a standard motorcycle with a 750 cc (46 cu in) capacity engine that was designed and built by Triumph Engineering at Meriden near Coventry.

Triumph Tiger T110 British motorcycle

The Triumph Tiger 110 is a British sports motorcycle that Triumph first made at their Coventry factory between 1953 and 1961. The T110 was developed from the Triumph Thunderbird and first appeared in 1954.

Slippery Sam Racing motorcycle

Slippery Sam is a British production class racing motorcycle from the early 1970s that used a carefully prepared version of the 750 cc Triumph Trident ohv (pushrod) three-cylinder engine. The "Slippery Sam" name was acquired during the 1970 Bol d'Or, a 24-hour race for production-based machines held in France, when engine difficulties and escaping oil covered the bike of Triumph employee Percy Tait and co-rider Steve Jolly who managed to finish in fifth place to winners Paul Smart and Tom Dickie on another works Trident.

The Hyde Harrier is a British sports motorcycle designed by Norman Hyde and unveiled at the British motorcycle show in 1987. It used donor engines from the Meriden Triumph Bonneville twin or Triumph Trident triple and a frame developed by Harris Performance, along with performance brakes by AP Lockheed and Dymag wheels.

BSA motorcycles

BSA motorcycles were made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA), which was a major British industrial combine, a group of businesses manufacturing military and sporting firearms; bicycles; motorcycles; cars; buses and bodies; steel; iron castings; hand, power, and machine tools; coal cleaning and handling plants; sintered metals; and hard chrome process.

BSA/Triumph racing triples

The BSA/Triumph racing triples were three cylinder 750 cc racing motorcycles manufactured by BSA/Triumph and raced with factory support from 1969-1974. There were road racing, production racing, endurance racing and flat track variants. The machines were based on the road-going BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident.


  1. Walker, Alastair (2009). The Café Racer Phenomenon. Veloce Publishing. p. 56. ISBN   978-1-84584-264-2.

[1] [2]

  1. "Norman Hyde - retiring but not Shy" British Dealer News
  2. "Norman clocks up 50 years on bikes" WArwick Courier