The Triumph Tigress, also sold as the BSA Sunbeam, was a scooter designed to have good performance and handling for the motorcycle enthusiast. The entry of the BSA group into the scooter field was announced by Edward Turner in October 1958. The 250 cc model would have a cruising speed of 55 to 60 mph (89 to 97 km/h) and petrol consumption of 120 miles per imperial gallon (2.4 L/100 km; 100 mpg‑US). A prototype 250 cc BSA Sunbeam was displayed at the 1958 Earl's Court Cycle and Motor Cycle Show. Manufacture started in late 1959, but delivery difficulties were acknowledged due to problems with recruiting labour, although it was claimed that the group had a manufacturing capacity of 50,000 machines a year.
The design by Edward Turner drew on Triumph's long experience of building fast motorcycles, and was sold under two brand names to take advantage of established distribution networks. This badge engineering was one of the last uses of the Sunbeam marque. The differences between the BSA Sunbeam and Triumph Tigress were entirely cosmetic - the former in polychromatic green paint, also two-tone red and cream, with a BSA badge; the latter in a shell blue or mimosa and ivory (two tone) with Triumph badging.
The scooter was available with a 250 cc four-stroke twin (10 hp; 7.5 kW) or 175 cc two-stroke single-cylinder engine (7.5 hp; 5.6 kW). Both engines were forced-air-cooled and curbed to keep low petrol consumption. The two-stroke was a development of the BSA Bantam engine but the four-stroke was a completely new parallel-twin with gear rather than chain drive to the gearbox. The contact-breaker fed two ignition coils, each of which had a lead to its spark plug without a distributor. Drive to the rear wheel was by a fully enclosed chain in an oil bath. Both versions had four, foot-operated gears. Some of the 250 twins were fitted with an electric starter and a 12 volt (not 6 volt) electrical system. The 250 twin sold well and could do 70 mph (113 km/h) with efficient suspension and good roadholding despite having only 10-inch wheels. The weight was low in comparison to other scooters (100/110 kg). The only problem was build quality: it was sometimes said that a Tigress was a joy to own so long as someone else was paying the repair bills.
The 250 cc four-stroke model was discontinued in 1964, the 175 cc two-stroke model in 1965.
Later in the 1960s, despite internal opposition from those who felt that scooters would dilute the macho image of the brand, Triumph (owned by BSA) produced another scooter and a motor tricycle for "shoppers". The Triumph Tina and the Ariel 3 tricycle (BSA also owned the Ariel marque) were intended to tap into the market segment for a convenient 'shopping basket'.
A straight-twin engine, also known as an inline-twin, vertical-twin, or parallel-twin is a two-cylinder piston engine where two cylinders are arranged in a line along a common crankshaft.
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.
Velocette is a line of motorcycles made by Veloce Ltd, in Hall Green, Birmingham, England. One of several motorcycle manufacturers in Birmingham, Velocette was a small, family-owned firm, selling almost as many hand-built motorcycles during its lifetime, as the mass-produced machines of the giant BSA and Norton concerns. Renowned for the quality of its products, the company was "always in the picture" in international motorcycle racing, from the mid-1920s through the 1950s, culminating in two World Championship titles and its legendary and still-unbeaten 24 hours at over 100 mph (161 km/h) record. Veloce, while small, was a great technical innovator and many of its patented designs are commonplace on motorcycles today, including the positive-stop foot shift and swinging arm rear suspension with hydraulic dampers. The business suffered a gradual commercial decline during the late 1960s, eventually closing in February 1971.
Phelon & Moore manufactured motorcycles in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, England from 1904 to 1967 particularly those under the Panther marque. They became identified with one particular design of motorcycle which had a large sloping 40-degree single-cylinder engine as a stressed member of the frame. This design spanned the entire history of the company, starting with a 500 cc model and ending with a 645 cc model.
Matchless is one of the oldest marques of British motorcycles, manufactured in Plumstead, London, between 1899 and 1966. A wide range of models were produced under the Matchless name, ranging from small two-strokes to 750 cc four-stroke twins. Matchless had a long history of racing success; a Matchless ridden by Charlie Collier won the first single-cylinder race in the first Isle of Man TT in 1907.
A motorcycle engine is an engine that powers a motorcycle. Motorcycle engines are typically two-stroke or four-stroke internal combustion engines, but other engine types, such as Wankels and electric motors, have been used.
Villiers Engineering was a manufacturer of motorcycles and cycle parts, and an engineering company based in Villiers Street, Wolverhampton, England.
Unit construction is the design of larger motorcycles where the engine and gearbox components share a single casing. This sometimes includes the design of automobile engines and was often loosely applied to motorcycles with rather different internal layouts such as the flat twin BMW models.
Ariel Motorcycles was a British maker of bicycles and then motorcycles in Bournbrook, Birmingham. It was an innovator in British motorcycling, part of the Ariel marque. The company was sold to BSA in 1951 but the brand survived until 1967. Influential Ariel designers included Val Page and Edward Turner. The last motorcycle-type vehicle to carry the Ariel name was a short-lived three-wheel tilting moped in 1970.
Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) was a British motorcycle manufacturer founded by the Collier brothers as a parent company for the Matchless and AJS motorcycle companies. It later absorbed Francis-Barnett, James, and Norton before incorporation into Norton-Villiers. Henry Herbert Collier founded Matchless as a cycle company in 1878. His sons Henry (Harry) and Charles (Charlie) joined him and the name was changed to H. Collier & Sons.
Edward Turner was an English motorcycle designer. He was born in Camberwell in the London Borough of Southwark, on the day King Edward VII was proclaimed King. In 1915, Turner had his first ride on a motorcycle, a Light Tourist New Imperial.
The Ariel Leader was a British motorcycle produced by Ariel Motorcycles between 1958 and 1965. A radical design, the Leader was fully enclosed with an integral windscreen and was the first British motorcycle to have optional flashing indicators. Ariel could not compete against Japanese imports and the last Ariel Leader was produced when the company closed in 1965.
Valentine Page (1891–1978) was a British motorcycle designer, who worked for several of the UK's leading marques, including Ariel, Triumph, and BSA. Page was an innovator whose radical designs include the Triumph 6/1, BSA Gold Star, BSA A7 and BSA M20, the J.A.Prestwich engine of the Brough Superior SS100, and the Ariel Leader.
A scooter or motor scooter is a motorcycle with an underbone or step-through frame and a platform for the rider's feet, emphasizing comfort and fuel economy. Elements of scooter design were present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and scooters have been made since at least 1914. Scooter development continued in Europe and the United States between the World Wars.
The Maicoletta was a motor scooter built by Maico from 1955 to 1966. It was noted by motorcycle journalists in the United States and the United Kingdom for being powerful, responsive, and comfortable. It was one of the heaviest and most expensive motor scooters with typical styling and engineering of its time, and comparable to other manufacturers' products such as Heinkel Tourist, Zündapp Bella and the British Triumph Tigress and BSA Sunbeam.
Invalid carriages were usually single seater road vehicles, buggies, or self-propelled vehicles for disabled people. They pre-dated the electric mobility scooters and from the 1920s were generally powered by a small gasoline/petrol engine, although some were battery powered. They were usually designed without foot-operated controls.
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.