Thursday, June 10, 2021

ABC and TT Triumph

An interesting and unlikely pair of machines in this photo, chalk and cheese - different in style, speed and even era.

The bike on the right is an ABC, designed by Granville Bradshaw and manufactured by the Sopwith Aviation Co. As with all of Bradshaw's designs it was fairly unorthodox and ahead of its time. Following a minor vogue of a few years earlier rear suspension was swinging arm controlled by leaf springs (Matchless and Indian were there with that a few years previously), the motor was a opposed twin 400cc ohv unit and legshields and footboards were integrated in to the frame. The ABC was a sophisticated bike but developed a reuptation for fragile valve gear and upgrading with aftermarket kits was a popular mod for ABC owners. The design was licensed out to Gnome et Rhone (also coincidentally airplane manufacturers) in France who produced a 500cc version with better developed valve gear. The bike wasn't a great success and was made from 1919 to 1923.

The other machine is a 1927 TT Triumph, a fast, strong and reliable road burner. The TT Triumph was a simple and dependable machine that replaced the earlier 'Ricardo' model developed by Harry Ricardo and featuring a four valve head.

ABC flat twin and TT Triumph
ABC flat twin and TT Triumph riding partners.

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