Triumph 1200cc 'Daytona' motorcycle, c 1997.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Posibly the most famous name in the illustrious history of the British motorcycle industry, Triumph was established by a German, Siegfried Bettmann, in Coventry in 1886. Their first motorcycle appeared in 1902, and the company then went on to produce a long line of succesful high-performance touring and racing machines. In common with the rest of Britain's motorcycle manufacturers, Triumph began to suffer against competition from Japan from the 1960s, culminating in production ending in 1983. The name was bought by John Bloor, however, and Triumph was re-launched by him at a new factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, in 1988. The company then resumed production of large powerful machines such as this 1200cc Daytona, capable of a top speed of 168 mph.