Thursday 22 December 2011

Friday bike

Yes, it's Thursday, but I feel like posting today.

This week's Friday bike is a bit different in that it didn't really exist!

The Triumph Phoenix/Diana prototype from about 1983. This was designed and built by the Workers' Co-operative at Meriden, but didn't reach production.

The engine was a 900cc water cooled DOHC 8 valve twin, and was designed to replace the ageing Bonneville. I found a very good documentary (originally part of the BBC's 'Money Programme' series) which gives a poignant look at the running of the Co-op.

It's in 5 parts, and what strikes you is the sheer dedication of the workers desperate to keep their factory working despite the odds. 
There's also some footage of the above engine actually running, so it got that far in development, but the man in the picture at the top of the post, the owner of the only bike built, mentioned that it's a wood and clay mock-up, probably the reason it was displayed on the roof of Triumph's stand at the bike show in the film.
Another sad 'if only' story from the British motorcycle industry, but as John Bloor showed when he later bought Triumph, you need a lot of money behind you if you're going to run a motorcycle factory.


  1. At first glance it reminds me of an early Suzuki Katana, or should I say an early Katana reminds me of a Diana. That's a nice looking engine as well. Oh, the old sticks in the mud that had charge of things....if only.

  2. I've just watched that and it made me quite angry.

    A great example of us going down the plughole - grr!

    Seasons wishes to all.