Triumph Twins - Icon - Up To Speed

Are there any other motorcycles as iconic as Triumph's parallel-twins? First appearing in September of 1937 as the 27-horsepower Speed Twin, the Edward Turner-designed overhead-valve engine (originally displacing 500, then 650 and eventually 750cc) remained in production for a remarkable 45 years. The Brit bikes excelled at all forms of racing, dominating everywhere from the deserts to the drag strips, from the sandy beaches (and, later, the high banks) of Daytona to the dirt tracks at Ascot and Peoria, even the dry lake beds at Bonneville and El Mirage.

Triumph's iconic status was cemented as much on celluloid as in competition. Marlon Brando rode a 1950 Thunderbird 6T to fame in The Wild One, and another archetypal rebel-the Fonz from Happy Days-rode a Triumph, too. Bud Ekins, standing in for the consummately cool Steve McQueen, jumped a Triumph TR6 Trophy over der Kaiser's razor wire in The Great Escape, and the twin-cylinder Trumpet was for a time McQueen's preferred mount for his own extracurricular desert-racing activities. Even pretty boys Warren Beatty and Richard Gere scored cool points for piloting Triumphs in Shampoo and An Officer and a Gentleman, respectively.

Whether you were a racer, rebel or wannabe, no other motorcycle offered the same mix of power, performance and iconic style as the Triumph twin, exemplified here by this gorgeous 1970 TR6 Tiger owned by Chris Carter, president of Motion Pro Industries. An unrestored original with just 8000 miles on the clock, Carter's machine looks every bit as cool and classy today as it did 37 years ago.