The Triumph Quadrant

A home-built version of Triumph's forgotten prototype

| January/February 2009

  • triumph quadrant 1
    George Pooley's home-built Triumph Quadrant Special.
    Photo by Andrew Westlake
  • triumph quadrant 2
    George Pooley's home-built Triumph Quadrant Special
    Photo by Andrew Westlake
  • triumph quadrant 3
    George Pooley's home-built Triumph Quadrant Special
    Photo by Andrew Westlake
  • triumph quadrant 5
    George Pooley's home-built Triumph Quadrant Special
    Photo by Andrew Westlake
  • triumph quadrant 4
    George Pooley's home-built Triumph Quadrant Special
    Photo by Andrew Westlake
  • triumph quadrant 6
    Builder George Pooley made the inlet manifolds on his home-built Triumph Quadrant, bending them so the carbs would clear the bottom of the tank.
    Photo by Andrew Westlake
  • triumph quadrant 7
    Note the offset engine on George Pooley's home-built Triumph Quadrant Special, which sticks just slightly farther out of the right side of the frame.
    Photo by Andrew Westlake

  • triumph quadrant 1
  • triumph quadrant 2
  • triumph quadrant 3
  • triumph quadrant 5
  • triumph quadrant 4
  • triumph quadrant 6
  • triumph quadrant 7

Triumph Quadrant Special
Claimed power:
75hp @ 7,250rpm
Top speed: 125mph
Engine: 987cc OHV, air-cooled inline four
Weight (dry): 261kg (575lb) (est.)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 22ltr/25mpg(est.)

The 4-cylinder Triumph Quadrant prototype put together at Triumph’s development shop in Kitts Green, Birmingham, England, in the 1970s under the leadership of Doug Hele is well documented. That it never reached production to take on the might of the Japanese multis is something now consigned to the history books. But why talk about “if only” when you can build your own?

If you’ve ever carried out a restoration or customizing project, you can identify with all of the frustrations and setbacks that come along with getting even the most humble machine running and roadworthy again.

If you’ve ever faced a box full of gleaming new paintwork and glistening chrome, only to realize the notes you made when you stripped it all down are less than comprehensive or the wiring is now strangely unfathomable, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. For some people, of course, the challenge of just restoring a machine isn’t enough, so they go several steps further to create an original machine. George Pooley is one of those people.



First sight
I first saw George’s impressive Triumph Quadrant Special at the 2005 International Classic Motorcycle Show in Staffordshire, England, where it took home the trophy for the best classic special, and I was delighted when George invited me to take it for a ride. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that, having previously owned six triples, George is both a fountain of knowledge on Triumph triples and a highly accomplished engineer. The Triumph Quadrant (rhymes with Trident) is not the first special to come from George’s well-equipped workshop. In 1993, the same show saw the debut of a 1,500cc Triumph six. This was an amazing concoction featuring the top end from two T160 triples joined together in a common crankcase to form a V6. Along with several other embryonic projects, the Triumph six still resides in his workshop.

As the thousands of show goers who admired the Triumph Quadrant at the Stafford show will testify, it looks anything but a “backyard special,” and is testimony to the quality of George’s workmanship. A working career that started as an under-paid apprentice engineer in 1969 was followed soon afterward by his first motorcycle, a Royal Enfield Clipper. The association with the Enfield gave George an insight into the mechanical side of motorcycling, though he quickly had his sights set on something sportier.



The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds