1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L

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Otto Hofmann's 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L.
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Otto Hofmann's 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L.
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Otto Hofmann's 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L.
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Otto Hofmann's 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L.
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Otto Hofmann's 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L.
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Otto Hofmann's 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L.
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Otto Hofmann's 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L.

1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L
Claimed power:
6.7hp @ 5,200rpm
Top speed: 50mph
Engine: 123cc 2-stroke, air-cooled split-single
Weight (wet): 227lb (103kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 12ltr (3gal) / 100mpg (claimed)

Ever heard of a Triumph Cornet? Triumph Boss? Triumph Tessy? A 1957 Triumph TWN BDG125L? They’re all names of once-popular motorcycles (and one scooter), but unless your last name’s Schmidt, Schmiedeler or Schottenhauser, it’s doubtful any of these names ring a bell.

In the early 1950s, the German motorcycle market was among the world’s biggest, and it was crowded. In 1953, German factories produced 437,000 motorcycles, made by companies like Ardie, BMW, Zundapp, DKW, Maico, Victoria and Triumph Werke Nuremberg, or TWN.

The beginning
You’re probably asking yourself, “Wasn’t Triumph an English company?” The answer is yes, and no. The founder of Triumph was German-born Siegfried Bettman, who established the Triumph Cycle Company in 1886 in Coventry, England, to make bicycles.

Ten years later, in 1896, Bettman started the Orial Company in his native Nuremberg, Germany, which eventually became Deutsche Triumph Fahrradwerke AG, or the German Triumph Cycle Company. Production of motorcycles started in England in 1902, and the following year in Germany, with engines and other components shipped from Coventry. Although English sales were strong, German sales floundered, and production of motorcycles in Germany ceased in 1907.

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