Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Notable engineers countdown - at #4, Edward Turner gave birth to twins

Turner (1901-'73) was born on the day King Edward was crowned, which was appropriate as Turner himself became British motorcycle “royalty.” When he was hired as Triumph’s General Manager and Chief Designer he was offered a lavish salary and 5% of the company stock and profits. 

Soon after joining Triumph, he designed the 1937 Speed Twin. In truth, the motor was not strikingly innovative – some say Turner just copied its basic architecture from the Riley 9 car in which he was chauffeured to work. However, it made elegant use of existing technology and established the basic design for all British twins between the end of WWII and the 1970s. For much of that time, bikes like the Triumph Bonneville were the most sought-after models in the market.

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