Saturday, November 7, 2009

Edward Turner

On Sunday October 25th the Borough of Southwark in London unveiled a blue plaque on the house on 8 Philip Walk, Peckham SE15, where Edward Turner lived in the 1920's. Turner was the designer of the Triumph Speed Twin in 1937, which eventually would become the "Universal British Motorcycle", a parallel twin machine that would become the industry standard for over thirty years, only surpassed by the "Universal Japanese Motorcycle" an inline-four in the 1970's. Royal Enfield introduced its first parallel twin in 1944 for the War Department, but it was not accepted. The first civilian Royal Enfield twin was introduced in 1948 and refined year after year. It would eventually grow to the 750cc Interceptor Series II in the last days of Royal Enfield in the UK, the largest displacement British bike at that time. Almost all British manufacturers introduced parallel twins in the 1950's and 60's, but Royal Enfield's were rather unique. They were not copies of the Triumph but incorporated new features, in particular separate cylinder barrels that were interchangeable with those of the singles machines.

Turner was a visionary and the plaque is well deserved! (Photo Sources: Dutch Vintage Motorcycle Association's blog)

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