1922 Triple H 250cc two stroke motorcycle (possibly the only one left)                                                 December 2016

1922 Triple H - almost complete?

As bought, back in the late '80s. The bike looks fairly complete, but after finding an original sales brochure, I discovered the front wheel, the engine, the gearbox and the rear wheel were not original!


More about vintage and veteran motorcycles to come.

Research                                                           January 2017

1922 Sales brochure

When I bought the bike, I had never heard of Triple H. I eventually found out the 3 'H's' were 2 x Hobbis brothers and a Horrell (or was it the other way round)? They made this little 250cc 2 stroke in West Heath, Birmingham for about 2 years, 1922-23. There was only one engine size, (it being a John Morris engine) but there were single and 2 speed Touring models, and 2 and 3 speed Sports models. It turns out mine is a Sports model, and I now have both 2 and 3 speed Moss gearboxes (original) that I can try.

Correct engine found!                                     January 2017

249cc John Morris 2 stroke engine

John Morris engines are not common, they were fitted to one model each of Rex Acme and Hobart, an 'MB' (as yet unknown) and even advertised their own bike under the name of 'Morris' (see below). Imagine my surprise, about 6 years back, browsing ebay, to come across the exact engine. The owner hadn't a clue what it was, and I was the only bidder. The engine doesn't even have the makers name in the magneto chain cover, but 'Mark IX'. The engine to the right is one I spotted in a frame and forks at Beaulieu about 25 years back, but couldn't afford at the time (more later).

Morris - badge engineering?                        January 2017

December 1st 1921 advert

This advert appeared in The Motor Cycle Dec 1st 1921, even including a sidecar model (on the same 250cc 2 stroke motor!). Almost identical specification to the Triple H, only noticable difference is front forks - in this case Swan brand (Triple H used Maplestone).

1922 Triple H Editorial

October 12th 1922 Editorial article

Contemporary magazine article about the Triple H. The model shown is as mine, complete with TT pattern handlebars, rather than the touring 'earscratcher' versions.

Notice the illustration of the brake pedal assembly. This was missing from my bike, even the brazed on lugs were absent. All I had to go on was this drawing.


Original brake pedal found!                           January 2017

New old stock Triple H brake pedal

So I'm rooting round the stalls at Banbury and came across this - a new, old stock Triple H brake pedal on David Earnshaw's stall. What are the chances of the only owner of a Triple H coming across the only nos brake pedal in existence? Needless to say I jumped at it (without trying to appear eager of course, so the price didn't get inflated). It's missing the return spring, but that is easily sorted.

More vintage and veteran motorcycles to come.

Maplestone Cantilever forks                               April 2017

Advert from December 29th 1921

The Triple H was fitted with Maplestone front forks. These were made under licence by Webbs, but for how long I don't know. I've only ever seen one other pair, for a heavier bike. The advert shouts the fact that the spindles are all bushed - good job, as mine need new spindles and bushes throughout

1922 Motorcycling article                                    April 2017

1922 Motorcycling editorial feature

I found this article recently, on a trip to the VMCC library. Appearing in September 1922, the photo shows the bike from the opposite side to that normally shown. For me, it is very helpful - it shows the same petrol tank transfer/decal as I have on my bike (all previous photos I had come across, including the sales brochure, had shown a different transfer - making me consider that my tank may have been refinished at some time during it's life). I'm now confident the transfers I have can be copied when the tank is refurbished. An item I don't have is the primary chainguard/cover, this gives me a good idea of how it looked. Interestingly the article credits the engine as a NORRIS, rather than the Morris actually fitted.

3 Speed Moss gear                                              Aug 2017

3 speed gear - should be able to climb cliff faces with this!

Moss gearboxes were used on the 2 speed and 3 speed Triple H bikes. Over the years, I've managed to pick up one of each, so I think I'll put the 3 speed on this, and put the 2 speed on the unknown bike. Moss gearboxes were also used on the 1931-33 New Hudsons, and gave a lot of trouble (more elsewhere). Hopefully this box will be better constructed/better operation - we shall see. I came across this article of the time whilst rooting through the Boston Library digitised Motorcycle magazines. Quite detailed, it should help when I eventually delve inside it.

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