Triumph Tina

Triumph Tina

Year of production 1962 - 1970


Category: Scooters

The Triumph Tina was a small and low-performance scooter with a 100 cc two-stroke engine, an automatic transmission, and a handlebar carry basket.

In 1962, despite internal opposition from those who felt it would dilute the macho image of the brand, Triumph introduced a new scooter, designed by Edward Turner, to tap into a strong demand that had been identified by market research for a simple and easy-to-ride "shopping basket" vehicle.

The Tina used a continuously variable transmission (CVT) system with a centrifugal clutch; the system had been patented by Turner and Triumph in May 1959. The engine was mounted on the swingarm.

An extensive marketing campaign was carried out, fronted by a pop star of the era, Cliff Richard. The Tina was marketed to women, and advertising focused on the ease of its operation. Despite this the Tina sold in small numbers.

The Tina's patented drivetrain had technical problems. The CVT drive belt would derail and seize the transmission and the rear wheel, not only disabling the scooter but also preventing it from being pushed. Also, the starting procedure for the Tina required moving a switch on the handlebar to "start" before kick starting the scooter. This activated a governor to keep the engine speed too low to activate the transmission. If the switch were to be left in "drive" while the scooter was being started, then the motorcycle would accelerate immediately. This happened to Turner, resulting in a crash into a kerb and a broken ankle.

The Tina was replaced by the Triumph T10 in 1965. The T10 included an improved CVT and the "start/drive" control moved from the handlebar to inside the seat, where the "drive" setting would be activated by the rider's weight. This weight-activated switched ensured that the rider was seated before the drive was engaged. This led to an embarrassing incident while demonstrating the T10 at its press launch. The switch had been set at 10 stone (140.0 lb; 63.5 kg), but the woman who was to ride the scooter away weighed only 8 stone (112.0 lb; 50.8 kg), the switch was not activated, and the scooter would not move. The T10 was discontinued about 1970.

Triumph made a series of twelve prototype Tina tilting three-wheelers, similar in concept to the Ariel 3 moped. Disagreements between Triumph and the system's designer ended any plans for production.

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Triumph Tina
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2016-01-26  udm

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