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Did Triumph refurbish WD bikes post war?


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A question I have been trying to confirm the answer to as my bike might have been one, did Triumph buy back unissued WD bikes and refurbish them for the immediate post war market?

My Feb 1945 3HW, was when I got it, sprayed black to a high standard, had full civilian rubbers and a civi' spec speedo had been fitted, other than that it was still in full military spec, with green paint under the black, with no markings on the tank.  I doubt if the dealers who sold the bike would have done it, they weren't that sort of firm and the original owner certainly didn't as he only used it for 9 month and 5000 miles, the put it away in a shed until the mid 80's.

So, is it known if Triumph tarted up ex WD bikes, to make them more attractive to the post war market?



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Royal Enfield did for sure but I've never heard it with Triumph. But firms like Pride and Clark and Marble Arch Motors who where buying up ex WD stocks just after the war would offer a proper re-spray for a few quid extra. Ron

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My Grandfather worked in a motorbike shop all his life .. ..through the war and up into the 1970s .

Motorbike shops bought in ex army bikes after the war and refurbished them to look like pre war  civilian bikes . I have a friend with a stunning looking triumph .it's in a fantastic British racing green .great pinstriping ..but close examination reveals it to be a a Triumph 3s frame from 1940 ( in fact contract 7162 the same as my bike )fitted with a triumph 500cc wartime engine.

I believe this reviving of ex army bikes by dealers was common and thankfully so because you can still find these bikes in garages.sheds and other than the paintwork and the removal of field stands most are still 90 percent WD spec

Triumph had a manufacturing and sales success in its post war ranges and did not need to buy in and refurbish the WD bikes ..dealers however bought in these machines to sell to the market that could not afford the new bikes..







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So essentially it's been made into a 5SW. I think there was a need to hurriedly re-equip after Dunkirk and Triumph must have had a batch of pre-war  5S engines on the shelve and put 1322 of them into 3S frames. The 5S engines were never stamped with a 'W'. I helped the WD Triumph (NL) boys with these for their register and from memory there is only 6 or 7 5SW's on the list. 

Mine came to me already fitted with a 3HW rack and bags......Which are so handy!! Unbelievably, I found a NOS rear carrier for my 3SW which still had its 2/6d price tag on it. 

Cheers Ron   


3SW 153.JPG

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