Author: Mick Duckworth
Triumph Experimental - Doug Hele and his development team 1962-1975, tells for the first time the full story of chief development engineer Doug Hele and his men at Triumph’s Meriden motorcycle factory (and later at the Norton-Triumph research centre).
Hele was Britain’s brightest and most progressive motorcycle engineer of the 1960s and 1970s. He transformed the handling of the 650cc Bonneville twin and developed the three-cylinder 750cc engine used by both Triumph and BSA to launch 125mph roadsters, ushering in the original superbike era.
Hele and his close-knit team turned Meriden’s Experimental Department into a world-class race shop. Successes included Daytona 200-winning 500cc twins, Production TT-winning Bonnevilles and the howling triple racers that won the Daytona 200, the Formula 750 TT, the Ontario Champion Classic, the Bol d’Or and the MCN Superbike series, all in
1971. Some innovative later projects, including a V5 engine, had to be dropped when Meriden closed in 1973.
As well as charting Hele’s achievements, the book describes the man, a brilliant mathematician and deep thinker with an open mind and warm heart who inspired respect and loyalty from those who worked with him.
Duckworth gathered first-hand recollections from former colleagues in Hele’s Experimental Department: development engineers Norman Hyde and John Barton, chargehand and race team manager Les Williams and the skilled fitters who translated Hele’s ideas into metal, rubber and glassfibre. Not merely technical, the text includes anecdotes evoking a happy atmosphere at Meriden before things fell apart through no fault of Hele and his crew.
Produced for Biker Miles by Oracle Publishing Ltd, this 208-page hardback contains 165 illustrations, some of them explanatory line drawings specially commissioned from artist John Hancox. It’s a must-read for anyone fascinated by development engineering or curious about the old British industry, as well as classic Triumph bike fans.
Part Number: GBO02