Triumph motorcycles used by British military team heading to auction

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Triumph motorcycles used by British military team heading to auction
One of the 1999 Triumph 750cc TR7 Tigers going to auction | Bonhams photos

Britain’s acclaimed “White Helmets” military motorcycle precision team may have disbanded last year, but five of their 1999 Triumph 750cc TR7 Tigers will be on the docket at Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale, scheduled for April 22.

“Officially known as The Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, the White Helmets began performing motorcycle demonstrations and stunts in 1927,” Bonhams reported. “The team comprised 24 soldiers and one Signal Officer in Chief, all from within the British Army Royal Corps of Signals, and are traditionally known for utilizing the trusty Triumph motorcycle, as well as donning their signature white helmets.

“The Royal Signals display team was based at Blandford Camp in Dorset where they spent months training in preparation for performances – each winter the team would learn new routines and tricks to be ready for a summer tour across the UK as they had done for the past 90 years.

Triumph motorcycles used by British military team heading to auction
The five ‘White Helmets’ bikes headed to Bonhams auction

“Sadly, the White Helmets announced in September 2017 that they would be disbanding to reflect the changing demands of the Royal Signals towards the high-tech role of communications in modern conflict.

“Traditionally, when the White Helmets were first established, motorbikes were used to send messages between different units and so inspired performances to show off the soldiers’ skills to the British public. The White Helmets held their final farewell performance at the Chatsworth country fair in Derbyshire.”

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Being offered at the auction are five of the White Helmets’ 1999 Triumphs, which were manufactured by L.F. Harris who manufactured classic Triumph components after the end of the Meriden Triumph Motorcycle cooperative, Bonhams noted.

Each bike is expected to sell for £5,500 to £8,000 ($7,775 to $11,300).

“Much loved by families and children from all corners of the globe who have experienced their ‘dare devil’ displays at shows and events throughout the UK, the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, also known as the White Helmets, are a British tradition whose origins date back to 1927,” Jonathan Vickers, Bonhams’ West County motoring specialist, was quoted in the news release.

“The sale provides an incredibly rare opportunity for bidders to acquire not just one but five of these wonderful Triumph 750cc TR7 Tiger Motorcycles.”

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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