The Pre-1941 Triumph Motor Cycle Pages


From Peter Cornelius - Triumph Specialist for the VMCC - of Britain.


The Two Models NSD and the Model ND



1930 Model NSD (Vertical engine)


1930 Model NSD (Inclined engine)

1932 Model ND
1932 Model ND (Drive chain on left-hand side)


Occassionally Triumph would change engine or frame number sequences in mid production, or conversely use the same number series with different engines or frames. In this particular case they used the same name for two quite different motor cycles.
The 1928 Triumph range had been particularly small, with but four models catalogued. (The Super Seven car production had started the previous year.) Of those four 1928 machines, there was no 550cc model, at a time when it was considered necessary to have the extra 50cc for hauling a sidecar.
Failing to recognise this shortcoming it was not until April 1928 that a 550cc machine was added to the range, and it was basically a 500cc Model N de Luxe with an additional 10mm on the stroke. This was the Model NSD (New SD, although it had noting in common with the earlier Model SD apart from the engine capacity.

By 1930 Triumph apparently realised that they were well behind the fashion of the time, which was as the much earlier BSA sloping engined machines. Thus 1930 saw the replacement of the Model NSD by the Model NSD de Luxe, although the 'de Luxe' was soon dropped.
Yes, the 'tinware' of the de Luxe model was that of the earlier Model NSD, but with a very different 'inclined' engine, as Triumph would have it instead of 'sloping'. This meant that there also needed to be a new frame in order to accommodate the new engine, and the bike took on a very different appearance. Little wonder that since there was a 1928 to 1930 Model NSD and another of the same name for 1930 and 1931 that an owner of one might say, "I'm supposed to have a Model NSD and it looks nothing like the one I've seen pictured in a book."

I've included the Model ND also on this page, for by 1931 Triumph had a completely new range of machines with inclined engines and one of the 550cc models (yes, they went overboard with them now!) was the Model ND, which was basically the previous inclined engined Model NSD, but with the final chain drive on the opposite side - and, of course, different engine and frame number sequences in case we weren't sufficiently confused already!

Brief Specifications and Variations

The original vertical-engined Model NSD was available from April 1928, and through to part of 1930.
The later inclined-engined Model NSD was catalogued for 1930 and 1931.
The Model ND was catalogued for 1931 to 1933.
All three models were 549cc of 84mm bore X 99mm stroke.

A major difference between the vertical-engined model and the inclined-engined models, is that the former had a 'total loss' lubrication system, while the latter models had recirculating oil.

All had a 3-speed Triumph gearbox.

Standard overall petrol tank colour at this time was black, but over these years there were changes in side panelling and transfer; and for some years optional, no charge, gold-lined overall colours were offered - Red (maroon), Blue, Grey or Green.

All three models were obviously well suited to hauling a sidecar, but also equally practical as solo machines.

Production of the vertical-engined Model NSD was approximately 4,300.
Production of the inclined-engined Model NSD was approximately 2,000.
Production of the inclined-engined Model ND was approximately 3,200.
Remember that these production figures are the result of my researches as no official records have survived. I need details from YOUR machine to make my findings more accurate.

I have knowledge of the vertical-engined Model NSD surviving in Australia, Britain, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and Switzerland.
I have knowledge of the inclined-engined Model NSD, or parts thereof, surviving in Australia, Britain, Germany, Holland, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.
I have knowledge of the inclined-engined Model ND surviving in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, Italy and Sweden.

For more details you really need to refer to the booklet I have written covering these models.


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