Home » What The Hell? Is This A Cock Fight In An Old Triumph Motorcycle Ad?: Cold Start

What The Hell? Is This A Cock Fight In An Old Triumph Motorcycle Ad?: Cold Start

Cs Cockfighttriumph

Here’s something I bet you never considered before: is the Triumph name based on the feeling of triumph a victorious rooster gets when he vanquishes his opponent in a cock fight? I wouldn’t have thought so, but this old 1928 Triumph motorcycle brochure cover sure suggests otherwise. I mean, there’s literally a giant rooster literally crowing TRIUMPH over the dead body of his defeated opponent. Oh, and based on the scale of the motorcycle, this is a rooster about, oh, six or seven feet tall.

I looked through the brochure for some explanation or even references to cock fighting or roosters or chickens or even poultry in general, but there’s nothing. Just some festive cover art of a couple of chickens, one dead by the other’s beak.

I think Triumph’s current ad campaign has moved away from cockfighting imagery, but who knows, maybe it’ll make a comeback? I mean with modern CGI, you could really make a graphic and realistic motorcycle-based gigantic chicken fight, right?

UPDATE: It seems that the cockfighting artwork was also used on the 1927 Triumph owner’s manual, and is referenced in this video, where someone had it painted onto their gas tank:

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31 Responses

  1. Chiming in here from Belgium, as a native Belgian. This is interesting… I don’t know where this ad originated, but it’s striking in its Belgian-ness: our national flag is in black, red and yellow, and as some of you may know we have two main parts in Belgium: the Flemish (a variant of Dutch) speaking north, and the French speaking south.

    As it happens, the northern Flemish part has a lion as the regional symbol, and the French speaking southern part has a rooster (or cock, if you prefer) as the regional symbol. Pure speculation on my part, but this could have been a Wallonian (the southern part of Belgium) ad and edition of this motorbike.

    (p.s. Our two communities live together peacefully, even if some political agents try to divide and conquer – but in 1929 I can image this symbol to have strongly appealed to national and regional identity in Belgium.)

  2. Speaking of the unexplainable, what’s with the “Older Comments” time wasting link on every article?

    Pretty lame if it’s just a gimmick for extra clicks.

    1. We are still waiting for an Edit button, spam filtering, reply notifications, and thread grouping but we get an Older Comments button?

      That’s about as useful as new paint on a David Tracy jeep.

        1. I don’t know if they just re-enabled it or changed the number off comments that triggers it or we are just seeing more comments, but the older comments button was available before day one on the single post they kept updating as a placeholder.

          1. I’m guessing banking older comments allows the front page to download quicker. After all us daily readers don’t need the Older comments we already read them. Chill put this FREE MAGNIFICENT site is 6 months old. Perhaps start a Kickstart campaign and donate, or buy some site art?

        1. When it was first posted, it said “What The Hell Is This A Cock Fight In An Old Triumph Motorcycle Ad?: Cold Start.” I think the OP expected “What The Hell, Is This A Cock Fight In An Old Triumph Motorcycle Ad?: Cold Start.” Or maybe “What The Hell Is This, A Cock Fight In An Old Triumph Motorcycle Ad?: Cold Start.”
          The additional question mark is a better solution than a comma, but it did need additional punctuation.

  3. It’s not cock-fighting, they don’t do that in England. It’s “wake the fuck up at the crack of dawn and get on your bike!” Look at him, he’s crowing.

    1. Really? I’m sure some form of cockfighting is done. After all they have dozens of guys follow dozens of dogs chase one fox and rip it apart. Cockfighting is gentle in comparison. And if it is bike early why the dead chicken?

  4. A lot of similarities actually. When riding a motorcycle you need to keep you head on a swivel just like when you find yourself in a vicious cockfight.

  5. FYI – roosters usually don’t kill each other with their beaks. They tend to use their spurs.

    -from a former Arizonan, where cockfighting was legal through the 1990s.

  6. That rooster is clearly not crowing, but breathing fire. It was a fairly common thing by the end of the vaudeville era to have trained your fire breathers (and their pets/animal colleagues) to spit fire in the shape of local business logos

    1. I mean, if you can teach your chicken to ride a motorcycle, I suspect most cock-fighting rings would be ill-prepared. You might win at least a couple fights before they changed the rules or banned you. And it would be impressive enough to then warrant chicken motorcycle shows.

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