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Triumph Live

JJ Burnel: My Triumphs over the years

Iconic British motorcycle brand Triumph is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the relaunch of its marque this September.

Stranglers bassist JJ Burnel is well known for his love of motorbikes and has been riding Triumphs since the late 70s so it’s fitting that his band will be headlining the live music bill at the celebration in Mallory Park.

“I can’t say enough about the modern Triumphs,” says a wide-eyed and enthusiastic Burnel, as we caught up with him in his local watering hole on a steamy July evening by the River Thames. “I’m so pleased that a British company is producing something that sells worldwide. It’s a good product and you can’t ask for more than that.”

His enthusiasm for the brand seems endless: “They cover the whole range, sports machines, touring machines, cruising machines… machines for going up on pavements and up staircases, and getting in people’s lounges. What more could you ask for?!”

So, armed with a collection of old photos, some nosh, and a few bottles of Chablis, we trawled the bass legend’s memory banks for thoughts on his 30-year relationship with the famous British motorcycle marque.

Click the player below the photos to hear JJ tell you himself…



The Trident T160,1977


Bonneville, January 1979


Bonneville, 1979


Bonneville, Euroman tour Manchester, April 1979


Hurricane, Cambridge, mid 1980s


Thunderbird, Written In Red promo, 1997


RS Sprint, West London, May 2006


Scrambler, London 2010

Photo credits: Kevin Cummins, Pennie Smith, Erica Echenberg, Brian Rasic, Dominic Pilgrim, John McMurtrie

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