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Nice spring day off on a ride with the TWN ‘cornet’ magazine cover from May 1956

In 1984 a bought a Claude Rye TWN ‘Cornet’ at the time i didn’t know about the ‘Cornet was a split single, I restored the’Cornet’ pictures below,I had the bike in use for about 2 years but sold it on to make way for other bikes and restorations. It’s now 2018 and after almost 35 years i have gone full circle and now own 2 ‘Cornets’ all in parts some bits missing which i hope to put back together at some time. I have also started a ‘CORNET REGISTER’  some of which are still up and running others that are in the ‘Cornet’ dead park. So i would like to hear from any ex owners/ present day owners about the history,memories or any experiance with ‘Cornets’ UK or worldwide

PS if from the UK reg numbers frame/engines would be great


berniesmotorrad@gmail.com      Thank you.

Triumph cornet

Cornet sales price card


Classic bike magazine  did a feature on a ‘Cornet and Puch SGS to compere them in April 2001, I restored the ‘Cornet in 1984 and the Puch in 1998.
Both bikes have new owners but both are running well 20 years on!!
Triumph Cornet
The brochures quote Rassig und bildschon und pfeitschnell German for sleek and beautiful and quick!! well, sleek and beautiful yes! quick  not quite true!!


English sales brochure showing the finer points of the ‘Cornet’

triumph-werbung cornet

cornet in french
A French sales brochure.
TWN advert in Italian
TWN range available in Milano.
Cornet Austrian motorrad
Austrian ‘Motorrad’ DAS flusternde MOTORRAD Translate to ‘Whispering Motorcycle.




Triumph Cornet 1953 6 Seiten A 5002 (2)

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English press photo’s of the road test machines top being the kick start version,note the difference..alloy rims,suspension units,horn in tool box lid,riders seat ,battery box lid is hinged plus lock and all kick start version had a steering damper,Pistons had 3 rings and the tank was chromed(no separate panels) Below horn in carb nacelle ,tool box on top of tank all done to make way for two large six volt batterys in series for the 12 volt Norris electric starter,two rings on the pistons,tank chrome panels detachable, plus a return to neutral pedal.In 1955 the kickstart version sold for £199 7s 9d              In 1958 the last ones sold by Claude Rye sold for £129 10s 6d.

Cornet motorcycle test bike




Cornets kickstarter and electric start
The kick start and electric start versions together! the red colour was only available for the home German market.

Frame numbers for Kick start version.. Cornet 1….. 500001 to 513000,Electric start version Cornet 2….513001 to ? believed to be around 5400

period picture of a road/trials rider,the ‘Cornet’ hasn’t got the bulbous down pipe!
cornet-h3 (1)
The ‘Cornet’ was a factory model reduced to 175cc  ridden by Herr Hans Hutter in 1955 Hans had to return the bike to the Triumph factory in 1956 they made very few machines ! so even pictures are a rare item.
Hans ready for the Start.
A picture of a ‘Cornet’ in Vietnam !!obviously the dad didn’t ride his ‘Cornet ‘ too much!! he was doing other things!!!!
A ‘Cornet’ that i restored in  1984 ULN 60 came from Burwash in East Sussex i was the second owner i paid £175 for it!!! This bike is still running well.
bergmeister and sussex steam 033
My ‘Cornet seen at the ‘Chatham Steam Show’ 2017 33 years after i restored it! can’t believe it still looks that good!!

bergmeister and sussex steam 034

TWN Cornet 200cc (1)
Old photo’s of ‘Cornets above WLK 613 and  WYM 155 i know what happened to WYM 155!! what happened to WLK 613?
Dave shard Cornet
Happy owner ‘Dave’ with his restored ‘Cornet’ some of which was retrieved from a muddy pond.


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A friend of mine pictured in 1960 with his first bike!!
Mario uncles Cornet
Another picture of  a young man and his  first bike a ‘Cornet ‘ bought from ‘Pride & clarke’ and pictured in Alma road Wandsworth 1960.


French 'Cornet
A French restored ‘Cornet’




cornet with a strange exhaust!!!
A bit of a odd ‘Cornet’ with a strange silencer?
a minestrony 'cornet
This is what i described as a ‘Minestrony ‘Cornet’ 3 parts correct engine,rear mudgard front mudgard and top fork yoke??? the rest from other bikes.
Cornet stand
Some people love their ‘Cornets’ this one is a feature for the dining room table!! wonder if my wife would allow that???

I have just come across this picture taken at the ‘Cumbria Steam Gathering’ at Flookburough Cumbria in 2016 if any of the owners see this please get in touch as i am putting together a register of ‘Cornets’ in the UK

426 is a 1957 TWN ‘Cornet’ and 432 is a 1954 Triumph ‘Cornet.
Cornet original
100% original’Cornet’ 1 family owner in Germany.


Motorcycling did a road test on the kickstart version in february 1955 but also did this one page test of the electric start ‘Cornet’ in October 1957
Adverts showing  cornets for sale at  lowering prices! they finally reached £129 10s 6D in direct competition with there much hated rivals Pride and Clarke selling the DKW RT200VS.

Also for £2 10s 6d (£2 52 and a half pence) you could have your ‘Cornet’ delivered to your nearest rail station result is ‘Cornets’ seem to be spread to all corners of the country!!.

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Before Claude Rye sold the ‘Cornet’ it was available from D.Salem ltd in Manchester and it would have been the kick start version.


A few years ago, i was talking to a man who turned out to be a ex Claude Rye mechanic he told me that the ‘Cornet’s all sold about 300 in total and they were a good commuter bike well built machines, But they had a achilles heel in regards to the pistons and barrel wear! if they were used in high speed runs  i think thrashed is another word!!  problems with the exhaust piston would occur ie the cool induction piston kept the much hotter exhaust piston going in not ideal conditions so wear would take place around the ring area and on the barrel .The barrels are chrome plated and repairs are expensive, they can be repaired by POETON or NICKOSIL, and around £250 per barrel plus your pistons at £100 each so beware. below is a all to common sight when stripping down a Cornet engine…

cornet piston damage
sad sight of a ‘Cornet engine damage on piston skirts and rings they are ready for the bin!!
Cornet barrells
The barrels don’t look too bad! but any cracks or chips in the chrome bore is a re-plating job!!

On starting my second ‘Cornet’ restoration! not seen at first ! but on a closer inspection my barrel had a damaged area just below the transfer port about the size on a 10 P or 2 euro piece although only small in size!it was enough  to make the barrel unusable! I found a firm who would take on the repair ie replating the 2 barrels in hard chrome the cost was £275 plus my postage to them. result can be seen below.

my new bores.

The firm are …………… Motrac Race Engineering Ltd, Motorsport Centre, Thornton Science Park,Pool Lane, Ince,Chester,Cheshire, CH2 4NU………………. phone  01244 56 89 25

E mail……….info@motrac-racing.com