RHKP Triumph Motorbikes

Submitted by Fai Jai on Sun, 05/08/2016 - 17:13

I'm looking for any information about the motorbikes used by the Police in the 60's.

My father (Murray Todd) was in the traffic division at that time, and rode one of the silver-grey Triumph motorbikes.They were of a type called a "bathtub Triumph" because of the distinctive shape of the rear wheel mudguard, which resembled an up-side down bathtub.

If possible I want to buy one and restore it, but I don't know exactly what model the Police used (there were various bathtub Triumph models).

They can be seen clearly in recruiting photo on this site, 'hkp 6.jpg'.

Thank you for your help

Stephen Todd

I think the bikes were Triumph 650 Thunderbirds. The 'bathtub' rear mudguard was perhaps not a standard feature  but  a modification to prevent damage to the usual Police panniers.



Thanks for that. There are some bikes for sale here in the UK with the bathtub mudguard, so maybe it was a Triumph option. But I can now narrow my search knowing I want the 650 Thunderbird.

I saw a bathtub model in Police regalia at the Goodwood Revival meeting last year, it even had a sidecar, but not the sidecar box I remember from the bikes at the Police Training School, in Aberdeen I think. They were probably a special design, so I doubt I'll ever find one of them, but a two-wheel bike would still be an enjoyable project.



I realize this discussion is somewhat dated ( 3 years ago) but I have only just come across it as I was about to post some photographs of myself driving a Hong Kong Police bike in 1966 and 1967. The standard bikes were twin cylinder 350 cc ...."T90's" ( I think  was their model number) . [ Update; 'TST Dave' has clarified that the model in the photograph was a 3TA ] 

There were a small number of higher rated bikes (500cc) reserved for very senior Traffic Branch officers . These were probably "5TA"s . 

If you are still looking for photpgraphs , let me know and I will post some up on this site. 







Thanks for your comments. Yes I'd love to see some photos. I have some from a distance at various reviews and displays, but no close-ups, which would be useful for a restoration.


If the bike in Chinarail's photos was 350cc, and the photos were taken in 1966, then it's likely it was a police variant of the 1966 3TA model.

The T90 doesn't have the faired-in headlamp shown in the photos, while the 3TA does. And the bike in the photo has the "eyebrow" style Triumph tank badge, which first appeared on the 3TA in 1966. And features like the single seat, rack, and crash bars point to it being a police version (plus the obvious fact that it's in police service...)

This bike was very popular with police forces throughout the Commonwealth. In 1966 Triumph made 1156 3TAs, of which 475 were for various police forces.

The 1966 model is not considered a "bathtub" Truimph. The bathtub label is usually applied to the 3T and 5T produced from 1957 to 1963, with the very distinctive rear mudguard. So if Stephen's father rode a bathtub Triumph in the RHKP, it was probably an earlier model than the one in the photo.



Thanks Dave for clarifying which model the bike was . 

It was quite a new bike when I first drove it in the autumn of 1966, which would fit in with your explanation concerning when 3TAs were first exported. 

The "bombaans" got the newer bikes while the PC's had to manage with old smoky rattlers. I will update my first post re the model number. 

Dear Stephen and Chinarail,

I have gathered a few photos of RHPF motor vehicles for a Motoring Book I am researching. You are welcome to see if any of these help in your quest to match your Dad's Bike. Email me at ian@netvigator.com as I am unable to work-out how to add a photo to this Post!?! When you mention the 'Bathtub' ... as I recall the Triumph with sidecar that is exhibited up at the Police Museum on the Peak could well be a bathtub Model.

Chinarail, your photos are excellent (of you) and show great detail in the uniforms and equipment on the Bike (radio, siren, etc), I would very much like to include those in the Book.

Best Regards,               IAN 
Ian Foster