A Motorbike Fable Confirmed Elvis Presley and Triumph Bikes


Triumph Motorcycles and Elvis Presley

Triumph Bikes and Elvis Presley (Triumph/)

Triumph Bikes Press Launch:

  • <b>The final word biker reward – </b>9 ‘64 Triumph bikes purchased in 1965 by Elvis Presley for him and his Memphis Mafia
  • <b>Assist us discover the Memphis Mafia Triumphs – </b>Are these historic bikes misplaced to time?
  • <b>A novel alternative to personal a one-of-a-kind ‘Elvis Presley’ Triumph and matching guitar – </b>Elevating cash for the Elvis Presley Charitable Basis

Triumph Bikes has uncovered the reality behind a well-known bike delusion – that Elvis Presley gave a rare bike reward to each member of his Memphis Mafia in 1965.

With the invention of the unique checks within the Graceland archives, signed by the person himself, in addition to recollections from Jerry Shilling, a detailed good friend of Elvis, it may be confirmed that Elvis purchased 9 Triumph bikes as presents, so he and his closest mates may experience collectively within the hills of Los Angeles.


Elvis Presley is a permanent music legend and a cultural icon. The most effective-selling solo artist in historical past and a real film star, making 31 movies throughout his profession in Hollywood. He was additionally a passionate motorcyclist, driving bikes in a number of of his movies together with a crimson and silver Triumph 650 Bonneville ‘Desert Sled’ within the 1968 comedy western “Keep Away Joe”.

However, Elvis’ introduction to Triumph bikes got here a number of years earlier, with this story, which is as rock and roll as the person himself.

In June 1965, Elvis had been on the set of the musical ‘Frankie and Johnny’ at Samuel Goldwyn Studios, Hollywood. Taking a break from filming, Elvis spent his down time along with his closest mates, generally known as ‘The Memphis Mafia’ at his Bel Air house.

Jerry Schilling, good friend of Elvis and member of his well-known ‘Memphis Mafia’, put a down cost on a brand new Triumph T120 650 Bonneville at Invoice Robertson & Sons on Santa Monica Boulevard. When he introduced the bike house, Elvis requested to take it for a experience across the Bel Air neighborhood. Jerry, after all, obliged and Elvis jumped on the bike. He was impressed, and in reality when he returned, he informed his transportation supervisor, Alan Fortis, to “order one for all the fellows, however… it must be tonight!” Invoice Robertson & Sons managed to ship seven Triumphs that night time, a combination of 650 TR6′s and the high-performance, twin-carbureted 650 T120′s. They rode collectively round Bel Air, driving late into the night, solely stopping when neighbors referred to as the police to complain. The remaining bikes arrived two days later and the 9 of them made certain they made essentially the most of down time from filming, driving the Pacific Coast Freeway collectively on Sundays.

Jerry Schilling, a detailed good friend of Elvis remembers: “Elvis cherished to experience and I knew that when he noticed my new Bonneville he’d need to strive it…and when he did, he needed all the fellows to have one so we may experience them collectively!”


The bikes that Elvis purchased are thought of most certainly to be 1964 fashions of Triumph’s game-changing efficiency roadster, the 650 TR6 and 650 Bonneville T120, which have been basically the identical bike with one or two carburetors and totally different states of tune. The ‘64 Bonneville got here within the refined Gold and Alaskan White and the TR6 within the distinctive ‘Hifi Scarlet and Silver Sheen’ with gold pinstriping, black body and forks.

Named after Triumph’s a number of land velocity information on the Bonneville salt flats, the Bonneville T120 is acknowledged throughout the motorcycling world as a real design icon, answerable for establishing Triumph as primary within the 60s for efficiency, dealing with, and magnificence, and the 1964 US-spec ‘Bonnie’, with its greater bars is taken into account a basic.


All 9 of the unique bikes are presently misplaced to time, with no formal report of the place they went after the summer time of ‘65. Triumph is now launching an attraction to followers around the globe to assist observe down or uncover the destiny of those bikes.

Triumph’s researchers are eager to listen to from anybody who has a lead on what occurred to considered one of these bikes, or maybe a final identified location.

With the collective eyes of the Triumph and Elvis communities on the look-out, it’s hoped that considered one of these historic bikes will in the future come to gentle and make historical past by being positioned on show alongside different historic Triumphs.

When you have any info associated to the whereabouts of considered one of these historic bikes, please contact Triumph at ElvisTriumph@TriumphMotorcycles.com.


The invention of this nice story has stuffed a niche within the historical past books and added a brand new, beforehand untold chapter to Triumph’s personal story. In celebration of this newly uncovered shared historical past between two iconic and enduring manufacturers, Triumph and Elvis Presley Enterprises have commissioned a one-of-a-kind customized bike to boost cash for a really worthy trigger.

This tradition Bonneville, primarily based on a brand-new T120 mannequin, encompasses a customized design scheme by award-winning customized artist J Daar and is impressed by the 1964 Memphis Mafia bikes and 1968 Keep Away Joe Desert Sled, in addition to being influenced by Elvis’ most iconic 1968 Comeback Particular look. The design options gold block lettering, representing Elvis’ title written in lights, in addition to silhouettes on a crimson background, echoing the set design of his most well-known ‘68 Comeback Particular efficiency.

The bike was unveiled by Triumph USA Advertising Director, Adam VanderVeen, on the 2023 Barber Classic Competition in Birmingham Alabama, the place it was on show on the ‘Isle of Triumph’ alongside a number of historic Triumph bikes. These included an unique 1964 Bonneville T120 in the identical gold colour scheme as a number of of the bikes bought by Elvis, which was entered into the VAHNA Motorbike Present by proprietor Laura Langham.

Talking on the present, customized bike artist J Daar mentioned: “I used to be honored to drag the sheet off this superb bike. Tribute bikes are all the time particular, however an homage to The King is without doubt one of the coolest tasks I’ve labored on. This bike is one thing the brand new proprietor will be extremely proud to have of their storage. Not solely is it a singular design celebrating an excellent story, but it surely’s additionally an effective way to boost cash for such a worthy trigger.”

Additionally on show at Barber Fest was a Les Paul guitar with a brief customized wrap designed to enrich the one-off Bonneville T120. The Les Paul, donated by Gibson, can even be painted by artist J Daar and is to be auctioned together with the bike. The selection of guitar was impressed by one other occasion of Elvis’ generosity; when rehearsing for the ‘68 Comeback Particular, Elvis performed a Les Paul, which he then gifted to his chef. The design adopts the identical crimson, silver and gold scheme because the bike, in addition to the distinguished Elvis graphic featured on the gasoline tank and aspect panels, and incorporates silhouettes of The King across the physique, impressed by his iconic ‘’68 Comeback Particular’ look.

Beth Heidt, Chief Advertising Officer for Gibson commented:  “Now we have had the glory of working in partnership with the Elvis staff to rejoice his legacy over a few years, so once we heard that our mates at Graceland and Triumph have been working collectively on a customized bike to boost consciousness and funds for a very good trigger, we needed to hitch in honoring Elvis’ spirit of generosity – and just like what we did with our ‘59 Legends Assortment in help of The 2022 Distinguished Gents’s Journey, this personalized Gibson Les Paul mannequin pairs completely with the superb design scheme of the bike.”

“We’re excited to be partnering with an iconic model like Triumph to deliver this one-of-a-kind customized Bonneville T120 to life whereas benefitting considered one of Elvis’ favourite charities, Goodwill Houses Neighborhood Companies in Memphis,” says Dana Carpenter, Govt Vice President, Leisure at Genuine Manufacturers Group, proprietor of Elvis Presley Enterprises. “The added generosity of our mates at Gibson for contributing an identical customized Les Paul guitar, strengthens the legacy of generosity and neighborhood that Elvis Presley stood for.”

This tradition Bonneville T120 bike and matching Gibson Les Paul guitar have been donated to the Elvis Presley Charitable Basis to boost cash for considered one of Elvis’ favourite charities, Goodwill Houses, a Memphis facility that gives counselling and providers for abused youngsters and their households.


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