Much-respected industry figure Robert “Bob” Trigg has died, aged 81.
He led product planning at Yamaha Europe for more than 25 years and prior to that was a key manager at Norton Villiers and Norton Villiers Triumph (NVT).
Born in Bearwood, Birmingham, Bob joined BSA as a 16-year-old apprentice in 1953. He revelled in being involved with Gold Star development and dyno testing of BSA’s ill-fated 250cc MC1 dohc racing engine.
He took a job in the drawing office at Ariel, where development of the futuristic 250cc Leader two-stroke was under way. In 1963, Ariel’s parent company BSA transferred him back to its Small Heath plant but, sensing stagnation, Bob left for the British Motor Corporation at Longbridge.
In 1967, he was head-hunted to join the team reviving Norton for entrepreneur Dennis Poore. With senior engineer Bernard Hooper, Trigg was co-inventor of the revolutionary Isolastic anti-vibration frame that made the 750cc Norton Commando saleable when launched for 1968. Sales were sluggish at first, but took off dramatically when the Trigg-styled Roadster version was launched in 1970.
Bob’s stylish suits contrasted with the general shabbiness of Norton’s Wolverhampton factory.
After Commando production ended in 1975, Trigg created the Easy Rider moped and the Yamaha-engined 125cc Rambler for Poore’s scaled-down NVT operation at Shenstone. Yamaha tried to lure him away, but Poore matched the offer and Bob loyally stayed until being seriously injured in a car crash when a passenger.
While recovering, he resolved to work in an environment where there was enough money to implement ideas. He joined Yamaha Motor Europe NV in 1979 as general manager of engineering and business development, commuting weekly between his West Midlands home and The Netherlands. The many models he schemed included the TR1, Super Ténéré and XJ series.
In 2008, Bob retired to care for his wife Joyce in the last two years of her life, but continued to provide occasional consultancy for Yamaha.
Bob Trigg leaves two sons, Andrew who has four children and Richard.
There will be a 45 minute service commencing at 11.30am 25th February 2019 at:
Wyre Forest Crematorium
This will be followed by a Celebration of Life at:
Hogarths Stone Manor Hotel
Rooms can be booked at the hotel for those needing to stay Sunday night.
www.hogarths.co.uk/stone-manor/ Tel. 01562 777555
Any donations can be made to the MSA Trust at: www.msatrust.org.uk