Saturday, 23 January 2010
In the nineteen sixties, the British motorcycle industry was utterly decimated by four Japanese companies.Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha.
They offered the customer a cost effective machine, that was well engineered and reliable.
The great names of British motorcycling disappeared one by one.
BSA, Norton, Greaves, Ariel, HRD , Triumph and many many more.
Growing up in Stevenage, I particularly remember HRD, which manufactured the Vincent Black Shadow, the worlds first 1000cc motorcycle.
It was an HRD machine that broke the 200 mph barrier on Utah salt flats, ridden by a Stevenage lad called George Brown.
In later life George had a motorcycle shop in the town and the bike concerned, called 'nero' was proudly displayed in the shop window.
As we know the industry in Britain died, old fashioned bespoke engineering was replaced by high quality Japanese mass production.
Then in the late 1980's, along came an Englishman, called John Bloor, who bought the rights to the Triumph name.
John had and continues to make a fortune from house building.
He hired ex Triumph engineers and sent them to Japan, to learn how to build high quality machines, in a cost effective way.
His view was that Britain produced amazing engineers, but failed in the production process.
As a result his design team came back with the knowledge to create advanced motorcycles, that would be able to compete with the Japanese.
Little by little the new Triumph company started to encroach on Japanese market share.
Today their market share in Britain has continued to increase and they have recently overtaken Kawasaki.
The company now sells in excess of 50,000 machines worldwide, most of which go to North America and surprisingly Japan.
The iconic brand is going from strength to strength!
Triumph produces the largest and most powerful motorcycle in the World, far outstripping any machine produced by Harley Davidson.
If one remembers the classic movie, Hells Angels, starring Marlon Brando, you will know Triumph Motorcycles.
This iconic product has learnt from the Japanese and is now probably the finest example of motorcycle engineering in the World.
If you are looking for a machine over 500cc, then look no further. It will perform and you have the added benefit of gravitas!
Today Triumph Motorcycles are comparable with Japanese machines, in terms of quality, but exceed them in innovation.