Not the same old story from Tri­umph

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Comment - Gareth Ash­man, 01733-468118

The Ja­panese of­ten re­fer to the Kaizen prin­ci­ple when try­ing to achieve con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment.

I’m not sure Paul Weller or Madonna have given the the­ory much thought even though their abil­ity to con­stantly rein­vent them­selves has led to dis­tin­guished ca­reers span­ning sev­eral decades. And while Toy­ota has adopted the phi­los­o­phy to en­sure min­i­mal waste, Tri­umph prob­a­bly weren’t fol­low­ing their lead when they went back to what they do best with a whole new range of pow­ered-up retro road­sters.

One could ab­so­lutely ar­gue that Tri­umph’s jour­ney has been more about trial and er­ror than con­tin­ual im­prove­ment. And with 2016 see­ing a re­turn to some core Tri­umph val­ues that’s not to say that the Hinck­ley out­fit are a one-trick pony. The Street Triple trans­formed the mid­dleweight part of the mar­ket and the Speed Triple en­joyed plenty of suc­cess too.

Like­wise, the Daytona 675 has at­tracted sports­bike thrill-seek­ers and also taken sig­nif­i­cant strides on the track – not least a win at the 2014 TT. Du­cati have also proved that you can take the less well-trav­elled path and en­joy suc­cess, ex­tend­ing the cus­tomer base and area of in­flu­ence. And it hasn’t re­ally af­fected the com­pany’s prow­ess as a cutting-edge maker of su­personic sports­bikes. The Scram­bler and Di­avel range shows what can be found out­side the com­fort zone.

Tri­umph have had a cou­ple of quiet years and got dis­tracted by the lure of small bikes and big mar­kets. That silly non­sense has now been shelved and the firm is roar­ing back to its roots with the lat­est Bonneville range. The Thrux­ton R, in par­tic­u­lar, has seen a very mod­ern take on a familiar theme for the Bri­tish­based bike builder and by all ac­counts it’s bril­liant (see p20).

So maybe it’s not con­tin­ual im­prove­ment but more con­stant evo­lu­tion and if there’s a bump along the way, the com­plete range and brand loy­alty should en­sure sur­vival while a new route is plot­ted.

So it seems that old is the new new for Tri­umph. For the time be­ing at least.

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