Not the same old story from Triumph
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.