‘ That was when Tri­umph re­ally started hit­ting the big time’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features -

Dave Lil­ley, MD of Jack Lil­ley MC

“I re­mem­ber Dad com­ing back from the Cologne Show in 1990 and say­ing we were go­ing to get Tri­umph. At the time, if I’m hon­est, I didn’t pay much at­ten­tion. I was more in­ter­ested in girls and go­ing out. But they did very well. Ini­tially peo­ple were mostly buy­ing be­cause they were Bri­tish but it grew from there. Dad was re­ally be­hind it and there was an ex­cite­ment from the pub­lic in gen­eral in it be­ing a Bri­tish mar­que. Things then pro­gressed from there. “The Speed Triple was prob­a­bly the first one that re­ally got peo­ple ex­cited, the mar­ket­ing and brochures im­proved and were very English. Then the T595 came out. I think we had nearly 120 or­ders for those and on the 1st of Au­gust 1997 the show­room was like a sea of yel­low.

“That was when Tri­umph re­ally started hit­ting the big time, with that and the T509.

“I love those orig­i­nal bikes. It’s part of our his­tory, part of Tri­umph’s his­tory, and I’m a firm be­liever it’s not just about the new stuff – ev­ery­thing’s got to come from some­where. The proof of that is now peo­ple are look­ing for early Hinck­ley bikes and they are be­com­ing col­lectable. The T595 will be the next one.

“To me there’s a whole in­dus­try and thou­sands and thou­sands of peo­ple who owe ev­ery­thing to just one man: John Bloor. If it wasn’t for him in­vest­ing his money we wouldn’t be do­ing what we’re do­ing to­day.”

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