Exclusive Nick Bloor interview,
Triumph’s head honcho speaks exclusively about his first time on a bike, what makes his company tick and what the future holds…
NICK BLOOR HAS been CEO of Triumph for seven years, overseeing the company’s continual growth – in terms of profitability and model range. Like his father, who bought the remains of Triumph in 1983 and launched it afresh in 1990, Nick is extremely wary of the media and avoids interviews. We’ve been asking for one for years, and never got a word. Until now. So settle back and enjoy a world exclusive interview with the boss of Britain’s greatest motorcycle company…
Let’s start with an easy one. What’s your earliest biking memory? Riding my mate’s Honda Z50R monkey bike in the local farmer’s field when I was about seven, and from 14 I started working on Saturday mornings and holidays at Triumph where I got my first ride on a big bike.
What’s your favourite bike in the current line-up, and why? That’s a really hard question as there are so many to choose from, and all mean so much to me. If I had to pick one I guess it would be my own modified Bonneville T120, just because it’s such an easy ride and looks awesome.
What are the most important business lessons you learned from your dad? Again that’s a really hard one as he has been so fundamental to every part of how we work today. That said if I had to pick on one it would be that the team are everything – the people who have made Triumph, what they have given and what they continue to give. Their passion and commitment goes far beyond being just about a job… we simply wouldn’t be here without them.
Of all the prototypes you’ve ridden, which was the one that gave you the strongest ‘we’re onto a winner here’ feeling, and why? Without doubt the Bobber – it was just something that put the biggest grin on my face from the first time I rode it.
Can motorcycling in the UK grow? What are the challenges to motorcycling in the UK? There are many challenges to riding including finance, insurance and getting your licence – but as riders we know there is something special about motorcycling and in today’s world where people hold an even higher regard for experiences and their personal freedom we [Triumph] are optimistic. One of the biggest issues we see for ourselves and the whole motorcycle world is in how we all make it easier for people to experience the joys of motorcycling.
Where is Triumph’s growth going to come from in the next few years? We see significant growth in the next few years coming from Asian markets, however we also see several exciting opportunities in the Western world.
What’s the next ‘big thing’ in biking? And how are Triumph preparing for it? We have sharpened our focus in the last few years onto the Urban, Classic and Adventure categories. Having this focus has enabled us to invest in exploring exciting new concepts and innovations in each area, such as with the Bobber chassis design and our class leading TFT instrument set-up. That said we are of course always listening to our riders and constantly evolving our approach to reflect what they want and need, and can see several big themes to riders’ growing expectations on issues, such as connectivity and urban mobility.
Which non-triumph business leader or exec do you admire most, and why? I can’t think of a single individual who captures all the values most important in my mind: originality, drive and determination, treating people as your number one assets with respect and value, and always investing in the future.
Given the 675 Daytona is discontinued, why are Triumph supplying engines to Moto2? The Triumph 765cc Moto2 engines are a direct development from our class leading Street Triple RS, which itself was derived from the 675cc engine of the Daytona. Our exclusive partnership with DORNA to supply the engines for the 2019 season onwards reflects the growth of the performance naked category and our riders’ passion for racing.
Why are all Triumphs getting bigger and faster? Isn’t there space for an entry-level, cheerful, high-fun road-biased, genuine middleweight like the original Street Triple? We, like our riders, are always driven to take every opportunity to make things better, and performance, weight and technology evolution is a key part of that drive and passion. That said we can certainly see that there is an appetite and opportunity for more entry level models and we are continuously reviewing our line-up to deliver the best Triumph range possible. An example of this for me would be our Street Twin, which is not only our biggest modern classic seller but also attracts the highest percentage of riders to Triumph who are new to motorcycling.
Everyone else seems to be exploring electric motorcycles. Are Triumph? And if not, will you? It is fascinating to see how new technologies are evolving and we continue to keep a very close eye on all new developments that can be applied to motorcycling. We are actively in discussions with experts in this area and are continually reviewing our options.
Monkey bike: Nick’s earliest riding memory