IT’S ALWAYS EXCITING when you see something going into concept that’s completely different to what you’ve done before, and what’s in the market. I was really intrigued to see how the Bobber worked out. One of the unique things during its development was that we had an internal build-off competition, where our engineers from all around the business got together and two staff teams made build-off bikes with a budget of £2-3000. That was 2012, at the very early stages. The Bobber was in concept by then and the teams used a rolling chassis and created their own version to show what future bikes could look like – to give their interpretation. It helped focus people’s minds, and there are a few styling cues taken from that exercise which made it onto the final bike. Also, we heavily researched the custom world and that enabled us to get a feel for what would look uniquely Triumph. So while although it’s a unique model in many ways if you look at the tank, for example, it’s definitely a Triumph. I first rode one very late in the process, about 4-5 months before it went into production. It’s deceptive how well it performs – the handling is superb and you can get the pegs down fairly easily on twisty roads, yet it’s still comfortable cruising along at 70mph. It’s the sort of bike that when you get off it you turn round and check, because you can’t quite believe how well it’s performed. I actually bought one because I wanted to keep it for a few years, rather than have a company bike that tends to go back after a year. When it went on sale, we physically could not make the bikes fast enough. Generally we release bikes into a segment where we’ve got a clear range of competition and a clear understanding of the segment size. So we can get a feel for what our market share will be, and it’s easy to be there or thereabouts [with sales predictions]. But with the Bobber, because it’s a such a different bike it doesn’t play in a clear segment, so you don’t really know what sort of volume you’ll sell. We went back to the build plan three or four times over a six month period trying to squeeze more bikes in. That is a rare occurrence, because we have got a reasonable feel for where markets will be. But we have created our own little segment with the Bobber.