Triumph Bobber / Speed Twin.

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Just my penny's worth, when I rode my Thruxton R out and about (my first ever Triumph) the non-biking men & women in the street, in the parking lots, would look at it through rose-tinted glasses, all misty eyed, and utter something about the 'good old days' or 'I remember when...'. The biking fraternity may, or may not, have been aware where it was made but they still admired it. That says a lot about the current range of vertical twins that Triumph make and the heritage that comes with the Triumph brand. Of course we all know that Norton is and always was superior, but I get less attention from the general public, mostly from inquisitive bikers.
 
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I do not believe, for one moment, that Triumph moved production to Thailand for quality reasons!

Surely no-one does...?

It was cost driven, pure and simple.

I’m quite sure that Thai workers are good. But Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes Benz Formula 1, and even Triumph themselves (to name but a few) have all proven that the British worker is very able... provided he/she has the right management in place.


Triumph is a business, and businesses exist to make profits, and I’m no socialist. But I have to question really how much difference it made to shift most production to Thailand and if really it was worth doing it.

It’s not an easy question to get to the bottom of. I’ve worked for many big automotive OEMs, who really should know better, who have closed down factories to build components abroad and I can tell you that the “piece price” talked about by accountants is often very different to the “total cost”. I’ve seen many negative projects ‘made positive’ by creative accounting rather than lose face.

Closing, building, moving factories is a very expensive exercise.

But... it does happen, and the world is a smaller place than ever, global market place etc. As the Triumph guy at the NEC show explained to me “being British just isn’t important these days”.

And therein lies the rub that’s at the root of my gripe with Triumph: if being British is not important then fine, I get it, build in Thailand and drop the Union flags that are in every brochure, dealer, show-stand, etc. But if being British is important... then build in Britain.
I quite agree. The tragedy is that if you start dumping home based component makers in favour of foreign, such as Triumph did with its wheel builders, and that supplier goes bust as a consequence, then those skills can get lost here for good. If the manufacturer, by any remote chance, decided to resume production in this country they would then have to import components previously made here!
 
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Just my penny's worth, when I rode my Thruxton R out and about (my first ever Triumph) the non-biking men & women in the street, in the parking lots, would look at it through rose-tinted glasses, all misty eyed, and utter something about the 'good old days' or 'I remember when...'. The biking fraternity may, or may not, have been aware where it was made but they still admired it. That says a lot about the current range of vertical twins that Triumph make and the heritage that comes with the Triumph brand. Of course we all know that Norton is and always was superior, but I get less attention from the general public, mostly from inquisitive bikers.
They did that when I rode my Hinckley Trident 900 out and about in the 1990's, going on about how fantastic it was to see the brand resurrected and how wonderful to see a new British motorcycle on the roads, the only difference being - they were right then whereas now they only think they are!
I think you are right about Norton - it's a bikers bike!
 

cliffa

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Getting back to the original purpose of this thread; I guess we haven't made Voodoo's selection any easier.:D
Most people here have multiple machines with an interest certainly in Norton but anything with two wheels and an engine. The willingness to discuss anything bike related is what I love about this forum. (Unlike some stuck-up sites I could name).
Don't get me wrong, I have been riding since I was 14 ( a Nippy Norman ). I love bikes, riding them, working on them (when it's by choice) and talking about them, but there are categories for a reason. Try searching for this thread in a couple of years time and you'll see what I mean.

Cheers,

cliffa.
 
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Don't get me wrong, I have been riding since I was 14 ( a Nippy Norman ). I love bikes, riding them, working on them (when it's by choice) and talking about them, but there are categories for a reason. Try searching for this thread in a couple of years time and you'll see what I mean.

Cheers,

cliffa.
With respect it seems to me it's just a general chat about Triumph (touching on Norton now and then), why would anyone want to search for it in a couple of years?
Maybe there could be a "general" category - but that would have to be a sub-category of Norton Commando (modern) as everyone posting here has an interest in modern Nortons. Unless your solution is not to talk about anything else other than modern commandos.
 

BritTwit

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I do not believe, for one moment, that Triumph moved production to Thailand for quality reasons!

Surely no-one does...?

It was cost driven, pure and simple.

I’m quite sure that Thai workers are good. But Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes Benz Formula 1, and even Triumph themselves (to name but a few) have all proven that the British worker is very able... provided he/she has the right management in place.


Triumph is a business, and businesses exist to make profits, and I’m no socialist. But I have to question really how much difference it made to shift most production to Thailand and if really it was worth doing it.

It’s not an easy question to get to the bottom of. I’ve worked for many big automotive OEMs, who really should know better, who have closed down factories to build components abroad and I can tell you that the “piece price” talked about by accountants is often very different to the “total cost”. I’ve seen many negative projects ‘made positive’ by creative accounting rather than lose face.

Closing, building, moving factories is a very expensive exercise.

But... it does happen, and the world is a smaller place than ever, global market place etc. As the Triumph guy at the NEC show explained to me “being British just isn’t important these days”.

And therein lies the rub that’s at the root of my gripe with Triumph: if being British is not important then fine, I get it, build in Thailand and drop the Union flags that are in every brochure, dealer, show-stand, etc. But if being British is important... then build in Britain.
I agree with your thinking, and I have a variation on this theme:

Ok, according to the Triumph guy at the NEC - "being British just isn't important these days." I assume this was a young-ish guy (less than 50's) speaking about most riders today - who are probably young. If I want a crotch rocket, hell I don't much care where it's built. In this case he may be correct given all the Globalist BS in society today.

If he is correct, then build all the new cutting edge machines in Asia, they will be less expensive to make and the company will make enormous profits since these are the machines that represent the bulk of product that are sold to young riders, who are the overwhelming rider population.

To those of us who value the heritage of the brand, make the classics in Britain, if the cost is greater than it otherwise would be if produced in Asia, at least the buyers of classics will know that the classic they own still retains some of it's original heritage. That is important to me and worth paying extra for.
 

cliffa

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I quite agree. The tragedy is that if you start dumping home based component makers in favour of foreign, such as Triumph did with its wheel builders, and that supplier goes bust as a consequence, then those skills can get lost here for good. If the manufacturer, by any remote chance, decided to resume production in this country they would then have to import components previously made here!
I totally agree. There were other suppliers as well. Motad for example (now out of business).

Many, many skills are being lost in the U.K. the U.S. and elsewhere never to return due to the quest for lower manufacturing costs. (increased margins rather than lower ticket prices).

Could anybody in the U.K. manufacture a T.V. anymore?

Cheers,

cliffa.
 
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I agree with your thinking, and I have a variation on this theme:

Ok, according to the Triumph guy at the NEC - "being British just isn't important these days." I assume this was a young-ish guy (less than 50's) speaking about most riders today - who are probably young. If I want a crotch rocket, hell I don't much care where it's built. In this case he may be correct given all the Globalist BS in society today.

If he is correct, then build all the new cutting edge machines in Asia, they will be less expensive to make and the company will make enormous profits since these are the machines that represent the bulk of product that are sold to young riders, who are the overwhelming rider population.

To those of us who value the heritage of the brand, make the classics in Britain, if the cost is greater than it otherwise would be if produced in Asia, at least the buyers of classics will know that the classic they own still retains some of it's original heritage. That is important to me and worth paying extra for.
It's important to me too and worth paying extra for. The irony is that production of the classics were transferred to Asia first, over ten years ago I believe, whilst the sportsbikes and adventure bikes continued to be made in Britain, strange!
 

cliffa

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I agree with your thinking, and I have a variation on this theme:

Ok, according to the Triumph guy at the NEC - "being British just isn't important these days." I assume this was a young-ish guy (less than 50's) speaking about most riders today - who are probably young. If I want a crotch rocket, hell I don't much care where it's built. In this case he may be correct given all the Globalist BS in society today.

If he is correct, then build all the new cutting edge machines in Asia, they will be less expensive to make and the company will make enormous profits since these are the machines that represent the bulk of product that are sold to young riders, who are the overwhelming rider population.

To those of us who value the heritage of the brand, make the classics in Britain, if the cost is greater than it otherwise would be if produced in Asia, at least the buyers of classics will know that the classic they own still retains some of it's original heritage. That is important to me and worth paying extra for.
"being British just isn't important these days."

If that is the general feeling at Triumph, then long term they are destined for failure in my opinion. They are still trading on the cache of their former glory, but once everyone realizes they are not really a British brand and Royal Enfield, BSA and countless Chinese brands flood the market with retro bikes which are much cheaper what will they do?
 

Voodooo

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I’m 48 years old.
I’m true blue American and support my country by purchasing American made every time I can.
I buy American made everything.
All my furniture is American made, my appliances are American made, my silverware and eating utensils are American made, dish ware, pots and pans are American made, my hardwood flooring, carpet, and lighting fixtures are all American made.
I research everything I can before purchasing.

My toaster is British. Made by Dualit.
You Brits know your toasters! Love my English muffins with scrambled eggs almost daily!

I know my TVs and iPhone are made in China. Can’t change that.

My vehicles are all Fords. I know....
American brand, made with USA, Mexico, Canada and China parts.

My bikes are Norton’s.
Now I’ll add a Triumph to my garage.
How much of triumph is made outside of the UK? I’m not sure, but it’s still a UK owned company and I assume some of their products are still employing you fine British citizens.

I have absolutely no interest in Harley Davidson or Indian. Some thing about American bikes from the late 60s to present do nothing for me.
Unless we’re talking Arch, but those are out of my price range for a single bike.

I love British motorcycles and cars.
I like many Italian motorcycles and some Italian cars.
Not so keen on Asian cars or bikes. Sorry.

I know I’ve been talking about a two up bike, but I decided on a Triumph Bobber TFC.
Only 200 are making its way to the states and I placed my deposit just moments ago.
I hope I made the right choice lol.
Between all the “bobber style” bikes.
Triumph, Harley-Davidson and Indian. Triumph nailed it in my opinion.
I’m a single guy and in the future I’ll probably purchase another bike, at that time it’ll definitely be a 2 up bike.
 

Attachments

Voodooo

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This article gives insight into how the company works and why they have factories in the UK and Thailand.

https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesoci.../bikes/where-was-your-triumph-motorcycle-made
Here is where I get upset with ALL manufacturers. They offshore or out source jobs and manufacturing. They talk about profit margins and labor cost, yet the higher up like the CEO and other white collar people make top dollar.

It literally pisses me off when the ceo of a company, one that doesn’t own or even built the company, get paid some astronomical wage or income while the blue collar worker gets shit on.
Example: Mary Barra made over $25 million usd last year!
That’s before bonuses.
She didn’t build the company. She’s not the founder. She’s not making any positive progress in the company. All the while, 50k blue collar workers went on strike for 6 weeks just to try and fight for the rights of temporary or new hire employees to be at the promised pay scale as other full time employees.

I know it’s not just GM. ITS ALL giant companies.
Nobody is worth 25 million dollars a year. NOBODY.
No way in hell should a ceo be paid 300% + over the average worker of said company. It’s bogus.

Yet the ceo will not take a cut in pay or benefits but expects lesser employees to do so. All while raising cost of the item they produce.

Wanna sell more product and increase profits?
Do a MAJOR reduction in the ceos pay!
Lower the cost of the item and sell more.

Think about this for a second.
I’ll take marry barra again.
Her income of $25m per year divided by 365 days a year is $68493.15 per day!!! Or $5707.76 per hour on a 12 hour per day work schedule. Face it, she doesn’t even work 5 hours a day.
The average blue collar worker at GM on a 40 hour week pay check doesn’t make that in a year. Yet the vehicle cost has risen and the workers pay hardly raises.
 
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I do not believe, for one moment, that Triumph moved production to Thailand for quality reasons!

Surely no-one does...?

It was cost driven, pure and simple.

I’m quite sure that Thai workers are good. But Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes Benz Formula 1, and even Triumph themselves (to name but a few) have all proven that the British worker is very able... provided he/she has the right management in place.


Triumph is a business, and businesses exist to make profits, and I’m no socialist. But I have to question really how much difference it made to shift most production to Thailand and if really it was worth doing it.

It’s not an easy question to get to the bottom of. I’ve worked for many big automotive OEMs, who really should know better, who have closed down factories to build components abroad and I can tell you that the “piece price” talked about by accountants is often very different to the “total cost”. I’ve seen many negative projects ‘made positive’ by creative accounting rather than lose face.

Closing, building, moving factories is a very expensive exercise.

But... it does happen, and the world is a smaller place than ever, global market place etc. As the Triumph guy at the NEC show explained to me “being British just isn’t important these days”.

And therein lies the rub that’s at the root of my gripe with Triumph: if being British is not important then fine, I get it, build in Thailand and drop the Union flags that are in every brochure, dealer, show-stand, etc. But if being British is important... then build in Britain.
Yes I agree with that and I for one have not, and will not, ever buy a Triumph unless it is made here.
 

Fast Eddie

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It's important to me too and worth paying extra for. The irony is that production of the classics were transferred to Asia first, over ten years ago I believe, whilst the sportsbikes and adventure bikes continued to be made in Britain, strange!
It’s the trend in many manufacturing companies to keep the high tech, high precision products at ‘home’ where they have more able workforce’s and better overall control of quality, and of shore the production of lower end / simpler high volume products to the Far East.

Not saying that was Triumphs logic, but it would fit with industry trends if it was.
 
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Fast Eddie

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Scott, that’ll be a fun bike matey, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

But you’d better start saving up already, cos there ain’t no way it’s gonna ‘scratch the itch’ you have for a Brutale / Streetfighter / Monster R...;)

Actually, thinking about it, if you’re looking for Britishness, exclusivity, black and carbon, I’m surprised you didn’t look here (ok, it needs black forks, but apart from that, c’mon):



53A8D22B-83DE-42B4-A7F9-C19A6A79591B.jpeg
 

Voodooo

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Scott, that’ll be a fun bike matey, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

But you’d better start saving up already, cos there ain’t no way it’s gonna ‘scratch the itch’ you have for a Brutale / Streetfighter / Monster R...;)

Actually, thinking about it, if you’re looking for Britishness, exclusivity, black and carbon, I’m surprised you didn’t look here (ok, it needs black forks, but apart from that, c’mon):



View attachment 13176
Now that I found out that the bobber and Bonnie’s are made in Thailand I’m regretting it already.



Ariel ace with a Thailand made Honda engine.
 
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I worked in production control and purchasing for a UK at parts supplier. The pressure from the oems for eastern Europe and Chinese pricing was relentless. I had no choice but to direct the same pressure on to my suppliers to keep us in business. I did not know the answer then or now, as a consumer led economy it all boils down to price and using outsourcing or the threat of outsourcing. Just glad I got out before it sent me mad.
 
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It’s the trend in many manufacturing companies to keep the high tech, high precision products at ‘home’ where they have more able workforce’s and better overall control of quality, and of shore the production of lower end / simpler high volume products to the Far East.

Not saying that was Triumphs logic, but it would fit with industry trends if it was.
Triumph builds their high tech triples in Thailand.

The most reliable high tech bikes built today are built in Asia by Yamaha with the other big Asian builders close behind.
The least reliable bikes are built in Germany and Italy by BMW and Ducati.
Harley and Triumph did reasonably well, right in the middle.
Norton wasn't in the survey however we know where it would have placed.
And the biggest problem with the 961 Norton isn't design, it's the slipshod assembly work done by the home crew. Ask anyone who has taken one apart!

Correction, the very worst standing was Can Am , built in Canada , USA, Mexico, Finland and Austria. Nearly everywhere except Asia!
Canam has a 42% 4 year problem rating, BMW 40%, Ducati 33%, Triumph 29%, Harley 26% with Yamaha in number 1spot at 12%, with the other big Asian builders close behind.
Buy whatever you like, but don't kid yourself, the most reliable bikes built today come from Asia.
I wish it wasn't so.

Glen
 
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BritTwit

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The most reliable high tech bikes built today are built in Asia by Yamaha with the other big Asian builders close behind.
The least reliable bikes are built in Germany and Italy by BMW and Ducati.
Harley and Triumph did reasonably well, right in the middle.
Norton wasn't in the survey however we know where it would have placed.
And the biggest problem with the 961 Norton isn't design, it's the slipshod assembly work done by the home crew. Ask anyone who has taken one apart!

Correction, the very worst standing was Can Am , built in Canada , USA, Mexico, Finland and Austria. Nearly everywhere except Asia!
Canam has a 42% 4 year problem rating, BMW 40%, Ducati 33%, Triumph 29%, Harley 26% with Yamaha in number 1spot at 12%, with the other big Asian builders close behind.
Buy whatever you like, but don't kid yourself, the most reliable bikes built today come from Asia.
I wish it wasn't so.

Glen
I love surveys but my particular experience is very different.

I’ve owned many Jap bikes, all except Yamaha, and quite a few Ducatis as well. Can’t tell you how many scare’em stories I have heard from people telling me about the problems that “their friends” have had with Ducatis. It’s never them – it’s their friends.

Gotta tell you, I have never had a mechanical or electrical problem with any of my Ducatis. Of course I have never owned a plastic tank Ducati either, so they may have had issues I never experienced. I had 2 Ducatis that were recalled by the dealer for 1)possible faulty oil cooler welds, 2)Possible faulty ignition coils. Never experienced any issues, and the dealer replaced the parts.

I don’t consider my experience unusual since I have a few friends who also own Ducatis with similar experience to mine. Very positive.

Getting back to the survey, I think if the proper QC and QA are present, and applied properly in any manufacturing facility, the product turned out will be high quality. Whether in the west or Asia.
 
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