Triumph’s questionable marketing campaign… - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Triumph’s questionable marketing campaign…

Thought I talk about the broader picture now painted about the new Street Twin in anticipation of the T120 and new Thruxton and R model which has created quite a stir, some positive and some negative.
To me, Triumph screwed the pooch a bit how they have rolled out their first new Bonneville with the languishing release of 1200cc bikes in tow. Make no mistake, this is a contrived strategy…perhaps partly based upon ramping up distribution but largely crafted from an elaborate marketing campaign of waiting and anticipation of the 1200cc bikes based upon limited information building anticipation which has fomented and given way to speculation.
So what has occurred based upon this protracted and some would say transparent rollout including careful control of marketing fodder with very few specs including hp of the 1200cc bikes? An inevitable and misguided comparison to the new Street Twin, not to the base alloy wheeled current bonnie, but rather comparison with current T100 and Thruxton models. Why are these bikes being compared? Price.
But now the picture is a bit more clear and to me, the comparison of the new Street Twin and current Bonneville line is ill fated. Plain truth is the Street Twin is postured as a starter bike. It is no T100 or Thruxton even though you can throw a blanket over their price tags. So basically Triumph is now selling a starter bike for the price of a current T100 and Thruxton and hence the inevitable comparison.

Here is a question that a member posted who is considering a new Bonneville who stated this dilemma perfectly:

I am close to buying a Triumph and before the announcement of the new Street Twin I was looking at a new Bonneville or T100. Over the last few weeks I have been reviewing videos of the last generation vs the Street Twin and am still not sure. Being an older guy and having gotten used to abs on my current bike that is one of the things drawing me towards the new generation but then........I still love the look of the current Bonneville and T100. Oh and I really do not want to spend the money on a T120 despite it also being an attractive bike. I will keep reading stuff on here from my home about 100 miles from the Triumph factory in Thailand.
Colin

Uptake? Not everybody is in love with look of the new Street Twin compared to the current bikes, particular if the comparison is drawn to a current T100 or Thruxton at about the same price point.
Then there is the issue of horsepower…the new engine being ‘marketed’ as higher torque. Motorcycle guys know the tell of the tape. Those that own the current Bonneville believe the torque is just fine and in fact a perfect back drop to ride the bike smoothly seeking greater hp at higher RPM where the lower performance Street Twin engine runs out of air. So the Street Twin with its increase in displacement and being liquid cooled is a bitter pill in the context of 20% less hp compared to current Bonneville’s.
I believe this comparison can be summed up best by current owners who have considered trading. The vast majority haven’t that have ridden both. The new Street Twin just isn’t enough of an improvement compared to the current bikes and of course the engine doesn’t have the same performance orientation and little is known about its mod-ability moving forward in terms of extracting more hp to even bring it up the current bikes considering it’s a walk in the park to get 75hp out of the current bikes and perhaps a hint more with simple ECM tuning, pipes and slight opening of the airbox.

Which comes full circle back to marketing. Has Triumph employed the right strategy? After all they have forced this comparison…partly promoted by similar engine size…865cc versus 900cc…at similar price points and so the inevitable comparison follows. But many here would not consider so called upgrading because in some ways, trading for the new Street Twins…is a regression…in styling, riding position and of course engine performance. Many will prefer in fact a current T100 or Thruxton to a Street Twin purely based upon styling elements as of course the Street Twin has a different look and not all will prefer the ST including the new headlight bracket, coffee can speedo with no tach, abbreviated rear fender etc.

What’s in it for Triumph? Anticipation of the new 1200cc bikes and profit of course.
Where is therefore the true comparison moving forward? It isn’t the now understood entry level Street Twin comparison to current bonneville line at the current price point but rather the pending release of the new 1200cc bikes. That is comparison with current bikes that should be drawn. However this comparison has been thwarted by the staggered release of the new bikes starting with the Street Twin. This comparison has been somewhat lost or blurred due to how Triumph has elected to release their new bikes. Will the new 1200cc bikes be preferred to the current T100 and Thruxton in spite of widely speculated low hp based upon torque numbers out of 1200cc’s. Absolutely. The new bikes will definitely be upgraded to because the new bikes will offer perhaps a better riding experience…or should. Triumph did some really nice things with the new 1200cc range in spite of likely not extracting the hp many believe should from this engine size…again based upon cost and profit. But the new bikes yes will have more torque but will also have more hp based upon much larger displacement and ergonomics and even styling are considered an upgrade from the current bikes. So where is the rub moving forward? This harkens back to something I have written here before. What does the consumer want and in particular a knowledgably consumer who owns a current bonneville? When it comes to motorcycles it always comes down to value aka cost/benefit or most of us would be riding Ducatis. What did I hope for? An improved bonneville at the same price point or perhaps a hint more MSRP based upon the inclusion of ABS which I believe to be a very good thing. What did we get? No question an improved bike with the new 1200cc bikes…but grab your ankles….about $3K more…excluding the more exotic and expensive Thruxton R sharing space with more exotic Ducatis.

So no, Triumph didn’t recreate the new bonneville without consequences. They didn’t create a better motorcycle at a similar price point. If you want to ride a finer motorcycle, you are going to have to pay for it. And of course at a $12K price point, the world has just opened up to the competition in terms of what is available. For some, this will be ok. For others, they will stick with their current bonnies and personalize them how they like ‘em.

Last edited by Britfan; 02-23-2016 at 07:01 AM.
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post #2 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 07:19 AM
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I think Triumph have played the boutique motorcycle manufacturer game pretty well over the last 25 years. The fact they are still going strong is testament to that.

For that reason I tend to give them some credit in knowing what works and what doesn't. They have generally made pretty shrewd calls in that time and judged the market well.

But sure, they are not infallible, no business is, they may have this wrong.

How about we meet back here in 12 months and see if the Triumph strategy worked or they stuffed up? We should actually know by then.

Aunty Mabel
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post #3 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 07:25 AM
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It's a bit early I think to access Triumph's intentions, marketing and overall success with these new models. Think of how difficult it is to redesign a bike model that has had a 15 year life of successful sales. Sure Triumph could have created what you wanted; better performance, a bit lighter, improved suspension and add ABS keeping the price point close to the current model. But, in my view, Triumph has to think much further down the road. Their decisions whether sound by their reckoning will have to be received well by the buying public or back to the drawing board. Look at the introduction of the Ducati 999 designed by Pierre Treblanche. The new bike had to replace the 10 year old very iconic 916 line and last for another 10 years before a redo. We all know how the Ducati faithful received that bike. Although, now they have become part of the collectible market and have risen in price in the used market. It's hard to kick old habits. I don't know how successful the new twins will be, especially the 1200 engine models, but Triumph will not be able to please everyone, especially those who already own the previous bikes.

As far as pricing, I still can't come to grips with what bikes cost these days. Then again, I can't believe what people have to pay for new cars. A long way from Henry's $500 Model T.
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post #4 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 07:32 AM
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I agree with you. I feel that where Triumph is really screwing the customer is with the price of the 1200s. Being that the Thruxton and T100 were in that sub $10k ($9995) range the T120 should be at max at $10,500. I know all the company suckers will say "but you're getting all these extra features". To that I say, not really. It is just that Triumph has been skimping us on features for so long that we have gotten used to it. Triumph was one of the last companies to get up to speed with efi. The only reason that we are getting abs is because it is mandatory for them. Other companies have had easy pull clutches for years. The ride modes are a cute novelty. The vast majority did not want liquid cooling. Going to 1200 gives a performance boost equal or possibly less than a 904 kit. The weight of the 1200s is still unknown. I know that everyone likes to say that the Ducati Scrambler and BMW R nine T are the direct competition to this new generation of Bonnies. But here in the U.S. it doesn't matter what style the bike is the direct competition will always be Harley Davidson. With this $12-14K price range of the T120s and Thruxtons that opens up the bottom end of Harley's big twin range as direct price point competition. Add in a better dealer network and huge level of aftermarket support, Triumph pricing these bikes so high will just push more customers in that direction.
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post #5 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 07:39 AM
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I too, believe it may be too early to tell, we shall see.

I love my current T100, and made it perfect for me. Do I want to trade for a Street Twin? Probably not. But I DO see what is at work here - the ST appears to be a very good motorcycle despite the criticisms here. It is user-friendly, I'm guessing easy to ride, and will likely bring some fresh blood to the brand, something that we are witnessing already. I don't believe the ST's true role was to court existing owners. And even then, it will probably snag a few.

Now the T120 and Thruxtons? Yes, that I would definitely consider. They are offering existing owners something here, in fact, most of the things we carp about. Slow roll-out? More expensive? Sure. These aren't huge barriers to me. Eventually, I could definitely see getting out the checkbook, but that's just me.

Robert
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post #6 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Perhaps a bit early, but point being, this type of roll out promotes conflation between the new Street Twin and the T100 and Thruxton because they are at about the same price point.
We have now learned that this comparison isn't really valid because the new Street Twin isn't an improvement from the current bike...with exception of ABS...and a compelling argument in fact it doesn't measure up to the current higher end bikes like the T100 and Thruxton again, at the same relative price to consumers.

And of course over time dust will settle, all models will be released and the new bikes will stand in the market on their relative merits again, relative to their price point.

Final point is, no free lunch. Triumph did not improve the new bikes without a cost imposition. The new Street Twin is either a push or a regression depending on your point of view at about the same price, and if you want a so called improved bike...and that of course remains to be seen as well because current bonnies are easily personalized both in engine mods and cosmetics and also utterly reliable...then a prospective buyer is going to have to go 30% deeper into their wallet to own one.

Thanks for sharing your point of view.

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post #7 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 09:36 AM
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I think anyone with a pre-2016 bonneville would be justified in keeping it if the only option is the street twin. I doubt triumph is counting on many current owners to trade in for the street twin. I think the point of street twin is to attract new people to the brand as well as those who may have left the brand previously. If you look at it from that angle, a lot of the decisions make sense. By constrast, the t120 and thruxton are in part intended to get people to "upgrade" as well as attract new people to brand. Again, if you are perfectly happy with power/looks etc of current bike, you can keep it or get one at a discounted rate. No one would criticize that decision. If you want more power, abs, and better fuel efficiency, you will have to pay more for it than you did your old one. We"ll have to wait to see if t120 and thruxton also sound better. They definitely look better to me than old line
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post #8 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilCanBuoy View Post
I think anyone with a pre-2016 bonneville would be justified in keeping it if the only option is the street twin. I doubt triumph is counting on many current owners to trade in for the street twin. I think the point of street twin is to attract new people to the brand as well as those who may have left the brand previously. If you look at it from that angle, a lot of the decisions make sense. By constrast, the t120 and thruxton are in part intended to get people to "upgrade" as well as attract new people to brand. Again, if you are perfectly happy with power/looks etc of current bike, you can keep it or get one at a discounted rate. No one would criticize that decision. If you want more power, abs, and better fuel efficiency, you will have to pay more for it than you did your old one. We"ll have to wait to see if t120 and thruxton also sound better. They definitely look better to me than old line
I think what you write it better understood now. Reason for the thread is the way Triumph has released the Street Twin first and foremost, comparisons between the new and old bikes are inevitable when a better comparison is with the soon to be released bikes. So the new entry level Street Twin mantra is lost on current Triumph loyalists in particular because the new ST costs about the same as so called higher end current bikes.
In my particular case, upgrading is pretty much out of the question because for less than the price of a new 1200cc T120, I created my own a couple of years ago...with more power at the crank than likely the new 1200cc and cosmetic refinements...D9, LSL, Joker, MAS etc... that won't be found on the new bikes.

PS: a further bit of irony moving forward in the context of all the backlash of the Street Twin having 20% less hp than current bonnies. The same consideration will happen in reverse relative to the new forthcoming 1200cc bikes. The cry will be this time, ok, I have ridden the new 1200cc Bonneville and it has more power no question, but honestly, I am simply not going to use it...or at least feel like paying for it. Especially since a 865cc bike can be get to 75hp with some simple tuning...likely not a far cry from the inevitably detuned 1200cc new bikes.

Last edited by Britfan; 02-23-2016 at 09:55 AM.
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post #9 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 10:03 AM
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I don't think anyone would fault that decision.
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post #10 of 271 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 10:07 AM
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It will be interesting to see what is left sitting on showroom floors at the end of the year and how it is handled. If Triumph throws out incentives then these new bikes may actually get down to a fair price.
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