I agree with Larry and Captdon. Most likely the Thai assembly plant is exactly or very close to the Hinckley plant in terms of the quality of the plant itself. The other factor is the work force. Triumph should be able to hire highly qualified workers who will eagerly work for something absurd like a dollar a day. So I don't see any reason for a reduction in build quality or reliability.
People often bring up Enfield as a example of what will happen to Triumph if they started assemby in Thailand. But if you read the RE manifesto, it clearly states that REs are retro bikes built exactly like they were in 1955. RE hasn't had a serious retooling until very recently. I anticipate that they will become more reliable in the next few years. To go back to my argument - if Triumph builds a decent, modern plant, the reliability and build quality should be just fine!
Talking about the great Triumph reliability.....I have owned my Bonnie for 8 months and here is a list of problems I've had so far:
1) Paint peeling on the gas tank within a month???!
2) As mentioned by others - have had to tighten bolts within a month of ownership (carb boots were spraying gas
3) Speedo condensation is so bad that I can't see a thing if I ride in the rain (Triumph won't replace under warranty)
4) Speedo needle and counter vibrate violently at speeds over 70 (might be able to get speedo replaced if I can replicate this problem while at the dealer)
5) Counter reset knob fell off.
6) Ignition computer died for no reason (spent hours trying to diagnose the problem and had to pay $150 to get it towed to dealer)
I still love my Bonnie, but certainly not for its stellar reliability or build quality. I owned a 2002 Honda Magna for 2 years ---- number of problems = ZERO!!!!
[ This message was edited by: toocaffeinated on 2007-01-17 19:42 ]