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721 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was going to submit this as an article but couldn't work out how :eek:


In my opinion. these two words are not necessarily at odds with each other.
I have owned Triumphs for over thirty years. It is far too easy these days to throw away history in the pursuit of progess.
Tradition is important....To take art dealer/auctioneer-speak it is provenance.
There is nothing wrong with progress, as long as it is in the correct direction. I will not discuss that here, as it is a different topic.
In an ever more competetive market place it is important to control costs, develop new products & manufacture efficiently.
The pursuit of commercial success though, everything is not black or white.
Compromises do have to be made, but these should not effect the marketability of the product.
Where would the likes of Harley Davidson be without heritage?
They would certainly not have a competetive product.
Manufacturers with a history must ensure they maintain a certain ethos of tradition, if they wish to exploit that established identity.
This will give a perceptable edge or niche for that manufacturers product. It is a unique strength and should be played to rather than
waste valuable resources in a futile attempt to take the japanese behemoths on on their own ground. That would be truly in the kamikaze
spirit! LOL!
The new Triumph made that mistake in making their first 600 sport bikes a four rather than their niche triple configuration.
Fortunately, they realised the error, very late on, and played to their strengths. They have dropped the ball on occasion, but seem to have
more hits than misses.
Progress does have to be continuous to remain in business.
You have provenance, use it as a powerful weapon, but remember the old Britsh bike industry overplayed this card & payed the price.


10,016 Posts
Nige if you look at provenance as a book mark, starting point to show how the company has grown, evolved it might be better. You mentioned HD and if you look at them at there starting point to now it has undergone numerous changes, redirection and evolutuions.

If a company does not evolve they risk ceasing, death or termination. Many motorcylce companies have closed over the years with later come backs to fail once again. I think progress with qualities and values that customers or riders love is the key.

2,757 Posts
Provenance defines an origin and progress defines a development in a positive way.

Using the word provenance depicts a heritage or starting point for Triumph. This can be defined in two specific ways. Their original heritage of motorcycle production and business ventures or it's reconstruction, "new beginning". Hopefully, their previous strategies which moved them towards their original demise, have been a developmental step for progress in the new venture. There is a lasting relationship between the two as long as the progress has been one of sustainment. Change for the sake of market share competition without a well thought out strategy is detrimental to the companies bottom line and heritage.

Developmental progress and refinement of a base product is paramount. So far they've done this without the added expense of complete retooling and design. They've also retained a good perspective in relationship to future development. Marketing strategies have been good with a focus on balance of both heritage and nuances. With a slow progression and refinement of their current offerings, they will secure a future place in the industry.

The relationship is complimentary only through a well maintained foundation, sustained good business practices, and defined strategies.;)


Premium Member
17,294 Posts
The balance between provenance and progress can degenerate into a struggle between the engineers and designers, who want to push things and see what they can do, and the customers, who (especially for brands heavy on provenance) can almost hold the company down, tying it to designs and philosophies that risk becoming stagnant over the years.

The trick seems to be to establish an early history of surprising the market with designs the consumers didn't even realize they wanted; products that sell themselves on their own merit. Done properly, the company then gets credit for provenance, while still retaining the freedom to surprise people and maintain progress. For Triumph, I'd say the Speed Triple, the Rocket III, and the 675 are all good examples of pulling off this design/marketing accomplishment.
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