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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I read the posts about the 07 Bonnie's being made outside of the U.K.

First off, that's a real bummer. I'm not from the U.K. (USA) but have been there a few times and would love to retire in Wales.

How do I check to see if the bike I plan to buy is made in the U.K. or elsewhere? When I go to the dealer, I want to inspect the product on the floor to see where it's made.

Can I demand my dealer to sell me one that's made in the U.K.? The lead time I think is about 3 weeks to get a Bonnie to my dealer. Is it even in their power to get a Bonnie of my choosing, in relation to where it's made?

This subject really botheris. I spent hours researching this bike only to find out that it's not authentic. Their website doesn't mention anything about farming work out to Thailand or anywhere else. It does talk about the Hinkley plant and that's where I thought I was going to get my bike from.

Final note. Remember Royal Enfield? I investigated those bikes a few years ago. The fit and finish was pretty poor but once I found they were made in India, I was broken. I loved their old school look but I couldn't stomach a 1 cyclinder bike that was made in India, not the U.K. I hope Triumph doesn't go down that path....EVER.

All answers to my questions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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I can't help to much b/c I don't remember all the details but I read that it was in the serial number. I believe if it ends with the letter "T" it was made in Thailand or something of that nature. I know I read in on this forum but I don't remeber what page or when it was posted. sorry
 

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Yeah, you should be able to tell from the Vehicle Identification Number. The letter J somewhere in the middle supposedly stands for England and a T for Thailand. In my VIN number I have both Ts and Js so its a bit confusing.

But, to ad to the debate, I don't think its that big an issue. I bought my Bonneville for the British design, not because I thought that the whole bike was assembled by Englishmen (in fact a lot of the parts are from other countries - theres a big "Made in Japan" on the carburators).

I think the workers of Thailand are just as good at putting the bikes together as the ones in England. As long as I get that beautiful English design and good quality of the materials being used. But that is just one mans opinion. You are entiteled to yours.

Anyway, you should find what you are looking for if you search for "Thailand" in this forum.
 

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I would have to agree with LIJ on the issue of where it is made. These days its hard to find anything that is completely manufactured in one place. But then again, I can see where people are coming from.
 

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The last six digits of the vin are all numeric. It is the character right before these I believe that will tell the tale.
All in all though, I don't think it really makes a difference where it is assembled. For example, just because your Honda Accord is made in the States doesn't make it not a Japanese car. I don't see the problem if all the same parts, design, and specifications are being used, who cares where it is assembled.

Just my 2¢
 

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On 2007-01-07 03:27, Big_Rick wrote:
... For example, just because your Honda Accord is made in the States doesn't make it not a Japanese car. I don't see the problem if all the same parts, design, and specifications are being used, who cares where it is assembled.
And because some Cadillacs are assembled in Trollhättan, Sweden doesn't make it a Swedish car.
 

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I believe it is the 11th letter of the vin stamp on the bike...it will read like this.


SMTxxxxxxxT etc... for thai
SMTxxxxxxxJ etc.... for uk

There is a odd chance that some of the very early '07 model's will be labeled as made in the uk, and your dealership will have one. If not, and you want a uk made bike, see what they have in old stock. Look to ebay perhaps, or other dealerships for a '06 or older.

There are good deals to be had on older bike's out there.


For alot of the older crowd here, there is a mystique about Triumph and all thing's british, bsa, norton, triumph etc...

British bike's have always came from the uk, regarding the above named 3. At this point those days are over, theres a pretty wide variation of reaction to this. Some arent apparently bothered much by it, while others feel it's blasphemy.

For me theres something odd about a brit bike not being made in the uk. I'm somewhat torn in regards to my feeling's about this subject, on one hand I want triumph to thrive and succeed. Yet on the other hand, I'm friend's with one of the partner's at a dealership I frequent. They will be attending event's this coming season around the area, and I've been asked to lend a hand.

I did this last year at Carlilse during bikefest, I enjoyed helping them out. The difference now will be, when a prospective customer approache's me and look's at me and ask's...." are they still made in the uk? " ....I'll have to look at them and say..." we'll, the 3cylinder model's are, as are the older twin's, but these new twins your looking at are made in Thailand " ....

....I dont see myself doing this...maybe one day I'll feel differently.
 

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What if your VIN is SMTTJ900TM and then seven digits? Since mine is an '03 Bonnie it should be made in the UK. Maybe they use another letter system for the European market...
 

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They didnt begin assembly in Thai till this year.

The other thing to consider regarding a decision about buying a new triumph is that the part's on our new beloved twin's come from all over...it has been a long long time since Amal carbs, Lucas Electrics, and the like...outsourcing assembly is the final step.
 

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The first character in the vin is the country of assembly, S meaning Great Britian and the plant ids T or J could be in the same building, If the Vin starts with S it is assembled in Great Britian, 1 is us , w is Germany , J is japan, etc . I will try to find out what Thailand is and report back, parts can come from anywhere but if it Starts with S it made in Great Britian. Ed
 

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Ed, are you sure enough about that to bet your '05? I'll probably wind up buying an '07 assembled in Thailand at the "T" code plant, but if I can win a bet and pick up an earlier model assembled in the "J" code Hinckley plant I'll take it. :cool:
 

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On 2007-01-07 02:14, Welshdragon wrote:


How do I check to see if the bike I plan to buy is made in the U.K. or elsewhere? When I go to the dealer, I want to inspect the product on the floor to see where it's made.

Can I demand my dealer to sell me one that's made in the U.K.? The lead time I think is about 3 weeks to get a Bonnie to my dealer. Is it even in their power to get a Bonnie of my choosing, in relation to where it's made?

This subject really botheris. I spent hours researching this bike only to find out that it's not authentic.


All answers to my questions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
I've never yet had a dealer question me while I look a bike over on the show room floor. And the VIN is right there for God and Country to see, it's not a protected secret, so what are you implying?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...."demand" a dealer get you the bike built where you want.... Sure, you can "demand" anything. Is the dealer compelled or required to meet your demands....NO! He might try, if politely asked, or he may show you the door if he deems your demands as ludicrous.

You seem so worried about authenticity, maybe you should buy an OLD triumph, and experience all the thrills of leaking Amals and Lucas electrics..... then the Thailand issue is a NON-issue. Or better yet, get an H-D, made right here in America. And comparing R.E. to Triumph is like comparing apples to oranges.....severral pages could be brought up to show the falacy of that comparison.

But a "pure bred" motorcycle really seems to be what you're looking for.....H-D, Honda.....something like that may better suit your requirements, as the way you're starting off, with doubts and comparisons, really doesn't sound as though a Triumph will satisfy...
 

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Turns out everyone is a little bit right. Here's what I've learned.

The first two characters are the country code. SM and SA are Great Brittain, ML and MR are Thailand.
The 11th Character is the assembly plant.

LIJ, since your bike is an '03, your plant ID being different probably has something to do with the big fire in 2002 and that plant being shut down for 6 months.

Isn't Google amazing! :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I see how many of you are biased. We all have our opinions and the last poster (Formula Extreme) is jumping to conclusions. I do not like Harley's. I do not like Honda. I know most companies farm some of their product out; therfore, I'm not looking for a "pure-bread". I'm not buying Japanese at all.

But I'm still discouraged that a company that has a reputation as being British is actually watering down their product ID by builidng outside of the UK. Yes, they are weakening their name regardless of fit/finish. It shows that it's all about money, not tradition.

For all the current owners out there, I know you have your reasons for saying it doesn't matter where it's built. Fine. I personally think you are wrong but that's my opinoin. If I'm going to drop 7K+, I should at least have a say where I get my bike from, if there is a choice. Buying older models or used isn't an option.

So, without opinon, could someone answer this- are any of the 2007's Bonnevilles made in the U.K.?

[ This message was edited by: Welshdragon on 2007-01-07 08:40 ]
 

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I do not like Harley's. I do not like Honda.
I do not like green eggs and ham! :-D

Hey, I couldn't help it. It just jumped right out there. :-D :-D

Dennis
 

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You should be asking this stuff to your dealer, or writing Triumph with your concerns. If you dont like where they are made, dont buy one, I have always found that is the simpliest answer for me!

Nathan
 

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If a person had enough money and really wanted it, Triumph would probably build your motorcycle in your front yard for you with certified 3rd generation Triumph employees (cratsmen?). You could have all the brand heritage and mystique your wallet could stand and possibly then some.

Having a 7 grand budget tends to limit your options. Lets face it, 7K+ ain't what it used to be.

Dennis
 

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I spent hours researching this bike only to find out that it's not authentic. Their website doesn't mention anything about farming work out to Thailand or anywhere else. It does talk about the Hinkley plant and that's where I thought I was going to get my bike from.
I suppose "authenticity" is something which can be debated. (hopefully for not too much longer!). Many people would be surprised to find out that among others, the following cars are built only in Canada: Buick Rendezvous, Pontiac Grand Prix, Chrysler 300, Mercury Grand Marquis, Chevy Impala, Chrysler 300 and Pacifica, Dodge Charger and Magnum, etc. Among others, the PT cruiser and the new Chevy HHR are built only in Mexico. And yet everyone still thinks of all these as "American" cars. Does it really matter?? I suppose that's a personal choice. For myself, while I would much rather have a Triumph made in the UK, if assembling in Thailand (with proper quality control) helps keep Triumph in business and profitable, I'll accept that.

Bob

[ This message was edited by: bobmig on 2007-01-07 18:29 ]
 

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The country of origin should be stated on the MSO. This info should be in the dealer's possession. I would assume Triumph of America is always listed as the importer. so a quick phone call from the dealer to HQ should anwswer any questions if the dealer does not know.
 

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wonderdog wrote:
Lets face it, 7K+ ain't what it used to be.
Hell I spend 7k a year on property tax for a 2 bedroom house....

If one wants a bike with some level of pedigree, one would need to buy vintage, one off custom, or a top of the line cutting-edge race bike (most likely Japanese or Italian). The nature of the beast is that modern bike companies are in the business of making money, and if they make a timeless poduct in the process then it is only by pure luck.

Find an 06 that is gently used or still on a showroom floor. I was looking for a UK built bike myself and I found a barely broken in 06 with all the major mods completed for me. (pipes, AI, center stand)
 
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