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Discussion Starter #1
My 2020 Bonneville T120 is my first Triumph motorcycle, but is my 43rd motorcycle owned and registered in my name. Having owned mainly Japanese bikes and a few Harley Davidson's here and there, I was curious what was going on at Triumph.

Here is why.

I live in South Dakota, in a city of close to 200,000 people. We have a GREAT motorsports dealer that has Indian, Kawasaki, Honda, Polaris, and Yamaha. When I say great, I mean they put deals together, treat you right, good service department, nice facility, etc. They were once a Triumph dealer, and that is my first exposure to the Bonneville T120. I wanted one, but they chose not to continue with Triumph. I purchased my Triumph from a dealer in Omaha Nebraska, close to 200 miles from home. THEY are no longer a Triumph dealer, they let the franchise go this September of 2020, shortly after I purchased my Bonneville T120.

I had watched some video's with regards to Triumph, and some of it wasn't the best news. Obviously the pandemic has caused some disruptions and business planning, but here in the United States, motorcycles were pretty much sold out. Except for Triumph.

Here is what I noted. Triumph dealers don't deal on the bikes, it's like sticker + set-up + shipping and they don't budge very much. I am told that Triumph views their bikes as a higher quality premium bike, much like Harley Davidson. OK...I get it, but in reality, you don't have the same demand that Harley does, not by a long shot so that business model sort of tanks. Come on, make me feel good, put something together that looks like a deal and not like the feel that I should have bought more bike for the money.

I am not dogging the T120, I like it and it does have a certain British uniqueness...which is what I wanted. However, after I found out the bikes were made in Thailand so that they could be competitively priced, I thought - well that isn't working here :) For less money, I could have bought a Kawasaki Z900RS and it is somewhat retro. I guess my experience with buying so many motorcycles with a new one in the garage every year, makes me think about stuff like this...maybe I have a problem and should go see a doctor about this? :unsure:

Nonetheless, my T120 gets attention...since there are so few around. Since owning the bike for four months now, I cannot say I have seen but one other Triumph on the road, and it was the Cafe style 900. People see my bike and think it is cool, and it rides nice. I enjoy going down a county road on a warm summer day, and just looking at the world as if it truly was 1959.

Just curious what the real take on the company is.
 

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An honest opinion and it does open a lot of questions. Just as many stand by the HD name in the USA then in Uk many stand by the Triumph brand. What makes a name is the back up service and following. In the south of England I have local a Triumph and several near by distributorships as well. So my opinion of Triumph is well supported and a good bike with history.
I was looking at getting an Indian Scout. The local motorbike distributorship has just closed down in the COVID downturn. So it means I will need to travel many miles to find the next one. I suppose I have the same question you have with a different brand.
if there was more support I would not be questioning the Brand. The answer is that it is a good brand just needs more support in England. Could this be the same for Triumph in your area ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dave,

Thanks for the response, I like a good Englishman that talks bikes! :p

Truly I think the product is good, and although they build a lot of them in Thailand, the point is that is is British engineering, British design, and the British feel that make it genuine, and I am Ok with that. They have to be price competitive, I think the expectations were that the price would go down due to lower cost to build.

That being said, did I ever find the customer service for Triumph to be the worst I have ever had to deal with. The response was short, abrupt, no explanation, and made for an uneasy feeling for me, since I assume this is how they treat a warranty issue. As someone who buys motorcycles and almost traded my Bonneville in for a new Tiger 1200 this fall, I thought to myself - nope, probably my last Triumph.
 

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I have not had that issue with Triumph over here. Had a couple of warranty issues. All sorted out. When I took the bike in we had the good conversations and a loan bike to go have a ride on whilst we sort out the issue.
A dealership is only as good as the staff that work there and importantly the believe they have in the product that they are selling and supporting. Some people just want to pick up the pay packet each week and others love the job and motorcycle brand. I suppose it depends which one is the person you are talking to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would agree, the dealer has to have the buy in. I think that is the problem they are having here in the US, the OEM is dictating the dealership requirements and the dealer doesn't have enough bikes out to justify it. At that point, they lose the customer focus. In this case however, I am referring to Triumph Corporate...not TOO impressed at all, which explains why the dealer network is thinning.

The Harley Davidson is a whole different story, and not something Triumph should try to emulate here. Harley Davidson has a unique story that brought success in the marketplace. The company was purchased by the grandson and some investors...the company was ran by real riders, and the timing was just right for the "buy Americana" branding. Want to talk customer service? I have never been to a Harley dealership that truly didn't take care of you like you were a millionaire! Most knew what real bikers were about, welcomed you in, and if you had a problem with your bike, got you in and took care of you properly. That is still true today for the most part, although Harley isn't doing as well, so they are a little bit less enthusiastic to fix a problem, but still get it.

Probably about five years ago at this time, I spotted a Triumph Trophy 1200 on the showroom. It's late October...not really any riding left where I live, the snow often flies in the first part of November. Nonetheless, I asked the dealer if there was any incentives, after all this was last years model bike, the new model year will be coming out in a few months. A) Nope, full sticker. I went and purchased a brand new Honda F6B two weeks later. They kept the Trophy 1200 until about early summer. They told me Triumph had a warehouse full of unsold Trophy's from last year, and FINALLY incentivized the bike, then Triumph quit production to the US. I was bummed out - that triple engine made me want to sing, and I heard the bike was even better than my most favorite bike, the R1200Rt.

Sort of left me scratching my head wondering who was running the show...know what I mean? Freaking, sell the model year as a close out and gear yourself up for the new model years by not having the dog sit there and take a loss when you finally have to give it away!
 

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Sort of left me scratching my head wondering who was running the show...know what I mean? Freaking, sell the model year as a close out and gear yourself up for the new model years by not having the dog sit there and take a loss when you finally have to give it away!
Some businesses make money despite their best efforts not to...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How true is that. My problem is that I am a business analyst using a lot of data, and identify things pretty quickly as to what is going on. A company I work for was going to buy a Lexus franchise. Lexus told them - NO. This dealer is extremely good, has a lot of capital, and very successful with 22 dealerships. Lexus told them the demographics aren't good enough to support a stand alone dealership. Being a luxury brand, Lexus requires its dealers to not get cheap with the customer care. An example - got a problem with the vehicle, bring it in, here is a nicely equipped loaner for you to take. Customer feels good, great service is a premium, which is the type of vehicle they own.

I just see a lot of people out there talking about Triumph having a lot of troubles right now, was curious what was going on. Sounds as if the UK dealer network is doing fine, so probably going great, just not a good business plan in the US.
 

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My Triumph Bonneville America is my first bike, and I bought it 2 months ago used. So far no problems. It runs great, starts right up, totally comfortable, looks awesome. But then again, it's only about 18 years old, so from what I've been told by other Triumph owners, it might not be old enough to have problems showing up. I've met a ton of riders in the past couple of months and the single most common comment (after the cool look) is "Oh yeah, those triumphs are totally reliable, that thing will ride forever..."

Given how well mine has held up, and it's an 02, maybe that will help you feel better about your purchase?

My closest Triumph dealer is an hour away. Not the end of the world for me, but so far, I've done my own basic service on my own (chain, oil change). The local Motorcycle repair shop (5 min from my house) told me no problem, they'll work on it if needed. They may need to order parts. You can download instructions for just about anything on the bike here Triumph Instructions.com Just pop in the part number and bam. Well written instructions with pictures.

Buying parts is a pain in the ass for my bike. Being an 02, many parts are discontinued, and being an American, there are not many places I can walk in to buy parts ( like floor boards). Sure, there are aftermarket, but OEM stuff can be tricky for me at least. Newer bikes might have better luck.

I was planning to buy an Indian scout, but it was suggested to buy a used bike first, so I bought this. Now I might just keep it. I love this bike and the community of Triumph riders. It's really held up in looks, chrome, and performance given how old it is.

My most serious problem so far is that in another month, I'll only be allowed to look at it from the garage with the snow in the background...

Ok, this is one riders opinion. Hope it's helpful in some way. By the way, can you post some pictures of your bike?


738343
 

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I can tell you this, Triumph is very demanding on dealerships. When they rolled out the boutique store format a few years back, it was either you do it, or you're out. Obviously most of the dealers that were out, didn't have enough floor space to dedicate to the new format. Since then, some dealers just dropped the brand because they had a hard time being told how to run their business. I myself love the Triumph product, I've owned 8 of them over the past 15 years, but I wouldn't be a Triumph dealership. I've owned my own business for the last 16 years, I have to be the one to call the shots that controls my own destiny when it comes to my livelihood. Not some company on the other side of the world.
 

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My dealer is fantastic. Great service great staff. They have Triumph as a small part of their floor space but it looks good. They said to me that they have had zero issues with Triumph

Sounds like lots of people have had bad experiences in the USA. Might be a USA thing
 

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@Miks , don’t let your experience with that dealer paint the picture for all US Triumph dealers. I’ve been to a few great ones over the years on the east coast that wheel and deal, including my local shop in Norfolk, Virginia where I picked up my ‘18 Speedmaster. They added the Triumph brand to their lineup a couple of years ago and the staff do their part to make deals on bikes/merchandise and push test rides. The dealer in Annapolis (selling Triumphs and Indians) had great deals as well on prior-year(s) bikes when I worked/lived in Maryland. Orlando, FL was great as well (serviced my Sprint ST there). I think @DPE nailed it; all comes down to the on-site staff.
 

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I swear, sometimes I feel like there's a vast dealership conspiracy to kill the whole idea of negotiation. My wife and I decided to upgrade our pickup truck. We went to three dealers with serious intent to buy. And I mean upgrade, so we're talking a lot of money here, vehicle-wise. You'd have thought we were trying to buy a toaster for all the negotiating they were willing to do. It was awful. We bought used from 1000 miles away, and it worked out great. I think CarMax and Carvana are really shaking up the industry, and a lot of dealerships are really taking the wrong approach in response.

As for motorcycles, this thread reminds me of a friend who saw a bike in a BMW dealer. It was three years old, been on the floor that whole time, and they wouldn't budge at all. "That's the price." Wow.

The nearest Triumph dealer for me is a little over an hour away, but it's on the far side of the biggest city in the state. But then again, I'm really more interested in motorcycles than ipods on wheels, so I don't know if I'll ever buy brand new again. Oh, who am I kidding; one lapse of judgment and I bet one of the 1200 twins would tempt me mightily. But however that plays out, I will say it's a heck of a nice facility. Very bright and clean, and well laid out in (I'm sure) perfect agreement with the HQ-issued plan. No high pressure attack, either.

But I do still have a lot of faith in their quality, mechanically speaking.
 

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Miks,
I live on the other side of the SD than you. Over here where HD is the majority I still see way more Triumphs than when I lived in AZ. We have two large dealerships that sell many brands. Black Hills Power Sports is a great place. I do all my own work so I can not vouch for their service but I know the guys that work there and they are about as straight up as I think you can find. They always have a great selection of used bikes also. Rice is the other big dealer but I have not been in their shop yet.
I love seeing all the other Triumph riders around the hills so I don't feel so much of an oddity. Some are tourist in the summer but the rest of the year they are probably locals. Lot's of Tigers and Bonneville's.
 

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I swear, sometimes I feel like there's a vast dealership conspiracy to kill the whole idea of negotiation. My wife and I decided to upgrade our pickup truck.
Decades ago GM embraced the "no haggle" vehicle buying concept with the Saturn brand.
Other manufacturers jumped on the band wagon and there was no negotiation if you wanted to buy a new vehicle.

Where's Saturn today?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You really have to identify demand as to how you play the game. Triumph USA doesn't have the demand that a Harley does, so you have to get sales to move by working deals. It used to be a 10% lead to close when someone would stop in a car dealership. In today's world, that is closer to 30% IE when someone calls you about a car or stops in the showroom, they have done the research, they are ready to buy! You have to say - if I have someone here to buy, why wouldn't I figure out a way to close the deal. Make it sweet, it isn't that hard. If you hard line it and say - this is what it is, most people are turned off...THAT being said, I hang out at a Harley dealership once in a while, and it's crazy mad how strong demand means great sales numbers and good front end gross! It's fun actually, they come in and buy an average of $1,700 in accessories for every Harley sold. That is a true stat, I have seen the data.
 

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You really have to identify demand as to how you play the game. Triumph USA doesn't have the demand that a Harley does, so you have to get sales to move by working deals. It used to be a 10% lead to close when someone would stop in a car dealership. In today's world, that is closer to 30% IE when someone calls you about a car or stops in the showroom, they have done the research, they are ready to buy! You have to say - if I have someone here to buy, why wouldn't I figure out a way to close the deal. Make it sweet, it isn't that hard. If you hard line it and say - this is what it is, most people are turned off...THAT being said, I hang out at a Harley dealership once in a while, and it's crazy mad how strong demand means great sales numbers and good front end gross! It's fun actually, they come in and buy an average of $1,700 in accessories for every Harley sold. That is a true stat, I have seen the data.
HD dealers have been downright flexible on price for quite a while.

One can get quite a discount on Toyota Tacomas... and that has rarely been the case in the past.

These days most effective "close" is a lower price.
 

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I've been riding Triumph's for the last 15 yrs. Had others in the past. I don't think there are any other bikes I really want now. They are all to gaudy.
 

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I've been riding Triumph's for the last 15 yrs. Had others in the past. I don't think there are any other bikes I really want now. They are all to gaudy.
Love my Street scrambler. Nothing else peeks my interest other than the new Enfield Twins.

The only thing that will get me off my Street Scrambler is Triumph USA... not the dealer and not the manufacturer.
 

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I live in Rapid City SD and we are fortunate to have Rice Motorsports as our Triumph dealer.
They are good people and have been in business since the early 60’s, primarily as a Honda, SuzukI and Canam dealer.
This is the 3rd time they have carried the Triumph brand over the years.. this time has only been a couple years.
I sure do hope they continue with Triumph as I own 3.. and I love them
 

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Decades ago GM embraced the "no haggle" vehicle buying concept with the Saturn brand.
Other manufacturers jumped on the band wagon and there was no negotiation if you wanted to buy a new vehicle.

Where's Saturn today?
Same place DeSoto, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Studebaker,Edsel , BSA VIncent, Norton Indian, Greeves, and many others are that didn't use the NO haggle policy are....


K 😷
 
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