Triumph N.A. operations, dealer support, etc. - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Triumph, Models & Dealers Talk about what Triumph and their agents are up to.

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Triumph N.A. operations, dealer support, etc.

I've been increasingly concerned about the health of Triumph in the U.S. as I see one dealer after another drop the brand. There is one new Triumph-only dealer in Brooklyn, my home, but otherwise I see the brand disappearing.

This past weekend I spoke to a salesman in a shop on Long Island (Gold Coast Motorsports). I rode out there just to get a ride in and to ogle bikes. They carry a lot of brands so there are lots of bikes to drool over, but only three Triumphs-3 Thruxtons.

It looked they were dropping Triumph and the salesman confirmed that they were weeding them out due to poor corporate support/relations. This is a story I've heard several times now. This guy said that Triumph has not had a CEO for N.A. for years, and the way their working with dealers costs them too much money.

I don't think of myself as a Triumph fanboy, but I do feel a connection to the brand's history (one of the first bikes I got to see as a kid), and being a current owner I have practical concerns (parts), and desire to see the cool bikes that Triumph is currently putting out.

Are the problems I'm hearing about, and seeing as shop after shop cuts Triumph, a national issue? Is there a move to correct it?

If this is being discussed in another thread and I'm duplicating please direct me there.

2002 Sprint RS: TOR silencer, LSL bars, Laminar lip, factory tail rack with Givi top box, custom painted OEM panniers (one of 'em anyway - sad story), M-Factory lowered pegs, Penske shock.Thanks for all the help, Kit!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 12:15 PM
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Seems that after being well received in the US Triumph has gotten a big head and began demanding their dealers be Triumph ONLY dealers. They'll allow a few exceptions for obscure scooter and dirt bike brands.

Triumph is also pretty demanding regarding square footage and parts, accessory, and bike stocking levels.

In today's market it seems that it would be difficult for a dealer to exist as a Triumph only dealer so they're dropping the brand in self defense.

Seems the same "market challenged thinkers" that drove Triumph into the ground back in the day got hired at the new Triumph.

Royal Enfield in the US is suffering the same fate in a different way. While their new offerings are interesting, especially the twins, there are few RE dealers and RE USA is doing little to remedy that. They want us to call dealers states away and waste time trying to explain what parts we need instead of putting parts lists and tech info on their web site so we can help ourselves and make it easier to buy parts.

Some businesses make money despite their best efforts not to.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 09:13 PM
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When I bought my Bonnie in 2008 Triumph was about value. Both the Bonneville and the Tiger at that time were awesome bikes in their class, and at a great price point. The Tiger was about as good as a BMW F800GS and a ton cheaper. Bonnie way better than a Sportster, and way cheaper. Mr. Bloor was about building rock-solid machines and getting them to market at an excellent price point.

At some point, Triumph left this model and decided to be a boutique/prestigious brand. Maybe sell fewer bikes, but at a higher price. (Reminds me of Steve Martin saying instead of selling out a stadium at $20 a ticket, he was aiming to sell one ticket to one guy for a million dollars).

Not sure if this change happened when Mr. Bloor passed the reigns to his son or not. The Euro 4 emissions conversion might just have forced their hand. I don't know.

Then there was the Milwaukee influence, since departed but the effects still seem to linger. He may not of been the only one with the same vision: https://www.triumphrat.net/club-cafe...iumph-usa.html. That vision was high-volume, single-brand dealers. Get with the program or get out. And lots of smaller shops are indeed out. The pace of closures seems to have slowed since that guy's demise, but no new vision is emerging. There are a couple really good small dealers around here that I worry about. But, Triumph can't force everyone to close, and the large single-brand dealerships aren't springing up fast. And the Milwaukee example isn't the shining north star it might have once been.

Now they want to sell lifestyle and motorcycles/accessories like they're expensive jewelry as much as they want to just sell bikes. I miss the good old days.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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I really like what they've done with some models, like the Speed Twin and Scrambler 1200. The latter seems to create a new sense of adventure bike. It's unfortunate that their business practices aren't as progressive.

Maybe I'm unusual but I only buy bikes used, and I buy them only after years of riding the current one. But I buy parts and accessories and I'll do it locally if there's availability and the price is decent. I also like to visit shops and I seek out the ones that appear to have a riding culture in the atmosphere (hard to find, actually). And visiting multi-brand shops is a lot more fun than single-brand shops. Simply being in a shop can add to its presence: are you more or less likely to have dinner in an empty restaurant?

Anyway, I hope they don't screw it up.

2002 Sprint RS: TOR silencer, LSL bars, Laminar lip, factory tail rack with Givi top box, custom painted OEM panniers (one of 'em anyway - sad story), M-Factory lowered pegs, Penske shock.Thanks for all the help, Kit!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenstrip View Post
I really like what they've done with some models, like the Speed Twin and Scrambler 1200. The latter seems to create a new sense of adventure bike.
I agree. Too many features for my taste (ABS, etc) and the locked ECUs make me grind my teeth. But that is just the way the world is now. It's the price point that kills it for me, even used I don't think a 1200 Scrambler or a T120 is something that'll be priced where I'd buy it.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BonnieBlack View Post
I agree. Too many features for my taste (ABS, etc) and the locked ECUs make me grind my teeth. But that is just the way the world is now. It's the price point that kills it for me, even used I don't think a 1200 Scrambler or a T120 is something that'll be priced where I'd buy it.
They 'lock' the ECU so you have to take it to a dealer to remap? And I suppose they'd love you to have them install that nice after market pipe, too.

2002 Sprint RS: TOR silencer, LSL bars, Laminar lip, factory tail rack with Givi top box, custom painted OEM panniers (one of 'em anyway - sad story), M-Factory lowered pegs, Penske shock.Thanks for all the help, Kit!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:05 PM
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I think the locked ECU is a Euro 4 requirement. Although, seems like a benevolent company would allow a hack to unlock it leak out
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 01:05 AM
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I was around in 1995 when Triumph came back to the U.S. and I met with Michael Lock then the head Triumph U.S. guy. They were a small organization but were dedicated to doing everything they could to make the dealers successful.

Tons of demo bikes, rallies, raids, great part and warranty support. The bikes were solid but a bit pricey but two years later they cut the prices about $1500. However, when you called they wanted to know what they could do for you.

After a few years sharing the floor in dealerships with brands like BMW it was BMW insist that either Triumph would go or BMW would go. Naturally mostly BMW dealers BMWs still out sold Triumph by 3 to 1 in 1999, so many dealers reluctantly let Triumph go.

About that time (1997) Lock was gone and Triumph decided they wanted to be like BMW a premium brand and have their own dealerships, I expect Mr Bloor made that decision.

In the first 5 to 6 years dealers could choose the bikes they wanted for their market.

Now what do we got? Bikes priced even higher than many BMW models, old dealers gone and either replaced by new dealers who know little or nothing about the bikes they are selling, less on models 10 years old or no dealers at all. Push back on warranty items, negligence in handling recalls and excessive times to get even basic parts. Forcing dealers to take models they don't want.

I bought my 8th and probably last Triumph in 2016. I've bought two bikes since 2016 and neither were Triumphs, not because I didn't like the bikes but mostly because they are overpriced and I don't like the Triumph Corporation anymore.
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Last edited by retjustdad53; 09-25-2019 at 12:02 AM.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 02:12 PM
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Im kind of torn on this because I personally HATE it when a Triumph dealer is actually the dreaded "power sports" dealer that sells just about anything powered by a motor. The stand alones or maybe 2 brands under one roof seems to be the way to go.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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@retjustdad53 I hope Triumph can reform its business practice, at least in the US, to stop the loss of dealerships.
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2002 Sprint RS: TOR silencer, LSL bars, Laminar lip, factory tail rack with Givi top box, custom painted OEM panniers (one of 'em anyway - sad story), M-Factory lowered pegs, Penske shock.Thanks for all the help, Kit!
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