I am a loyal type of guy; I like to be faithful to what I love and never to stray from the straight and narrow pathway of fidelity. For most of my motorcycling life I have been joined at the hip to Kawasaki. It started at an early age with the poster of a Z900 on my wall and continued with a host of bikes when age and wage packets allowed. Z1100’s Gpz’s in all shapes and sizes, various other Z’s and Zxrs, I have had and still have a lot of them. Then one day my eye was turned and I hankered after something new, something exotic with a bit of class, something that could look the part and actually be the part and that something was Triumph.
In the 1980’s when I first had money to buy a bike Triumph motorcycles was just a shadow of its former self. Some of my friends stuck with these old British bikes because to them they were real motorcycles. Personally I preferred something that didn’t leak and went like stink, and then 1990 saw Triumph rise Phoenix like from the ashes. Massive investment from John Bloor meant that it was reborn from the still kicking remnants of a glorious past and with a line of completely new bikes with new engines, they took that heritage and made it new.
Of course it could have all gone horribly wrong, but the new Triumphs not only performed well but they were also reliable. The only thing that could really be said against them is that they were a bit like re-inventing the wheel; nothing was there to grab the punter except the Triumph name until 1994 that is, when this appeared
The original Speed Triple is what turned my head away from Kawasaki. It was everything I wanted in a bike, it was different from everything else out there, it was fast and it was so BLACK. I have said it before and I will say it again, there is only one color for a bike and that is black, preferably matt black, with stainless steel fasteners, just to make the black that much more obvious. This is exactly what Triumph did, and continue to do through its various incarnations to this day. Ok there are other colors available but why would you want them?
Once they had that success under their belts they did not look back, the arrival of the Triumph Tiger gave them one of the most successful bikes of all time, and then inspiration took hold when they brought back the Bonneville Twin.
And now here we are, 114 years since the first Triumph was produced, making it the oldest continuous motorcycle producer in the world and also the only wholly British owned vehicle company. They don’t look like they are going anywhere soon. They continue to produce bikes that are a bit different, and that people dream about owning, take the new range of 1200cc engined twins and in particular the Bobber to see what I mean..
I fancied a Harley 48 but once again Triumph turned my head….now I just need an excuse to keep the Speed Triple and buy one of those!