Triumph. It's in the name.
In 1883 the German businessman Siegfried Bettmann settled in England. He started selling sewing machines there, but soon focused on the newest product that the country was conquering: the bicycle. Bettmann, who is soon assisted by the already German engineer Mauritz Schulte, gave his bikes a name that was internationally useful and clear: Triumph. Hence the link with the German TWN: Triumph Nürnberg works.
It went well with Triumph. The company survived two world wars and contributed to the victory in those wars through the reliability of its products.
The peak years of Triumph
With around 50.000 produced motorcycles per year, a large part of which was exported to America, reached Triumph its peak in the late 60s. Due to a combination of poor management and the (partly due to this) rapid rise of Japanese competitors, the company was almost completely on the ground a few years later.
This led to the inclusion of 1973 in Triumph in a new government-subsidized company: Norton-Villiers-Triumph. This promotion could not prevent the Triumphfactory in Meriden in 1983 has to close its doors definitively.
Without John Bloor this would be the history of Triumph have ended. This real estate millionaire bought up the name and rights, had a new, modern factory built in the town of Hinckley, and put a group of designers to work to revive the brand. He was not inspired by emotions, British craftsmanship and history. And he hardly did any motorcycling himself because of a hip problem. He did see the potential revenue model in marketing the historic brand. He did the same thing Honda did in his early days: He went to see how successful competition did his trick. And where Soïchiro Honda came to Europe to copy the art. Bloor was inspired by Kawasaki. This resulted in 1990 in the launch of six new ones Triumphmotorcycles.
And according to critics, they looked very much like 'the Kawas of the year before'. But they remained intact and the media and market picked up on the rebirth well. Bingo! More models were introduced in the course of the 90s, including the popular Speed Triple. And as the brand re-established, businessman Bloor knows the interest of his old historic capital: The standing two cylinders. The Bonnevilles returned. Nostalgic looking. Bigger and heavier than before, reliable. And nowadays made in Thailand. The factory first tried to keep the latter a little below the horizon. But hey: BMWs and Harleys nowadays also partly come from China and other low-wage countries. And who remembers the stickers on aftermarket items from the eighties: “Made in Taiwan under British / American supervision”. How was that whiskey advertisement again “Nothing has really changed”
The Rocket III
And the Rocket III? That was the first series-produced motorcycle with a cylinder capacity of more than two liters. And whatever you think of it: That will be a healed classic! A status that the new Bonnies will not soon reach.