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Tuesday 17 August 2021


Triumph - Radical Expansion as British Brand Targets US Market
By Ben Purvis

It's been thirty years since the first Hinckley-built Triumphs rolled off the production line, and despite growth since then, the company has remained focused on much the same market segments ever since. So the announcement that Triumph is developing a whole range of motocross and enduro machines marks arguably the biggest shift in focus in the Bloor-owned era.
At the moment, the company isn't giving much away about the bikes themselves, saying only that it's developing a "comprehensive range of all-new competition motocross and enduro machines". In the process, Triumph has signed two huge names from those worlds - ex-racers Ricky Carmichael and Ivan Cervantes, with a vast array of off-road titles between them in Motocross, Supercross and Enduro - to help guide the bikes' development and the preparation of Triumph's entry into competition.

While the Triumph brand has a strong heritage in off-road competition, it all dates back to the post-war era rather than Bloor's ownership. The company has largely steered clear of open competition in recent years, often preferring one-make championships and involvement like the supply of Moto2 engines, where it's not in direct rivalry with other bike companies. From a marketing perspective it's a strong strategy: proving motorsport credentials without the risk of being defeated on track by a direct rival.
With the entry into what Triumph describes as "top tier championship racing in both Motocross and Enduro", it will be in direct competition with the likes of Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha and KTM, all companies with decades of experience in off-road competition. Nick Bloor, Triumph's CEO, said the announcement "marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Triumph brand" and went on to explain "we are 100% committed to making a long-lasting impact in this highly competitive and demanding world with a single-minded ambition to deliver a winning motorcycle line-up for a whole new generation of Triumph riders."
Why make the move into manufacturing a range of off-road machines now? The answer lies in the American market. In the States, the already large market for 'off-highway' motorcycles grew by 46.5% in 2020, and a further 45.4% in the first quarter of 2021. 
Ricky Carmichael

Triumph has eyed the US powersports market for several years and came within a whisker of entering it back in 2014. At that time, Triumph planned to create a range of four-wheeled off-road vehicles including a 4wd side-by-side powered by a three-cylinder engine. A number of engineers were employed for R&D and the company set up a sub-brand to market the vehicles under Trident Powersports, had its own trademarked logos and even a teaser website up and running, but shortly before it was due to be officially revealed, the project was canceled with no explanation.
With an official announcement now made, Triumph appears set to go the whole way this time with its motocross and enduro models. While no technical details have been revealed, the intention to compete at the highest level suggests the machines will include newly developed 450 cc four-stroke singles.
Triumph couldn't ask for more experience than that brought to the project by Ricky Carmichael, who is considered by many to be the greatest motocross rider the world has ever seen. He is quoted as saying: "This is an incredible opportunity for me to join this historic brand, and I am honored and humbled to be a part of the development and release of their off-road motorcycles. Building something from the ground up is something that is really intriguing to me at this stage of my career. What is impressive to me is Triumph's dedication and passion to develop a top of the class product. Everyone that I have been involved with on this project, from the engineers to design groups, R&D department etc., have shown extreme passion for what they are doing and that is a recipe for success and something that I love being a part of. We all share that same passion, and that is to be the best."