Steve McQueen rode a Triumph TR6 in The Great Escape, Tom Cruise a Triumph 2 Speed Triple in Mission Impossible and Chris Pratt a Triumph Scrambler in Jurassic World. All three motorcycles are featured in Triumph Motorcycles’ newly launched Triumph Factory Visitor Experience, opened on November 1, 2017 at the Triumph headquarters and factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England.
The five-million-dollar, two-floor facility is a celebration of all things Triumph over its 115-year history. The Experience provides its expected 20,000 annual visitors a wide variety of displays highlighting Triumph’s historic achievements in design, engineering, racing, popular culture and the largest Triumph Motorcycle collection in the world including the very first Triumph, the No. 1 from 1902 and the 1959 Bonneville that broke the world’s speed record.
As with most “very cool” Industrial Theme Park concepts, the Experience features food and drink at the Triumph 1902 Café, a gift shop, the Triumph Store featuring a wide selection of exclusive Triumph branded products, including preworn leather jackets, t-shirts, baseball caps, limited edition posters, etc., and a factory tour featuring the multiple steps in designing, manufacturing , and finishing Triumph Motorcycles.
Edinburgh, Scotland based Studio MB was responsible for the master plan, including concept, interpretative and exhibition designs. Sysco Productions,Godalming, England, created the state-of-the-art audiovisual and multimedia features throughout the Experience.
ATTITUDE – BUILT BY RIDERS, FOR RIDERS presents the Triumph philosophy while welcoming visitors.
BLOODLINE – TRIUMPH HAS A HERITAGE LIKE NO OTHER draws inspiration from the company’s storied history from Siegfried Bettmann and Mauritz Schulte’s manufacturing the very first Triumph motorcycle in 1902, through the dark ages of the 1970’s and early 1980’s, courtesy of Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha, to the company’s purchase and turnaround by the legendary John Bloor in 1983.
Today they are Britain’s largest motorcycle manufacturer and one of the premier motorcycle brands in the world, building 67,000 bikes per year, with over 700 dealers globally, employing 2,000, with subsidiary operations in the United Kingdom, North America, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia, Benelux, Brazil, and Thailand. They have two manufacturing operations in England and five in Thailand plus CKD (Completely Knocked Down) facilities in Brazil and India. The company reportedly earns a profit on over one-half billion dollars in annual sales.
PERFORMANCE – FACING EVERY CHALLENGE, BREAKING EVERY RECORD examines Triumph’s impressive racing history, record-breaking performances, and milestones.
ICONIC – HERE’S TO THE REBELS, THE MAVERICKS, THE FREE SPIRITS features various “Kings of Cool” who made motion picture history while riding a Triumph Motorcycle and planting the Triumph flag in the heart of popular culture.
DESIGN – PRECISION ENGINEERED FOR THE PERFECT RIDE covers the Triumph process of developing a new bike, from initial concept to design to manufacturing to testing. This is a sneak-peek into the secrets of Triumph’s success. Something tells me these are not closely kept secrets.
The Brits are famous for impressive design, especially in autos, with such nameplates as Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Astin-Healey, MG, and Triumph (cars and motorcycles). Their downfall has been quality. Triumph Motorcycles appears victorious on both fronts, design and quality.
BELONGING – A PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER addresses the basic human need of belonging, which appears to be deeply etched into the DNA of most of God’s creatures, although some more than others, by presenting their various belonging groups, such as the Triumph owner’s clubs, associations and dealer network.
INDIVIDUALITY – THIS IS YOUR BIKE, YOUR WAY provides one with the rare opportunity to be an individual while still belonging, through examples of custom motorcycle design and a large and varied assortment of motorcycle accessories.
FOR THE RIDE – FOR THE MOMENT, THE MILES AND THE FREEDOM explores the motivation and emotions between Triumph and its customers.
AVENUE OF LEGENDS – CELEBRATING THE PEOPLE WHO MADE TRIUMPH THE ICONIC BRAND IT IS TODAY is a tribute to those individuals who made Triumph Motorcycles what it was, what it is and what it will be.
Triumph moved its headquarters and factory to Hinckley (45,000 population) in 1990. Hinckley’s central location and transportation infrastructure make it a good manufacturing location. Hinckley can rightfully take pride in its history as a vehicle manufacturing center. In 1834 Joseph Hansom developed the Hansom Cab in Hinckley. The word cab was an abbreviation of cabriolet. With the introduction of clockwork mechanical taximeters to measure fares, the name became taxicabs. Hansom’s one-horse cab provided a combination of economy, safety, speed, and agility (especially popular in maneuvering the heavy horse-drawn traffic in 19th Century London).
At the height of their popularity there were 7,500 Hansom Cabs in the United Kingdom, continental Europe and America. Its doom was cast in the early 20th Century with the introduction of gasoline powered cabs. But it did develop a vehicle engineering and manufacturing mindset and culture that proved beneficial to Triumph since 1902 and Ultima Sports, Ltd., a manufacturer of super sports cars, beginning in 1992.
Triumph Factory Visitor Experience
Triumph Motorcycles, Ltd., Normandy Way, Hinckley, Leiscestershire LE10 3BZ, United Kingdom…..44 (0) 1455-251700…..Triumph Factory Visitor Experience
Visitor Center & Tour Hours
Factory Tour. Tours can only be booked on-line. Go to Triumph Factory Visitor Experience scroll down and click “Buy Factory Tour Tickets,” which will take you to Eventbrite, offering a selection of available dates and times. Listed times are 10:30AM, 12:30PM, and 2:30PM. The Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Cost. There is no charge to enter the Exhibition, 1902 Café and the Triumph Visitor Experience Store. The Factory Tour costs $20.00/person.
Now Imagine…..the fine people of Hinckley could position the city as an “exotic vehicle manufacturing cluster,” with its “anchor” company Triumph Motorcycles, supported by Ultima Sports and the history of Hansom Cabs. Although two active companies and one historic company do not a cluster make, the impact and the brand recognition of Triumph provides a star representing a galaxy of creative cluster development ideas.
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Note: All Triumph Factory Visitor Experience photos courtesy of Performance Communications, Kingston Upon Thames, United Kingdom.