The bad news is that resale values are expected to be affected. Triumph Australia has announced a raft of price reductions on some naked bikes, cruisers and adventure machines for a limited time.
Peter Stevens Importers spokesman Mal Jarrett says they have not had a price rise on Triumphs in the six years he has been working for the Melbourne-based importer. "The models we've adjusted on price are where we are being hit the hardest," he says. "We had to do it to remain competitive in the marketplace."
Triumph has been one of the few marques to keep sales in the black during the downturn over the past few years. However, the market is up 3 per cent in the first half of this year while Triumph is down 3.8 per cent to 3078. Jarrett said they rode through the downturn on their "heritage, good quality products and low prices".
"We kept pushing forward with development of new models whereas others didn't, like the Japanese, so that kept up the interest," he says. Triumph will introduce the Trophy touring bike in February with the 1200cc engine from the new Explorer and several cosmetic upgrades on 2013 models. They are also rumoured to be introducing some single-cylinder adventure bikes next year.
Jarrett said he was baffled by this year's slow sales. "I can't put my finger on why (sales are down); maybe it's people's uncertainty with the economy. It's hard to say." But sales of their sports bikes are still strong, so no discounts have been offered. "Basically we don't need to," Jarrett says. "The Daytona 675 is selling quite well and we are out of 675 Rs until an update comes along."
The biggest discount in the Triumph range is on the largest capacity production bike in the world, the 2.3-litre three-cylinder Rocket III Roadster. While the $4500 discount is only available on 2011 models, there is still a substantial $2000 slashed off 2012 models. They have also wiped $2000 off the Thunderbird ABS while the slightly bigger capacity Thunderbird Storm with ABS has been discounted $1500.
Other cruisers copping a chop are the America and Speedmaster which are priced at $14,490 ride away. Triumph dominates the naked category with four of its naked machines in the top 10 sellers yet the classic Bonneville T100 Black is down $500 to $11,990 while the modern Speed Triple and Speed Triple ABS are slashed $1150 and the "R" ABS with Ohlins forks, Brembo brakes, Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres and PVR wheels, is reduced $1300.
Triumph has recently moved into the adventure bike class with the Tiger 800 last year and the 1200cc Explorer this year. While there are no price discounts yet on the latest model, Triumph has announced free factory panniers with every alloy-wheeled Tiger Explorer sold, amounting to a saving of about $1100.
This is ahead of a wire-wheeled option in March. There is no word yet on the price, but the wire wheels cannot be retro-fitted to alloy-wheeled models, says Jarrett. Meanwhile, the Tiger 800 is down by $900 and the ABS version by $1400, and the XC models are down $800 and $1300 for the ABS version.