The Telegraph
Monday , March 31 , 2014
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Triumph to turn up biker oomph

Triumph, the 100-year-old iconic British bike brand that everyone from Marlon Brando to Tom Cruise has been seen riding on screen, will vroom into Calcutta this June.

Triumph Motorcycles will set up within two months its first dealership in the city and ninth in India.

From Brando in the 1953 film The Wild One to Steve McQueen’s escape scene with the Triumph TR6 Trophy in The Great Escape, from Angelina Jolie’s road chase in Salt to her real-life partner Brad Pitt’s Thunderbird ride in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Triumph retro-style bikes have been a toast in Hollywood through the decades.

The best publicity for the British icon was probably the final chase scene in MI:2 where Tom Cruise does elaborate stunts on a Speed Triple.

In Calcutta, “the brand should find a niche market”, says managing director Vimal Sumbly who is here scouting for a dealer partner.

“We will have the showroom up and running by June this year. Calcutta has a British connection, being the Raj capital, and I am sure Calcuttans will take to this 100-year-old British biking legacy. Everything from its architecture to its culture has traces of its colonial past,” he says.

Billy Bose, a vintage bike collector who has a 1921 Triumph, says: “The entry of Triumph in the city is bound to create a lot of excitement because of its thriving bike culture. Triumph bikes have been the toast of Hollywood and has a huge fan following.”

The dealership spread across 5,000sq ft will have to conform to Triumph’s international standards. “Not just the 10 models that we have launched in India, our dealership will also have optimum space devoted to accessories,” Sumbly says.

With Triumph, each model has its own set of accessories to suit the category. So for adventure bike Tiger, the accessories range from heated passenger seats to quantum-coated high-touring screen and an explorer tank bag. For cafe racer Thruxton, where the bike itself is a statement, minimalist frills such as anodised skid plates and lockable fuel filler caps are all one gets.

Rocket III, the world’s biggest production motorcycle that comes with a price tag of Rs 20 lakh, will have accessories like knee pads, adjustable highway peg mountain kits and so on. These apart, the usual merchandise of leather jackets, jeans, boots, gloves, sweatshirts, luggage, sunglasses and gifts will keep the shopaholics on high gear at the store.

Classic Triumphs include the Bonnie (Bonneville A3 and Bonneville T100) and the cafe racer Thruxton — both 865cc — while roadsters Street and Speed are powered by 675cc and 1-litre engines respectively.

Rocket III, the Rolls Royce of bikes with 3 cylinders that produce 2,300cc of power and 222 Newton metres of torque, will also be available for Rs 20 lakh.

Adventure bikes Tiger 800 and Tiger Explorer, the SUV of bikes, will have cruise control and higher ground clearance to tackle rough terrain. The supersports category has the Daytona 675R and the Daytona 675. Prices of these hot wheels range from Rs 5.7 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

icon vrooms in this june

Tom Cruise on a Triumph Speed Triple in Mission Impossible: 2
Angelina Jolie’s Salt road chase on a Triumph
Brad Pitt rides a Thunderbird in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marlon Brando in The Wild One