In light of recent news about the Excelsior-Henderson debacle — including bankruptcy, termination of employment (the company is down to five employees!) and charges of gross mismanagement, I began to think about other motorcycle “start ups” and the long odds against their success. How about Norton Motorcycles? Another mess, I am afraid. Hunwick Hallam Motorcycles of Australia? After rave reviews of a prototype tested by members of the press in 1997, and relative success racing another prototype in Australian Superbike, where is Hunwick Hallam?
Which brings us to John Bloor and Triumph Motorcycles of England. Conservative? Yes. Refuses to race against the big factories — doesn’t want to spend the money, yet? Yes. A growing reputation for quality and character in its motorcycles? Yes. About to take on the Japanese in the most competitive segment of all — 600 sportbike? Yes. A healthy balance sheet? Yes.
John Bloor was more a seasoned, conservative businessman than raw motorcycle enthusiast. As the founder of Triumph, this has its pluses and minuses. The big plus is Triumph is still around, and awfully healthy. Anyone know where I can buy some Triumph stock?