Sidecarland

Triumph Motorcycle Factory Tour

by Roy and Chris

Recently I went for a conducted tour of the Triumph factory at Hinckley in Leicestershire. Arriving at the factory gates you follow the signs for the Triumph Visitor Experience to get to the entrance.

Walking into the building we were greeted by Simon, one of the tour guides, who booked me in and pointed out where the shop, café and toilets were.

In the entrance hall there are many older motorcycles on display. One of these was a nicely- restored 1937 Speed Twin. Years ago I owned a 1939 Tiger 100; this model was a bit quicker than the Speed Twin – very nippy and a real joy to ride! It came complete with a wandering lead lamp fitted into the petrol tank top – very useful for those breakdowns during the hours of darkness.

Going upstairs there were some more mainly modern motorcycles on display and the Triumph Shop with a range of branded merchandise plus clothing, as well as some souvenirs. In both of these areas you are allowed to take photographs.

I then went back downstairs and Chris and I settled down in the coffee shop to wait until the time arrived for my tour. While we were waiting Simon came over to chat to us for a while, and we talked about the various motorbikes that he and I had owned in the past and what we have at the moment. The tours start very promptly right next to the coffee shop. Our guide was Simon; he’s a great chap, very knowledgeable, humorous and he showed great enthusiasm for this make of motorcycle. The groups are limited to a maximum of 15 people. At the start of the tour you are given a day-glow waistcoat and a headset, which means that you can all hear what the guide is talking about and he does not have to shout. Photographs are not allowed inside the factory, and neither are phones; you can put these in lockers and you keep the key with you for the duration of the tour. Simon explained that Triumph crankshafts are designed with a life span of 200,000 miles and the rest of the machine is built with this in mind. On one wall there was a sign stating that in one week the factory had made 1650 motorcycles; this was their record output for a week. Whilst this is a very modern factory and highly automated, the coach lines on the wheels are hand painted.

The tour lasts for 90 minutes and is packed with information. Simon was pleased that Triumphs have returned to racing and their engines will be used exclusively in the FIM Moto2 tm World Championships from the 2019 season onwards. It’s nice to see the factory doing well. The tour finishes back by the coffee shop so you can get a snack if you wish before heading of home. For more details see : www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/visitor-experience

It is well worth a visit, and the cost is £18 per person.

Whilst we were in the area we decided to go to Stonehurst Family Farm in Mountsorrel. as it was only 25 miles away. The farm has a nice collection of motorcycles and cars. Talking to Carl, who runs the farm shop, we were told that Tom, one of the family who owns the farm, was taking part in The Measham Rally that night.

He and his friend John would be driving a 1928 Austin car from the collection. The rally is about 150 miles in total. Tom also rides motorcycles, and they have two Ariel veteran motorcycles. He rides one of these in the Pioneer Run to Brighton when he gets time.