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Why the Triumph Speed Twin wasn't a success in India

But no one could really explain why that is. The Speed Twin is obviously a smash hit around the world with rave reviews.

BHPian mpulztrack3r recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi all, after a decade long pause, I'm very excited about getting back into riding. I have been looking at buying a Triumph Speed Twin for a while now. When I first started looking, I hadn't realized it was no longer on sale in India. I then started looking at the used bike market and to my surprise, there weren't many (or any) bikes on sale. I spoke to a few friends and also someone at Keerthi Triumph here in Bangalore. Turns out not more than 60 bikes were sold (from Keerthi).

But no one could really explain why that is. The Speed Twin is obviously a smash hit around the world with rave reviews. Pricing wise, it wasn't bad at all for what it is (1200cc category). So what really happened?

I hear that due to the low numbers in 2019-20, Triumph is not keen on a BS6 upgrade, and the Speed Twin won't be seen in India anytime soon. This is weird too considering that the BS6-compliant 1200cc Scrambler, Bonneville T120 have all made it to the Indian market. Doesn't Speed Twin essentially have the same engine with a different tune? What's going on here really?

Here's what BHPian neil.jericho had to say on the matter:

You bring up a really good question. On paper, the Speed Twin was a lovely motorcycle but its sales in India never really took off. I've always thought of it as being both a sensible gentleman's superbike and a gentleman's sensible superbike. Reviews from the international media were very positive but I don't know of anyone who has bought it in India and I've never seen one come up in the pre-owned market.

I can think of a few reasons as to why it didn't click in India:

  • Existing Bonneville / Street Twin owners would likely look to upgrade something well established like a T120 if they wanted to stick to the retro segment. Or they would hop segments and buy a Street Triple or a Tiger 800.
  • Owners of Street Triples have been upgrading to litre class nakeds (Z1000, Tuono etc) or adventure bikes (the Tiger 800 being a firm favourite). Its difficult to find a Street Triple owner going to something classic like a T120 or a Speed Twin.
  • Net net, it was difficult to find Triumph owners upgrading to the Speed Twin during its short run in India.
  • Being a recent launch, the Speed Twin never had the brand recall of Triumph's other products. I don't think it ever caught the imagination of non-Triumph owners either. Not all big bike owners have the time or the inclination to follow every international launch and track how good each bike is. A lot of interest in upgrades comes from spotting a particular bike during a Sunday morning bike ride or finding that someone in your riding circles has picked up one. If nobody bought it in the first place, how would other riders know that such a nice bike was launched in our market?
  • For those who knew about the bike, it got the tag of being a flopped bike. No sales today = no resale value 3 years from now. Financially, it made a lot more sense to go with the T100 / T120 instead.
  • There was some discount being offered on the Speed Twins to get them off dealership floors before BS6 hit but the actual discounts were paltry and it felt as though it was a discount for the sake of being called a discount. Poor decision making from TI and their dealerships.
  • As Axe77 rightly pointed out, in a Triumph showroom it fell in no-man's land.
  • Triumph India dispatched an average of 75 units per month for the last 6 months. So overall TI sales haven't been stellar either. If you anyways aren't getting potential customers to walk into your dealership, its going to be really tough to sell a sensible motorcycle like the Speed Twin.
  • Overall, Triumph India has far too many models and variants and way too little sales. I honestly don't know how their dealers are happy. If I look at their website, Triumph India currently sells the Trident 660, Street Twin, Street Twin Gold Line, Street Scrambler, Street Scrambler Sandstorm Limited Edition, Bonnie T100, Bonnie T120, Bonnie T120 Black, Bonnie Speedmaster, Bonnie Bobber (coming soon), Scrambler 1200 McQueen Edition (coming soon), Tiger 850 Sport, Tiger 900 GT, Tiger 900 Rally, Tiger 900 Rally Pro (I thought this was discontinued but its still listed), Street Triple R (S was recently discontinued), Street Triple RS, Speed Triple 1200 RS, Rocket III R, Rocket III R Triple Black, Rocket III GT, and the Rocket III GT Triple Black.
  • With 22 combinations of model + variants in a Triumph India showroom and a lowly 75 dispatches per month, the Speed Twin was destined to die an unfortunate but natural death.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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