Growth of Adventure Bikes

Triumph has been instrumental in spreading awareness about adventure-riding and road-safety through epic rides

In India, the luxury space is evolving. It is no longer restricted to the wealthy. A new aspiring Indian has emerged as potential customers of these luxury products (cutting across industry verticals), be it a CEO or a young student. Bike or motorcycle is no exception. The adventure motorcycle category which was almost undiscovered in the Indian market a decade ago has also gained a lot of popularity in the last couple of years. The riders have started understanding the practicality and versatility of this kind of motorcycle and that is the reason more manufacturers are coming up with new and updated models in the segment. Based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and having produced iconic bikes, which perfectly blend design, character, charisma and performance, Triumph Motorcycles, which boasts of 115 years of authentic British brand pedigree with 28 premium models, seems well set to latch on to this opportunity. From the iconic Bonneville to the multi-award winning Daytona 675, and also the legendary Rocket, Triumph offers bikes that have a blend of character paired with intuitive handling, desirability and exceptional performance, giving it an unrivaled status.

“Today, luxury bikes have become an experiential product in India and we intend to tap into that. Triumph consumer base recently crossed 5000 towards the current year. There is a huge potential in the segment we intend to address – where latent demand will eventually grow. With around four and a half years on the speedometer, 16 world class dealerships, across 16 cities in India, several high performance iconic bikes across 4 riding categories, 5000+ proud Triumph owners and 53 industry awards, for us at Triumph Motorcycles, this has been a testament on how rapidly the market is growing and we are committed to provide experiences that reward the passion of every rider,” said Vimal Sumbly, MD, Triumph Motorcycles India Pvt Ltd.

While the industry has been growing at a CAGR of 13 per cent, Triumph India has been growing at a CAGR of 46 per cent (CAGR is calculated on SIAM published volumes for 500 cc motorcycles in India), possibly because the base was low as Triumph is a late entrant into the market. The premium motorcycle players in India are – Ducati, Harley Davidson, BMW Motorrad, Aprilia, MV Agusta, and the other commuter segment players have also been active with their set of premium motorcycles such as Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Royal Enfield.

Triumph, clearly on the top gear now. “After a tremendous success in the tier 1 Metro cities, our focus in now going to strongly be in the Tier 2 markets. For instance, our dealership in Mangalore is one of the first premium motorcycle dealerships in southern tier 2 markets. By 2020, we intend to have 20-25 dealerships with greater penetration into Tier I and II cities. Standardisation is an important element of our showroom experience. It doesn’t matter if you walk into a dealership in Mangalore or Pune or New Delhi, your experience will just be the same,” said Sumbly. At present, Triumph is present in 16 cities: Chandigarh, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Indore, Pune, Mumbai, Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Vijayawada and Bhubaneshwar.

“Our key focus for 2018-19 is to re-in force our positioning as the leading luxury motorcycle brand; get more enthusiasts to experience the unique design and technological superiority of our products; expand our dealer network and introduce new products in to the Indian market. Just like the first quarter has been an exciting one for us, we look forward to more exciting times in the times ahead. We believe adventure and classic bikes will be at the forefront of motorcycling in India. The classic range is becoming a style statement not only here, but also overseas. The adventure bike segment is also taking off in a big way. The adventure segment will become large area of focus for us going forward,” added Sumbly.

Interestingly, a large chunk of Indian customer is not cost-driven, but value driven. Triumph’s relationship with its customers doesn’t end once they’ve bought the product that is in fact where it begins. It’s engaging experiential offerings like the Tiger Training Academy, the California Superbike School training etc, makes owning a Triumph a lifestyle upgrade.  Triumph has also been instrumental in spreading awareness about adventure-riding and road-safety through epic rides like the just concluded #IndiaOnATiger ride from Jammu to Kanyakumari – a ride that covered over 4500 kilometers traversing the length of India, from Jammu to Kanyakumari.

The MD said, “Our focus has largely been on experiential marketing. These motorcycles are highly capable and if you don’t know what the bike can do, one will not be able to get the best out of the investment our customers made. Triumph in India has invested in building the adventure-riding category through specialised adventure riding training sessions known as Tiger Training Academy, and innovations like Tiger Trails – a unique ride and training combo aimed at the Triumph Tiger owners keen to transition from riders to adventurers.”

Significantly, with the recent GST and import policies, all CKD manufacturers are finding it difficult to manufacture motorcycles as it is turning out to be more expensive. However, there are a few teething issues that would benefit from revisions. Speaking from the perspective of the two wheeler industry, GST levies a 3 per cent luxury cess on bikes above 500cc, which ultimately increases the burden on customers who view these bikes as an aspirational ‘must-have’ product. However, Triumph’s belief in the potential of the Indian market remains intact.

At present, the company has its CKD plant in Manesar. And the growth in demand is readily met currently through FTA, imports from England and the CKD setup, said Sumbly, adding that company’s plan of having a full-fledged assembly-line facility in India.