Uptime Consultant visits the home of Triumph Motorcycles
We had planned to get over to Hinkley for months but the summer got in the way, I finally went on-line and bought the last two tickets for the 10.30 tour yesterday for the bargain price of £18 each!
The home of Triumph is in Hinkley, UK but when I was a youngster it was still based in the village of Meriden, in fact one of my school mates Dad work as part of the Triumph co-operative before it collapsed in the 1970s.
The tour is 90 minutes long and there were 15 people on our tour which is the maximum I believe, it was just right and the two guides that showed us around were very informative. It starts in an ante room where everyone gets to wear a Triumph Visitor hi-viz and an in the ear device to listen to the chaps as they guided us around whilst fielding questions about the processes.
Everything is under wraps so no recording or any use of mobiles whilst on the tour, we still got to view some rare sights as we were there whilst 2018 production was giving way to the new bikes for 2019.
The first port of call was the logistics where all the component parts are received and dispatched to production, we then moved through to the high bay storage where finished motorcycles are racked on their own delivery skid seven rows tall.
The total capacity of the store which was half full is 6,500 bikes or approx £65 Million!
Each motorcycle we saw in stock is an order awaiting pick up and delivery to dealerships all over the world that their clients have ordered, they hardly make anything for stock at Hinkley.
The models they manufacture in the UK are all they high value high capacity type bikes hence all the Bonnevilles are manufactured in the far east for cost and parts logistics as most of the components or raw castings are manufactured there.
The tour then takes you around the Crankshaft CNC machineshop, past the R&D block, the Metrology in the centre of machining, the crankcase CNC shop then through to the main assembly.
Here you get to see the hand finishing operation with wheel pin striping before being taken around part of the assembly line where bare engines having shells fitting become a fully ladened machine. The last operations to fill the cooling system in less than a minute and the hydraulics in seconds is very impressive.
Finished bikes then get the rolling road treatment until the petrol is exhausted when the ECU is automatically locked for shipment, only the dealer receiving the bike has the code to unlock it, neat trick to thwart theft of complete bikes in transit.
This area is where we got to see six brand new 2019 spec Scramblers ready for dispatch for a press launch, impressive looking bikes they were to.
The tour ends back in logistics where more customer orders were awaiting delivery to France, Japan, Netherlands in fact all over the planet.
If you ever get the chance to visit and can be lucky enough to get a ticket it's a must visit.
Next door is their small museum and cafe with some iconic motorbikes on display.