This is my 2015 Triumph Trophy SE, on the day I bought her home last January. She gave me almost 10,000 miles of memories. Indeed, she was such a great bike, that I sold my car, and the Trophy was my only transportation
It seems like a good deal. I could do without the necessity of paying for a car’s maintenance and upkeep—at that point, I had a 2006 Pontiac GTO—and, if the weather was too bad to commute here in San Diego, which is relatively rare, then I’d take an Uber to work.
Sadly, the 10,000 miles of memories have now turned into nightmares.
It started when shifting into second became a little rough. Instead of smoothly sticking into second, the gears would grind slightly. Then, when accelerating in second gear, the rear wheel would lose all power for just a second, then the power would come back on full-speed, giving you a bit of a jolt. Since I was close to my 10,000 mile service, I scheduled it, and told them I wanted them to look at the tranny, as well.
The night before I was scheduled to bring the bike in for service, I was accelerating onto the I-5 freeway, through a decreasing-radius cloverleaf when, in second gear, I lost all power to rear wheel for about 2 seconds, which was a pretty scary experience. I stopped using second gear, shifting from first to third gear every time.
When I dropped it off at North County House of Motorcycles, I told them the transmission or driveline was having a serious issue, and they kindly gave me a ride to my office, which is about 3 blocks away.
Later that day, I got a call from them. Apparently, after taking a quick test ride that scared the tech witless, they tore down the transmission, which, it turns out, was in the process of shredding itself due to a failed part. Also, because they nearest replacement parts were in England, I was going to be without my bike for between 6-8 weeks, but Triumph had approved the warranty repair.
Which didn’t really solve my problems, because now, I was completely without transportation. I can’t afford to spend $40 a day on Uber, or a similar cost for renting a car. That means I had to buy a vehicle. As it turns out, I found the V70XC I wrote about a few days ago, and my bank gave me a 4,000 personal loan so I could buy it. So, now, I’m on the hook to Wells Fargo for $134 per month for the next three years. Naturally, the Volvo turns out to need another $1,200 in repairs to make it as reliable as it needs to be, the last of which, a timing belt replacement, is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday.
Long story short, my “free” warranty repair turns out to have cost me $5,200 (plus tax, title and license), just so that I can go to work every day.
Needless to say, I am really not a happy camper about this. When I buy a bike so new that they have to unship it from the create to deliver it to me, I expect it to last for more than 10,000 miles before it strands me without transportation for two months or so. It was a really hard decision between the BMW and the Triumph bikes I was looking at, and I chose the Triumph, based on the purchase price. Frankly, I bet that, if I had spend the extra $2,500 or so for the R1200RT or just totally splurged on the K1600GT, I’d still be riding now. But I’m not. I’m pissed, and, of course, I’m still too upside down on the loan to trade in the Trophy for a BMW.
I am now very unhappy with my Triumph purchase.
Who knew that a British bike would turn out to be unreliable and prone to stranding me without transportation? Indeed, not only stranding me, but spending weeks in the shop, waiting for replacement parts? (Oh, we’re entering week 4 without a bike, now. Just one more month to wait. Yay?)
No matter. My next bike definitely won’t be a Triumph. In fact, my current bike won’t be a Triumph, as soon as I can economically get rid of it and get something else. This has soured me on Triumph. If you charge me $20k for a motorcycle that doesn’t even last 10,000 miles without a major mechanical failure, you can forget any further business from me. And the sad thing is that this was a bike I loved. When it worked, it was just about perfect. But now, I’m just gonna wonder what other major mechanical flaw is waiting to bite me.
Note to motorcycle manufacturers: Do you want to lose customers? Because this is how you lose customers.
UPDATE: I emailed Triumph America’s customer service email yesterday, expressing my disappointment, and linking them to this post. They haven’t replied. Clearly, my concerns and opinions are unimportant.