Motorcycle Events | Triumph Factory Visitor Experience tour

Triumph Factory Visitor Experience

Behind-the-curtain look at the biggest UK motorcycle manufacturer, where Alex tries his hardest to get tour guide Danny to spill the beans…

We were invited to attend a look around the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience, and this has been on my bucket list for years. We were booked in on one of a number of tours Triumph holds regularly around the Hinckley HQ - and it’s the proper factory where bikes are built, not a glorified museum. 

For that reason, we were there on the basis that there would be no photos/videos to be taken whilst inside (as with all visitors, to be fair) as bits may be ‘hidden in plain sight’ that members of the motorcycle press & public may not be allowed to know about yet…

Naturally, my head was on a swivel the entire time, eager to spot something that I shouldn’t be allowed to know about yet. Danny was the tour guide on the day, an absolutely top guy, but annoyingly good at his job - so he kept all the secrets to himself (unfortunately for me). And trust me, I tried.

On that day as I walked around with the group, it was new Triumph Tiger 1200 assembly day! I felt a bit like Charlie in the chocolate factory, to be honest - I wanted to try everything I could see.

What is it, what’s the tour all about?

Taking place at the home of Triumph in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and you can book a place on the Triumph website - there tend to be 4 tours on selected days, and the price includes admission to the Triumph Exhibit. 

Prices start at £20 per person for a factory tour which lasts around 90 minutes, and you’ll walk about a mile and a half apparently - it’s a big place that’s expanding as we speak! You can also upgrade to the ‘Full Works’ experience for a more personal tour for up to 4 people for £225. 

The 'Full Works' is a bit pricier (and seems to be booked up for the rest of this year), but includes a free breakfast at the 1902 Café, some freebies (including the Art of Motorcycles Book signed by Triumph CEO Nick Bloor himself), and that more personal touch from a smaller group size.

You’re led around by your guide like a group of wandering ducklings, with an earpiece tuned in to mother hen so you can always hear what's being said - I was led around by Danny, and a quick shoutout to Danny - absolute legend. Knows his stuff, kept everyone engaged and answered all questions. Top guy.

What is there to see at the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience?

Loads. I’ve already mentioned that the Triumph Tiger 1200 was being assembled whilst we were there, and you see literally every stage of the building process. Starting with nuts and bolts and pieces inside boxes, to the engine parts and wheels being stuck on by hand - ending with a quick run-test and setting up the quickshifter. 

I won’t spoil the tour by giving you a step-by-step guide of what is there - you’ll have to go to see for yourself - but there was plenty to enjoy, and 90 mins absolutely flew by. 

Particular highlights were the 3D printing area which allows for rapid prototype development, visiting the paint shop area where tanks were in-progress being hand-sprayed, ‘meeting’ a couple of in-house robots who craft some of the engine bits & pieces, and seeing all of the Triumph hands on deck - young and old and full of smiles! Plus rare models, end of production models, test models... the lot.

Any scoops and/or secrets?

I’d love to say I saw an upcoming Daytona 660 unit, the first look at a prototype enduro machine from the R&D team, or even a Rocket 4. But… no.

Whilst I do hope Triumph hands are sweating reading this thinking ‘how did he see that!’ - in truth, I didn’t come away with any secrets or hints worth mentioning.

Danny was tight-lipped and did well to swipe away a few of my ‘subtle’ prods at leaking Triumph secrets to a journalist. Fair play to him. Even with the upcoming TE-1 electric bike, which we all know about and is now in live testing, he wasn’t willing to give anything up!

Museum & cafe - the tour doesn’t end there. 

Once your tour is completed (or before the tour, if you want) you can meander around the Triumph Exhibit, where you could easily spend an entire day reading and learning all about the Triumph models of the past - including the very first 1901 prototype, various movie bikes, special editions, racing bikes, the Guy Martin land speed record missile… and more, it’s fantastic. 

The 1902 Café is there for a bite to eat, and there is a merchandise store there as well, with all of the fine branded goods for purchase. If you could place orders for bikes there, that'd be seriously dangerous - because I'd have probably walked out with a deposit paid on something.

Well worth a visit.

What a day and what a place, I highly recommend a visit. If not for the simple fact you get a guided tour behind the curtain of arguably the UK’s most important manufacturer, it’s a great excuse for a day out, with plenty of top roads to explore in the local area. 

Makes a perfect gift for your motorcycle-fanatic partner/friend/neighbour, too. Though a word of warning - you may come away with an itch for a Triumph. One on display during the tour was the Triumph Tiger Tramontana, and I think I fell in love a little bit. 

So, well worth a visit, and there will be plenty of events, bike nights and gatherings to attend in 2022. Check the Triumph site for all of their events this year. Including the largest gathering of female bikers record attempt on July 24th. Big thanks to Triumph for having me!

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