Made in Thailand Bonnevilles

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I know this is a Norton forum, but I'll bet most of you, like me, are British bike in general fans.So, what do you think about Hinkley building Bonnevilles in Thailand, and passing them off as BRITISH? :x
 

L.A.B.

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I have heard this rumor before, although no-one has come up with any proof of this (that I know of?) -or have they?
The Triumph factory does source parts from Thailand (and there is no secret about that).
http://www.triumph.co.uk/uk/123.aspx

Of course you can visit the factory (in the UK) and watch them being built: http://www.triumph.co.uk/uk/4677.aspx

(shouldn't this topic have been posted in the 'Anything Else' or maybe even 'Other Classic Bike' section?).
 
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L.A.B. The reason I posted on this forum instead of one of the others is obvious when you look at the number of postings on those forums. I wanted someone to see it! I respect the opinions of those on this forum.

We've been having spirited discussions on this topic on both britbike.com and triumphrat.net forums for the last few days. It is a emotional issue to those of us who are British bike enthusiasts. I thought I would throw it out here and see if we could have some fun with it too.

Apparently the ones with a"J" in the VIN number are British built, with some imported components, of course(just like everybody else). The ones with "T" in the VIN are wholly built in Thailand, then imported to their final market. One of the writers on another forum said his dealer told him that the "T" version is supplied as a rolling chassis from Thailand, and the final assembly is done in Britain. This last is nearly acceptable to me as still being a British bike.

Please understand that this, for me, is not an issue of quality. I'm sure the Thais will do a superb job. Nor is it that I think the British people are more deserving of the jobs the factory provides. It is mainly that Triumph is marketing this as a British motorcycle, at British motorcycle prices, to British motorcycle enthusiasts. If this machine is made entirely in Thailand, then it is a Thai motorcycle. No matter who ownes the factory,or puts their name on the tank.

I wonder if the patent plate still says"Made in Great Britain"
 
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I read that the Thai made machines are intended for other parts of the world than uk while Brits will get Hinkley made machines. You could argue that if the company is British & R& D etc go on here, it could still be called a British machine wherever it is made? Also, it may be that long term the company could not survive against global competition unless it manufactured in the cheapest ocation.

I dont have strong views on all this as I dont pretend to have great knowledge, but it is interesting to see what folks think.

There was a radio programme regarding Dyson vacuum cleaners who moved manufacturing to the far east trom UK. They stated that now the factory has gone east, there are more people employed by the company in the UK than when the factory was here,& these people have higher grade jobs ie engineers R&D
 
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hi all - I just recieved my issue of Roadholder (Norton owners club) & reportedly Norton Villiers Ltd is exploring production of small cc (less than 250) bikes out of China & India . It will be interesting to see how this develops! New Nortons on the way?

Additional info is reported to be available at www.nortonvilliers.com.
 

L.A.B.

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Biker-man said:
hi all - I just recieved my issue of Roadholder (Norton owners club) & reportedly Norton Villiers Ltd is exploring production of small cc (less than 250) bikes out of China & India . It will be interesting to see how this develops! New Nortons on the way?

Additional info is reported to be available at www.nortonvilliers.com.

They've been advertising in the UK press since early October! Although they now seem to be called NV rather than Norton (the photos still show the Norton name).
 
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The remains of Kenny Dreers company have been selling little Chinese pocket bikes with the Norton logo for a while. I'd say this is a sure sign that Dreer is out of the picture.
 
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Looking at that Notonvillers site was just depressing :roll: ...

The new VW bugs are made in Mexico - does that make them Mexican or German? Or just German engineered.
The semantics of origin are getting tricky in this post-Fordist culture we are living in.

On a personal note, I like my Norton because of what is, not where it is from. Quality is the issue here, cheap parts are crap regardless of where they are from. :roll:
 
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It would take a lot of tooling to make a Bonneville.

I believe the Royal Enfield factory tooling was sold sometime in the sixties or seventies to a company in India. They made bikes for several years for the Indian market and did export some of them. There was a shop here in Tulsa selling them for awhile but couldn't seem to make a go of the marque.

I visited the Meridan factory in 1979 or 1980 (don't remember) as a guest of Mr. Peter Britain, who was in charge of the export department. At that time, the tooling was showing it's age. In fact, that was the major reason the Meridan factory was having trouble offering a reliable bike. If the tooling was sold after Meridan closed, I doubt that they were able to make a very good motorcycle.

Al
 
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I'd hate to guess whether the VW bugs are Mexican or German, Fastback, but the factory in Mexico is owned (at least a major part) by VW-Germany.

For many years VW parts have been made in Brazil. My guess is that is where the Mexican factory gets a lot of their spares.

As I recall, when I toured the Porsche factory in Germany years ago, the cars were mostly being make by Turks. :)

Probably there are few "pure" cars (or motorcycles) these days.

Al
 

L.A.B.

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Tulsaalva said:
It would take a lot of tooling to make a Bonneville.


In fact, that was the major reason the Meridan factory was having trouble offering a reliable bike. If the tooling was sold after Meridan closed, I doubt that they were able to make a very good motorcycle.

These Bonnevilles are Hinckley Triumph ones though, and nothing whatsoever to do with the old Meriden Triumph Co., (or their old tooling).

http://www.triumph.co.uk/uk/785.aspx

L F Harris (Racing Spares) in the UK did take over production of the old style Bonneville for a few years after the Meriden factory closed, their manufacture being licensed from John Bloor until the new Hinckley Triumphs were ready, but these 'Harris' Bonnevilles were manufactured using new tooling.
Harris Bonnevilles were not generally sold in the US, due to the high cost of product liability insurance required, and the need to pass US emissions regulation tests I believe (although I recently read that they would have passed the emissions tests).

Tulsaalva said:
I believe the Royal Enfield factory tooling was sold sometime in the sixties or seventies to a company in India. They made bikes for several years for the Indian market and did export some of them.

They still export quite a few...apparently!!: http://www.royalenfield.com/
 
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I worked at Hinckley Triumph for a number of years within the R & D area.
When will people take on board the fact that although just a few parts are made in the UK, the only legitimate claim is that Triumphs are ASSEMBLED in the UK, just like Harleys are ASSEMBLED in America etc etc. in fact this is just what Brough did 65 years ago so whats new? Look where the electrics,gears,bearings,filters,wheels,tyres,suspension,fuel systems etc come from; NOT the UK! Sadly we will lose all our heritage to the Far East just like we have lost our incredible engineering and manufacturing base, simply because of profit margins and the need of a recognised name to trade off. How long before a Chinese manufacturer buys Triumph? I give it 2 years. :cry:
 
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I am an owner of a Hinckley Triumph. To me, it is a British bike. Brakes are Nissin, forks are Showa, ECU is Kiehin. Very few parts on this bike are made by Triumph, or even sourced in the UK or EU. To me, that doesn't make it any less British. Even though Mr. Bloor sources many parts in Thailand and Malaysia, and even has an assembly plant in Thailand, the bikes are Hinckley designs.

Is a Benelli an Italian bike, or a Chinese bike? It now has Chinese ownership, but still has some manufacturing in Italy, and the design is definitely Italian.

In the US, most Ford, GM and Chrysler cars are assembled with parts sourced from around the world, and often the car is assembled in Mexico or Canada. Similarly, Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, Mazdas, BMWs, Mercedes-Benz, etc. are assembled in the US, often with a large percentage of locally-sourced parts. Does this make an Ohio-built Honda more American than a Mexico-built Ford?
 
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Tia Bonnie Ouch!

I am not impressed with of shore! bikes, just got a Scooter made in China it is junk, it is a clone of a ....dare i say it a Honda 150, broken valve spring at 1000 klicks, belt broke at 1500, but shades of the UK in the sixties? LOL
 
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As a bit of a purist, I think where a vehicle is designed, engineered and tested is really its country of origin (also where the prfoits flow back to Corporate coffers!).

I believe the top-of-the line V6 Accord is entirely US made and actually exported to Japan. Obviously it's a RHD model for that market and may have more Japanese-sourced parts than the US/Canadian market versions. I still consider the Accord to be a Japanese car.

Also, since the merger of Nissan and Renault, quite a lot of Nissans now share platforms with Renault vehicles. One of the SAAB models is a Vauxhall Vectra/Chevy Cobalt in a Swedish overcoat.

You really can't tell any more!
 

MichaelB

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Let's see now...

A British bike, Triumph, with an American name, Bonneville, is made in Thailand? Hmmmmmm.... :roll:
 

grandpaul

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I got in "under the wire" and got Sally an '02 (790) made in the Mother country.

I don't ike all this 3rd world sourcing that only feeds the bottom line. Nothing is what it seems any more.
 
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