Why British Bike Brands Are Coming Back

A side view of British bike brands

The Chinese Zodiac may have given us the Year of the Ox for 2021, but MCN thinks it should be rebranded as the Year of the British bike – and no wonder. With bigwigs like Norton, Triumph, Royal Enfield, BSA, and others bouncing back for the second millennium’s new decade, we’re more than a little excited for the masses of machines that have been – and are about to be – reintroduced to the mass market. 

But how have all these brands been able to come back to life?

We’re told a few juicy details from MCN.

A view of Triumph's facility

Source: MCN

Firstly, we’re told that “the tempting combination of world-leading engineering expertise and evocative brand names” is in part to blame for the resurgence. Leading-edge schools such as Coventry and Warwick pose a tantalizing treat for the automotive industry by supplying “a steady stream of new talent,” which in turn lures companies in to lay development facilities in the area.

Local facilities that breed local, solid, British-made bike brands. 

A side view of British bike brands

Source: MCN

Secondly, Triumph has played a massive role in “single-handedly [keeping] the lights on for the British bike industry.” The report emphasizes that this is since the ownership of John Bloor, a brilliant billionaire businessman who owns Bloor Holdings, the parent company for Triumph. 

Also, what better way to ensure a bike brand is able to stay steady than to have that bike brand be one of multiple businesses thriving along the chain of financial support that is Bloor Holdings?

Lastly, we recount the thriving motorcycle R&D industry Britain’s motorcycle community has. It’s purportedly “packed with skilled personnel who (interestingly enough) learnt the ropes at Triumph.”

A side view of British bike brands

Source: BizBehindSports

It stands to reason, then, that the companies of old are at a greater advantage than they were a scant 50 years ago – and you can thank Triumph’s clever handling for the hand-up. 

Drop a comment below letting us know what you think – you know we love hearing from you, and as always, stay safe on the twisties.

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  1. While design has played a significant role in the British Bike Revival, off-shore partnerships haven’t hurt it either.

    1. have to agree on that statement…Look at Norton going it alone..what they offered and pricing didn’t help either. The BSA 650 thumper coming up looks brilliant….the 650 RE also is a winner and the current range of bonnies is also very good, albeit overpriced…All overseas produced….

  2. I think India is playing a huge role in reviving interest and enthusiasm for the old Brit brands. Triumph is indeed the standard bearer, but Royal Enfield is killing it globally in appealing to the nostalgia-hungry younger gens who want to ride the bikes of their parents and grands. India, though independent, still loves all things Commonwealth, as evidenced by Mahindra et al purchasing and reviving BSA, Norton, and others. The future is bright for the Brit brand revival.

    1. The issue is the BSA 650 Gold Star 2022 is heavier, less BHP than the RE Interceptor, even heavier than the original Gold Star which also had 45bhp.. and the price tag is the only thing that’ll matter.??? Is the world full of retro nostalgia entangled buyers? And lets not even talk about the Norton, as the price has scared off whatever fans it had.. Looks like the British industry is making a return (not counting triumph) on the back of it’s colonised country….

  3. sadly the new Triumphs are no longer English made! I wonder if there will ever again be a brand primarily ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’?
    The Japanese made their names on the racetracks. The world had to respect their racing accomplishments. The Chinese seem more interesting in either copying a Japanese model or applying a Euro name to sell bikes under. The old names are nice to imagine are connected but in reality I feel it is just a known name applied to a new bike. I could say that very much for both Norton and Indian.

  4. My own personal experience of how incredibly well Triumph looked after me & raised the standard in motorcycling SO much. I was VERY lucky to be one of 13 ‘Seeking Explorers,’ riding the then brand new Triumph Explorer 1200 (I called it the dancing bulldog-it is SO tough) from Southern Spain through Morocco, on and off road, and on some crazy rough goat tracks of ALL kinds. Triumph’s hospitality both on the trip and afterwards was absolutely fantastic. I love the innovation they show, and more credit to them & those who follow in the UK & beyond, for the brilliant designs they have bought to market. Riders need choices, & RE have tapped into this brilliantly too with the mighty Interceptor. Exciting times for the whole industry.

  5. Other than Triumph and a few ’boutique’ manufacturers such as Norton, Brough, Matchless and CCM, there really isn’t that much of a motorcycle presence in the UK. Enfield is huge, but is British in name only. I would love to see a big resurgence in some of the British brands, but I do not see that happening with the market being what it is.