Anyone who has been reading my adventure bike articles will likely have come across my Farewell Tiger Explorer. I purposely left out some of the story to focus on the review of the motorcycle and how it performed. As a great radio man said many times "And now my friends, the rest of the story."
Triumph Motorcycles is a modern day success story. Like may other motorcycle manufacturers they were bankrupt, closing their doors, and were in receivership. That was 1983. Enter John Bloor, owner of Bloor Homes one of the largest single owner construction companies. Mr. Bloor was attending an auction for the Triumph factory to possibly purchase the site and develop it for new home construction. He ended up buying the Triumph brand. After a brief period of sub-licensing the marque he set about resurrecting the storied brand. Returning it to prominence the world over.
In order to understand the level of customer service that was provided I need to share a bit about me as a customer. I am demanding, impatient, detail oriented, and I expect nothing less than perfection. In other words a pain in the butt. If a dealer, in this case Chesapeake Cycles, or manufacturer can meet these standards I am one more thing. Loyal. If you take care of me as a customer I will support a brand completely.
The first issue with the Tiger Explorer took 53 days to repair. There are a lot of different reasons as to why it took so long. Mine was the first one at the dealer to have a cylinder head replaced. The valves ended up needing to be replaced and parts were constantly on back order in the UK. I use my motorcycle as daily transportation, when it's out of service I lose money driving to and from work. This is where both Triumph and my local dealer stepped up to lessen the impact on my pocket book and also show me they cared about each customer.
When my motorcycle was finished I called Triumph's customer service line and spoke to their call center people for probably the 50th time. I called daily, sometimes twice a day tracking parts across the Atlantic. During that time Triumph had always said they would make it right. I am a pessimist when dealing with promises like this. Makes it easier to not be disappointed. So I heard the promise but expected a free oil change coupon. What I got was something else entirely. Triumph paid my motorcycle payment, they paid the gas I used in my truck, they gave me accessories for my Explorer. I received heated grips, heated front seat and a heated passenger seat. I was also given a loaner bike for the last few days by my dealer. All in all I hated not having my bike, but I have to admit when it was all done I was happy with the process.
My next experience with Triumph customer support was my final one with the Explorer. The issues that had originally sidelined the bike had returned. Parts were back ordered again. I had lost faith in the motorcycle and was once again not able to ride. The customer support I received this time was even better. I left the first day with a loaner motorcycle. Triumph and Chesapeake Cycles were in constant contact with each other and with me. There is nothing like having an idea of where you are in a process and not having to pry it out but have it delivered to you. I was honest in my review of the Explorer but I do want to point out that Triumph stands behind their products and continue to do so. I definitely respect them as a brand. So much so in fact I own another Triumph.
At this point I no longer wanted the Explorer and was willing to use all legal actions available. I never had to. Triumph reviewed my case, heard that I wanted to get a different motorcycle and made that happen. I have always liked the Bonneville line of motorcycles, in particular the Triumph Scrambler. The three parties involved worked together to find a deal that made everyone comfortable and ultimately let me say goodbye to the Explorer on a positive note. I was able to trade back in the Explorer, Triumph paid off what I owed and I was able to buy a new 2013 Scrambler as if I had never owned or owed a dime on the Explorer. That my friends is the rest of the story.