For a country that is possibly obsessed with anything British, Malaysia can certainly claim another scalp in the front of sales and support for British made motorcycles. Brands like Hamleys (toys), Range Rovers (Cars), Harrods (retail), Burberry (designers) and the best of Barclay’s Premier League football constantly influence consumers on the biggest British brands there are, just to name a few.
The best of British Motorcycles, Triumph, which was given a new lease of life in 1983 by British businessman John Bloor, reappeared in Malaysia in 2013 with the appointment of an exclusive official distributor of the marque, Fast Bikes Sdn Bhd headed by Chief Opertaing Officer Datuk Razak Malique.
With a prime 12,000sq feet location in the heart of industrial Petaling Jaya, Fast Bikes has established more than just a showroom for the brand. Its well designed premises has grown from a modest four-model start in 2013 to one that displays the wide array of 20 models to suit both collectors and riders. Chosen for its accessibility and convenience, the Section 13 showroom and service centre has no issues for the visiting biker or driver. With its own private parking bays, the customer can pop in and out of the showroom with ease.
The Malaysian flagship showroom and after sales service centre was awarded the ‘best global support’ title for the brand by Triumph UK, in recognition of the services provided by Fast Bikes to Triumph customers. This is also largely due to the investment Fast Bikes has put into establishing Triumph’s presence on Malaysian shores. Currently, Fast Bikes has provisionally appointed 3 new dealers in Malaysia, one each in Butterworth, Kuching and Cheras whereas it also operates a branch on Penang Island.
To complete its range, Fast Bikes offers Triumph modern Classics (Bonneville, Bonneville T100, Thruxton and Scrambler), Roadsters (Street Triple R, Speed Triple and, Speed Triple R), Supersports (Daytona 675 and Daytona 675R), Adventure (Tiger 800XR, Tiger 800 XRx, Tiger 800XC, Tiger 800 XCx, Tiger Explorer XC and Tiger Sport), Cruisers (America, Speedmaster, Thunderbird Storm, Rocket III Roadster and Rocket III Touring) and Touring (Trophy SE) as well as Triumph lifestyle apparels. Fast bikes also carry Givi panniers and boxes , Alpine Stars safety gears as well as Rizoma custom accessories. Needless to say, their Rizoma accessories center around Triumph custom parts.
In our discussion with Datuk Razak, it is clear that he is a man that understands the motorcycling fraternity. Citing that he doesn’t ride enough, he ensures that the direction of the company is well ahead of the customer’s needs, declaring that the bike business is built on friendship rather than the business of selling just the bike. For a brand like Triumph that emphasises on premium and prestige experience, sending a customer back onto the streets with a product is simply not the solution.
Asked if he had time for any passion including motorcycles, Razak lamented that the business itself demands his utmost attention, not to mention the many customers who have now become brothers. One such person is Ahirudin Attan or Datuk Rocky as he is more popularly known, which led a group of Triumph bikers in an overland journey from Malaysia to the holyland of Jeddah. That group provided the perfect event for Fast Bikes to get in as a sponsor and they have been doing it since. Currently, Fast Bikes is assisting a classic bike rider who is riding his 1956 Triumph T110 from Malaysia to Hinckley, England where the Triumph UK Factory is located.
Unknown to most people, Triumph Motorcycles Limited of UK owns and operate two separate manufacturing facilities in Thailand which makes owning one in Malaysia all that much more easier given that the Asean Free Trade Agreement is already in place. This in turn directly affects products from Thailand, making the Triumph Modern Classics, Tiger 800 models and also the Street Triple R all that more affordable in Malaysia. It is hardly surprising then that the RM53,900 (Modern Classic Bonneville) is already sold out whereas the new yet-to-be-priced Bonneville is set to be launched in April of 2016. – Tony Yew, CBT