Last August, Triumph supported Two Wheels For Life in fundraising for crucial causes in Africa, with two once-in-a-lifetime Triumph experiences on offer.
The top bidder had the chance to join Triumph on a global press launch of the Scrambler 1200, hosted in southern Europe. The winner was among the first in the world, and the only member of the general public, to ride the exciting new model before the motorcycles arrived in dealerships.
A Scrambler 1200 in the mountains
FTR spoke to winner Gavin Toal about his experience with motorcycles and what it was like being flown to Portugal to experience the Scrambler 1200 press ride.
“I’ve had bikes for years. It’s a big hobby of mine and I like to see guys and girls ride them properly. That’s why I go to the Day of Champions, which I’ve been going to for 15 years or so now. I really wanted to go on a Triumph press ride, so I made sure I won the bid, and it’s for a good cause.”
Gavin already had some off-road experience and owns an adventure bike but wasn’t expecting quite the level of terrain he was faced with: “I was flown out to Portugal where I was told we’d do a day on-road and a day off-road on the Scrambler 1200. It was proper stuff that I wouldn’t take my car through – real off-road. Up in the mountains we went through rutted tracks and really rocky terrain.”
“I hadn’t done anything quite like this. Once you’ve committed on this off-road stuff you’re committed! At one point I whizzed past everyone and they thought I knew what I was doing, but actually I just couldn’t slow down.
“I spoke to the designer, Stuart Wood, and he said they wanted to make it like a monoshock and it’s just as good. The suspension is great and off-road the Scrambler just takes you wherever with minimum fuss. It really is an incredible bike.”
Exclusive behind-the-scenes tour
Jim Pittman also successfully bid for a prize – a tour of the Triumph factory with Miles Perkins (Head of Brand), Stuart Wood (Chief Engineer), and Tom Robinson (Head of PR). Jim was also treated to an exclusive look at the design area and given a unique gift– a Triumph Factory Custom concept piston head.
“I’ll be honest, I have always had Japanese bikes. I was having a great day at the Day of Champions and thought, ‘I’d love to see behind the doors at Triumph’.
“I was blown away. The hospitality was incredible and the Triumph team came to greet us; it’s still got a family feel. The level of engineering and the sheer passion for making bikes for the riders is astounding. It made such an impact on me that I went out and bought a Triumph Tiger – and it hasn’t disappointed.
“I took a group of friends and colleagues with me and they were equally impressed. Most of them are riders and many are engineers and they came away with a renewed sense of not only Triumph but of what the best of British manufacturing looks like.”