For the dealers, Lion’s Park proved to be a strategic location to take breaks and swap bikes in between test rides. The parking lot had more than 50 new Triumph bikes — shipped in from the company’s Atlanta office — that were going for their first ride in North America. The models tested in Moab, which will be released in the spring of 2018, were the Tiger, Street Triple, Thruxton, Speedmaster and the Bonneville Bobber.
“We’re giving them three different riding experiences, the first being the speed ride with the Speed Triple (1050 cc) on new asphalt for which we thank Moab,” said Rod Lopusnak, Triumph’s national sales director. “Then they switch to cruisers and go to Arches National Park where they have a slower, scenic, more laid-back ride, and lastly they go on the adventure ride with the Tiger (1200 cc) down Kane Creek, all the way to the top of Hurrah Pass.”
This sort of training trip is done on a yearly basis to test new models and give dealerships the chance to send representatives to personally get acquainted with the bikes. Each day 40 different dealers were bussed in from Salt Lake City to the Sunset Grill where they had dinner with those who had just completed the training.
“I had driven these roads before in cars and jeeps but coming back here on two wheels feels brand new again, and that is the great thing about motorcycles ... it turns the familiar vibrant,” said George Hill, a North Carolina dealer. “I liked the Speed Triple the best; it was surprisingly comfortable with 150 horsepower ... it’s a British bike so it’s well behaved unless you want it to misbehave, then it can get quite naughty.”
Since not everyone was familiar with riding off-road, the training included an hour-long session focusing on riding through deep sand. A couple of bikes were dropped on the sand but otherwise the weeklong training went off without any major incidents.
“We pick different places every time; last year we went to Miami and rode down to the Keys since we were testing classic cruiser models, but this year Moab was the only place we could find that could meet all three needs in one location: performance, classic and adventure,” Lopusnak said.
For more information on Triumph motorcycles, visit triumphmotorcycles.com.