It’s fair to say that 2019 has been an absolute corker. In terms of motorcycling, it’s seen plenty of new models, not least the release of Triumph’s extremely popular Scrambler 1200 and Speed Twin, and the arrival of Yamaha’s go-anywhere middleweight – the Tenere 700. Suzuki hit the heartstrings by bringing back the legendary Katana to their line up.
We started off the year with a massive construction project; refurbishing the warehouse to the rear of the Honda showroom, turning it into a huge space for us to present our pre-owned motorcycles. And, it’s proved to be a massive success! Our Used Motorcycle Warehouse has meant that we’ve been able to hold more quality pre-owned machines than ever before, and the feedback from you about it has been overwhelmingly fantastic!
Our early events included the launch of Triumph’s new Speed Twin and Scrambler 1200, with an event that indicated just how popular these two models were going to be with a huge turnout – not bad for a dark February evening. Following this, we saw the launch of Kawasaki’s new models, including the latest member of the supercharged family; the Ninja H2 SX SE + Performance Tourer (try saying that quickly a few times!).
Our Bike Nights were back by popular demand too, with the April night being one of the busiest we’ve ever seen! It really is something to see so many bikers coming together to share their passion for motorcycles and we really love the community spirit that bike nights showcase, and we’re honoured to have been able to host them.
Our presence at Paignton’s BMAD festival was a real highlight of the year too. Blessed with fantastic weather and an enormous attendance, we we’re really privileged to be able to have brought the Triumph truck with us once again to display their range of bikes, and we were also treated with something very special too – the Prototype Moto2 machine! Not content with just having the bike along with us, we were lucky enough to be able to start it too – proudly treating all in the vicinity to a beautiful, snarling symphony from the 765cc triple that caught the attention of all.
2019 has been a year to see the dirtier side of motorcycling too. And, with more and more customers wanting to explore the true capabilities of their adventure machines, we decided to organise a couple of trips to the Triumph Adventure Experience and the Honda Adventure Centre. It’s incredible to know just how much you can do on today’s motorcycles, the Triumph Scrambler and Honda’s Africa Twin both proved to be more than up for the job of exploring off road and everybody who went on one of the courses absolutely loved it.
Speaking of riding off road, our Managing Director Stuart, recently returned from an epic trip riding across Vietnam aboard a 10hp soviet-made Minsk motorcycle – and absolutely loved it.
We’ve also seen the arrival of Triumph’s super-exclusive Factory Custom program (TFC), with a host of stunning motorcycles that have been limited to just 750 examples worldwide. The first was a Thruxton R which came swathed in beautiful carbon panelling and a number of upgraded parts which set the bar high for the bike which was going to come next…
Triumph’s Rocket 3 TFC was announced to an eager and ready audience. The second TFC model to be released, the 750 machines sold out in a matter of minutes! It paved the way nicely for the later Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT which would be greatly received a little later in the year.
The final limited edition to cause a real stir this year was with the announcement of the Triumph Daytona 765 Moto2 machine. Answering the call of many owners since the model was disbanded in 2016 because of emission regulations; the new Daytona has the kudos of its association with Moto2 and the extreme rarity of the bikes to bring with it an unprecedented demand that would, like the Rocket 3 TFC, mean that the bike would sell out in just minutes.
The really exciting times come from looking forward; the Euro5 emission regulations have done little to hinder technological development, with some stunning machines lined up to arrive in the new year. The standout bike is arguably Honda’s all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, with a monstrous 215bhp on tap and MotoGP-derived technology making this an engineering masterpiece to be reckoned with in 2020. Joining this is also the new CRF1100L Africa Twin, which elevates the popular model to new heights.
Kawasaki have also got us excited with the announcement of their new naked heavyweight – the Z H2, which utilises the stunning supercharger that has become renown with the Japanese marque. Yamaha are also riding on the back of the sales success of their Tenere 700, and using the same motor, the popular Tracer 700 gets a facelift and host of updates for 2020 too. Suzuki are bringing an exciting new V-Strom 1050 to the table too, with a host of new tech and a striking visual update too and Yamaha are extending their three-wheeled range with their new Tricity 300 scooter which can be ridden on a car licence too.
Triumph haven’t been late to the party either, they’ve brought plenty of exciting new bikes to the table for next year. The first of which is already in our showroom now; the ever-popular Street Triple RS. While on paper it looks like just a minor engine and cosmetic update, it’s actually got some pretty clever engineering weight behind it – with even cleaner emissions than the model it replaces, while still putting out the same amount of power and increasing midrange torque significantly. Joining this will also be the all new Tiger 900 models, which take the Tiger name in an exciting new era with the off-road biased Rally and road biased GT models. Let us also not forget the return of the mighty Rocket 3 too, with a stonking great 2.5 litre triple that will put down an incredible 221Nm of torque! Finally, the Daytona name will soon return too, albeit very briefly, with a super-limited run of 765cc machines that are being made to celebrate Triumph’s involvement with Moto2.
With electric vehicles rapidly on the rise too, we’ve been delighted to offer the Vespa Elettrica, the Italian marque’s first foray into the world of electrically-powered vehicles. And, we’re now stocking a range of Super Soco machines, bringing affordable and economical electric-powered motorcycles to the market at real-world prices and making them accessible to the masses.
It’s fair for us to say that 2019 has been an incredible year for us here at Bridge. We’ve bucked the trend of a stagnant market to have a fantastic year of new motorcycle sales, a true testament to the passion of the South West’s biking community. Thanks to our Used Motorcycle Warehouse , we’ve had an incredible year of pre-owned sales too.
Café 53 has also continued to go from strength to strength since its inception in 2016, and next year we hope that this will continue as we provide a fantastic place where riders can come and take a break, be it on a sunny Sunday blast, a meeting place for a ride with your mates, or a place where you can come and chill before looking at your dream bike in our showroom.
Ultimately though, we have to once again thank you, our incredible customers for your continued support. It’s always a true testament to the strength of the biking community that lives in the South West and we feel honoured to be able to play our part in it.
We’re starting 2020 in similar fashion to 2019 – with a big construction project! This time the workshop is being completely refitted with state-of-the-art equipment which will turn it into one of the leading service facilities in the country. And, combined with the expert knowledge of our factory-trained technicians, it’s going to be a very beneficial investment through 2020 and beyond.
Alongside that, our Clothing and Accessories department is also starting the New Year with a facelift too, having been completely refitted with a new floor throughout and with a huge boost to our Dainese area, allowing us to offer an unparalleled service with the best products in the business.
Finally, I’d like to thank you all for your support throughout the year. It’s an exciting time for us here at Bridge motorcycles and we look forward to seeing you all in 2020 to share another incredible year with you.