I bought my first bike in 2010 - TVS Apache RTR 160 and it has been a fun bike to drive. After 13 years, I decided to upgrade and did some searching. I shortlisted 2 bikes:
- Royal Enfield Meteor 350
- Honda Hness 350
The other options were - RE Hunter 350, Honda CB350 RS, KTM duke 250, BMW G310 R. RE fanboys supported the Meteor and haters supported the second. I was inclined towards the Meteor.
While this was happening, Triumh India decided to launch its budget (compared to their other bikes) bikes and the two models - Speed 400 and Scrambler 400X - made waves even before the launch. I decided to test drive the Speed 400 and it was love at first ride. And the story begins!
S1E1 - Love at first ride | 2nd September 2023
Test drive. I wanted a bike with an upright sitting position and Speed 400 felt just right. Yes, the handle bar could be an inch higher, but its OK. The torque was amazing. The last bike I tested was a Honda CB350 RS and the Triumph was a huge improvement over the Honda.
Booked the bike with 10K payment instantly at Keerthi Triumph, Bangalore. The waiting period was about 2 months from the date of full payment. Payment can be made only after triumph confirms the availability which could happen in 2 - 3 weeks.
The guy (lets call him Mr V) at Keerthi says things could change after 15th September.
S1E2 - Take my money | 15th September 2023
Called the dealership and they confirms that I can get the bike delivered in 15 working days if I make full payment today. The guy gave the contact detail of a sales staff to coordinate the payment. The 2nd guy (Lets call him Mr R1) gives me a call. We discuss the documents required, which I emailed them.
I called the guy a bit later to confirm the bank details and he didnt pick the call after multiple tries - This should have been my warning!. I went to the dealership after an hour and met the guy who directed me to a 3rd guy (Lets call him Mr R2). I made the payment.
S1E3 - The Insurance communication gap | 23rd September 2023
I got a call from a dealership staff saying there is a mismatch in my address, which takes me by surprise. I asked the person to send me a screenshot of the mismatch and they shared a pic of one of their files where they had written some random addres in my file. I told them it is a mistake from their end and shared the correct address, which they never updated. Disaster will strike later.
S1E4 - Welcome to Triumph | 27th September 2023
I got a welcome message from Triumph India. Invoicing is done. I downloaded Triumph India app and added my vehicle with the VIN number to realise that my email id is wrong in the records. I have been behind Keerthi to correct it and they havent done it yet. If Triumph has sent me any emails, I havent received any of those.
For all buyers there, this is the first communication you get from Triumph.
S1E5 - Insurance disaster | 30th September 2023
I got a message from the insurance company saying my bike is Insured. Happy days, but the happiness is shortlived. I downloaded the insurance document to see a wrong address in the policy. Thanks to the showroom staff who failed to update the address on 23rd. This leads to another 100 phone attempts where they picked a few of them and finally updated my address.
S1E6 - Registration attempt | 3rd October 2023
The showroom calls me for an OTP for the registration with RTO, which I shared. Surprisingly, you dont get a confirmation or acknowledgement from the RTO. Only the dealer gets it. Not fair, how do I track the process?
By the way, I wanted to do a BH registration.
S1E7 - Registration disaster | 6th October
An agent from the RTO call me asking for the original documents of a digitally signed service certificate I shared for BH registration. To make it more complex, I have to go to the RTO in person after the dealership submits the original, that too in colour to the RTO.
I called the dealership a 100 times, they dont pick my call. So I went to the dealership in person the next day with color printouts of all the digitally signed docs. Hail 21st century!. Aparantly, BH registration is a difficult process at certain RTOs. I told the dealership that its their responsibility since I have shared all docs which they demanded (and paid too). They promise they would manage.
S1E8 - RTO shows mercy | 12th October 2023
For a regular vehicle registration, the dealer uploads the documents to vaahan site, it gets auto approved in about 30 minutes. After the approval, the road tax is paid online and the vehicle number is generated instantly.
For BH registration, after the dealer uploads the documents, the RTO has to check the documents manually and approve the application before the tax can be paid. Does this reminds you of the licence raj of the 90s or is it just me? In my case, the RTO shows mercy after 6 days, which is a record as per the dealership.
The dealer paid the tax and I got an SMS from the Vaahan portal.
S1E9 - 23BH NNNN X | 13th October 2023
The vehicle number is generated and I get the SMS from vaahan portal. I got a call from the dealer a day later that the bike will be ready for delivery on 15th (Exactly 1 month from full payment), which I move to 16th October
S1E10 - Delivered and Dead | 16th October 2023
I went in the afternoon to take delivery of the bike. The file was not ready and it took them 30 minutes to print an invoice!. The bike was parked somewhere else which took another 30 minutes. The bike was finally delivered in about 2 hours.
It was delivered without a number plate. Apparantly, BH number plates get delayed indefinitely.
I drove the bike for about 3 km and it broke down in the middle of the road! Called Keerti, who sent a guy after about an hour and they took the bike to the service on a pickup truck.
S1E11 - Delivered, Again | 20th October 2023
4 days of trial and error and multiple calls later the bike is delivered. The service team says they replaced broken gear position sensor, side stand sensor and parts of wiring harness.
S1E12 - Wait, what? | 21st October 2023
Took the bike out for a short spin. No surprises yet. Fingers crossed.
S1E13 - Service nightmare | 22st November 2023
Triumph policy is you should service the bike within 45 days of purchase or 1000 km, whichever is earlier. Even thought the bike was delivered on 16th October, Triumph starts counting from the date of invoicing, which is 27th September. I had to service the bike after about 250 km.
Booked a service with Keerthi triumph which they cancelled at the last minute stating Diwali holidays. I booked again with the same dealer a week later, which they cancelled stating that their washing machine is not working. I had to book a service with another dealer - Khivraj Triumph, Bangalore, on a later date.
I observed an oil leak from the engine and reported it to the service team. On inspection, they found that the Neutral position switch was leaking. Being a new bike, they did not have spares available and had to order it from the factory. I have to wait for a few days for the part to arrive. Got the bike back on 1st December. The ride home was about 11 Km and I saw the leak was not arrested yet. I called the service team and they asked me to bring the bike back. I took the bike back to the service center. They said they replaced the O ring last time and would replace the entire switch and need another 2 days. I got the bike back on 4th December, oil leak fixed.