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Triumph Motorcycles
 

Triumph Motorcycles Race to CGI
for Lintec Graphics System Package

With over a century of history, iconic British company, Triumph Motorcycles has something of a reputation to uphold when it comes to producing truly unique machines that are distinctive in looks, design and performance. From initial conceptual idea to actual production, a commitment to engineering and design excellence is something that pervades every aspect of the development of a new Triumph motorcycle. This includes directing particular focus to the type of graphics system used – from the company’s globally recognised logo that adorns the fuel tank to a host of other decals specific to the respective bike model.

It was for this reason that, during the design stage of its high-end sports bike, the Daytona 675 Special Edition, Triumph Motorcycles sought the expertise of leading specialised automotive branding solutions provider, Creative Graphics International (CGI). In turn, well acquainted with their credentials in substrate development and dependability as a consultative partner, CGI approached UK-based, Lintec Graphic Films Ltd, and the two companies embarked upon developing a graphics system package that would meet the industry’s harshest specification for quality and durability.

“Although we had supplied graphics to Triumph in the past, these had previously been applied under a protective lacquer coating, which lessened the requirement for highly durable materials and inks with superior technical properties”, explains Steven Perry, Managing Director of the Bedford, UK-based CGI.

However, for this particular project, Triumph wanted graphics that – without compromising on quality and durability – would be fitted on top of the paint system. This would increase the company’s global marketing flexibility and allow for easier badging of bikes once built and painted. Additionally, surface mounted graphics would, in the event of a bike becoming scratched or damaged, enable Triumph’s dealers to repair the paintwork and re-fit the decals themselves. This would ensure a speedier return of the bike to its owner, than could otherwise be achieved via the longer process of encapsulating graphics under lacquer at Triumph’s factory.

Knowing that effectively fulfilling this brief would call for the creation of a bespoke substrate solution, Steven contacted Lintec and presented them with the various specification criteria laid down by his client. “When we are faced with particularly demanding, or unusual application requirements by our clients, we typically consult with Lintec to develop an applicable solution”, he explains. “As a specialised provider of niche substrates, they differ from larger suppliers, who are often only interested in mainstream, volume orders.”

Having considered the prerequisites, Lintec’s own technical team began to formulate an idea for a substrate that would ensure graphics that were not only stunningly vibrant, but also extremely durable and versatile. “We knew that this would be a very technically demanding application, but being accustomed to developing customised film solutions, we were excited by the challenge”, says Gary Flavell, Lintec’s Technical Manager.

“The Triumph graphic performance specification is designed to simulate the most severe environments to which the graphics may be exposed and the combination of these worst case scenario requirements makes for a very aggressive test for surface mounted graphics”, explains Gary. “They had to withstand extreme abrasion and scratch resistance to replicate the contact of motorcyclist leathers and other more abrasive materials. Then there was the need to perform in various weather extremes – from very cold to very hot temperatures. We also had to consider that, given how proudly Triumph owners cherish their bikes, the graphics would certainly be subjected to much more cleaning and polishing than your typical family car and that, after regular use, such polishes can damage printed film systems.”

In addition, since the graphics would be applied to variously shaped motorcycle parts, Lintec also factored in the need to deliver good conformability. As parts of the bike would include plastic panels – for example the fairings and tail – there was also the need to resist out gassing. “We were conscious that certain panels made from ABS plastic could gas slightly, which would induce bubbling, so the adhesive would need to account for this”, adds Gary.

For the first time, producing the new graphics system for the Daytona 675 Special Edition also saw CGI’s team work closely with Triumph’s design department to collaborate on the actual artwork creation. “We developed a design scheme for the graphics, which were even overseen by Triumph owner, John Bloor”, says Steven. “From there, we were provided digital images of the actual bike itself and were able to superimpose our graphics onto the fuel tank, front, side and belly fairings, and the rear bodywork. These were then sent to the client for approval.”

More than pleased with the designs, Triumph sent a prototype of the motorcycle itself to CGI’s Bedford facility. With Lintec having supplied CGI with a customised graphics system, comprising a specially produced material, ink and varnish, CGI was able to engineer the specific shapes and guarantee they could be correctly fitted. “The body panels contained lots of double curvatures, so we needed to ensure plastic panels were engineered to accommodate the variously shaped graphics”, explains Steven.

CGI ultimately supplied around a dozen different decals for the Daytona 675 Special Edition, ranging from the 400mm Daytona graphic itself, to much smaller scaled parts, such as a 100mm long model designator fitted to the bike’s tail. With the bike’s first production run already shipped to dealers worldwide, the consensus from Triumph is one of complete satisfaction in the graphics system supplied.

“This was undeniably a difficult brief in that it called for a multi-functional, high performance substrate to ensure eye-catching and hard-wearing graphics that would uphold Triumph’s globally renowned prestige”, says Simon Warburton, Product Manager, Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. “CGI and Lintec rose to the challenge and met every aspect of the project’s criteria and, as a result, we are now looking to introduce the same graphics technology to other bike models.”

As sole supplier worldwide for the Daytona 675 Special Edition graphics, CGI is equally pleased that its faith in Lintec was rewarded with a solution that delivered on its client’s expectations. “It is the collective benefits of Lintec’s graphics system that make it a winning formula”, says Steven, “but this one called for much more than technical expertise. We also knew that flexibility and patience would be critical and, as expected, Lintec didn’t disappoint. Projects like this invariably involve a lengthy period from initial concept to final delivery, which makes them unattractive to larger, more mainstream substrate suppliers who, unlike Lintec, are not prepared to invest the time and energy to see the task through.

“When Triumph first presented us with this particular challenge, neither they nor we were 100% sure that we would actually arrive at something that would tick all their boxes”, he smiles. “However, with Lintec Graphic Films as our partner, we were always assured of remaining on track.”

 

   
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