Three Cross Motorcycles

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Richard Simpson Mark II
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Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sun May 03, 2020 4:14 pm

Has appointed administrators. Victim of the health crisis. Sad for me, as I started my first job post-school there in 1978 and it formed a first stepping stone on a career path that led me down quite a happy route. I've always been lucky to enjoy at least elements of whatever my work has been, and while I was never going to join the ranks of the super-rich I'm always happy in what I do.
The business as it was prior to closure (import of Peugeot scooters and retail Triumph dealer) has no relation to the company I worked for (main dealer for Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Harley, Morini, and Laverda) and is based on a sprawling industrial estate rather than in the village garage, but still it is the end of a bit of history.
I sometimes think back to that little showroom stuffed full of Guzzis and bevel-drive Ducatis and wonder how much you could sell the lot for now!

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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by DavidS » Sun May 03, 2020 4:17 pm

Sad to see that, even if a different incarnation.
They have been a name in my biking life for as long as I remember.
Weren’t they always good with test rides when most dealers weren’t?
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Snaf MKII
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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by Snaf MKII » Sun May 03, 2020 4:25 pm

I did see the business for sale a few weeks back, several million turn over and 20+ staff.
Very sad for all with connections to it.

Richard Simpson Mark II
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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sun May 03, 2020 4:30 pm

We always had stuff like Le Mans and 900 Dukes to ride, when most dealers didn't even have demonstrators, or used to charge for test rides.

You always got one or two wise guys who rode our bikes, then went off and bought from Motorcycle Shitty to save a couple of hundred quid. then we'd see them again, and they'd be asking if we could sort their new purchase out. Used to see some horrible sights...bikes not built-up from the crate correctly, battery acid sloshed all about under the seat, bolts cross-threaded, overtight or undertight etc. In contrast, I used to take the battery out, fill it, wash it, dry it, then instal it.

Myself and service manager John Elliot were in the showroom one day and this guy walked in and said: "I've just bought a Ducati from Motorcycle city and there are some things I don't understand."
John and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. We couldn't help it.
"I wasn't aware I said anything funny," the guy said.
We had to explain to him that he wan't alone, and this was a conversation we seemed to have at least once a week.

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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by DavidS » Sun May 03, 2020 5:05 pm

Motorcycle City. :lol:
Those were the (bad old) days.
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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by Tramp » Sun May 03, 2020 5:11 pm

Won't be the last very fine profit margin based on continued sales..... Most European buisnes. Operate on just in time delivery's and payments... Interrupt the chain and Boom.... Its over..... The longer we are shut the worse it will become... The government's of the world are playing with fire and situations they don't understand or comprehend...

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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by DavidS » Sun May 03, 2020 5:52 pm

Same as the rest of us. We’re all in the same boat as I doubt any of us know any better.
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Richard Simpson Mark II
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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sun May 03, 2020 5:59 pm

Yes, we've kidded ourselves that our hollow-out economy (out-sourced, no stock, no capital reserves, fragile supply chain and transient workforce based on zero-hours contracts) was robust and fit for purpose.
Jaguar Land Rover for one was exposed as very vulnerable to JIT (just in time deliveries) from China...I think a lot of businesses are going to have to think JIC (just in case) in the future. Shorter supply chains and more stable workforces. Can the current managers grasp this, or will they continue to treat those under them like something on their shoes?
I can't see things going back to what used to be regarded as 'normal': human capital (ie a loyal, adaptable, and productive workforce) is now going to be recognised as a company's greatest asset, and returns to shareholders and CEO bonuses are going to have to take second place.

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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by scooby » Sun May 03, 2020 6:17 pm

I first went in to Threecross M/cs in 1978 with two mates when we were camping at Lulworth, while we were there one of the staff told us they had Mike Hailwoods Ducati that he won on at his comeback TT, we asked if we could see it as it was in the workshop and not only did he agree but he also let us sit on it ! , that was a day to remember, happy days.
Sad to see another dealer go.

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Re: Three Cross Motorcycles

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sun May 03, 2020 6:43 pm

Could have been me...we borrowed it off Sports Motorcycles for an 'open day'.

It may not actually have been Hailwood's bike though. That got crashed the week before at Donington. The bike, when it arrived, had the rider's name 'Roger Nicholls' on the fairing. Our local signwriter replaced it with Mike Hailwood's name. Sports had told us it was the Hailwood bike, but they'd had to put the Nicholls fairing on it. We weren't allowed to attempt to start the bike. The engine was actually based on the 'round case' 750SS, and, although everybody thought it was a full works Ducati entry, it was really far from that. The silencers were off a Triumph Bonneviille, with the baffles knocked out and replaced with bits of fire spark-guard. Standard Contis would have been too loud for it to get through scrutineering!

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