Triumph was a "boutique" brand for a good while too. During the late Hinkley years Triumph were a low volume producer of "classic era" machines, much like Royal Enfield are today. The early Bloor years were not full of mainstream success either (though they were a great deal better than the prior 5 years). The bikes were regularly reviewed as being good, but not "Japanese good", which initially hurt sales. It wasn't until the late 90's that Triumph really took off again outside of the UK. Triumph most certainly did build "american style" bikes in the late 50's and early 60's. US market bikes were the only ones that got separate gauges and high, pullback, bars. Truimph was very much tailoring their machines to the US marketplace. The (unfortunate) Triumph Hurricane was directly aimed at the US custom marketplace (just like some recent offerings from HD). . One of the things that John Bloor did when he bought Triumph was to not scrap the idea of modernizing the line. The employee-owned Triumph cooperative was already working on a water-cooled triple and a new frame when the company was purchased by Mr. Bloor. They had a running engine, but not quite enough capital to finish testing and put it into production.