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Triumph and SKDA

Triumph and SKDA

Jun 19

  • Interview

A race bike just isn’t a race bike without a unique set of quality, head-turning graphics. That’s why, for 2024, Triumph has partnered with premium graphics supplier SKDA for its first season competing with the all-new TF 250-X at the highest levels of racing. This exciting global agreement ensures that every Triumph raced in MXGP, AMA Supercross, and Pro Motocross is finished with perfectly fitting, durable, and vibrant graphics for a distinctive look and to ensure every team sponsor is clearly represented.

From its truly humble beginnings in Australia to what is now a worldwide operation, SKDA has enjoyed a rapid trajectory to become a trusted and leading manufacturer of quality graphics and decals. We sat down with the man behind the brand, Sam Morton, for the full story of how it all started and why SKDA became a trusted partner of Triumph.

Firstly, Sam, tell us about the roots of SKDA. Where and how did it all begin?

“I grew up obsessed with dirt bikes. I raced as a kid so I was involved from young age, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I really enjoyed design class at school, creating things, and being unique. It got to a point where I had a specific idea for the look of my bike, and I decided that the easiest way to get the result I wanted was to design it myself. So, I jumped on Microsoft Publisher and drew up a design for my kit. I then took it to a graphics company to have them recreate and print it for me so that I could put it on my bike. At the time I had no further intentions, I just wanted to create something cool for my bike. Then I had a few friends look at it and say ‘man, your bike looks amazing, could you design a kit for me?’ So, I did some designs for other people and had them printed out, sold it to them as a product, and it snowballed from there. And that’s how SKDA began.”

Was there a ‘big break’ for SKDA that propelled the brand to become global or did it just continue to grow since its inception?

“There wasn’t a specific moment really. I think that my determination to ensure SKDA was successful meant that I was never going to get deterred from reaching my goal. I was committed above all else, and nothing was going to stop me, no matter how difficult or hard it was at times. I always strived to work with American race teams, and I always wanted to partner with pro athletes and big, reputable companies. Whenever opportunities came up to build relationships or talk to someone important or get a way in with somebody, I put 110% effort in to make sure that it happened. I never really accepted ‘no’ as an answer, so I think that was also a big part of it, too.”

What made you decide to partner with Triumph, rather than another brand?

“There are a few reasons behind this. Triumph is known as a premium brand in its space, and here at SKDA, that’s what we consider ourselves to be, too. We really see ourselves as being incredibly professional, so I think that aligns quite well with Triumph and what they’re trying to achieve. On top of that, a new team coming into the sport with a fresh perspective is a massive opportunity for anyone and any outside company to partner with, so getting in on the ground floor from day one to support and be involved with such an iconic brand is really valuable to SKDA.”

What’s it like being there from the very start of a project as opposed to creating graphics for an existing bike?

“Since the word go it’s been super exciting. To be able to be there from the ground floor and work with the team on the development side of things has been awesome. Coming in at the beginning was such an awesome opportunity for SKDA, and to be seen as their only choice across MXGP, AMA Supercross, and Pro Motocross is incredible.”

Can you elaborate more on the details of SKDA’s licensing agreement with Triumph?

“This agreement gives SKDA the exclusive rights to print and resell graphics kits and decals that feature official Triumph logos and branding. The exclusivity of this license adds a lot of value and gives SKDA a huge advantage over other graphics companies who will be limited without this capability. We’re extremely excited for this opportunity and we’re confident that we can take full advantage.”

How easy is it create one-off graphics like we saw at the St Jude’s/Military appreciation round?

“It’s not easy, however, there are a few things at play there. For that round, our most creative designers came up with something really special to make the Triumph team stand out and as a result, SKDA stood out, too. It was such an amazing opportunity and such a cool thing to be involved with. We've become pretty well known as when these rounds happen, any team affiliated with SKDA will always have something special. Each team gets so much attention at these rounds because we put a lot of effort and a lot of time into making the bikes look incredible and this year, the Triumph Racing team was no exception to that.”

What makes SKDA graphics unique to other graphics companies on the market?

“That’s a difficult question to answer. I think that we have always pushed really hard to be very unique, very professional, very clean, and create things and utilise ideas that no one else has yet. This means we standout and we’re forward thinking, so I like to think that we create trends rather than follow them.”

What has the feedback been like for SKDA partnering with Triumph for its historic year?

“So far really good. It’s quite early days as we only announced the partnership recently. I've received a lot of admiration about it and a lot of people are quite excited by the partnership. It's pretty exciting for SKDA and we're really stoked about it. Because this global partnership is exclusive, it’s the first of its kind for a graphics company I believe, so it’s super, super massive for SKDA. It levels up our credibility to partner with a brand like Triumph and I think it shows that SKDA is a premium company that gets things done. Triumph is a premium motorcycle brand and SKDA is a premium graphics brand, so the partnership just makes perfect sense.”

What’s the best thing about partnering with Triumph?

“I’d say the support and interest we’ve had. They’re super, super stoked to work with us, as we are with them, and they've been really helpful, especially when we needed a bike to create the graphics templates from. Triumph has shown a lot of interest in our processes and people and even their opinions on our designs has been really valuable. Triumph is a massive company with a lot of history, and they respect our input and feedback, so that means a lot to everyone at SKDA. I’m really excited about the journey so far.”

Are there any niches when creating designs for the Triumph?

“The only thing that comes to mind is logo positioning. With an organisation like Triumph, the control of their logo is quite specific – like most recognisable global brands. They protect that look of such an iconic logo, so we have to ensure we adhere to those specific guidelines. With the shape of a bike with all of its cut-outs, it of course presents us with an additional challenge as we aim to create something that is beautiful whilst also representing the brand correctly so people instantly know it’s a Triumph, and we’ve really embraced that challenge. We also need to do the same for all of Triumph Racing’s partners on the bike.”

What are the differences between working with the MX2 team compared to the American team?

“Nothing specific. SKDA has a lot of experience working with many US-based teams and we’ve been doing it for a few years now with the biggest teams and some of the most famous riders. I know a lot of the people, the logistics side of things, and I know where the racing is taking place. So yeah, I know how it all works so I was very comfortable from the start, and I knew exactly what the team would need. On the MXGP side it’s a little different as we haven’t worked with any other GP teams for a while, but of course we understand the differences in their racing schedule and how the team needs to be supported.”

Thanks Sam, do you have any final thoughts on the partnership between SKDA and Triumph?

“I love SKDA and I’m really proud of it. So, to work with Triumph is just huge and I'm so proud of this partnership. I think it's amazing. Triumph as a brand is really iconic and this partnership is a massive project that will elevate SKDA. I truly believe that we are the best partner for Triumph’s race teams as we can design and supply the best, most unique graphics for their dirt bikes. On behalf of SKDA, I’m stoked on the partnership and really excited for the future.”

Triumph story Ray Archer image

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