Triumph recently announced they had entered into a non-equity partnership with Indian motorcycle manufacturers Bajaj to “deliver a range of outstanding mid–capacity motorcycles” but they gave away little else. We spoke to both Triumph and Bajaj to find out just what we can expect from the two brands.
“The two organisations have been talking to each at a senior level since 2007,” says Paul Stroud, Chief Commercial Officer at Triumph. “Both organisations felt that the opportunity would help us both grow internationally. However, we’ve only been developing this particular partnership for the last six to nine months.
“Triumph are an iconic motorcycle brand and we’ve enjoyed fantastic international growth over recent years. What the partnership provides is the opportunity to create a lower entry point into the brand and gives us the opportunity to enter a new market segment. To be honest, we want to take the Triumph brand to a whole new range of customers and today that’s just not the case.”
It’s not just new customers in developed markets that Triumph are after either. Compared to our market, the Indian market is going through huge growth and Triumph clearly want a piece of it, hence their deal with an Indian business.
“The motorcycles that will be developed within this partnership will allow both companies to compete within one of the fastest growing segments within the Indian market,” says Ravikumar, President of Business Development at Bajaj. “As the joint products get launched, Bajaj will create a network commensurate with the volumes planned. Triumph India will continue to report to Triumph UK for the foreseeable future; nearer the launch of the new motorcycles, Bajaj will assume leadership for the Indian market.”
The good news for us is that while other markets may be an important part of new model development, Triumph confirmed they plan to sell the new bikes all over the world, including the UK.
Triumph also confirmed that we won’t be seeing a return of the 250cc singles that they had previously developed. The so-called Street Single and Daytona 250 were scheduled to enter production in 2015 but were put on indefinite hold.
“The motorcycles we are developing will be much more mid-capacity,” says Stroud, which begs the question as to what we can expect? Ravikumar says: “The new motorcycles will combine the iconic heritage of Triumph with the back end efficiencies of Bajaj, thus creating a unique product unavailable to both partners.”
With that in mind the most obvious bike we expect is a water-cooled parallel twin that would compete with the Harley-Davidson Street 750, which is also built in India, and the Yamaha MT-07. In India the bike would clearly compete with the incoming Royal Enfield Continental GT750. We assume it will act as an entry level into the Modern Classics range, acting as a cheaper alternative to the Street Twin, so we’d expect it to go on sale around £6000, which is £1750 less than the cheapest Street Twin.
As to when we can expect the bike, neither Triumph nor Bajaj would commit to a definite date for when the new bikes will go on sale. That said, the sub-800cc market is red hot right now with more bikes due from BMW, Husqvarna and KTM, so they’d better get their skates on.
- New entry level bikes on the way
- Mid-capacity engine, expected to be 750cc
- Should compete with Harley Street and MT-07\
- No due date confirmed
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