A very Bonnie baby Triumph: Exclusive spy shots reveal Triumph’s all-new family of UK-developed sub-500cc bikes is close to launch

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At first glance, these spy shots of Triumph’s new ‘baby Bonneville’ could easily be mistaken for a new model in their T100 family. But a more lingering interrogation confirms that this is the first fruit of the marriage between Triumph’s UK R&D division, and Indian manufacturing giant, Bajaj.

And despite the inherently Triumph heritage styling cues and quality cycle parts and finishes, evident even on this final-stage prototype, this new family of single-cylinder models will be the firm’s lowest capacity, and cost, offerings from the Hinckley era.

The exact capacities that will power of the new family, which is expected to comprise a street roadster and a scrambler, are a tight-lipped secret, with the firm resolutely stating: ‘No comment’. But Triumph’s Chief Product Officer, Steve Sargent, has confirmed to MCN that: “The Bajaj tie-up is about middleweight capacity bikes. So, we would say middleweights probably start at 250 and go up to maybe 650. So, bikes in that kind of capacity range is what we’re working on.”

Small capacity Triumph model turns left

This suggests that the smaller bike in the range will almost certainly be bang-on the lower figure, as a 250cc liquid-cooled single is a capacity that translates well into multiple global markets. But the capacity of the larger model is harder to guess at.

The likelihood of launching with a 650 seems low as the firm’s range already offers relatively low-powered and accessible models in the 900cc T100 range, which makes it probable the other capacity will be around 400-450cc – again giving the brand strong global opportunities, and would punch them into the burgeoning 350-450cc class, and provide a logical steppingstone between the entry-level 250 and the current brand entry point, the 64bhp T100 Bonneville.

Let your eyes dwell on the detail on view in these shots, captured in the Midlands last week not far from Hinckley HQ, and it’s also clear that while these will be Triumph’s lowest cost bikes, they’re not going to be ‘cheap’.

Small capacity Triumph model rear

From the light-looking cast alloy rims to the inverted chunky forks and crafted headlamp brackets; to the all-LED lighting, sculpted metal tank, intricate stitched seat, comprehensive dash; to Triumph’s established exhaust illusion (hiding the header run’s diversion to and from the under-engine cat’) and beyond – there’s no part that looks obviously cheap or shoddy. And this isn’t even a production-ready example.

Pigeon-holing the roadster seen here in terms of family lines is confused by its clever blending of multiple influences from around the existing Triumph range. The tank shape and chrome filler cap; engine, with its blacked-out cases and exposed fin detailing; tubular frame, round fork-mounted headlamp and stitched single-piece seat are all blatantly Bonneville-aping.

But the side panels, rear light and numberplate hanger, dash, inverted fork, cast swingarm, alloy rims and sporty-looking MRF (110/70 R17 front and 150/60 R17 rear) tyres all smack more of the Trident 660. This blending of influences creates an aesthetic that feels both heritage and modern – essentially timeless.

Triumph small capacity right side

Speaking about the future for the brand, Steve Sargent told MCN: “One of the big areas is obviously the collaboration that we have with Bajaj. What we’re trying to do is stretch the range into areas where Triumph hasn’t historically been – giving new people an opportunity to come into the Triumph brand.

“Suddenly, that opens up a huge market in places like Indonesia and the Philippines, where there’s huge demand for motorcycles. Indonesia is absolutely massive for motorcycles, but we’ve always been at a price point above where the volume of the market is and just going into those Bajaj models just gives us an opportunity to grow our presence in markets where we’ve not been as big before.

“Once people are in the Triumph brand a lot of people stay with us because they like what we do, they like our image. They like the dealership network, and the experience they get out of it.”

Triumph small capacity model front

But the UK – and other established markets – are also of great importance in terms of bringing Triumph into the lower capacity, more affordable segment of the market. Sargent says: “It’s quite difficult for people to get into motorcycling now. My son has got a 125 and the hoops you have to jump through as a teenager to get onto a bigger bike is hard, really. The easier we can make it for people to come into motorcycling, the better.”

MCN expects that Triumph will unveil the new range in 2023, with models arriving in dealers soon after their public reveal. And the price? There’s no doubt that the visible spec puts some distance between these models and the lower end of the segment’s price spectrum.

Buyers holding out for a direct Royal Enfield price rival to the Meteor or Himalayan are likely to be waiting in vain. Closer likely rivals would be BMW’s G310 family and KTM’s 390 protagonists – putting the bigger capacity models in the £5000-£5500 ballpark (a tangible leap down from the £7695 Trident 660 and £9395 Bonneville T100 and £9595 Scrambler 900), with the 250s not too far behind.

There’s a Scrambler model, too

A 'Tiger Cub' version complete with hand guards

While the photographer confirmed that the main bike pictured here was out bimbling around the Midlands on its own, we know that Triumph and Bajaj are also working on a Scrambler version of this new smaller capacity platform – because we captured the bike testing in Spain back in February.

With strong global opportunities for a smaller capacity adventure-styled offering, and with an existing Scrambler family stretching from 900-1200cc, it’s no shock that Triumph would want to duplicate the potential of the new platforms.

The bike we saw in February looked to be a whole development stage behind the more well-advanced ‘Bonnie’ version seen last week. It clearly wears larger rims – albeit still cast rather than spoked – has handguards fitted to its taller bars; wears a different over-and-under shotgun style silencer; has a split-level rider/pillion seat arrangement, presumably to enable a small rack to be fitted in place of the pillion seat; boasts a longer front fender and is wearing dual-purpose adventure tread tyres.

The earlier stage prototype reveals how far the newer bike has come, too – with all the brackets, grab rail, footrests, indictors, headlamp and numerous other details having moved on to what appears to be production-ready form. We expect all models to arrive simultaneously.

Spied testing: Single-cylinder Triumphs set to challenge Royal Enfield Meteor

First published on 9 February 2022 by Jordan Gibbons

Meet Triumph's first singles in half a century

Spyshots have emerged of the first new single-cylinder Triumphs for 50 years as the British brand look to fight back against the rise of Royal Enfield.

The new bikes are being built by Indian manufacturing giant Bajaj and are the first models from a partnership that was announced in January 2020.

Looking at these machines, it’s clear that they are Triumphs with that classic tank shape, engine design, and infill panels behind the rider’s knees; you could almost mistake them for Street Twins.

It’s only on closer inspection, or viewing the left hand side, that it’s clear these are singles. Capacity remains a mystery but given the competition, we’d expect the new bikes to be around 350-500cc.

At least one of these models should be called a 'Tiger Cub'

Looking at the wheels, it’s also clear there are two distinct models – a 17in wheeled ‘Street’, as we’ll call it, and a 19/17in wheeled scrambler that we’ll call the ‘Tiger’ (it’s a shame Triumph don’t own the ‘Cub’ trademark). What’s interesting is that despite their presumed budget price, the spec appears anything but.

Both bikes have USD forks, LED lights, radial front calipers and TFT dashes. The ‘Tiger’ even has handguards and serrated footpegs. It’s clear that Triumph are sticking with the same formula as the Trident 660 and going for the premium end of the budget market.

So when can we expect to see the completed bikes? Triumph said at the time of the Bajaj announcement we’d see something this year, however given there’s been a pandemic in the meantime we wouldn’t be surprised if that has slipped.

A 'Tiger Cub' version complete with hand guards

Based on the look of these machines, we’d expect Triumph to reveal the finished bikes towards the end of 2022, with stock arriving in dealerships during 2023.

And the cost? At the time the Bajaj deal was revealed Triumph said it was their intention for the bikes to go on sale in India for 200,000 rupees, which is about £2000, but given all that’s happened since with global price rises we expect that to have crept up, too.

Royal Enfield Meteor sells for roughly the same amount in India, so by the time we get one of these new bikes in the UK don’t be surprised if it’s around £4500.

Richard Newland and Dan Sutherland

By Richard Newland and Dan Sutherland