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

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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.

More spyshots on MCN

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.

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.