Spied! Triumph-Bajaj 350 Roadster

Guess what’s coming, soon? Triumph’s new made-in-India 350 roadster, made in conjunction with Baja. Or so it appears, according to recent photos run at Motorcycle Sports

Some longtime CMGers may remember the idea of a made-in-India Triumph was circulating more than a decade ago, when Hinkley talked about building a 250 overseas, to join Honda and Kawasaki in the Small Bore Wars. Unfortunately for Triumph, Kawasaki responded to the CBR250 with its Ninja 300, the first truly good modern small-bore sportbike. It was so good that Honda responded with the CBR300… and Triumph gave up on its 250 project. The official line was that it was financially unfeasible. Perhaps the bigwigs decided that after years of avoiding direct competition with the Japanese in the 600cc and 1000cc sportbike segments, it would be foolish to start a battle in the quarter-litre segment when the rest of the industry had already moved on.

Whatever the case, the decision must have rankled, after the company had years of spending on R&D investment with nothing to show for it. Meanwhile, everyone else was raking in the cash in this segment, even Triumph’s direct competition at KTM and BMW. So, back in 2017, it was no surprise to see Triumph announce a return to this idea. This time, Hinkley would team up with Indian manufacturing giant Bajaj to release a small-cc motorcycle within four years.

(That’s the same Bajaj that also happens to own about half of KTM).

Then COVID happened, which delayed things, but apparently did not end the project. Two years after the machine was supposed to be on the market, we now see regular spy shots of this bike undergoing testing in India and England both.

Due to the sketchiness of the spy shot scene (which is often thinly-disgused marketing that magazines are expected to pay for), we won’t run those pix here. But you can see them at Motorcycle Sports, and many other Indian sites.

From the photos we’ve seen so far, it appears Triumph is aping its Bonneville series, with a set of classic-styled roadsters and also a subset of scrambler-style machines built on the same basic platform. Very sensible. With Triumph’s new interest in affordable bikes (see also: the new 660 series), we may be entering a new era where the Brit bike brand, now being built overseas, competes with Japan by getting help from India.

After all, that strategy is already working for BMW and KTM

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  1. […] Guess what’s coming, soon? Triumph’s new made-in-India 350 roadster, made in conjunction with Baja. Or so it appears, according to recent photos run at Motorcycle Sports… Some longtime CMGers may remember the idea of a made-in-India Triumph was circulating more than a decade ago, when Hinkley talked about building a 250 overseas, to join Honda and Kawasaki in the Small Bore Wars. Unfortunately for Triumph, Kawasaki responded to the CBR250 with its Ninja 300,… Read More… […]

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