After a false start more than a decade ago, Triumph has finally brought a new series of made-in-India motorcycles to market. The new Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400x are set to appear in the Indian market in late summer, and in the months to follow, North America and Europe.
Realistically speaking, that means many Canadians won’t get a chance to ride these things until early 2024, but looking at what Triumph has to offer, it seems they will be well worth the wait.
Brand New Muscle
The heart of both bikes is a liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine with four-valve, DOHC top end and finger-follower valvetrain. The new TR-series one-lunger is cleverly made up like an old bike, with fake fins cast into the head and the exhaust collars. However, it is all-new, and all-Triumph. Bajaj may be building this machine, but neither Bajaj nor any other third party will be using the new engine.
The important numbers: 39.5 hp at 8,000 rpm, and 27.3 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. That’s roughly the same output as a KTM 390 engine; for its part, Triumph says the TR motor is the most powerful in its class.
As you’d expect, there’s a six-speed gearbox and slip/assist clutch. With a ride-by-wire throttle, Triumph gave the TR series switchable traction control as well. A hydroformed stainless exhaust completes the package.
Trusty Chassis Tech
Classic scramblers and retro roadsters always come with steel tube frames, so why re-invent the wheel, so to speak? Triumph went that route, adding a bolt-on rear subframe, cast aluminum swingarm and a monoshock on each model. No twinshock chic here!
The shock is preload-adjustable, but the gold-anodized USD fork on the Street 400 and Scrambler 400x are not adjustable. The Street 400 has 140 mm of suspension in back and 130 mm up front, while the Scrambler 400x has 150 mm at both ends.
The Speed 400 weighs 170 kg, and the Scrambler 400x weighs 179 kg at the curb, says Triumph.
The Street 400 runs on 17-inch wheels, shod in Metzeler Sportec tires. The Scrambler 400x has a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear, with Metzeler Karoo tires.
Both bikes come with a 13-liter tank, and Triumph claims 3.5L/100 km fuel economy, but that remains to be confirmed by regulators… and riders.
Dual-channel Bosch ABS comes standard, regulating a 300 mm front disc (Street 400) or 320 mm front disc (Scrambler 400x) and 250 mm rear disc. Scrambler models can turn off the ABS, which is handy when off-roading. Not that you will likely get too far off-pavement with the bike; Triumph touts its “all roads” capability, but does not pretend it is a desert sled or anything like that.
Comfort and style
The Street 400 has a slightly tipped-forward riding stance, typical of retro roadsters, and the Scrambler 400x comes with a “shoulders back” stance and narrow waist at front of the seat, to make it easier to stand up while riding rough terrain. Both come with retro-looking seats, and of course that is the theme of the rest of the machines. However, the graphics and paint are supposed to be done to the same standard as the rest of Triumph’s lineup of bikes. Just like the recent 660 series, these bikes are supposed to be premium in their segment, offering refinement that the competition does not in this price range.
That includes such niceties as LED lights all-round, although the dash is still an LCD unit. Most riders won’t notice though, not in this price category. Or so we’re told—official pricing hasn’t been announced yet. We’d guess at a number in the ballpark of the KTM 390 series, but that remains to be confirmed.
When the bikes are here in Canada, they’ll be built in either India or Triumph’s factory in Thailand. Triumph also plans to build them in Brazil, for that country’s market.