We’ve been hearing about Triumph’s team-up with Bajaj for some time now. Finally, in February, 2022, we’re getting our first glimpse into what the pair have been up to. Apparently, they’ve been up to what appears to be a new, simple, and tidy design that’s powered by an all-new single-cylinder engine. Displacement is unspecified at this point, although best guesses have it at somewhere in the 200cc to 500cc range.
Styling, unsurprisingly, largely channels Triumph’s existing modern classic lineup. The dual round bar-end mirrors neatly echo the shape of the single round LED headlight, and come straight out of Triumph’s existing accessories catalog. Since the first fruits of Triumph and Bajaj’s partnership aren’t expected to roll out until at least the beginning of 2023, there’s still plenty of time for styling details to change. Test mules are, after all, meant for testing—and are not necessarily what we can expect to see in the finished production version.
Competitors, especially KTM and BMW, have tapped the creative minds, markets, and production capabilities of Indian OEM partners for some time on smaller-displacement models. Honda went a slightly different route, as its subsidiary, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India dreamed up the GB350 that set international hearts alight in 2020 before being exported to Japan. In this context, Triumph’s partnership with Bajaj makes all the sense in the world. Like so many things, of course, it faced unforeseen delays due to the pandemic—but that’s simply a fact of life in 2022.
Going back to the two test mules we now see before us, we now have at least a few answers to some questions we raised in December, 2021. For a start, this new and as-yet officially unnamed design seems to utilize a new engine, not a repurposed unit. There’s an upside-down front fork, a double-sided swingarm, single-disc brakes front and rear, and what appear to be 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in sporty street tires. The right-side-mounted exhaust ends in a dual canister, moderately upswept on the scrambler and a little more unobtrusive on the standard.
Styling cues echo the likes of Triumph’s classic Bonneville and Scrambler lines, rather than the sleek and flowing lines of the Trident 660, or the more aggressive Speed Triple look. The question of whether it’s intended to directly rival the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 remains open—but it certainly looks like a possibility. An official launch is expected sometime in spring, 2023, with production to take place at the Bajaj’s Chakan plant.