Well—many months after Bajaj and Triumph announced their team-up, and more than a decade after the first rumours of a made-in-India Triumph, we are finally seeing a bike that appears to be just that.
Here’s what we see: A liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine, a vaguely retro chassis and bodywork (with monoshock and USD forks) and luggage racks.
There’s no name for this machine, just these spy shots, but as the video above points out, it certainly looks like a banged-together prototype. Or maybe it’s a clever fake? Seems unlikely, but given the amount of eyeballs this story will grab in India’s moto-press, it’s possible (although this was allegedly spotted in the UK, not India).
If it really is the first glimpse of a new Triumph scrambler, then that’s probably very good news for budget-minded riders. Triumph has already shown its intention do target the lower-priced end of the market, after years of building premium bikes at premium pricing. The new 660 lineup combines Triumph’s trademark three-cylinder engine with a simple electronics package (no IMU, but ABS, traction control and ride-by-wire throttle) and a sturdy chassis. The Trident 660 comes to Canada with MSRP starting at $8,999 and the Tiger Sport 660 has an MSRP of $10,495.
A long time coming
Back about a decade ago, we first saw stories about Triumph planning to sell a made-in-India bike. Then, the plan was to sell a 250, because quarter-litres were hot (see also: Honda CBR250). But, then we had the Ninja 300 and Ninja 400, the KTM 390 series, and so on. Two-fifties were dead, and Triumph couldn’t envision making any money off the project, so they killed it.
The deal with Bajaj is interesting, as Bajaj is also a partner with KTM. Does that mean we might see tech cross over between the two companies? Who knows what might happen, as the lines between all the Euro manufacturers and their Asian partners are blurring further and further all the time.