Triumph and Bajaj Auto announced a new partnership to develop and produce mid-sized motorcycles, likely cruisers displacing less than 700cc.

The arrangement is described as a “non-equity partnership”, meaning the two companies will be working together but there’s no financial investment going either way, nor are they forming a joint venture. The relationship will be similar to the one between BMW and TVS which led to the new G310R and G310GS.

For Triumph, the arrangement will expand its reach into high-volume emerging markets. Triumph also currently lacks any products smaller than the 765cc Street Triple. The Daytona 675 is on its last legs as it is not Euro 4 compliant and will likely be replaced with a new model using the Street Triple engine (likely coming to EICMA this fall to precede Triumph’s engine supplying deal for the Moto2 World Championship in 2019).

Triumph had been working on small-displacement models several years ago. We even saw spy photos of a sportbike and naked model, expected to displace 250cc, but the project was eventually scrapped before we saw either a concept or production model. The Bajaj partnership is explicitly for mid-sized models however, so we expect the results to displace between 400cc and 700cc.

On Bajaj’s end, the partnership will complement the company’s existing 48% ownership stake in KTM. That arrangement has already born fruit with the small-displacement KTM Duke models and the Bajaj Dominar 400, the Indian company’s version of the KTM 390 Duke.

The Bajaj Dominar 400 uses the same 373cc Single as the KTM 390 Duke.

The Bajaj Dominar 400 uses the same 373cc Single as the KTM 390 Duke.

Speaking last month at Bajaj’s annual general meeting, Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj hinted at a possible new partnership, saying: “We are very close to finalizing a very promising alliance, it’s not certain, that it will happen, but if it happens, it will open up enormous possibilities for the company.”

At the time, some pundits assumed this meant Bajaj would be entering the Ducati sweepstakes, but further comments from the managing director hinted against that speculation. KTM already provided a sporty side to the company’s portfolio, Bajaj said, and the company wanted to explore other segments.

“There is also a world of easy riding or lazy riding, it is a world of Harley-Davidson, Indian motorcycle owned by Polaris, the world of Triumph, this segment so far has been missing from our puzzle,” said Bajaj. “The only missing puzzle is the premium brand in this space.”

Parsing these comments suggests the Triumph-Bajaj partnership will produce cruisers competing against the likes of the Harley-Davidson Street, Indian Scout Sixty, Kawasaki Vulcan S and the Honda Rebel 500.

Here’s the full joint statement issued by Bajaj and Triumph:


Triumph Motorcycles UK and Bajaj Auto India Announce a New Partnership

Triumph motorcycles and Bajaj are pleased to announce their global partnership.

The objective of this non-equity partnership is to deliver a range of outstanding
mid-capacity motorcycles benefiting from the collective strengths of both companies.

We hope to bring to bear upon global markets the individual strengths of the partners including brand position & perception, design & development technology, quality & cost competitiveness & worldwide distribution.

This new global partnership will enable Triumph to significantly expand its global reach by entering new higher volume market segments, especially within the emerging markets across the world.

Bajaj will gain access to the iconic Triumph brand, and its great motorcycles, enabling it to offer a wider range of motorcycles within its domestic market and other international markets.

Triumph and Bajaj are excited by the opportunities of this partnership and the prospect of entering new market segments, thereby reaching a whole new group of motorcyclists across the world.

We will provide further details in due course.

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Triumph Communities

  • DickRuble

    If Triumph want to avoid the steep (100%?) import taxes in India, they have to manufacture there. That’s part of the reason KTM partnered with Bajaj, BMW, Honda with Hero (that’s dead now, and Honda manufacturing on its own), Harley, and others. Slowly and surely some will end up moving all production there. And that’s how manufacturing will leave the western world. These being said, the Indian version of the 390 looks better than the one we get. Though I wouldn’t want a motorcycle built for the internal market in India.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      One fact doesn’t beget the other. Just because small displacement bikes are being made in India doesn’t mean large displacement bikes will be made there. Can you imagine big twins being made in India and being shipped all the way to the U.S., the world’s largest market for big twins? And why? Just to save on some labor? There is no market for big twins in India because the roads are so bad and congested with non-automotive traffic and the price of gas is so high. Big bikes will be made where their biggest market is.

    • Auphliam

      “…the Indian version of the 390 looks better than the one we get.”

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • GaribNawab

      ” the Indian version of the 390 looks better than the one we get”
      India gets both, the Duke 390 (sold worldwide) and the Dominar 400 shown above (which sells in India and South America, I think). There’s a price difference of 1400 USD between the two, Duke being costlier

  • allworld

    Not really sure what the offerings will be: But based on the statement form Bajaj,
    “KTM already provided a sporty side to the company’s portfolio, Bajaj said, and the company wanted to explore other segments.”
    I will assume a light weight sporty 375CC three cylinder street fighter, is not in the cards.
    Perhaps something like a Hyosung GV250 or Honda Rebel 300 is more what they are thinking…

  • Bmwclay

    Harley is losing sales, baby boomers too old to buy them. No one else wants them and millennials are going to foreign manufacturers. Just a matter of time the Trump will follow Reagan of 1985 and starts imposing 100% import tax on anything over 700cc just to save Harly and Indian.

    • Douglas

      Too old? We boomers can buy pretty much whatever we want, cycle-wise. We tend, I think, to gravitate to high-capacity touring rigs (EGlides, Voyagers, Roadmasters, GWings, K1600’s, et al) or cruisers. I think the ADV’s would be fun (rode a Super Ten & was very impressed) but as time marches on, it gets hard swingin’ an aging leg over a seat that high. And we don’t crouch well enough, as a rule, to own eggbikes, so…..

      Nearly all segments of the bike mkt are sluggish and may stay so for a while. Doubt there’ll be protectionism for the North American brands.

  • RMP52

    A 500 or 600cc Triumph made in India that looks like a slightly smaller Bonneville? If the quality is good, they just might have something.

  • John A. Stockman

    I can’t wait to see what they come up with, displacement, styling, etc. It’s a world-market now anyway with the different collaborations between companies. Triumph contracting as the engine supplier for Moto2 in 2019, I’d think that deal might take the resources they would put towards an in-house built smaller displacement Triumph, but I’m sure there’s more to it than that. The smaller sized KTMs are quite good, I know guys/gals that race those every weekend and love them. That Bajaj 400 looks pretty good, with some styling collaboration between both the companies, no doubt they’ll be great looking machines.