Spied: Triumph Entry-Level Street Bike Caught Testing

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No, that isn’t a Street Triple. Look closely and you’ll see that’s a single-cylinder motor, likely 250cc in capacity. This is the new Triumph entry-level street bike.

Photos By: Chris Doane Automotive LLC

A basic, steel tube frame holds the liquid-cooled motor, connected to a basic, box-section swingarm. Up front, those bug-eye headlights — the same as the 2013 Triumph Street Triple — provide a familial connection that’s also provided in the large exhaust canister.

The rest is a much more generic, budget bike. A bulbous tank and plastic radiator shrouds lack any defined shape, as does the large seat unit. This will be a practical motorcycle — a one-piece seat creates adequate room for rider and passenger, while the latter also benefits from prominent grab rails.

Running gear is very basic. Thin, RWU forks hold a single brake disc and two-piston, sliding caliper. Tires appear to be the same IRC Road Winner bias ply items fitted to the Suzuki GW250, Honda CBR250R and Kawasaki Ninja 300. Those three bikes will be the Triumph’s main rival in the U.S. and in Europe, but it will also target developing markets in Southeast Asia and South America.

It’s likely that the majority of the bike’s parts will be manufactured in Triumph existing factory in Thailand, then assembled in its new facility located in Chennai, India. This arrangement helps avoid import tariffs in both countries, which are both massive motorcycle markets.

It’s been rumored that this bike could form a platform for multiple models, some as large as 350cc and form the lynchpin of Triumph’s efforts to it’s expand global sales volume to 250,000 units annually by 2016. The move will make it over twice the size of BMW, dwarfing Ducati and its current 44,000 annual unit volume. Both those companies are pursuing similar expansion in developing markets, just not as quickly as Triumph seems to be.

Stay tuned to RideApart for more on this story in the coming weeks and months.

More Pictures – Page 2 >>

  • chupa

    Great. More small and mid-size bikes the better.

  • Gonfern

    Love it. The headlights are too big for it though. Looks like a skinny nerdy kid with huge glasses. The ninja and CBR will take its gas money for sure.

    • Mark D

      Yeah, they should swap in the pre-gen round lights.

      • Gonfern

        As a street triple owner, I can tell you that is the sentiment of every singe triumph owner, ever. Lol

        • SauRoN

          Certainly not every Triumph owner ever.

          I wouldn’t have bought a Street Triple if it didn’t have the NEW lights.

        • Randy S

          Gotta disagree here. I’m a ’14 STR owner and I don’t like the older headlights or particularly love the newer ones.

          FANTASTIC bike though. No time to worry about how it looks in pictures when you’re having so much fun riding it. :D

          • SauRoN

            Yup, same here.

            Just got a MY2014 about a month ago and 2000km later I’m loving it.

            A bit sporty and I’ve cocked up my right knee on the crash bar already from slipping forward but I’ll fix that over time with raising the bars and so on.

            Very surprised at the 5.5l/100 I’ve been getting as well for a supposedly heavy on juice bike.

            • pdad13

              The revised STR (2013/2014) is supposed to do much better with fuel economy.

      • williamduc

        agreed.. the round headlights were tough. and iconic.

    • Guy

      Trouble is, this is a newer-looking design and cheaper to manufacture than our old chrome bucket headlights! I’m glad Triumph will be going for a broader market as it should bode well for the marque’s fans.

    • Joe Bielski


  • Corey Cook

    What are the chances that we will actually see this in America? This thing is screaming “world bike” and sorry Yanks.

    • eddi

      Bet you it shows up in the US. Looks like plenty of room for CARB requirements and other junk. Any de-tuning shouldn’t be too horrible.

  • appliance5000

    Looks a little sad. What’s with the exhaust pipe and headlights?

    • eddi

      Parts bin specials is my guess. Just there to keep the test bed legal. What the final bits look like only the designers know.

    • ‘Mike Smith

      Isn’t the exhaut pipe the first thing that gets upgraded anyway? If so, then what does the stock muffler matter?

      • eddi

        That used to be true. With new noise and exhaust standards going up, it’s not a real good idea any more. Kills the warranty and leaves the owner open to major fines.

      • appliance5000

        well they paid a guy to design it and that;s what they came up with. Did anyone in the room say,”Hey that looks great.”?
        Also, since everyone throws on the same damned aftermarket pipe – why not make one that looks like it.

      • LS650

        Not everyone runs out and buy a new exhaust system for a new bike, especially for a 250 commuter. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a CBR250 with an aftermarket exhaust. Ninja 250s, yes, but that usually some dumb kid who doesn’t know better.

    • Walter Tacey

      Headlamps I could live with but that exhaust – does it really need to be so big? Even Enfield’s silencer ain’t that big and that’s ok in the markets to which the Cub is aimed.

      • appliance5000

        Thinking about it I’d say this: The markets have cb300, cb500, ninja 300 and small ktm dukes; the bases are covered with modern bikes in all styles. I question how this differentiates itself- especially as it’s immediately less appealing than those bikes.

        If ever a bike called out for the retro treatment (and I’m no retro fan) it would be this. Triumph has the pedigree and styling know how to pull off a charming Cub remake – that they didn’t do this is a puzzler.

  • Piglet2010

    Future 350cc single – could be the basis for a sub 300 pound Triumph motard? Please Mr. Bloor!

    • Walter Tacey

      I second that!

  • HellomynameisAG

    I don’t know people – my opinion – kinda lame. Looks like all the design elements are just sort of thrown together. I know it’s supposed to be cheap and and and and…. First Triumph that makes me think I would rather be riding a Honda.

  • runnermatt

    Several parts of this bike look very similar to my CBR250R. Tires, yes they are the same. I thought the wheels were the same at first, they are both 5 spoke designs, but after looking closer at these pictures the Triumph’s spokes appear to be “T” shaped where they are “I-beam” shaped on the Honda. The fork almost looks to be a dead ringer, acquired from the same parts manufacturer maybe? The brakes look very similar as well, but the Triumphs don’t look like the Nissan on the Honda. Lastly, the outward appearance of the engine casting and other parts (clutch cover, oil filter cover, oil window) look very, very similar to the Honda; with one exception, the cylinder appears to be longer on the Triumph. A long stroke single maybe. That would certainly make it easier to increase the bore size in order to increase the displacement.

    • runnermatt

      Looking a little more the exhaust can looks to be very close to the Honda as well. Lastly, the Honda’s frame is different, but you would be hard pressed to tell without removing the fairing on the Honda. The Honda’s frame crosses the side of the engine, while it is easy to see in these pictures that the Triumph’s frame does not. I suppose this would mean that the Triumph might be narrower that the already very narrow Honda, of course handlebar width would still dictate lane splitting ease (I say this having never ridden somewhere that lane splitting is legal and thus have not done it.)

      • pdad13

        Sub-systems like brakes usually come from the same manufactuers most of the other factories use. Triumph is partial to Nissin and, of course, Brembo. The difference is that Triumph has a knack (usually) for matching calipers, discs, brake lines, and master cylinders for very good performance, sometimes greater than the sum of the parts they use. The base Street Triple is known for having very good brakes, despite the fact it uses modest conventional mount, two-piston, sliding-pin calipers.

        Wheels are probably produced by a third-party to Triumph’s design and specs.

        Things like the frame and engine are certainly of their own design, although they obviously use competing bikes as a design and performance reference. The engine is probably 1/3rd of one of Triumph’s triples from appearances.

      • Walter Tacey

        Thinkiing about it, perhaps this ain’t what the production machine will really look like, ie perhaps the silencer is from a Honda to see how it performs before they make their own.

  • tobykeller

    Actually Triumph has sort of a strange arrangement in Thailand… you still pay import duties on their big bikes here even though they’re made in the local factory. Curious if that will change with this model…

  • Kr Tong

    No spondon-style frame? I hope they don’t try to sell those here, it just looks cheap without it. Luckily i think this is a made in Indo/India, for Indo/India. The enormous grab-handles read “Designed for places where two passengers is cool.”

  • eddi

    Kind of generic looking. More motorcycle for transportation, than motorcycle for lifestyle enhancement. Definitely not bad-looking, but plain. The headlights need a housing. As is they look like an afterthought or a hasty grab out of someone else’s parts bin. Also this may not be the look when it hits the showroom.

    I’m with chupa. More entry level machines. If the price is decent there’s hope for it.

    • Walter Tacey

      If it’s built in slopeland for the slope market,then it will indeed be for basic transport but with a hint of modern cool about it rather than basic utilitarian

  • Justin McClintock

    Needs different headlights, less plastic around the radiator, and an exhaust that isn’t hideous. Right now it looks like they beat a GW250 with the ugly stick.

  • Dan S

    Nice, I understand the single cyl would likely be more cost effective to build but a small bore triple would probably be insanely fun! Imagine three 125cc singles together to make a 375cc triple screamer… dreamy

  • Croak

    Nice, more subdued alternative to the Duke 200. Wonder if they’ll make an up-gunned version to compete with the Duke 390 though.

  • JaxWagen

    Filling a void the buell blast left?

  • Slowtire

    Got those crazy I balls!

  • grindz145

    Street Single? I like it. This is very good for motorcycling.

  • ThinkingInImages

    I like the idea of more small motorcycles – but that’s a pretty awkward looking thing. Maybe if they modeled after the Scrambler the proportions would work better?

    • Walter Tacey

      I’ve just posted a suggestion saying exactly the same thing, you beat me to it by a month! Yes please, a mini Bonnie Scrambler with an upswept pipe and a sensible looking silencer to make a nice noise. At 350cc I would then go straight out and buy one.

  • frankfan42

    Great, more small, affordably priced bikes are needed for the new economic realities, and it we want more new riders we need cheap second hand bikes that real kids can buy and hoon. I know many want the chrome barges, but in the end, motorcycling will only thrive when it makes sense as transportation as well. Just sayin’

  • LS650

    I prefer small light machines, so when I first read that Triumph was planning on making a single I was excited to see more.

    Meh. I gotta say, except for maybe the headlight and instrument pod, this looks like a parts bin special from one of the Big Japanese Four.

    Oh well. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I get to see more of it.

  • Mirrory

    Am I the only one around here that noticed this is just a CBR250R with reworked body panels? WTF. Not sure if it was RideApart or someone else yanking their chain.

    • Janus Motorcycles

      Mirrory–I think your right… Sure looks just like the Honda motor.

      • Richard Worsham

        w/black tape over the Honda logo

  • LJ Wilson

    That exhaust looks like it was taken right off a Ninja 300.

  • Walter Tacey

    Ok – Build it as a 350, with styling akin to a mini Bonneville scrambler with a high rise pipe – and let’s have it over here because I want one as soon as possible please! Triumphs from Chennai, Royal Enfield are going to love that!