Bajaj Auto Limited and British motorcycle brand Triumph Motorcycles are close to finalising the alliance that will see small displacement Triumph motorcycles to be manufactured by Bajaj and sold in India, and other markets. The alliance between the two motorcycle brands was announced almost two years ago, in August 2017, but now a senior official of Bajaj Auto has confirmed that the discussions between the two brands are at an advanced stage and will be finalised in a matter of months. However, the first Triumph motorcycle to be fully manufactured by Bajaj in India is still some time away, although sources have revealed that the development has been ongoing, and in fact, at an advanced stage, with the designs coming from Triumph's headquarters in Hinckley and the engine and chassis development handled by Bajaj.
Bajaj Auto's Executive Director Rakesh Sharma has now said in an interview that the talks with Triumph are at an advanced stage, and a final agreement is expected to be reached very soon, maybe even before the year is over. So, that could mean we may well see some sort of a concept at one of the motorcycle shows later this year, with possibly a production model sometime by late 2020, or early 2021.
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What remains to be seen is what type of motorcycle the new Bajaj-Triumph alliance will develop. From all indications, and Triumph's expertise and legacy of modern classic motorcycles, the first model from the alliance could well be a small displacement modern classic - something like a Triumph Bonneville with a 300-500 cc engine. While using Bajaj Auto's manufacturing facility and supporting supply chain infrastructure, this new model could well be priced very competitively to take on established players like Royal Enfield, the global leader in the mid-size motorcycle space.
In any case, Triumph has dabbled in building some small displacement prototypes in the past, targeted specifically at markets like India, which were shelved. These include a small Daytona-like sportbike, as well as a small displacement naked roadster, which never saw production. But we can't rule such models out as well from the Bajaj-Triumph alliance, once manufacturing begins after the first product is launched.