Shifting timelines due to COVID.
2020 was a rollercoaster year for motorcycles. While COVID-19 impacted production, sales, and most importantly, workers, the second half of the year saw a resurgence of off-road and small-capacity bike sales. That’s good news for Triumph and Bajaj’s burgeoning relationship, but the ripple effect of the global pandemic was too much to overcome. Due to manufacturing slowdowns throughout the year, we probably won’t see a Bajaj-Triumph model hit the road until 2023.
Originally slated for 2021, countless enthusiasts were anticipating the joint venture’s first offering. With many speculating that the Bajaj-Triumph range could include a diminutive Daytona 250, a tiny Tiger, and even a baby Bonneville, we understand the fervor surrounding the partnership.
Initial reports point to Bajaj rolling out a 200cc single-cylinder model under the Bonneville badge. Our friends over at India Car News believe the retro roadster’s price tag would compete with the likes of Jawa’s Classic 350, Honda’s CB350 H’ness, and Royal Enfield’s Meteor and Classic families. To match the segment’s aesthetic standards, the mini-Bonnie could receive a circular headlight and bench seat. However, alloy wheels, a digital instrument cluster, and two-channel ABS would help the Bajaj-Triumph keep up in an already cluttered field.
Bajaj’s Pune-based factory will serve as the production hub for the project to better serve India’s two-wheel market. All models will be sold under the Triumph nameplate with units shipping to Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa as well.
Though details are minimal and mostly speculative at the moment, both brands have a lot to gain from the collaboration. The small-displacement modern classic movement is only picking up speed in India and both companies are in a unique position to enter the ring. Along with the sub-500cc models, the partnership could produce motorcycles up to 750cc for the Indian market. With any success, hopefully, the Bajaj-Triumph relationship will only climb to new heights in the years to come.