There was an arms race for decades in the motorcycle industry. Each and every year, manufacturers would outdo each other with more horsepower, more torque, more aero and, generally, more everything.

You couldn't shake a stick without hitting some 1000cc daemon brought forth into this realm ala some Satanic ritual from the likes of Ducati, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, BMW, or Aprilia. These bikes were, and are, still cool, as the technological advancements they brought to the industry and to motorcycles are interesting, exciting, and will warp your sense of speed so much so that your brain will have to rewire what the word speed means.

But 1000cc monsters aren't what most people buy. 

In fact, I'd go so far as to say—while I think they're extremely cool myself—they don't really do anything for the brands as a whole. Especially right now, as more and more people try out motorcycling for the first time. Case in point, Triumph just announced that the brand sold 50,000 units of its 400 twins, the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400, in just a single year.

Numbers don't lie, folks.

Available in 27 markets around the world, the 400 twins were launched late last year and have, apparently, been taking the world by storm. According to the 400s' original press release, "Together, with class-leading capability, rider-focused technology and category-leading quality and detail, and with a high level of standard specification, long service intervals and a comprehensive warranty, these accessible new models represent incredible value for money and bring Triumph’s iconic style, quality and performance to a whole new generation of Triumph riders." 

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And it's that last line that's important to today's discussion, as those newer riders are leading the charge. You can't just get your motorcycle license and hop onto a Gixxer 1000. I mean, you can, but that's a surefire way of ending up in the hospital and never riding again. That's where bikes like the 400s come into play, as they offer up the freedom of every other motorcycle on the market, but do so in a package that isn't going to slice your head off if you accidentally give it a bit too much throttle. 

Other manufacturers have seen this trend, too, with Kawasaki offering the entertaining 500s, KTM with its 390, BMW with its 310, and others all dropping small displacement motos for the average consumer. And it's paying off. 

To me, it also just makes sense for those seasoned riders who want to feel more of a sense of fun. While I love 200-horsepower superbikes, I just can't use them in the way they were designed for outside of a track. I mean, BMW's M1000RR's 1st gear redlines at 93mph. First. Freakin'. Gear. That's too much for anything, let alone just popping down to the shops. 

But even if you live in Los Angeles, Utah, Spain, or some other country where the roads are perfect, the weather beautiful, and have the riding capabilities of Valentino Rossi (you don't), you'll still go to jail if you even touch what these motorcycles are capable of. Do you know what you can play with and not run the risk of serious jail time? Lower-powered motorcycles like the Triumph twins and those others mentioned above. 

I think we're in a market correction inflection moment right now, as manufacturers retool and refocus on these smaller displacement motorcycles and the buying public at large. There are changes happening that'll breathe new life into these bikes and, if I'm right, we'll see fewer Panigale V4-like motorcycles in the coming years. 

At least, that'll be the case if Triumph keeps these sales figures up.

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