I had to dive back into the A&R archive to find out that Triumph and Bajaj first announced their intent to partner on middleweight motorcycles almost exactly two years ago.
Details were light at the time of the announcement, and few specifics have surfaced since…until today…sort of. This is because news out of India tells us that Triumph and Bajaj are aiming to have a formal agreement signed in Q3 of this year.
Anyone with a calendar can tell that we are still a month away then from seeing real progress on the two companies’ bid to take over the world, but the past two years have seen Triumph and Bajaj hammering out the details on how they are going to make 400cc to 800cc motorcycles together.
Right now, the primary concern seems to center around how the two brands will share R&D as well as manufacturing duties with each other. The local wisdom says that Triumph will spearhead the development side of things, while Bajaj would handle production matters, with a focus on cheap production in India.
That being said, the deal between Triumph and Bajaj is not too different from the one that Bajaj has with KTM, in the sense that the European brand is providing the brainpower and the Indian brand is providing the brawn.
Unlike the KTM deal though, in the case of Triumph, Bajaj does not have an equity stake in the British marque. Instead, the deal is mutually beneficial to both parties, as it fills in the white space missing in their current lineups.
For Triumph, this means machines below its 765cc three-cylinder engine, and for Bajaj this means models larger than the 373cc machines it is making with KTM.
Stronger together than apart, Triumph and Bajaj will be able to leverage each other to reach new markets, and new customers, that they currently don’t offer motorcycles to.
Till will tell however how the details come together. We would expect to hear an announcement on the formal plan later this year, perhaps at the EICMA show in Milan.