Triumph Speed ​​400 First Ride Review: The New Segment Disruptor Is Here!

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The partnership, officially announced five years ago, has finally launched its first product to the world. The Triumph Speed ​​400 is the brand’s most affordable product in the world. It is manufactured in India by Bajaj Auto and is a global product that will be assembled and sold in several markets. Expectations are high for the Triumph Speed ​​400, and now it’s time to see if the most approachable Triumph has what it takes to be the segment leader.

Triumph Speed ​​400: Design and Build

A modern classic, the Triumph Speed ​​400 is a sports car that looks and feels in the same family as the Speed ​​900 and 1200. Its styling and appeal are both modern and retro. The round headlights are paired with LED daytime running lights, while the headlight mounts, fuel tank, engine housing and side panels are all reminiscent of the Speed ​​900. The sharp LED taillights and the upturned stubby exhaust add fresh styling elements to the motorcycle’s styling. The Triumph Speed ​​400 has tight proportions, but it’s not lacking in road presence. It’s a striking car that could easily be confused with its predecessor were it not for the shorter wheelbase.

Much of this is down to the build quality of the motorcycle. From the first photos released after its global debut last month, the Speed ​​400 has shown good build quality, and we’re happy to report that the bike looks equally impressive. The motorcycle’s attention to detail is impressive. From the engine fins that mimic the larger Triumph engines, to the powder coat finish on the engine casing and frame, the bike exudes quality. Even the switchgear, chrome finish and paint quality feel premium on a motorcycle.

That said, you do find some unmistakable Bajaj features on the Speed ​​400, which give it an Indian flair. For example, the engine guard is a very familiar Bajaj part, and the standard indicators are reminiscent of a certain Bajaj model. The gas cap is also from the Bajaj parts bin. Note that these are not bad things at all. The quality levels are very high, but it’s hard to ignore them entirely. The build is very good and the Bajaj and Triumph do achieve full marks for the price cap.

Triumph Speed ​​400: Instrument console

The instrument console is part analog and part digital, with the speedometer on the left and the digital tachometer on the right. It takes a while to get used to the layout, but the unit is packed with information, including distance to empty, two odometers, average fuel efficiency and more. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity, though, a feature Triumph says customers don’t really need. The company insists it’s not skipping advanced features. You do get a slip assist clutch, ride-by-wire, traction control, and more, which are more useful performance-wise. That said, the addition of Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation is a great thing for customers, especially in this connected age.

Triumph Speed ​​400: Ergonomics

The Speed ​​400 is compact in size, which can really make a difference if you’re a tall rider. To me, the bike seems a bit tight, especially in the lower part of the rider’s triangle. Most riders under 5’10” will find the Speed ​​400 to be ergonomically excellent. The riding position is straight and upright, and the wide handlebars make the bike easier to maneuver. With a seat height of 790mm, it is also suitable for riding in various sizes.

The handlebar-end mirrors are surprisingly well positioned, and despite the size of this rider, we didn’t have to struggle with rearview visibility. The single seat is upholstered for comfort in most conditions. We put in over 100km during our test rides, but wanted to spend about a day in the saddle to get a proper feel for how comfortable it would be.

Triumph Speed ​​400: Performance

The tight proportions are a trade off for interesting performances, and boy, can it be achieved and how! The Speed ​​400 is powered by a newly developed 398 cc liquid cooled single cylinder engine producing 39.4 bhp at 8,000 rpm and 37.5 Nm at 6,500 rpm and mated to a 6 speed gearbox. The 89mm bore is now the same as on the KTM 390 Duke and Bajaj Dominar 400, but this isn’t a new variant of the engine. The engine developed for the Triumph is completely new, but the vast experience gained over the years developing KTM and Dominar engines has been used to create the new TR series engines.

The result is an engine with quick power delivery but easy handling in most conditions. Power delivery is very evenly distributed in the low, mid and top end, and torque is flat, always giving some room to push further. The bike is quick off the line, it actually makes it super fast off the line. It’s not as pressing as the KTM 390 Duke, but the power delivery is progressive and doesn’t make the bike feel intimidated.

About 80 percent of the torque is available at 3,000 rpm, and the motor responds quickly to inputs. The biggest difference between the KTM and Triumph is low-end handling. You can comfortably engage fifth gear at 45 km/h without too much resistance from the engine. While it’s not quite as rideable as a 350cc Royal Enfield motorcycle, it makes up for it with a more valuable high end…

This rev-friendly bike can quickly climb a ton and reach speeds of 120 km/h in no time. A quick glance at the speedometer and you’re going over 140km/h with some headroom left. Lighter riders are well over 170km/h, and we’ve managed to hit over 160km/h as well. After 6,000 rpm, vibrations on the footpegs and handlebars were noticeable, but nothing uncontrollable.

Being less tractable also means that living in the city is easy. Throughout the ride, we found hardly any heating issues with the bike, although a more troublesome ride in traffic would have judged this better. Triumph says its engine is quite fuel-efficient at 29km/l (figures shown) and has an annual service interval of 16,000km. The company also promises lower maintenance costs than the Royal Enfield 350 for the first three years, which is really impressive for a liquid-cooled offering.

Triumph Speed ​​400: Handling and braking

The Speed ​​400 features a balanced suspension setup with 43mm USD forks up front and a 10-stage adjustable monoshock at the rear. The suspension is tuned for a soft ride quality. While the rear can feel springy at times, it accommodates undulations well. On the plus side, preload adjustability allows you to choose a firmer setup (if that’s an option for you).

Still, the Speed ​​400’s handling is snappy. It can change direction quickly and turn around corners. Give it some twists and it won’t take you long to get the hang of it. Handling becomes predictable and the bike only rocks in the direction you choose. The USD fork also offers excellent high-speed stability, while commuting through traffic is a breeze. Despite its size, the turning radius isn’t the tightest, but it gets the job done.

The Speed ​​400 features 300mm discs at the front and 240mm discs at the rear with ByByre calipers. Dual-channel ABS and traction control are standard and both are excellent at shedding speeds… Triumph supplies India with steel radial tires for the MRF and Apollo. Both tires are W-rated and offer good traction in both wet and dry conditions.

Triumph Speed ​​400: Verdict

We’ve been trying to nitpick the Triumph Speed ​​400, and this bike really is a well thought out package. Excellent build quality, a performance-friendly engine, and striking looks all make it a winner in our opinion. If that’s not enough, $A price tag of Rs 2.33 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) is simply top-notch for what it has to offer.

First published date: July 14, 2023, 17:06 PM (UST)

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