Triumph Speed 400 First Ride Review: New segment disruptor is here!

Expectations have been sky-high from the Triumph Speed 400 and it is now time to see if the most accessible Triumph has what it takes to be a segment
...
The Triumph Speed 400 is impressive in several ways and truly feels top-spec amidst competition
The Triumph Speed 400 is impressive in several ways and truly feels top-spec amidst competition

When it comes to making affordable, aspirational motorcycles for the world in India, Bajaj Auto knows a thing or two about how to do it right. They’ve had an extremely successful partnership with KTM and Husqvarna, so it wasn’t a surprise to see a third collaboration with Triumph Motorcycles. The British bike has been exploring the idea of an affordable motorcycle for a decade now but it seemed to have found the right partnership with Bajaj.

The partnership, formally announced five years ago, has finally introduced its maiden product to the world. The Triumph Speed 400 is the brand’s most affordable offering globally. It’s made in India by Bajaj Auto and is a global offering that will be assembled and sold in several markets. Expectations have been sky-high from the Triumph Speed 400 and it’s now time to see if the most accessible Triumph has what it takes to be a segment leader.

Also check these Bikes

Find more Bikes
Triumph Speed 400 (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon398.15 cc Mileage Icon30 kmpl
₹ 2.33 Lakhs
Compare
Jawa 350 (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon334 cc Mileage Icon30 kmpl
₹ 2.15 Lakhs
Compare
Royal Enfield Classic 350 (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon349.34 cc Mileage Icon41.55 kmpl
₹ 1.93 - 2.25 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers
Hero Mavrick 440 (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
Engine Icon440 cc
₹ 2 Lakhs
Alert Me When Launched
Jawa 42 Bobber (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon334 cc Mileage Icon30.56 kmpl
₹ 2.25 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers
Honda Hness Cb350 (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon348.0 cc Mileage Icon45.8 kmpl
₹ 2.10 - 2.16 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers

Also Read : Triumph Motorcycles reveals on-road prices for Speed 400 for different cities

Watch: Triumph Speed 400 Review: Worth the hype?

Triumph Speed 400 Review
The build quality is right up there with premium Triumph offerings and it's indeed impressive that Bajaj and Triumph managed to achieve this with a price cap
Triumph Speed 400 Review
The build quality is right up there with premium Triumph offerings and it's indeed impressive that Bajaj and Triumph managed to achieve this with a price cap

Triumph Speed 400: Design & Build

Opting for a modern classic, the Triumph Speed 400 is a roadster that looks and feels in the same family as the Speed 900 and 1200. It’s equal parts modern and retro in styling and appeal. The round headlamp comes with LED DRLs, while the headlamp bracket, fuel tank, engine casing and side panel, all are reminiscent of the Speed 900. The sharp LED taillight and upswept stubby exhaust add a fresh styling element to the styling of the motorcycle. The Triumph Speed 400 is compact in proportions but is not devoid of road presence. This one is a head-turner and it would be easy to confuse with its older sibling, if not for the shorter wheelbase.

A lot of that credit goes to the build quality of the motorcycle. Right from when the photos were first dropped last month after the global debut, the Speed 400 appeared of good build quality and we are happy to report that the bike is equally impressive in flesh. The attention to detail is impressive on the motorcycle. Right from the engine fins that mimic the larger Triumph engines, to the powder coating on the engine casing and frame, the bike exudes quality. Even the switchgear, chrome finishing and paint quality, all feel upmarket on the motorcycle.

Triumph Speed 400 Review
Smaller elements like the engine guard, fuel tank lid, and indicators come from the Bajaj parts bin but do not look out of place. You also get over 25 genuine Triumph accessories to personalise the bike
Triumph Speed 400 Review
Smaller elements like the engine guard, fuel tank lid, and indicators come from the Bajaj parts bin but do not look out of place. You also get over 25 genuine Triumph accessories to personalise the bike

That said, you do find some noticeable Bajaj bits on the Speed 400, which lends it its Indianness. The engine guard, for instance, is a very familiar Bajaj component, while the standard indicators are also reminiscent of a certain Bajaj model. The fuel tank lid also comes from the Bajaj parts bin. Do note, these aren’t bad things at all. The quality levels are very much up there but it’s hard to ignore them completely. The build is resoundingly good and Bajaj and Triumph do get full marks for making it happen with a price cap.

Triumph Speed 400 Review
The instrument console's layout takes a bit of time getting used to but is packed with all the essential information and tell tale lights
Triumph Speed 400 Review
The instrument console's layout takes a bit of time getting used to but is packed with all the essential information and tell tale lights

Triumph Speed 400: Instrument console

The instrument console is part analogue-part digital with the speedometer on the left and a digital tachometer on the right. It takes a while to get used to the layout but the unit is fairly loaded with information including distance to empty, two trip meters, average fuel efficiency and more. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity though, which Triumph says is not really required by customers. And the company insists it has not skipped on premium features. You do get a slip-and-assist clutch, ride-by-wire, traction control and more instead, which are more usable from a performance front. That said, the addition of Bluetooth connectivity with turn-by-turn navigation would’ve been nice for customers, especially in this connected age.

Triumph Speed 400 Review
The riding posture is upright with slight aggression but the compact proportions make it best for riders who are 5'10" or under
Triumph Speed 400 Review
The riding posture is upright with slight aggression but the compact proportions make it best for riders who are 5'10" or under

Triumph Speed 400: Ergonomics

The Speed 400 is compact in size and that does take a toll if you are a tall rider. For this writer, the bike emerged as a bit compact, especially in the lower section of the rider triangle. Most riders under 5’10" will find the Speed 400 spot-on on the ergonomics front. The riding posture is commanding and upright and the wide handlebar makes it easier to manoeuvre the bike. The seat height at 790 mm is also accessible for rides of all sizes.

The bar-end mirrors are surprisingly well positioned and we did not have to struggle with them for rearview visibility despite this rider’s large frame. The soft cushioning on the single seat is comfortable for the most part. We covered a little over 100 kilometres during the test ride but would like to spend about a day on the saddle to properly understand how it fares in terms of comfort.

Triumph Speed 400 Review
The engine on the Speed 400 has been developed from the ground up with Bajaj expanding on its extensive learnings from building KTM & Dominar engines over the years
Triumph Speed 400 Review
The engine on the Speed 400 has been developed from the ground up with Bajaj expanding on its extensive learnings from building KTM & Dominar engines over the years

Triumph Speed 400: Performance

The compact proportions are a trade-off for a fun performance and boy, does it deliver and how! The Speed 400 is powered by a newly-developed 398 cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine tuned for 39.4 bhp at 8,000 rpm and 37.5 Nm at 6,500 rpm, paired with a 6-speed gearbox. Now, the bore at 89 mm is the same as the one seen on the KTM 390 Duke and Bajaj Dominar 400 but this is not a new variant of the engine. The motor developed for Triumph is all-new from the ground-up but a lot of the learnings from developing KTM and Dominar engines over the years has gone into making the new TR-Series motor.

The result is an engine that’s quick on power delivery and yet is tractable for the most part. Power delivery is very well spaced out in the low, mid and top end with a flat torque always giving some room to push further. The bike is quick off the line, actually making it super quick off the line. It’s not as urgent as a KTM 390 Duke, but the power delivery is progressive without making the bike feel intimidating.

Triumph Speed 400 Review
The engine has been optimised for low-end traceability which makes the motor relaxed in 5th gear at 45 kmph,
Triumph Speed 400 Review
The engine has been optimised for low-end traceability which makes the motor relaxed in 5th gear at 45 kmph,

About 80 per cent of torque is available from 3,000 rpm and the motor is quick to respond to inputs. The big difference between a KTM and Triumph comes in the form of low-end tractability. You can comfortably be in the fifth gear at 45 kmph without too much resistance from the engine. While it’s not as tractable as say a 350 cc Royal Enfield motorcycle, it compensates with a more rewarding top-end.

The rev-friendly motorcycle is quick to climb a tonne and 120 kmph comes up in no time. A quick glance at the speedometer and you’d be pushing off over 140 kmph with still some room left. Lighter riders achieved well over 170 kmph, while we too managed to do well over 160 kmph. Vibrations are evident on the foot pegs and handlebar after 6,000 rpm but nothing that can’t be managed.

The low tractability also means it’s easy to live with one in the city. Throughout our ride, we barely managed to find any heating issues with the bike, although a more cumbersome ride in the traffic situations will be a better judge of that. Triumph says its engine is fairly fuel efficient returning 29 kmpl (indicated figure), while the service interval stands at 16,000 km in a year. The company also promises the cost of maintenance for the first three years to be lower than that of a Royal Enfield 350, which will truly be impressive for a liquid-cooled offering.

Triumph Speed 400 Review
The Speed 400 is nimble and quick to change directions. The predictable handling makes it a hoot to ride in the twisties
Triumph Speed 400 Review
The Speed 400 is nimble and quick to change directions. The predictable handling makes it a hoot to ride in the twisties

Triumph Speed 400: Handling & Braking

The Speed 400 gets a balanced suspension setup with 43 mm USD forks at the front and a 10-step adjustable monoshock at the rear. The suspension has been tuned for supple ride quality. While the rear feels bouncy at times, it settles in quite well over undulations. On the bright side, the preload adjustability allows you to opt for a firmer setup, should that be your choice.

Despite that, the handling is nimble on the Speed 400. It’s quick to change directions and fund around corners. Show it a couple of twisties and you won’t take a long time to get the hang of things. The handling gets predictable and the bike just sways in the direction of your choosing. The USD forks also make for excellent high-speed stability while commuting through traffic is a breeze. The turning radius isn’t the most compact despite the size but gets the job done.

The Speed 400 runs a 300 mm disc at the front and a 240 mm disc at the rear with ByByre calipers. Dual-channel ABS and traction control are standard and both do a fine job at shedding speeds very well. Triumph is offering steel radial tyres from MRF and Apollo for India. Both are W-rated tyres and offer good traction levels across wet and dry patches.

Triumph Speed 400 Review
The Triumph Speed 400 is certainly here to disrupt the segment and it now boils down to the sales and distribution handled by Bajaj in India
Triumph Speed 400 Review
The Triumph Speed 400 is certainly here to disrupt the segment and it now boils down to the sales and distribution handled by Bajaj in India

Triumph Speed 400: Verdict

We’ve been really trying to nitpick on the Triumph Speed 400 and the bike truly emerges as a well-thought-out package. The brilliant build quality, performance-friendly engine, and striking looks, all make it a winner in our opinion. And if that wasn’t enough, the 2.33 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) price tag is simply stellar for what it has to offer. With Bajaj Auto taking over distribution for Triumph, the company plans to have over 100 dealerships by the end of the fiscal. Could this be another KTM-esque victory for Bajaj? Can certainly see that happening.

First Published Date: 14 Jul 2023, 17:06 PM IST
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Check Latest Offers

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city

Want to get the best price for your existing car?

Powered by: Spinny Logo
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy
Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.