First announced in June last year, the collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles and Bajaj Auto bears its first fruit in the form of the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X, both featuring the brand-new TR-Series 400cc single-cylinder unit in an A2-compliant package that boasts affordability, style, and outright riding pleasure on the road.
We were invited along to the global press launch for the fresh-faced duo out in Valencia, Spain, with the promise of around 180 km of city and town riding, plenty of winding canyon roads, and a touch of off-road riding on the Scrambler 400 X.
Destined for a global reception by eyes that have been won over by the characteristic Triumph style and build, has the collab with Bajaj resulted in a record start for the two singles? Suppose we better get out to Spain and find out if it’ll be the global success that Triumph is aiming for, with the ambition of bringing a whole new generation to the Hinckley marque.
Pros and Cons: 2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X
- Fantastic engine character
- Flickable lightweight agility
- Affordable price tag
- A tad small in size (mostly Speed 400)
- Twitchy throttle in the first two gears at low revs
- A little bit of vibration sitting at 70+mph
Price and Availability
You can find both Triumph Speed 400 (priced up at £4,995) and Triumph Scrambler 400 X (priced at £5,595) in UK dealerships now, with many dealers also offering test rides if you ask nicely – it’s well worth a go on one of these.
The pair both come in three individual colour options, the Speed 400 offered in Carnival Red / Storm Grey (as ridden), Caspian Blue / Storm Grey, or Phantom Black / Storm Grey – with the Scrambler 400 X available in Matt Khaki Green / Fusion White (as ridden), Carnival Red / Phantom Black, or a sleek Phantom Black / Silver Ice.
One of the big points here (that Triumph is rightly very eager to shout about) is the 10,000 mile / 12 monthly service interval, with new models coming with a two-year unlimited warranty fresh from the dealer floor. Pretty good going, and one of the highest in the growing category. Though, worth checking how much that dealership service will be!
If you're looking at purchasing a brand-new Triumph, you'll need insurance to go with it! Head over to the Lexham Insurance page for a direct quote - the same applies for any A2 motorcycle you're looking at, or even to compare a renewal quote.
New 400cc TR-Series Single-Cylinder | Engine
Let’s get straight into the new TR-Series engine, one that is guaranteed to find its way into other models from the Bonneville family. The liquid-cooled single is a gem in the crown of these 400s, pumping out a very respectable 39.5 bhp at 8000 revs and 37.5 Nm at 6500 revs. Firing up both bikes you are met with a lovely noise from the exhaust, particularly noticeable on deceleration with some nice overrun burbles.
On the road, the torque-assist clutch is extremely light and lends itself well to riding in towns and cities, matched by the lightweight nature of both bikes. Gearing is fairly short, though only noticed at the top end as you work past the 8k horsepower peak towards what seems to be a 10k soft limit.
Working the 6-speed gearbox is extremely rewarding as you work your way up to the 6000 revs mark, unlocking what seems to be a whole other side of the engine character. Though it’s just as happy to work in high gear at low revs, still able to pull you through corners with that rewarding torque feel.
I spent the first part of the day up until the lunch stop on the Speed 400, and with its shorter wheelbase (1377 mm compared to the Scrambler’s 1418mm) it came alive on the twists and turns of the canyons of Valencia. A truly rewarding riding experience where additional power would realistically be unnecessary.
On that, there are no rider mode options for the Speed, the Scrambler granted off-road mode to switch off ABS and traction control, but both have the option to switch off traction control.
My only note (or slight grumble) from the morning ride was first and second gear being a tad twitchy upon opening the electronic throttle – remedied by clicking up into third, or otherwise just introducing a bit more clutch work and putting it down to character.
Vibrations from the single are kept to a minimum thanks to the balancer shaft, though it's a single-cylinder, so naturally when cruising at 70+ mph in sixth at just under 6000 revs you do feel some vibes through the bars and pegs.
For some riders this may be more noticeable and frustrating than to others. Still, either way, the motor doesn’t feel like its working its heart out at speed – rather happily cruising along with some reserve in the legs, and plenty of opportunity to kick down a gear and power through an overtaking opportunity.
All in, matched to the lightweight nature of both of these 400s with a narrow waistline, this signature Triumph torquey engine translates into a seriously fun machine that is certainly not lacking in power and exceeding in riding enjoyment.
Chassis, Suspension, Brakes
Continuing on up to the lunch stop on the Speed 400, the chassis and overall agility of the bike shone brightly (just like the LEDs and DRLs onboard) on endlessly flowing roads. Both bikes share a hybrid spine frame with tubular steel, and a bolt-on rear subframe (and twin-sided cast aluminium alloy swingarm). It felt like you were dancing with the bike along the road.
Weight balance felt 50/50, and it was incredibly responsive to your inputs when entering and exiting a corner – and though it held a line well, the light nature of both bikes does mean any overt mid-corner antics can be felt, hitting a bump or debris in the road can get a tad twitchy for a second, but you can sharpen your line with ease.
Moving to suspension, the two bikes both share 43mm big piston upside-down forks up front, paired to an external reservoir rear shock with pre-load adjustment (though you’ll need a spanner). Upon a ‘first-sit’ the bikes were noticeably a bit soft when my 6’3” frame (around 14-15 stone) jumped on board, when moving it’s a great setup which offers lovely feedback.
Perhaps the suspension could offer more in the way of adjustment for rebound and compression, but these bikes are built to a high spec with reasonably low cost, and specced-up suspension would be a touch unnecessary here.
With the brakes, you’ll find ByBre single discs up front on both, the Speed 400 with a 300mm fixed disc and four-piston radial caliper, paired to a 230mm rear disc with a floating caliper, and dual channel ABS.
The Scrambler 400 X has a larger 320mm front disc with a four-piston radial caliper, and the same 230mm rear disc and switchable ABS (deactivates front and rear, accessed via the off-road mode that also switches traction control off).
Braking power is top, here, the Speed with a slightly sharper lever response to the Scrambler, which I’m told is down to the pads used – you’d want a touch softer brake feel if riding on loose terrain on the Scrambler.
In a world where these A2 compliant bikes will need to appeal to newer riders without being intimidating and older experienced riders after value for money, both camps will be incredibly satisfied.
Differences between the Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X
Simply put, the Scrambler 400 X is tweaked for some light-off road ability, the Speed 400 primed for road rides. Naming the differences, you’ll find the Scrambler with Metzeler Karoo Street hoops on a larger 19-inch front with a 17-inch rear (the Speed 400 has superb Metzeler Sporter M9RR hoops on 17-inch front and rear wheels). Both wheels are cast aluminium 10 spoke alloys, with no option for wire-spoked wheels.
Moving to the chassis, the headstock on the Scrambler is extended outwards to accommodate the larger front wheel, with a slightly sharper 23.2 rake angle, which contributes to the extended wheelbase on the Scrambler (1418mm to the Speed’s 1377mm). You’ll also find 150mm front & rear travel on the Scrambler’s suspension, 140mm & 130mm on the Speed 400, and knuckle protectors on the Scrambler’s slightly wider handlebar.
With the Scrambler 400 X given a slightly longer chain (but the same swingarm) it does also feature a smaller front sprocket when compared to the Speed, but given the slight variations the final gearing will be the same between the two.
Given the slightly larger dimensions of the Scrambler, the seat height ends up at 835 mm, the Speed 400 at 790 mm. The larger dimensions fit my taller frame a touch better, a sentiment that seemed to echo across the other journalists who were 6ft and up. Whilst the Speed had a marginal better feel when turning in to corners, the Scrambler wasn’t far behind by any means.
Both bikes are built to a cost to appeal to a global audience, and though the brakes and suspension meet that cost requirement, they provide supreme control of the bike.
Triumph Scrambler 400 X Off-Road Riding
After a quick stop for lunch, I switched onto the Scrambler 400 X for the remainder of the day’s ride. I instantly felt a bit more at home on the Scrambler given the slightly larger size, as mentioned, and heading back up the same road I had just sampled on the Speed 400 it became quickly apparent that taller riders will likely want to opt for the Scrambler.
We were carving up the road, and the ride quality was top – the performance on offer here for the cost is exceptional, the bikes really egging you on to reach the sweet spot of 6000-8000 rpm and enter that next level of speed.
With that, we got to the brief off-road excursion. I switched into off-road mode (which has to be done when stationary) to deactivate the traction control and ABS entirely and set off standing up on the pegs.
Though shorter riders will be more than happy here, I felt the bike get a bit twitchy underneath me stood on the pegs, and that’s purely down to the smaller stature of the bike compared to something like the Tiger 900 Rally Pro I recently spent a whole day riding off-road at the launch down the road near Malaga.
The overall package here for light and gentle off-roading is great, and seeing as this is a global machine, riders who regularly encounter unpaved roads and loose terrain will be more than accounted for here – but I wouldn’t personally turn to a Scrambler 400 X for a dedicated trail bike, it just simply isn’t the right size for me. I had similar thoughts with the Scrambler 900 – it’ll do it, but a taller rider may be after something a bit larger.
I’ve had a bit of experience with off-road riding at this stage, but some in the group had next to none, nevertheless, we were all happily riding off down the trail for photos and video stood up on the pegs (for the most part) – that would lead me to believe this is a great place to find your off-road feet given the right light trail.
Tech Spec and Features
Heading back onto the twisty Valencia roads, with our noses pointed towards the city, it was a chance to hunker down and spend an hour of pure uninterrupted riding. Twisty roads with cutback corners, fast sweeping bends, a stint of motorway riding, and some town work – this was a great time to spend time atop the bike just as a prospective owner would, and it shone in every area.
Our only stop along the way was towards the end of the ride to re-fuel, and I was seriously impressed to see the inlaid LCD display say we’d covered around 170 km and used two out of eight pips of fuel on the gauge from the 13-litre tank - it's never a solid barometer for consumption, and further tests will need to be ran, but these seem to be incredibly frugal from a first ride.
Despite our group keeping a solid pace throughout the day, we were averaging 4 litres per 100 KM, or 70 mpg. Triumph quote around 3 L per 100 KM or 80 mpg on average, and that would certainly be achievable if you rode a bit more conservatively, not tempted in by the peak torque found high in the revs (that would be seriously difficult).
The switchgear is equally simplistic, with the normal buttons and switches, plus an ‘i’ button to navigate through the menu (and switch on/off traction control for both, or activate off-road mode on the Scrambler). It’s easy to use and feels well-built for gloved fingers to navigate. That LCD will also display current gear, average consumption and range remaining, always useful.
That LCD inlay display is paired with a simple analogue dial, which suits the character of the bikes well with a heritage feel. Perhaps you could ask for a TFT display with Bluetooth and phone connectivity, but if you want that just mount your phone to the bars and plug it into the USB nestled behind the display.
If you’re after a tourer, you can dive into the accessories to fit either of these with 25+ official Triumph parts. There was a stunning Scrambler 400 X in Phantom Black on display kitted out with all the added bits, and it looked spectacular.
2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400X Against the Rivals?
Other bikes in this class do boast a touch more power, like the KTM Duke 390 (£5,699) with 44.2 bhp & 39 Nm of torque, or the Yamaha MT-03 (£6,105) with 40 bhp & 29.5 Nm (note that this a twin), but both are heavier on the wallet.
You’ll also find the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 (£3,899) with 20.2 bhp and Scram 411 (£4,849) with 24.3 bhp fighting for attention here, and though they are great bikes at good prices they fall short with power on offer. You can also consider the BMW G 310 R (£5,190, 34 bhp) and Honda CB300R (£5,199, single 31 bhp), but in my mind they are easily bested by the performance and price on offer here from Triumph.
Potential Scrambler 400 owners may also look to the new Royal Enfield Himalayan 450, with a similar 40 bhp and 40 Nm on tap. Prices for the new liquid-cooled Himalayan start at £5,750, and from first reviews, it seems to be a supremely capable tourer and off-roader that may be more accustomed to some green lane riding over this Scrambler, due to the adventure-spec size.
The collaboration of Bajaj with its supreme manufacturing capabilities and affordability, paired with Triumph’s heritage and build quality, has resulted in a pair of bikes that seriously impress for the money. In the press briefing before the ride, Triumph noted that they have had an incredible reception and interest from the global market, split almost 50/50 between the two models.
Units will be built in the new India facility, along with Thailand and Brazil. UK models won’t all be from one facility, with supply balanced between facilities to meet demand – we were told global units are currently at 5,000 per month, with the possibility to up production to a staggering 20,000 units produced a month.
2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X Verdict
Simply put, the Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X are sure to be a hit the world over. They perfectly balance the complex relationship between performance and value for money, matched with stunning looks and build quality.
On the road, the sheer agility and smooth torque delivery through the revs is brilliant to work with, regardless of whether you’re commuting in town or heading to scratch the back roads at the weekend. Opening the throttle and working towards the 6k revs figure is where the motor seems to come into a new life, and this by no means feels like a bike that leaves to wanting more power.
The only reservations for me were the slightly smaller dimensions (particularly on the Speed 400), a tendency to get a bit twitchy when at lower speeds and opening the throttle, and a little bit of vibration noticed at speed high in the revs. But take those with a pinch of salt, I was really scratching my head to notice any major flaws from the first ride impression.
If I were to award stars to a bike review, I’d quite happily give the Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X 5 stars each. Both bikes are in UK dealers now, and I’d highly recommend getting down to have a test on one.
Which one wins for me? Taller riders may want to sample the Scrambler, and if I was shorter I’d go for the Speed 400... but the Scrambler edges it here. UK sales may well be a 50/50 split, but I’d predict the Scrambler to intrigue those who want the potential for a bit of light off-road ability.
A huge thanks to Triumph for having us on the launch, you can configure your dream Triumph with their configurator on the website.