British road bike giant Triumph is to build full-on motocross and enduro race bikes and run factory teams in the world championships. Motocross GOAT Ricky Carmichael and five-times world enduro champion Ivan Cervantes have joined Triumph to test and develop the bikes then get the manufacturer ready to go racing.
Triumph has revealed that development is well under way on a ‘comprehensive range of all-new competition motocross and enduro bikes.’ There are no details of whether the bikes will be four-strokes or two-strokes, or a range of both.
Triumph’s official statement says: “Joining our class-leading and globally renowned motorcycle range, this all new competition MX and Enduro family will bring all of Triumph’s engineering expertise to riders and racers worldwide.
“This will be accompanied by a landmark moment for Triumph and the MX and Enduro racing world with an all new Triumph factory race programme, and a commitment to top tier championship racing in both Motocross and Enduro series.”
A timetable for the launch of the motorcycles, as well as the racing programme, will follow in the coming months. MotoHead was tipped off that some off-road component manufacturers had been secretly making parts to fit the new machines, but we were sworn to secrecy – until now.
There are no details if the bikes will be made at Triumph’s UK base or abroad. It has a factory in Thailand and assembly plants in Brazil and India. The British firm recently did a deal with Bajaj in India to develop middleweight bikes.
As Triumph now largely makes large-capacity road bikes for leisure use, its dealers are busiest during the Spring-Autumn months when most riders use their bikes – but they are quiet in the ‘off season’. This is when most off-road bikes are sold, both in Europe and the USA. So this could keep their dealers busy year-round, especially as the road bike market is moving towards adventure-style bikes with off-road potential. Having proper enduro machines and motocross bikes would be good for Triumph’s off-road credibility and give another type of bike its fans could purchase in addition to big road bikes like the Tiger 900 or 1200 Scrambler.
Nick Bloor, CEO Triumph Motorcycles and son of the man who relaunched the brand 30 years ago, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Triumph brand, which everyone at Triumph is incredibly excited to be part of. We are 100% committed to making a long-lasting impact in this highly competitive and demanding world, with a single-minded ambition to deliver a winning motorcycle line-up for a whole new generation of Triumph riders.”
Carmichael has recently been seen riding Triumph adventure bikes in a deal that was announced last year. It was not thought he’d be working on competition motocross bikes – until now. He said: “I am thrilled to announce that I am joining the Triumph family and even more excited to be a part of their new endeavour into the off-road product category.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me to join this historic brand, and I am honoured and humbled to be a part of the development and release of their off-road motorcycles. Building something from the ground up is something that really is intriguing to me at this stage of my career. What is impressive to me is Triumph’s dedication, and passion to develop a top of the class product. Everyone that I have been involved with in this project from the engineers, design groups, R&D dept etc, have shown extreme passion for what they are doing and that is a recipe for success and something that I love being a part of. We all share that same passion, and that’s to be the best.
“If you are familiar with the Triumph brand, you already know the quality of craftsmanship is top shelf, and the off-road models will follow suit to their past! Not only are these exciting times for me, but it’s an exciting time for the off-road industry to be adding another brand to the mix and the opportunities that lie ahead for all off-road consumers. I can’t wait to see the reactions when these models hit the dealer’s showroom floors.”
Cervantes said: “I have loved Triumph motorcycles right from being a small kid, seeing them in films and on television. So to be working with Triumph from the beginning of this project, is an amazing opportunity for me, not just because it is working with one of the world’s greatest motorcycle brands, but also for being part of building something from zero. It is a dream come true for any racer!
“Like me, everyone I am working with at Triumph is focused to make the bikes the best they can be. I cannot wait to see the bikes competing at a world level, but I also look forward to when I can stand in a Triumph dealer and know I was part of this very special project.”
Almost three months ago Triumph hired Briton Jeremy Appleton as Global Racing manager. He was based in Italy and was an executive at Alpinestars where he worked with MotoGP, WSBK, MXGP and AMA Supercross riders, and also premier automobile racing with F1 and Nascar. He visited the British MXGP at Matterley last year. Triumph says his appointment reflects Triumph’s commitment and growing investment within motorcycle racing, where his focus will be on building global brand awareness and demonstrating Triumph innovation and performance credentials.
Triumph motorcycles celebrates 119 years of motorcycle manufacturing this year. For more than three decades, Triumph has been based at Hinckley in Leicestershire after being taken over by house builder John Bloor, and has produced a range of iconic road-going bikes. But there have been no serious dirt bikes since the original Triumph company went racing in the 1960s.
Triumph has the might to make the bikes as it is the largest British motorcycle manufacturer, with manufacturing facilities in Hinckley and Thailand plus assembly facilities in Brazil and India. The brand delivered more than 75,000 motorcycles in financial year 2021, and has close to 700 dealers across the world.
Triumph currently employs around 2000 personnel worldwide and has subsidiary operations in the UK, North America, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Sweden Benelux, Brazil, India, China and Thailand as well as a network of independent distributors.
Triumph has a glorious racing history, competing in and winning races in almost every class and field of motorcycle sporting achievement. From winning the second ever Isle of Man TT in 1908, through to 1960s road and track domination in Europe and America, right up to contemporary racing achievements with the 675cc Triumph triple powered 2014 Daytona 200 win, the 2014 Isle of Man Supersports TT win, the 2014 and 2015 British Supersports titles and World SuperSport racing, and in 2019, with another victory at the Isle of Man Supersports TT, by Peter Hickman.
Triumph’s racing legend continues as the exclusive engine supplier to the FIM Moto2 World Championship since the start of the 2019 season. Triumph Motorcycles provides all of the teams with race-tuned 765cc triples, each of which is based on the class-leading Street Triple RS powerplant. Redefining the class and breaking record after record in the inaugural year, including the first ever +300km/h Moto2 top speed, the 2020 season got even faster with another 11 all-time lap records and seven different winners from 15 races.
Triumph’s racing activities are further bolstered by a return to the British Superbike paddock in 2021 with a factory-supported race team, Dynavolt Triumph, in the British Supersport Championship.