125cc Triumph range in the pipeline?

Small capacity Triumph spied testing. Could Triumph be after a slice of the emerging markets?

TRIUMPH COULD be planning to release a range of learner-legal 125cc models in the near future after a small-capacity prototype was spotted on test with the company's future big bikes.

The small bike, which hasn't yet been photographed, was spotted at two separate tests in the UK and Spain where Triumph was running several of its 2011 and 2012 prototype machines. While a small bike seems at odds with the firm's existing range, it could explain a gaping gap between the firm's current line-up and its widely announced plans for future models. Last year, the firm said it intended to expand to offer seven separate model ranges, up from three. With the launch of the Tiger 800 and by reshuffling the way it categorises its bikes, the firm has already managed to turn its three model lines – which were 'Urban Sports', 'Modern Classics', and 'Cruisers' – to six ranges; 'Roadsters', 'Supersports', 'Adventure', 'Touring', 'Classics' and 'Cruisers. But that still leaves one entire model range unaccounted for.

The firm's recent expansion in Thailand, where many of its bikes and components are now made, also means that a small-capacity bike could be profitable; something that would have been virtually impossible if it was made entirely in the UK.

Beyond that, the firm has been careful in recent years to make sure its trademark rights to the name “Cub” have not expired; in the firm's pre-Hinckley days the name was used on the firm's entry-level, small-capacity models.

With sales of small machines currently booming in India and Asia while the market for large bikes in so-called developed countries continues to drop, a move into the 125cc market could prove one of the best the firm has made since its rebirth 20 years ago.