Triumph Speed 400: Why it is so affordable

    Its shockingly affordable price reminds of the original 2013 KTM 390 Duke’s game-changing positioning.

    Published on Jul 07, 2023 07:00:00 AM


    How is the Triumph Speed 400 so affordable?

    We’ve repeatedly lamented about the worrying increases in Indian motorcycle prices over the last few years (you can read more about that here). But the last two days have brought in two big-ticket motorcycle launches with shockingly low prices. 

    First, we had the Harley-Davidson X440, which has a starting price much closer to the Royal Enfield Classic 350 than most would have imagined. And then came the big shocker from Bajaj. 

    Fresh off the Harley launch in Jaipur and on the drive down to Pune for the Triumph event, I found myself thinking. Given what we’ve seen from the Triumph spec sheet and just how high quality the bike looked in the images, a Rs 2.8 lakh ex-showroom price would be great. For a brief moment, I even contemplated Rs 2.5 lakh, but no, that wouldn’t be realistic, not with that badge and such high quality; as well as the 4-valve DOHC liquid-cooled motor, traction control, yada yada… 

    Cut to the Rs 2.23 lakh price being announced, and after having taken a couple of seconds to set a dropped jaw back in place, I rushed to the front of the stage. Rajiv Bajaj, who usually makes a masterfully quick exit from the few major press conferences he graces with his presence, was still there! While the folks around him were extending their surprise and congratulations, I knew I’d have just a few quick moments and I asked the first thing that came to mind: “How is this so much more affordable than a KTM 390 Duke?”

    The answer – as it usually is with Mr Bajaj – was sensible, considered and concise. “The KTM is a more complex motorcycle internally and this bike doesn’t have as much high-end technology. But mostly, it’s a matter of volume and scale. The KTMs are more niche and we would like to see much bigger numbers with these Triumphs.” And there it is – with bigger numbers, costs naturally come down.

    That is a nice reminder to ponder on what wonderfully fat margins Royal Enfield must make on its now admittedly high quality, but still relatively simple machines. Mostly though, it’s an indicator of the sheer might of what RE has achieved in the last ten years. You simply have to respect this incredible empire RE has built all by itself – an empire that has pushed its rivals into a place where only mega-international partnerships and crazy competitive prices can hope to make a dent. 

    At the end of the day, the winners here are us motorcyclists. A price war seems to have broken out and I’m absolutely loving it. Harley and Bajaj have fired the first shots and they’re pretty solid ones. What will RE’s defensive manoeuvre be in a few months' time when its highly anticipated Himalayan 450 and the new Bullet 350 debut? I can hardly wait to find out.    

    Also See:

    Triumph Speed 400, Harley-Davidson X440 vs every other rival

    whelanluke - 310 days ago

    Efficient production methods and cost-saving measures contribute to the affordable price of the Triumph Speed 400

    Steve Rodrigues - 321 days ago

    43% - thats RE margins

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