Spied! 2015 Triumph 250s

Small-bore Daytona and naked sportbike caught testing.

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Rumors of two new 250cc Triumph sportbikes have been confirmed. First, images of the pair photographed testing in Spain lit up social networks worldwide. Then Triumph confirmed the bikes' existence at last fall's EICMA show, where the company announced it intends to bring both machines to market for 2015.

Here’s what we know about these 250s: One model clearly resembles the Daytona family, while the other is a smaller facsimile of the Street/Speed Triples. Both bikes are powered by a brand-new liquid-cooled, 250cc single-cylinder engine. Beyond that, we can only speculate, but we assume ABS will be offered, as that feature will become mandatory from 2016 onward in the European Union. We wouldn’t be shocked if this same engine found its way into Triumph’s Classic range, maybe in the form of a modern Tiger Cub?

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The real mystery is the markets in which these bikes will actually be sold. Triumph, like many other manufacturers, has set up shop in India, where the company is building a new plant in Narasapur, near Bangalore. India has enormous growth potential due to its huge population and exploding middle-class. Triumph, Honda, and Harley-Davidson, among others, have manufacturing plants in India for two reasons: 1) to avoid the steep tariffs that the country imposes on imports, and 2) to inexpensively build motorcycles for export at competitive prices.

Small-displacement sportbikes, such as Honda's CBR250R (soon to be a 300), Kawasaki's Ninja 300, and KTM's RC390, are already top-sellers. If Triumph wants to compete on level terms with industry giants like Harley and Honda, its offerings need to expand to include affordable, entry-level machines.

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2015 Triumph Daytona Spy Shot #1

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2015 Triumph Daytona concept drawing.