England and India haven’t always enjoyed the best of relations, but Triumph is hoping all is forgiven as it makes plans to open a factory to build 250cc twins on the subcontinent. The proposed facility in Narasapur, near the city of Bangalore, is set to be up and running by 2015, according to Rudhy Siswanto, president and director of PT Global Motorcycle Trading, Triumph’s distributor in Indonesia.
Asia has recently been the target of several Japanese manufacturers’ ambitions, each seeking to make its mark first with small bikes, and eventually with larger ones as the growing Asian middle class’s taste for speed develops. Indian sources say Triumph wants to build 250,000 bikes per year initially, increasing to twice that number in a later phase of operations.
The as-yet unnamed Triumph twin will go up against Honda’s CBR250R, Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R, and KTM’s 200 Duke in the fiercely competitive market. Harley-Davidson is planning to build an entry-level V-twin in India, too, initially for the Indian market but with the potential to expand distribution to other parts of Asia. Motorcycle industry insiders in the U.S. are busy speculating which, if any, of the Asian-market 250s will be certified for sale here, but the manufacturers themselves are predictably silent on the matter.