Triumph has broadened its appeal by announcing two new motorcycle models for 2024, the Speed 400 and the Scrambler 400 X, marking the British brand’s first foray into the smaller engine market. Both styled in the timeless traditions of Triumph’s modern classics, it’s expected that the street-savvy Speed 400 and the more rugged, trail-worthy Scrambler 400 X will bring a degree of sophistication to a sub-500cc market that’s fast growing into an appealing category, especially for entry-level riders and those looking for a commuter bike that’s light and nimble enough to weave through city traffic on the way to work, but with enough punch for a leisurely weekend cruise.

A quick glance at the engine specs suggests these new bikes on the block might be more than a match for their key competitors. The Speed 400 and the Scrambler 400 X share the same engine: a liquid-cooled, 398cc single-cylinder TR-Series, which Triumph claims can put out a class-leading 39.5 hp at peak power. Compare that to the 20.2 hp produced by the Royal Enfield Hunter 350, a rival roadster to the Speed 400 with a similar retro styling. With almost twice the Hunter 350’s horsepower, you can imagine the advantage the Speed 400 will have on the highway, where previous sub-500cc bikes have rarely been completely at ease. Meanwhile, the Scrambler 400 X holds its own against the more touring-oriented bikes like the BMW G 310 GS and the super-lightweight KTM 390 Adventure, which boast only fractionally more horsepower.

Triumph 400 Motorcycle

The differences between the bikes relate to the Scrambler 400 X’s off-road design features for light dual-sport use. The Scrambler 400 X has a longer wheelbase, a taller seat, and a larger front wheel than its roadster cousin. It also has wider handlebars and lower-positioned footpegs, providing a more upright riding position for greater stability on loose surfaces. At 320mm, the Scrambler 400 X’s front brake disc is 20mm larger than the Speed 400’s, but the most significant difference might be felt in the suspension. The Scrambler 400 X has a longer-travel inverted fork at the front and a mono-shock with more travel at the rear, giving it a smoother ride over rough terrain.

The Speed 400, meanwhile, has rear-set footpegs and a clip-on handlebar that pulls the rider into a sportier riding position. These features, together with the shorter suspension travel, lower weight, and thinner tires compared to the Scrambler 400 X, should give it an oh-so-subtle edge when it comes to handling on paved roads. It’s different horses for different courses, with the models likely to appeal to different riders depending on what they hope to get out of their bike.

The two-tone Speed 400 will come out in Carnival Red, Caspian Blue, and Phantom Black, while the grungier-looking Scrambler 400 X will be available in Matt Khaki Green and Fusion White, Carnival Red, Phantom Black, and Silver Ice. It’s worth noting that owners can accessorize either bike according to a broad range of needs or wants using an online configurator.

The Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X models are launching in India in July 2023 and will be released in other markets, including the US, at the start of 2024. Prices haven’t yet been announced, but they’re expected to be in line with their key competitors in the same category. Expect to pay a Triumph premium, not just for industry-leading handling and performance, but for the classic retro-inspired looks that have always given Triumph motorcycles an old-school aesthetic advantage over their rivals.