As noted the other day in comments on the post about Triumph heading to India, there are rumors of Triumph planning a new street single in the 350cc range. I notice the August issue of Motorcyclist picked up on an article from Motociclismo, reporting on plans to assemble a motorcycle in Manuas, Brazil from knock down kits manufactured in Thailand. It would show up sometime in 2012.
The engine would be a liquid cooled 4 valve single, displacing anywhere from 267cc to 350cc depending on the market.
As rumors go, this one is getting a lot of traction but no one is confirming things one way or the other.
True or not, would a 350cc street single work in the US? In many other countries, yes, but here? We've tossed the idea around before of everyone thinking they need a big bore bike, even though something in the 350 range would be perfectly suited for newer riders and even some who are just looking for a casual weekend ride. Lots of us "men of a certain age" who fondly remember the 60s, when a 305 Honda was a lot of bike, have to admit those days are long gone. A 350cc engine today would do everything those early engines did and a lot more but attitudes have been shaped by the big engines now stuffed in everything from beginner bikes to super bikes. Then again, one of these singles would be pretty affordable and it might get a foothold on cost alone.
If this Triumph appears in the US, getting a few riders to try it might be enough to generate decent sales and it might help reestablish the idea that bigger isn't necessarily better. Interesting.