In an unexpected move, Triumph Motorcycles has announced its intention to compete in the motocross market for the first time in over 45 years. Ten-time AMA Motocross National Champion Ricky Carmichael will be “an active partner in both bike testing and preparation for racing,” according to Triumph.
The announcement from Triumph did not reveal a prototype, nor did Triumph mention what size motor or when the British company intends to put a motocross motorcycling into production. That last Triumph motocrosser was the 1974 TR5MX Avenger—a long-stroke, two-valve, 34 horsepower, 499cc thumper weighing 240 pounds dry.
“I am thrilled to announce that I am joining the Triumph family,” Carmichael said, “and even more excited to be a part of their new endeavor into the off-road product category. This is an incredible opportunity for me to join this historic brand, and I am honored and humbled to be a part of the development and release of their off-road motorcycles.”
“Building something from the ground up is something that really is intriguing to me at this stage of my career,” Carmichael continued, “What is impressive to me is Triumph’s dedication, and passion to develop a top of the class product. Everyone that I have been involved with this project, from the engineers, design groups, R&D department, etc., have shown extreme passion for what they are doing, and that is a recipe for success and something that I love being a part of. We all share that same passion, and that’s to be the best.”
“Not only are these exciting times for me,” Carmichael concluded, “but it’s an exciting time for the off-road industry to be adding another brand to the mix and the opportunities that lie ahead for all off-road consumers. I can’t wait to see the reactions when these models hit the dealer’s showroom floors.”
Recently, Carmichael sold his Goat Farm motocross training center to Star Racing Yamaha. He is also the color commentator on Monster Energy Supercross television broadcasts.
Triumph is certainly tackling a crowded market. In addition to the four Japanese marques and the three flavors of KTM (KTM, Husqvarna, and GasGas), there are also boutique brands such as TM and Beta.
“[This] marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Triumph brand, which everyone at Triumph is incredibly excited to be part of,” Triumph CEO Nick Bloor stated. “We are 100 percent committed to making a long-lasting impact in this highly competitive and demanding world, with a single-minded ambition to deliver a winning motorcycle line-up for a whole new generation of Triumph riders.”
While not heavily involved in racing in recent years, Triumph has been supplying the three-cylinder 765cc spec motors for Moto2 World Championship Grand Prix road racing motorcycles since 2019. Currently, the most competition-oriented model produced by Triumph is the Daytona Moto2 765. One cylinder of the Daytona inline-3 is 255cc—perhaps the first motocrosser will be a 250-class endeavor.
Triumph also has plans to build a competitive enduro motorcycle, with four-time EnduroGP champion Iván Cervantes as part of the development process.