Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X review

Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X review

Triumph is launching headlong into the single-cylinder market in 2024, as the new Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X hit the road - here’s what they are both like

Triumph have managed to make two very cost-effective bikes here... but neither of them feels budget in any way shape or form
Sweet handling from both, short gearing is great around town, premium details and finishings
The engine fizzes at motorway speeds, Scrambler 400 X feels a bit nervous off-road

Triumph takes a bold step in 2024, as it joins the ranks of KTM, Yamaha, Honda and more by setting out its stall in the light middleweight A2 sector. The two bikes in question are the Scrambler 400 X and Speed 400.

While not directly related to any other models in the current Triumph range, they are both inspired by bikes like the Speed Twin and the Scrambler 900 and 1200 models. They both share some common elements though, with things like the engine, swingarm, dash, and more shared across both models.

For the global press launch of the two new bikes, we headed off to Valencia for a day of on-road riding on both models and a short off-road excursion on the Scrambler 400 X.  

Price, availability and colours

On the price front, the two new Triumphs look to offer decent value for money, with the Speed 400 costing £4,995, while the Scrambler 400 X is slightly more at £5,595. These figures compare favourably with other A2-friendly bikes - a Yamaha MT-03, for example, is £6,005. The new Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 (which is more of a competitor to the Scrambler 400 X) does start at £5,750, although the optional colour options quickly take the price higher than the Triumph.

Further keeping things friendly on the wallet, both of the 400s come with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty, and 10,000-mile service intervals.

The Speed 400 arrives in either Carnival Red and Storm Grey, Caspian Blue and Storm Grey or Phantom Black and Storm Grey. The Scrambler 400 X is available in Matt Khaki Green and Fusion White, Carnival Red and Phantom Black, or Phantom Black and Silver Ice.

Bikes are in dealers and ready to order or test ride already - to find your nearest dealership head to

Engine, frame, chassis and technology

The new Scrambler 400 X

Both bikes feature a DOHC four-valve engine and a crank that is balanced and weighted for low-down grunt and rideability. Each machine features DLC-coated parts and finger-follower valve actuation, and both put out a claimed 40ps (39bhp) and 37.5Nm (27lb-ft) of torque.

The liquid-cooled single is said to exceed Euro-5 regulations, meaning its future within the Triumph range should be secured for some years to come. While not officially talking about it, we’d assume that these two bikes could become the basis for other new models in years to come.

The frame of each bike, although similar is not identical, and the Scrambler gains a slightly different headstock and it has a slightly longer overall wheelbase. The suspension on the Speed 400 is 41mm big-piston USDs and a mono-shock at the rear with a remote reservoir. The set-up is aimed at providing a comfortable yet ‘engaging and intuitive ride’ and the only adjustability on both bikes is manual pre-load adjustment at the rear.

The front wheel, suspension, and brake on a motorcycle

The Scrambler 400 X on the other hand is naturally aimed at a slightly more rough-and-tumble type of riding, and while it could never be called an out-and-out off-roader, its 19” front wheel (the Speed 400 gains a 17” item), longer travel suspension and a longer wheelbase is designed to improve the overall handling of the bike on the dirt.

The dash of the new Triumph 400s

The Scrambler 400 also features a sturdier back brake lever and slightly chunkier, lower-set foot pegs that provide the rider with a more comfortable position when standing on the pegs.

On the technology front, the two bikes once again share the tech equally, boasting LED headlights, analogue/LED hybrid dash designs, traction control and ABS (two-channel) and a torque-assisted slipper clutch. They also both come with factory-installed immobilisers, peace of mind and no doubt helpful for when younger riders are looking for insurance!

The Scrambler gains an off-road specific riding mode too, which disables the ABS at both ends, while both machines feature traction control that can be disengaged totally.

What are they like to ride on the road?

While the UK was being battered by storms and high winds, the launch event for the two new bikes was a much more balmy and pleasant affair, and with just a light chill in the air, we set off through the morning traffic to our first photo stop. 

I’m on the Speed 400 to start with and with its more road-focused set-up and slightly lower seat, it’s an ideal little tool for threading through a busy city. It’s important to remember that these are the first publicly available single-cylinder bikes from Triumph since well before Mr Bloor took the helm at the Hinckley brand in the early 1990s, and while they haven’t totally gone in alone on this project - Indian giants Bajaj has had a considerable amount of input here - and its doesn’t take long to realise that both teams have done a very good job. 

At just under 40 bhp claimed from the 398cc engine, it’s not the most powerful of the pack (the KTM 390s make around 46 bhp) but the short gearing is making the best of the available power, and as long as you don’t mind stomping on the slick gearshift fairly frequently it’s a great little city bike. 

The Speed 400 boasts racier geometry than the Scrambler and with just 170kg to shift and sporty Metzeler SportTec M9RR hoops just getting up to temperature it feels much more lively than the power output on the spec sheet suggests.

After another hour of city riding we finally hit the outskirts and a short squirt to test out how well that short gearing handles cruising at motorway speeds. The ratios in each bike are identical, although the Speed gains a different final drive than its off-road counterpart. Overall though Triumph’s engineers are advising that the change to wheel size nullifies any noticeable difference between the two. 

At 70 to 75 mph there is obviously a bit of buzz from the engine (what single doesn’t get a bit fizzy at these speeds?) but the frame, pegs, bars and seat all seem to be fairly well isolated from the worst of it. There is also just enough in reserve to allow fairly swift overtakes without the need for kicking down a gear on the six-speed slip/assisted gearbox.

It is only a short squirt up the motorway before we reach the decent roads, off in the hills high above the city, and a perfect playground for a Triumph retro roadster. The temperature is now well up into the mid-20 degrees, and with the Metzelers now singing nicely, the Speed is feeling very much like the Speed Twin it is inspired by. The handling is very much like its bigger sibling, in that it turns in sharply, and it’s flustered by mid-corner bumps or stomps on the rear brake when a hairpin disappears out of view. You never experience really premium adjustable suspension in this sector, cash is king after all and keeping the price down is key to building a winner, but the kit Triumph has selected and the way it has been tuned gives the little roadster a proper big-bike feel on the road.

The front brakes are also performing well, with the four-pot ByBre stopper and 300mm disc providing me with all the braking power I’ll need. The non-adjustable lever has a reassuringly solid feel, and the two-channel ABS needs to be provoked to get it to chime in. The rear has a more progressive and easy-going feel, although a dab at an apex will get the bike turning in a little more sharply and pointing in the right direction.

At the halfway point of the morning ride, it is time to sample the more rugged Scrambler 400 X. It’s a physically bigger bike, with 10mm longer suspension (that is also tuned for a softer more compliant ride) and a taller 835mm seat - the Speed features a 790mm perch. 

The brakes on the Scrambler also differ, and it features a larger 320mm disc and pads that utilise a much harder compound than found on the Speed 400. It transforms the braking performance of the bike, and you have a much more progressive lever feel and need to work the lever much harder. There is still a decent level of power to be found, but you will be giving the lever a four-fingered squeeze from time to time. 

The overall handling of the Scrambler is what I was expecting, it’s slightly slower to turn in (thanks to the 19 inch front wheel, and longer suspension and wheelbase) but it’s having no trouble keeping up with its sibling on the road. Triumph promised us the overall gearing was equal once the wheel changes were taken into account, but the Speed has an air of urgency to its acceleration that is muted slightly on the Scrambler. I’m sure a stopwatch would show nought to sixty times that are pretty much identical, but it just feels a little bit more eager when you crank open the sweetly set-up ride-by-wire throttle.

Fitted as standard to the Scrambler are Metzeler Karoo Street hoops, and once they are up to temp they are fine although a couple of slides into and out of turns could be felt earlier in the day when the air and the asphalt were cooler.

What is the Scrambler 400 X like to ride off-road?

After lunch I had the chance to sample the Scrambler on a fairly short but quite tricky gravel trail. We had a few runs to get some pics and video, but then we were released further down the trail and away from the cameras to get a more in-depth look at how it rides.

It’s not the most sure-footed A2 bike I’ve ridden off-road, and while the surface is as loose it it comes, I have a feeling that something like a 390 Adventure would show it a clean pair of heels in a situation like this. We are riding on 70/30 road/off-road tyres though, and despite a slightly nervous feel to the bike, it seems to hop from one piece of the trail to the next. It is though taking it all in its stride, and with the ABS and TC switched off you can slide the back end into and out of the turns with ease. 

Standing on the pegs the bike feels quite roomy for my five foot seven-inch frame, and really the only adjustment I’d make if I was testing it for a longer period would be to rotate the bars forward slightly for a more focused off-road stance.

Overall though, it can handle a trail, and should you be a relative novice to trail riding, you’d be able to get straight on one and start enjoying some light off-roading without too much bother.

Should you buy one of the new Triumph 400s?

For me, the two new Triumph 400s differentiate themselves from the rest of the A2-ready pack by offering a level of premium detailing that you don’t really get with bikes like the KTM 390s, or the BMW G310 models. The Triumphs both look, feel, ride and even sound like a proper Triumph and like every other bike in the range a lot of work has been done to hide all the wiring, plumbing and even the catalyst away from view. It’s a small touch, but takes a lot of work, and when you stand back to admire both the models it’s a big improvement to have all that ugly stuff stashed away and out of view.

They both also offer fairly incredible value for money, and with a brand new Triumph now costing less than £5k you can’t really argue about getting on the ownership ladder. Triumph have managed to make two very cost-effective bikes here, and while that could be translated to meaning cheap or budget, neither of them feels like that in any way shape or form.

More information can be found on the official website

Scrambler 500 X and Speed 400 spec


Speed 400

Scrambler 400 X



Liquid-cooled, 4 valve, DOHC, single-cylinder


398.15 cc


89.0 mm


64.0 mm



Maximum Power

40 PS / 39.5 bhp (29.4 kW) @ 8,000 rpm

Maximum Torque

37.5 Nm @ 6,500 rpm

Fuel System

Bosch electronic fuel injection with electronic throttle control


Stainless twin-skin header system with stainless steel silencer

Final Drive

X-ring chain


Wet, multi-plate, slip & assist





Speed 400

Scrambler 400 X



Hybrid spine/perimeter, tubular steel, bolt-on rear subframe


Twin-sided, cast aluminium alloy

Front Wheel

Cast aluminium alloy 10 spoke, 17 x 3 in

Cast aluminium alloy 10 spoke, 19 x 2.5 in

Rear Wheel

Cast aluminium alloy 10 spoke, 17 x 4 in

Cast aluminium alloy 10 spoke, 17 x 3.5 in


Metzeler Sportec M9RR

Metzeler Karoo Street

Front Tyre Size

110/70 R17

100/90 R19

Rear Tyre Size

150/60 R17 

140/80 R17

Front Suspension

43mm upside down Big Piston forks.
140mm wheel travel

43mm upside down Big Piston forks.
150mm wheel travel

Rear Suspension

Gas monoshock RSU with external reservoir and pre-load adjustment.
130mm wheel travel

Gas monoshock RSU with external reservoir and pre-load adjustment.
150mm wheel travel

Front Brakes

300mm fixed disc,
four-piston radial caliper, ABS

320mm fixed disc,
four-piston radial caliper, ABS

Rear Brakes

230mm fixed disc, floating caliper, ABS

230mm fixed disc, floating caliper, ABS


Analogue speedometer with integrated multi-function LCD screen



Speed 400

Scrambler 400 X



2056 mm

2117 mm

Width (Handlebars)

795 mm

825 mm

Height (Without Mirrors)

1075 mm

1190 mm

Seat Height 

790 mm

835 mm


1377 mm

1418 mm





102 mm

108 mm

Wet Weight*



Fuel Tank Capacity

13 litres

*(90% fuel – mass in running order)

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