In the most significant manufacturing entry into the sport in decades, Triumph Motorcycles will enter at the beginning of the 2024 SuperMotocross series that includes the Monster Energy Supercross World Championship and the Pro Motocross Championship, as well as a new three-round SuperMotocross playoff system.
The British legacy motorcycle company that is 120 years old announced the U.S. team supporting the effort on Tuesday. Triumph will race in just the 250cc class in 2024 with plans to move into the 450cc class the following year. Both will be four-stroke designs. According to team execs, riders and the actual motorcycle unveiling will occur later in 2023 as the 2024 season approaches.
Triumph has tapped seven-time AMA 450cc motocross national championship and, five-time AMA Supercross Championship 450cc class champion Ricky Carmichael as the company’s Global Off-Road Ambassador to help achieve the vision they are seeking. In speaking with Carmichael, he said that he first rode the initial motocross design in 2020.
Showing the seriousness of the effort, the new Triumph Racing Factory Team sees AMA Hall of Fame inductee Dave Arnold joins the team as Lead Chassis Engineer and Dudley Cramond as Lead Powertrain Engineer. Bobby Hewitt will be team principal with Stephen ‘Scuba’ Westfall team manager for the U.S. racing effort.
Triumph Racing will also see a team in Europe in partnership with Thierry Chizat-Suzzoni. Both teams will share information to collaboratively develop.
While Triumph is holding the actual design close to the vest, Jeremy Appleton, Triumph’s Global Racing Manager said that when released, it will fit in with what one would expect of a modern motocross bike, yet still retain the company’s DNA.
“First and foremost, Nick Bloor the CEO of Triumph and the entire board of directors are extremely committed to the fact that we will not put a Triumph Motorcycles either onto the start gate or in the market that isn’t properly finished, and we believe, competitive,” Appleton said.
The addition of Carmichael to the Triumph off-road development adds an incredible level of gravitas to Triumph’s entry into the field. But he said that given his history as a competitor, he wasn’t going to join any company effort to just join. For him, it was about vision and commitment.
“Triumph has been incredibly receptive to any outside influence in the people involved outside of headquarters,” Carmichael said. ”They’re just all open ears, open eyes and willing to listen, willing to learn.” He added that the company has the end goal in mind to have the best possible motorcycle off-road motorcycle in the market. “That’s what allows them to set themselves apart from every other manufacturer is that they are willing to listen and not close-minded.”
For the two U.S. racing series that now comprise SuperMotocross, adding Triumph to the grid is a welcome sign that the industry continues to grow.
“We are excited to have a manufacturer with the rich history and racing heritage Triumph have, invest in the SuperMotocross World Championship. Triumph has proven they can enter a new racing category with incredible success,” said Dave Prater, the Vice President of Supercross, Feld Motor Sports.
“The announcement by Triumph Motorcycles, to return to the American motocross racing and sporting environment, marks one of the most exciting additions to these programs in the modern competition era. Triumph enjoys a prestigious position in the history of the sport of professional and amateur motorcycle competitions in the US, and this new announcement brings with it the deserved anticipation and high expectations of an excited American motorcycle racing community,” said Tim Cotter, the Sr Director of MX Sports and MX Sports Pro Racing that hosts the outdoor Lucus Oil Pro Motocross series.
Triumph’s entry into the off-road market sent shockwaves through the industry. Long focused on street bikes, the British company has tapped into a retro vibe in recent years that has brought in a younger demo. Still, Triumph is preparing to release a consumer motocross and enduro product that will reach even further into the younger demographic growing the manufacturer’s footprint. The company reports that through its global dealer network of 701 dealers, in 2021 Triumph sold a record number of 81,541 motorcycles, representing a year-over-year growth of 29%.