11 Sept 2012

2013 Triumph Trophy

So, how many of you remember the old Triumph Trophy? It was a big old bus, but overall was a very good bike with distinctive looks.

There doesn’t seem to be many of them around now, which is a shame as the tourer bike market is becoming very popular with the public who wish to explore the world without having to buy a caravan!

Triumph are now aiming at BMW’s jugular with their new incarnation of the Trophy, which unsurprisingly divided opinion within the biking world when pictures were leaked to the press earlier this year – the Explorer had already raised hackles with BMW enthusiasts with its supposed GS replica; although it isn’t that similar once you’ve sat on one, it is actually very Triumph-like in feel, especially the seating position.

Triumph is aiming to launch the new bike later this month. This is also the time when we find out how much it will cost. Rumour is the pricing will be around £14,000 for the entry-level Trophy, aimed at BMW's K1600GT which is £15,495, and the R1200RT at £12,595.

The Trophy shares the same 1215cc three-cylinder engine as the Tiger Explorer, but the tourer will have a higher ratio sixth gear. Service intervals have been set at 10,000 for minor and 20,000 for major maintenance.

Here are the dimensions and spec of the new bike:

Length: 2,235mm
Width: 975mm
Height: 1,435mm
Seat height: 800-820mm (31.5 – 32.3in)
Wheelbase: 1,542mm
Rake/trail: 27 degrees, 119mm
Fuel tank: 26 litres
Weight: 301kgs
Pannier capacity: 31 litres each
Pannier max load: 10kgs

Max power: 132bhp @ 8,900RPM
Max torque: 120Nm/89ft/lbs

The bike also boasts features such as shaft final drive, ride by wire throttle, self cancelling indicators, electric screen with memory function, an audio system with USB port for attaching iPod etc; Bluetooth, non switchable ABS with linked braking system, traction and cruise control and an electronically adjustable headlamp.

My thoughts? It is a very handsome and imposing looking machine, but it just doesn’t look like a Triumph; it is very similar in style to the R1200RT but has the front end of a Honda!

The thing I loved about Triumphs is the way they stood out in a crowd; you could always spot a good old British Trumpet in the sea of parked Japanese motorcycles at a meet or show. Now they seem to blend in just a little too much, which is a shame; the wealth of designing talent out there could have made the new Trophy look much more individual which I think may have broadened its appeal to the public. I admit that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but have Triumph pushed this a little too far? Maybe. The proof will be in the sales figures come next autumn; I have no doubt that this will be a fantastic bike to ride, especially with that stonking 3 cylinder powerplant which should mean eating up the miles will be a fuss free event.

There is also the worry of warranty issues, which have plagued the company in recent years; especially going by the personal accounts of owners where I live!

However, the proof is in the pudding; I can’t wait to see one in the flesh and have a sit on one – I’m hoping the pillion seat is as comfortable and roomy as the one on my friend’s R1200RT….

©Angela Freeman