2013 Triumph Trophy: trad touring

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Featuring a ride-by-wire throttle, traction control, cruise control, electronically-adjustable suspension, electrically adjustable screen, a Bluetooth-equipped stereo, ABS and a tire pressure monitoring system, Triumph says its new Trophy is its most advanced bike yet. Using the same 1,215cc, 132bhp triple as the Tiger Explorer, the 2013 Triumph Trophy promises to be a seriously able tourer, even if it does look nearly identical to the BMW R1200RT.

That incredibly conservative styling is indicative of common practice in the touring market. Going on sale in January, 2013, the Trophy will go head-to-head with that BMW, the Yamaha FJR1300, Honda ST1300 and Kawasaki Councours 14. For some reason we call those bikes “sport tourers” here in the home of long, straight highways; the rest of the world just calls them what they are: touring bikes.

Weighing 662lbs (wet), the Trophy is nearly 100lbs heavier than that BMW, 20lbs heavier than the FJR, but 20lbs lighter than the Kawasaki and 70lbs lighter than the Honda.

With 132bhp and 89lb/ft of torque, it makes equivalent torque to the BMW and Honda, but is ahead on power. It’ll be slower than either the FJR or the Concours. Especially the Concours, which uses a version of the ZX-14’s inline-four, retuned to 153bhp.

The Trophy comes in either blue or silver.

So how’s yet another shaft-drive tourer going to compete in that market? If recent hits from the British brand like the Triumph Tiger 800 and Tiger Explorer are anything to go buy, it’ll do so with subtle capability, feature content and price. The Tiger 800, for instance, looks eerily similar to the BMW F800GS, but starts at $1,300 cheaper and is a substantially better motorcycle once you get away from the spec sheets and into the real world.

Only the feature-heavy SE version of the Trophy will go on-sale in America. It includes all those features listed above, as well as standard panniers. A price has not yet been released.

So where’s that subtle ability going to come from? That motor should be smooth, fast and, thanks to ride-by-wire can come with both TC and cruise control, features none of the bikes listed above yet have. Adjusting automatically to rider input, it should also aid fuel economy on long journeys, combining with the generous 6.9-gallon tank to offer solid tank range.

Instruments are clean and simple, with analog dials bookending an LCD display for ancillary functions. All the fancy stuff is controlled by switches on the left bar.

Practical features like the adjustable screen should be extremely useful too, it moves through a generous 6.5 inches of travel and memorizes your last setting so it’ll return there after switching the bike off and on. The rider’s seat height adjusts too, between 30.3 and 31.1 inches. That’s relatively low.

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Suspension is by WP and will be electronically adjustable, on the fly, for rebound damping in the forks and preload and rebound damping in the shock.

Service intervals are a handy 10,000 miles apart. 20,000 for major services.

It’s a conservative play in a conservative market, but one that should be worthy nonetheless.

  • ~RUSH~

    Can’t wait to see it in the flesh.

  • zerospry

    >Going on sale in January, 2013, the Trophy will go head-to-head with that BMW, the Yamaha FJR1300, Honda ST1300 and Kawasaki Councours 14.

    I was under the impression that the Triumph Sprint GT was competing against the FJR and the Concours.

    • Glenngineer

      It doesn’t, not directly. Smaller engine, lighter weight, shorter length, fewer amenities/features and a dramatically different riding position.

      It’s closest rival is probably the VFR.

  • Triman023

    Sprint ST is way better looking and not so heavy. I guess it needs to look like a Goldwing to sell.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Different categories of bikes. The Sprint is a sports tourer like a VFR800 or BMW K1300S. This Trophy is a touring bike like an FJR or R1200RT.

  • Triman023

    Hope they don’t drop the Sprint. Us stumpy legged, weak kneed guys need sport turing Triumphs.

    • Kevin

      Dude, this bike has a seriously lower seat height compared to the Sprint. Check the specs… Looks like a two position seat that goes as low as 30.3 inches. NIIIIICE, says my 29 inch inseam legs.

  • BMW11GS

    Give me a RT and 100 pounds less any day! Why can’t manufactures cut the fat?

  • HammSammich

    I am an unabashed Triumph fan, but this thing is kind of a pig. Maybe it’s just me, but the faring looks gargantuan, especially in the first pic. I suppose Touring bikes have always been about comfort and function over form though, at least going back to the 1970′s when many otherwise attractive UJM’s were forced to bear the aesthetic burden of Windjammer Fairings…

    • Ax

      Take another look at that 3rd photo. Imagine it’s cold, raining, and all you can think about is how much you want to get home. Does that fairing still look too big? ;)

      • HammSammich

        Yeah, yeah, yeah…I get the reason for it and I’m sure it’s mind numbingly comfortable even in the harshest conditions, but a sport touring bike’s fairing would work just as well, without making me feel like I was sitting behind the dashboard of a Volkswagen.

        I grew up struggling to stay awake in the boringly luxurious pillion seat of my dad’s Goldwing Aspencade while miles of monotonous I-90 scenery went by. My interest in touring bikes has been pretty tepid ever since.

        • BMW11GS

          I have had that same experience on an aspencade! Deep zen meditation occurred while droning across the freeways of southern california.

        • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

          I fell comfortably asleep on the back on my dad’s Bargewing, too.

  • http://www.amarokconsultants.com michael uhlarik

    A very professionally executed design with great details, but uninspiring. I suspect it was seriously committee driven, causing designers a lot of long nights of heartache.

    Committee to design team:

    “We basically want a BMW RT. But still unmistakably a Triumph. You know what I mean?”

    “My wife likes dark blue.”

    “We don’t need anything radical. But make sure it pops out!”

    “I don’t know what exactly I want, but I’ll know it when I see it.”

    Design team at bar, later:

    “Maybe we could tweak the headlamps… um, a little…”

    “I’m thinking of applying to the merchant marine…”

    • http://www.twowheelsplus.com/ Anders

      +1

  • filly-fuzz

    I hate it.

    well not the bike, i think it will be an excellent bike, but I hate what it stands for.

    Triumph won our hearts and wallets by breaking the mold, taking risks and offering the bike that didn’t exist.

    They brought innovations such as these to the modern moto market

    -The triple engine
    -Premium naked bikes
    -Not using racing derived engine maps
    -Stupid colours that look great

    Where’s all the risk gone Triumph?

    What, now that you have won some market share you are just gonna sit back and join the others? even copy them?

    This bike is so forgettable that in the time it took me to write this i have already forgotten what it even looks like.

    More innovation less emulation please.

    • Ankur V

      “This bike is so forgettable that in the time it took me to write this i have already forgotten what it even looks like.”

      +1

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      Take it as the cow whose milk will pay for the R&D required for the next generation of exciting bikes.
      Its existence doesn’t hurt the other bikes, just ignore it.

      • filly-fuzz

        Yeah, i know where it fits in the world.

        This price group and demographic is very conservative so i totally get the bike.

        But you know its just bland. Like dry white toast, pasta without sauce, just a very heavy nothing.I’d rather HATE something then just forget it, ya know?

        • Ax

          I don’t need my BIKE to be exciting — that’s what the actual RIDING supplies. I prefer competent, comfortable, dependable, “boring” bikes that I can just hop on and ride every day in any weather. There are plenty of other flashy, narrow-focus “toys”.

          • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

            I have to agree with you on that, the tool doesn’t really matter, in fact i just rode a thousand miles this weekend with some friends on my 82 CB900 bol d’or and keeping up with some pretty fast bikes (speed triple, SF848, ZX-6R, and even a Panigale, to name a few) required a LOT of work but was seriously fun (and scary at times, i almost dragged the crash bars and the tires are 4″ front and back).

          • filly-fuzz

            No that’s not what i mean

            IT DOES NOT HAVE AN IDENTITY

            it is gelatin- neutral

            and have ridden my ‘toy’ every day, off-road, track, and across my country

            • BMW11GS

              I think you have yet to ride it…bud

  • jonoabq

    meh, at that weight how do you pick the damn thing up if you drop it in the parking lot?

  • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

    “That motor should be smooth, fast and, thanks to ride-by-wire can come with both TC and cruise control, features none of the bikes listed above yet have.”

    The C14 does have Kawasaki’s KRTC traction control system.

    • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

      …and so does the R1200RT, actually.

      • Sean Smith

        …and none of those systems actually do anything except cut fuel if you somehow manage to get sideways or wheelie. The ST had traction control just like this back in 1992. It didn’t work then either.

        • Glenngineer

          My Mazda 6 works the same way. Obnoxious, and borderline dangerous at times. Good thing it’s easily shut off.

          I thought KRTC was better than that, though, actually modulating power as opposed to slamming the throttles shut.

  • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    Zzzzzzz…..are you sure this isn’t a new Honda?

  • Trev

    Not my cup of tea, but I hope it does them well.

  • Nick

    Just depressing that a whole bunch of effort ends up as just a BMW clone. Where’s the Speed Triple or 675 Triumph-ness? This streak of Tiger=GS and now Trophy=RT…is the strategy just to churn out capable but slightly cheaper bikes? Let BMW lead and then clone what works? That’s such a shame.

    • jonoabq

      That is the feeling I get as well. Aside from the size and feature rich platform itself it seems to be offing much more in terms of competitive similarity and less in terms of the Triumph sense of design independence. The Sprint went the same direction as well as the last update saw it gain length, with the weight actually exceeding that of the 955i Tigers (which are somewhat portly) turning a decent platform for building a sport/tourer into something less sporty.
      I have considerably more love for the Motus approach to sport/touring or touring motorcycles…a big stonkin motor, world class suspension and brakes, and a alternator big enough to run radar/heated vest/heated grips.

    • Gene

      Well, I’d like a BMW, but without the asshole company attitude, the poor treatment of customers, the disavowal of any mechanical issues, the weird CANBUS electrics, strange-looking asymmetrical designs, and the shaft-drive failures.

      So I think this’ll fit the bill!

      • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

        Um, CAN bus isn’t weird. It’s the industry standard. And Triumph uses it too.

        • BMW11GS

          Haha thanks Eben for dispelling at least one of Gene’s stereotype.

    • Kevin

      Sometimes just having a model in your lineup that enables you to keep customers in your brand and in your dealerships is more important than having a truly innovative model. Besides, I’m not sure that this is a segment that is pushing for cutting-edge development anyway. The riders tend to be older and more conservative… it’s smart for Triumph to have stuck to features that they know the market values.

      You know who buys this bike? Somebody who would otherwise like to buy an RT but who loves Triumph. Or the BMW dealer is further away than the Triumph dealer. Or you have a great relationship with your Triumph dealer and want to stay with them when you move to a touring bike. Why is that not a perfectly legitimate reason to develop a bike like this? Or the Tigers for that matter?

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Yep, that’s exactly what they did here. They conquest through bikes like the Bonnies, Daytona and speed triple…

      • Aaron

        so true.

      • Nick

        For sure it’s perfectly legitimate…and I’m sure they’ll keep customers etc and it’s (somewhat) smart, at least in the short term. That doesn’t mean it’s not a shame. For a bike brand that I thought had aspirations of carving out some emotional space just as the other Europeans have, and where the love and hate stuff at least shows there’s some emotion going on…something like this is just a bit of a let down. Just feels as though if you had innovation that you could bring to that touring world, then you would…if you didn’t, then you’d stick to something like this. Might be fine commercially in the short term. But it feels lazy, and it’s bad for the brand in the long term.

        • Aaron

          Competition, in any segment can only be a good thing.

    • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

      Compare the Multistrada to this bike and tell me that this category is too conservative for innovation. I’m a big fan of Triumph (675s and 1050s), but I couldn’t agree with you (Nick) more.

  • Keith

    I think they are making a mistake entering a fairly limited market that already has great ST bikes to choose from.
    Nothing “outstanding ” here.

    • Kevin

      I think when the reviews come in this bike’s distinctives will be more obvious. Triple character you can take for granted. Lower initial cost, much lower cost of accessories. High spec standard. Huge fuel tank. Adjustable seat height, allowing a lower seat height without having to buy a “low seat option” that inevitably is much less comfortable than the standard seat. 20,000 mile major service intervals. Expansive windscreen, you can probably set up a nice quiet bubble behind that. If Triumph nails the ride, comfort and suspension along with all the above then no one should give a rat’s ass how derivative it seems of the RT.

      • BMW11GS

        I think this will be a great bike too for all intended purposes (and maybe some unintentional ones too) as the triumph tiger 1200 engine is regaled as a great triumph (pun intended) of internal combustion engineering.

  • James

    Looks, and sounds, closer to the K1600 GT/L than the RT.

  • Adrian_B

    Well. I like what I’ve read, and look forward to seeing it and maybe getting a ride in. Further judgmental scribblings will be on hold until then.

  • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

    I don’t get all the BMW rip-off accusations. The four cylinder Trophy 1200 was one of Triumph’s first models when they were reborn twenty years ago. This looks like this new one has as much of the same DNA from the Trophy that was discontinued in 2004 as the current Speed Triple does from the nineties models.

    Actually, I’d say BMW might have borrowed some from the original Trophy 1200 when they designed the first oilhead RT a couple years later.

    • Aaron

      Yeah I don’t think bmw invented fairings and panniers, but maybe they did.

      • Aaron

        late 70s RS100?

      • Ax

        I’m pretty sure the R90S had the first factory-installed handlebar fairing and the R100RS had the first frame-mount fairing.

        • Scott-jay

          R100RS = 500 lbs, Trophy = 660 lbs.

          • Aaron

            R100RS 70hp, Trophy 132hp.

            • Ax

              R100RS 1977-1984, Trophy 2012-

          • Scott-jay

            My despair goes to the general weight increase for modern bikes (racer-replicas & dirt bikes excepted).
            Think R100RS motor/transmission out-weighs same gear on a Trophy? I do.

  • Andres Freire

    I like it and you have to account for some of that weight for the ridiculous large tank size.

    • Devin

      Usualy the weight is given with fluids sans gas to not penalize the selling feature of a large gas tank.

  • Rick

    They say dogs often look like their owners, so will the same be true of this motorcycle?

    I was hoping for a better R12RT competitor with more (and smoother) power, a lightweight tourer with genuine sportiness. What I did not want was the substantial mass gain…hey, thanks anyway!

  • Mugello Fire

    I thought England is in Europe, but apparently it is in China…..

    Poor Triumph…. out of any ideas…., they became a BMW wannabe.

    • 80-watt Hamster

      BMW has nearly every market segment covered with generally well-regarded product. Hard not to look like a wannabe if one is to go for the same buyers, those being buyers with money.