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2012 Triumph Steve McQueen SE Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

Triumph is set to launch another classic, this one based on the Bonneville T100 and named after a Hollywood icon and avid motorcycle enthusiast. Production of the all-new Steve McQueen SE will be limited to 1,100 units, making it one of the most coveted bikes of 2012.

McQueen loved riding, driving and flying just as much as he loved acting. He owned several Triumph models including a modified 1963 Bonneville, which he rode across the sand dunes of California during his spare time. In 1964, McQueen represented the United States at the International Six Days Trial in East Germany, racing a factory-tuned 650cc Triumph Trophy. At the time of his death in 1980, his impressive collection reportedly totalled 138 vintage motorcycles.

2012 Triumph Steve McQueen SE front 3/4 view
2012 Triumph Steve McQueen SE (Photo: Triumph)

Officially licensed
The 2012 Triumph Steve McQueen SE features a serialized plaque, solo rider's seat, Scrambler-derived headlight, Matte Khaki Green paint as well as blacked-out rims, handlebars, front forks and rear springs. The actor's signature appears on the side covers, and owners will receive a certificate of authenticity with their machine.

Past meets present
The most famous Triumph ever uses an exclusive air-cooled 865cc parallel twin-cylinder. The electronic fuel injection system is niftily housed in fake carburetors to preserve the original look. The 5-speed transmission has been specially calibrated to handle the generous torque of the engine. And with 68 horsepower on tap, performance certainly meets today's standards.

The frame, brakes and suspension have all been upgraded and modernized as well. As a result, Triumph says that the new 2012 Steve McQueen SE lives up to the industry's average. It's a smart, stylish fusion of past and present. Incidentally, don't bother looking for the kick starter...