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2013 Triumph Trophy 1200 SE

2013 Triumph Trophy SE Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

The new 2013 Triumph Trophy marks the British brand's return to the sport touring segment after a long hiatus. The SE model, the only available in Canada, featuring an electronically adjustable suspension.

Five years of intensive development have allowed the Trophy SE to confidently challenge the big boys including the Honda ST1300A, Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS, and BMW R1200RT. Styling is successfully executed and reflects the visual trademarks of full-size touring motorcycles, starting with a massive, bullet-train-like body -- there's even a hint of German flavour.

2013 Triumph Trophy 1200 SE

Geared for the lead
Similar to the 2011 Tiger 800XC, the features and specifications of the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE point to a machine that's geared to rival established competitors. Consider the power adjustable suspension and windscreen; ultra-generous and protective fairing; rider and passenger seats designed for maximum comfort; low-maintenance components; large-capacity fuel tank; and dynamic cargo system (which allows a small amount of independent movement to improve stability).

Tiger triple
The 2013 Triumph Trophy SE's 1,215cc inline triple-cylinder engine, transmission and shaft final drive are identical to the big Tiger Explorer's. The only difference is the sixth gear, which boasts a longer ratio to improve fuel economy on the highway. With an advertised 88 lb-ft of torque (more than 80% of which is accessible from 3,000 to 9,000 rpm), expect great flexibility, smooth acceleration, and reduced shifting.

Comfort-oriented chassis
The electronically adjustable suspension on the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE consists of a WP fork with rebound damping adjustment up front and a WP shock absorber with preload and rebound damping adjustment in the back (the switch is mounted on the left handlebar). Damping can be fine-tuned on the go, like when you're about to attack a rough (softer) or twisty (firmer) country road. However, if you plan to bring a friend along or carry some luggage, you should note that preload can only be adjusted when stationary.

Weighing 301 kg with a full 26L tank, the new 2013 Triumph Trophy SE could not afford to skimp on braking performance. In addition to ABS, it uses linked brakes that don't just monitor brake pressure, but also allow the rider to rely more on the rear brake in normal conditions to reduce undesirable weight transfers. The system also shows its worth during sudden or emergency stops -- within the limits of tire traction, of course.

2013 Triumph Trophy 1200 SE
Photo: Triumph

Luxurious appointments
The 2013 Triumph Trophy SE gets a fully configurable onboard computer that provides all the information riders actually care about such as fuel level and available range, average and real-time fuel consumption, distance travelled, engine and ambient temperatures, etc.

Heated seats and grips are optional here, yet standard on most direct competitors. On the plus side, even the most demanding music lovers will appreciate the premium audio system with two 20W speakers, automatic volume control, USB port, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

On paper, the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE looks armed to the teeth and ready to go to war against other grand touring motorcycles. We'll see if it manages to keep up with the competition and duplicate the success of the Tigers.