Triumph's new Trophy SE is aimed at dedicated touring enthusiasts. Moto123.com had the opportunity to test ride this feature-laden model during the Daytona Bike Week in Florida
The 2013 Triumph Trophy SE is the product of five long years of research and development. Taking many design cues from the competition, it looks eerily similar to its biggest rival, the BMW R1200RT
-- especially the upper fairing, windscreen, and mirrors.
Anyhow, the comprehensively equipped Trophy SE knows how to please: saddlebags, rear top case, three 12V sockets, power-adjustable windscreen, storage compartment, height-adjustable headlights, centre stand, cruise control, electronically controlled suspension, tire pressure monitor, traction control, combined ABS, and premium audio including Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
Comfortable and ergonomic
Throwing a leg high in the air, the rider straddles the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE and grabs the nicely designed handlebars, which are close enough to allow a near upright riding position. The seat provides excellent support, while the properly placed footrests make long rides that much more comfortable. Additionally, the adjustable levers, seat, and windscreen accommodate riders of almost all body sizes.
The luxury car-like instrument panel of the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE is easy to use through a button near the left handlebar. The controls for the windscreen, hazard lights, and audio system are not quite as ergonomic, however, since you have to let go of the handlebars to use them. On the plus side, cruise control buttons are perfectly placed.
The WP suspension offers rebound damping adjustment on the fly, and preload adjustment at idle only. We can't figure out why it doesn't include a rider-passenger-luggage mode; it's either rider only, rider-luggage, or rider-passenger.
Rock solid and pleasant, but...
|The luxury car-like instrument panel of the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE is easy to use through a button near the left handlebar. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Smooth and well balanced, the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE proves intuitive and effortless to handle despite its 301 kg. The chassis is rock solid, delivering impeccable handling even on a windy day. The suspension is just firm enough (even in Comfort mode) to match the segment's best (in terms of riding precision), and fun on small, winding country roads.
While you can cruise confidently at a pretty good speed, you should always remain mindful of the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE's high centre of gravity, which limits manoeuvrability in tighter corners.
|Smooth and well balanced, the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE proves intuitive and effortless to handle despite its 301 kg. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Derived from the big Tiger Explorer, the triple-cylinder engine that powers the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE benefits from a longer sixth gear for improved fuel economy. You can zoom on the highway while burning less than 6.0L/100km, giving you a range of 400 km before hitting the reserve.
The ride-by-wire throttle, 6-speed transmission, and Cardan shaft final drive all work like a charm. With 132 horsepower and a healthy dose of torque on tap, riding the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE on major streets and boulevards becomes child's play. You don't even need to downshift to get the desired momentum for passing slower vehicles. There's a fun explosion of power from 6,500 rpm, too, making the British triple feel a lot more playful than the twin-cylinder boxer engine of the BMW R1200RT. And boy, what a sound!
Any day, all day
|Derived from the big Tiger Explorer, the triple-cylinder engine that powers the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE benefits from a longer sixth gear for improved fuel economy. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Enjoying nearly full protection against the elements, an average-sized rider will never suffer on the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE. Even your feet are protected by small deflectors on each side of the main fairing on this ride. Traction control adds another layer of comfort and safety, which allowed us to test and validate the excellent factory tires.
Despite featuring a combined braking system (the front brake lever also actuates the rear brake), stopping the burly Trophy in emergency situations requires above-average effort, all the more so with a passenger and some luggage on board. Fortunately, precise and highly effective ABS comes to the rescue.
At the end of the day, the 2013 Triumph Trophy SE may not be as lightweight and agile as the R1200RT, but the impressive list of standard features (including the best factory audio system ever installed on a motorcycle), superb comfort, as well as strong performance by the sweet-sounding triple earn this tourer a whole lot of points. Consider it a very successful return to an increasingly popular market segment in Canada.
|Even your feet are protected by small deflectors on each side of the main fairing on this ride. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Impressive list of features
Flawless powerplant and drivetrain
Styling lacks originality
High centre of gravity
Worth a read...