Author Topic: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review  (Read 495 times)

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Offline Jacquelyn

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Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« on: January 25, 2019, 01:32:31 pm »
In my halfhearted search for a next bike, I noticed a very clean low mileage Trophy SE that came with a trunk for wife. Was for sale at a local dealer, and was traded in a K1600 or RT.

I always liked the Trophy, and in the last year or two of their production, noticed a new one could be bought pretty cheap. Around $14K was what I was seeing. Compared to other bikes on the market, that's an attractive price range for a bike with all of the features it is.

Setting off, I really liked the triple engine. Very nice growl, and a nice broad torque band. The engine is smooth yet has a perceptible feel in the bars that I really hesitate to term as vibration, because it is not at all irritating. Power was ample, but not in the same category of some other ST bikes like the FJR / K1600 / C14.

Wind protection was really impressive, far superior than my C14 (madstadt and Puig). A very still pocket of protection, providing a relatively quiet and buffeting / turbulence free surrounding. Partially due to how the rider sits. The Trophy rider sits in the bike, as opposed to on the bike like a C14 / FJR. There is a good amount of fairing protection to about the mid torso before the windshield provides protection. Very similar to the RT or K16 in this regard.

Brakes and handling were very impressive. The Trophy was very easy to correct mid corner. Steering was very light and precise with impressive stability in the corner. Bumps were soaked up very nicely, and it is fair to say that it's a more compliant and comfortable bike than the C14 is over rough pavement. A virtue of ESA to some degree. Having a bike with ESA is a pretty compelling feature for me. I really appreciate the ability to easily adjust for road conditions, passenger, etc.

Seating position is completely neutral, but somehow a bit uncomfortable. My legs felt like they were too far forward, and felt cramped. Additionally, I felt a little uncomfortable in my lower back (surgically fused). I would have preferred more legroom, and just a couple degrees of forward lean to take the stress off my back. The only bike I have found that really works superbly for my needs in terms of ergos is the K16GT. That said, I assume there are some tweaks that can be made to the ergos.

Bells and whistles. It pretty much has them all, but they all feel a generation or two from the past compared to some other bikes. Ease of navigating to get to the features is a bit of a hassle though I am sure with time it gets more familiar. It's just not as easy to use as the wonder wheel on the BMW's for example.

Fit and finish left a little to be desired. It looks cheap in some areas if you are cross shopping other bikes like a wing or a BMW or even the FJR.

Conclusion: Still a worthy consideration, and an attractive value on the used market. Worthy of a test ride. Look for post 2013 models to avoid some of the teething issues of the earlier bikes.

Ultimately it's not an option for me, so the search goes on.                 

Offline Bud

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Re: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 02:01:17 pm »
Good ride review!  I enjoyed reading it.  I don't understand your comment about your legs being too far forward that led to feeling cramped.  I'd understand if they were too far back, but not the front.  Could you elaborate further on that?
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Offline Strawboss

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Re: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 02:28:28 pm »
Thanks, I'm stymied why Triumph is not marketing this bike at all in the U.S. In fact they weren't even at the International bike show a few years back right after the major redesign they did to it. Of course they sell jillions of the street twins and maybe a few Trophy's, the brand new dealer in Cleveland didn't even have one on the floor. I couldn't even get a test ride a few years back, they told me at the dealer when they did have one, "forget it". OK, I did. Too bad, its a nice bike.
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Offline Jacquelyn

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Re: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 07:56:58 pm »
Good ride review!  I enjoyed reading it.  I don't understand your comment about your legs being too far forward that led to feeling cramped.  I'd understand if they were too far back, but not the front.  Could you elaborate further on that?

Good point, I should have explained better. The feet being too far forward is really a separate observation. I like my feet underneath me a bit more. Leg room felt a bit cramped for my liking. I'm 5'11 with a 31 inch inseam.

Offline Jacquelyn

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Re: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 08:10:20 pm »
Thanks, I'm stymied why Triumph is not marketing this bike at all in the U.S. In fact they weren't even at the International bike show a few years back right after the major redesign they did to it. Of course they sell jillions of the street twins and maybe a few Trophy's, the brand new dealer in Cleveland didn't even have one on the floor. I couldn't even get a test ride a few years back, they told me at the dealer when they did have one, "forget it". OK, I did. Too bad, its a nice bike.

Triumph has stopped production and it is a shame. They targeted the RT and did a pretty nice job overall in the execution. Had it been a bit more polished in the areas of fit and finish as well as user friendliness, I think it might have stolen a good deal more recognition than it did. Still a very nice bike though, particularly at the price point dealers were letting them go at.

Externally, it checked all the boxes for me, but after riding it, I came away with mixed feelings, and in the end determined I would be better off looking in other directions.

Opinions vary, but it is worth a look in my opinion. Anyone looking to replace a C14 with something with more features / weather protection at a good price point might be convinced by a Trophy.     

Offline Strawboss

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Re: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 01:34:57 am »
Exactly, they never marketed it here and the dealers/salesmen were horrible, much like what HD did with the great Buell bikes. As for the fit and finish, if I recall they were not made in the UK which is the problem also with other bikes not made in their country of origin of late.
01 Concours  1982 KZ550A  1979 Triumph Bonneville  1995 Honda scooter  COG#5852  AMA Life 302525  NRA 9098599  SASS 28759

Offline Jacquelyn

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Re: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 12:17:46 pm »
Exactly, they never marketed it here and the dealers/salesmen were horrible, much like what HD did with the great Buell bikes. As for the fit and finish, if I recall they were not made in the UK which is the problem also with other bikes not made in their country of origin of late.

More of a cheapness in materials that I was referring to. 

Offline ZG

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Re: Triumph Trophy SE Ride & Review
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 03:18:27 pm »
These are cool bikes, have seen some amazing deals on them.   :great:
BAD A$$ isn't cheap, and cheap isn't BAD A$$...