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Offline Berber

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Test ride
« on: January 15, 2013, 02:27:59 PM »
I took a test ride last week and posted the below on another bike Forum. Thought you would like to read my thoughts. I am taking it out again two up later in the week.

thought I would write up my ride on the new Triumph Trophy. Sarah and I have always had great rides out on the CB1300 and had slowly acquired a extras such as a Givi top box  and soft panniers. This allowed us to travel away with enough clothing for a few days. That said, a bike that was specifically built for touring seemed to make more sense. The only thing was that the touring bikes I had tried were like sewing machines with no character and charm or ummmph! Additionally, they suffered from the wobbles when all the luggage was on (wind turbulence) and the electronic screens made my head wobble like a nodding dog when fully raised.

So when the new Triumph Trophy came out it made sense to at least take one out for a demo ride. The specs looked good as was the reviews. I booked a day’s ride from Webbs in Peterborough and took it out yesterday.
The first issue was the fact that I am a short arse and the normal seat is for 6 footers. Fortunately, Triumph makes a short arse seat and Webbs fitted it. This one was heated too!
After a 45 minute chat and briefing on the various aspects of the bike I mounted up and set off. I was intending to travel to Nottingham, grab lunch with Sarah and let her have a sit on the back then shoot off to Lincoln to pop in and see my old Mum and back to Peterborough. I was going to use a mix off back roads and the A1.

The first thing to say about the bike was that considering it is a large, heavy beast (600 lbs). It has an  agility though that belies its weight. As I approached the first roundabout, I prepared to throw it round with some hefty counter steering. I need not have bothered. It leaned effortlessly round the roundabout as if it was a 125! This bike is AGILE….. I could throw it around any bend with no effort. It simply begs to go lower and gave me such confidence that even after a few miles I was whipping through bends with gusto totally trusting the bike and it’s tyres.

I headed from Peterborough to Bourne then took the back roads to the A1. Along this road I started messing with the screen. My last experience with an electric screen was the one on a demo Kawa GTR and this had caused my head to knock from side to side violently when the screen was at full height. The Triumph’s screen however is much higher and when fully up both eliminated all the noise and even allowed me to open my visor! Amazing. This is how screens should be built.

The agility of the bike allowed me to make good progress along the back roads and I left the screen up as it made the ride so comfortable. I tried the screen fully down and got battered to death. No problem in Summer when you want to keep cool but a bit nippy on a January morning. I waited for the wobbles to start from the wind whipping around the panniers and top box. It didn’t happen. Triumph have allowed movement in the panniers to negate this and they did a great job in doing so.

Right lets talk about the acceleration. It is fast, smooth and progressive. In my minds eye it is still a little ‘sewing machineish’ (I suspect this is the shaft drive) compared to the Honda but….. it is a touring bike and that is what I had to remember. It has been designed from the ground up to cover long distances in comfort and smoothness and subsequently there has to be some compromise along the way. As I opened up the throttle the exhaust rasped and whilst it felt slower than the Honda the reality was it was just as quick (deceptively so) which showed the quality of the build of the bike. The difference for me was the 6th gear which is in effect an overdrive. The Honda has 5 gears and required very little gear changing. With the Triumph, you have to drop a gear to get the same response as I discovered on my first overtake (gulp). During this time, I noticed that the under bar rear view mirrors, whilst looking ascetically pleasing, did not give me the amount of rear view that the normal mirrors on the Honda did. I found myself looking at the undersides of my wrists and top of the panniers. The space between still allowed me to view the traffic behind but those restrictions meant I had a smaller viewing area. 

When I hit the A1 I thought I would try out the heated grips and seat. The grips were on the lowest heat setting and suited me just fine. The fairing covered my hands anyway, but that extra warmth just added a little more comfort to it. The next thing to try was the heated seat. Now the last thing in the world that I would ever have thought would be useful was heated seats. How wrong was I! If you have never tried one then you do not know what you are missing. The switches are set at the side by the riders and pillions bum. I had it on the lowest setting and in minutes was toasty warm. It makes so much difference on a cool day. Words cannot describe the comfort you get with this electronic heaven activated. I also realised that the regular wee stops caused by the cold failed to materialise. A must have for a tourer in my (and my bums) humble opinion.

At last I reached Nottingham. Multi-lanes and manic traffic were no problem as the Triumph whipped between cars and lanes with ease. Having the screen at full height allowed me to have to visor up and listen to my environment. A big advantage in city streets. It is best described as whipping through town on a scooter but without those stupid tiny wheels.  I arrived at Sarah’s workplace and she came out to sit on it and see for herself what it was like. She loved the fact that the rear pegs had rubber as it allowed her greater grip when getting on. She also tells me that the seat is more comfortable than the Honda’s, something I never thought I would hear her say about another bike.

So a quick lunch and off to Lincoln. For those of you who don’t know, the A46 is now dual carriageway from Leicester to Lincoln and has to be the fastest, smoothest road in the UK. Nottingham to Lincoln was a dream ride. Progressive and fast. Newark ring road is wide and I took advantage of the bike’s agility to filter and whip round it a lot quicker than normal. This brings me nicely onto the brakes. They are linked and smooth. The Kawasaki’s caused Sarah to slide into the back of me when applied. Not so the Triumph’s. They will though, stop you on a sixpence (2 and a half pence in old money) without you locking your arms and having to brace.

The last part of the journey was from Lincoln back to Peterborough. Now at this point it was 3.10 and I thought that Webbs shut at 4.30 (silly me) so I tanked it back up the A1. Again I had the screen up and the visor open. No wobbles, wind noise and steady as a rock.
So, would I buy one? Yes. Without a doubt. A great bike for touring and sporty enough to have fun on along the twisties. 

'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison

Offline Simons Trophy

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Re: Test ride
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 09:30:30 AM »
Hi Berber thanks for your review.
Its just what I wanted to read as I'm selling my Thunderbird for a Trophy. I haven't ridden a Trophy yet but all reports are similar to yours so looking forward to jumping on 1 when they get here to Aus.
My wife is often on the back so 2 up comments are good.

Simon
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Offline Berber

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Re: Test ride
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 10:52:42 AM »
Hi Simon

Well frost allowing (it is the UK remember) I shall be taking the bike out tomorrow and will let you guys know Sarah's thoughts.

Robin
'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison

Offline Berber

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Re: Test ride
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 05:09:41 PM »
Well last Thursday I rode the demo model to Nottingham and took my gf for a run for about 30 mins. She loved the bike, felt really comfortable and loved the rear heated seat.
'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison

Offline Simons Trophy

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Re: Test ride
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 12:24:58 AM »
Its all sounding pretty good Robin. Cant wait to get on one.
Do you think the mirrors are an issue?

Simon
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Offline Berber

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Re: Test ride
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 01:19:13 PM »
Re the mirrors: I really do not like them. The viewing area is limited although they give a wider view allowing better blind spot elimination in my view. I have now done about 250 miles on the demo bike and can say that I am getting used to them although I am using my head more to look around before changing lanes etc (in addition to the lifesaver). It is worth taking a Trophy out for a ride and seeing for yourself first.

Robin
'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison

Offline Chaos

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Re: Test ride
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 05:33:15 PM »
Berber
I've ordered my Trophy SE 2 days after the launch date. My delivery date is early Feb so will register March 1st. I couldn't agree more about the mirrors? would have been more use if they had fitted ash trays :745:.
I told the Triumph guys at the bike show but this seamed to drop on deaf ears. I looked around the rest of the Triumph range and like the look of the bar mirrors on the Explorer. These have turned up and I tried them on the dealer bike? What a difference this made :046: :046:the mirrors are easy to fit as the switch gear are already threaded and even with the screen fully down they do not interfere with the side to side lock. Not a very cheap fix as the mirrors were £100+ but it works and is a better option than not having good rear view.
No doubt there will be other small niggles to iron out but all in all the best sport tourer out there for the money. :062:
Ride long & prosper.
Live to ride. Ride int rain.

Offline Berber

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Re: Test ride
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 11:49:09 AM »
Do you have a photo to show us Chaos?

Robin
'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison