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Hi, I've had three of these big bikes. Two I still have. Plus I had a 900 before any of the 1200's. I have a blue 2002 model I bought from new which now has 80k on the clock. I also bought a grey 2003 model with 9k on the clock as I knew Triumph had discontinued the model and I wanted to ensure that the bikes outlasted me. That one is in storage and used for the annual holiday only.
The bike is tall so you really need to be approaching 6 feet to get on it. It's heavy to get onto the stand but I've had worse (T160). Twice I've lost it in the garage after a beer or two while getting it onto the centre stand - the freezer came to my rescue but now bears the scars of catching the falling bike for me. If you fall off it on the road forget trying to lift it alone.
The standard screen rushes the airflow right past your ears so earplugs are an absolute must above 50. The turbulence on your helmet can be extreme so wear a helmet a little on the big side and let it move around on your head. This cuts the helmet vibes a lot. Sidewinds? No problem.
Vibration through the pegs and bars is low. I sometimes get slightly tingly fingers after 100+ miles. Severe and painful bum tingles after hours of driving (standard seat).
The ride improves the faster you go, getting really smooth around the 80 mark. At 120 the airflow starts to lift your helmet off your head and faster still you start to lift out of the seat too.
The engine is very smooth at any speed.
The ride with a passenger and luggage on board is less comfortable. I suppose it is because the airflow over bike and bikers is disrupted. 60 can get very uncomfortable if the wind is in the wrong direction. Remove the top box, panniers and passenger and it gets much cleaner. With new tyres it's an absolute joy to drive and throw around. But it's tall, heavy, and no sports bike.
35-45 mpg. (45-55 on the 900). Oil change service every 6000. Oil consumption nil. Mobil synthetic oil is expensive. Tyres last to 12,000 miles
I suffer from a bad back, but never on the Trophy. In find the riding position very comfortable and I've done journeys up to 15 hours on it.
The bike has six gears and for most purposes you only use the sixth gear. It pulls smoothly all the way through the speed range with no noticeable flat spot or vib patch (which the 3 cylinder 900 suffers from).The dealer said it was really an automatic on two wheels and I have to agree with him. The torque is tremendous and the acceleration for overtaking is quite something. All that from a measly 110hp. I'd love to have tried the early 150hp Trophy!
Because it's heavy and so fast it's easy to drive straight up the rear of the vehicle in front. The brakes are adequate but not for the out and out risk taker. They need good servicing. There is no ABS and its chain drive. That means you get a lot of bike for your money. I've got an aftermarket chain full cover on mine which keeps it nice and clean and makes it last a long time.
It will quite happily keep up with any car under 5 litres though to be honest nowadays I just pop in behind and wait until the next traffic jam. it won't keep up with sports bikes away from the lights, but they soon tire!
It will also go through quite deep water. I once rescued a car driver from a swollen river.
I do my own servicing where I can to keep the cost down and to make sure it gets done correctly and without damage to the bike. An oil change is easy as is a brake pad change. The top front fairing comes off to allow access to the front light. Tank has to come off to gain access to the spark plugs and top-end. I'm about to change my first air filter which means the carbs have to come off, I'm told. I bought a valve shim replacement tool from America.
Problems in ten years of Trophy driving? Rear tyre punctures. Stone chipped headlight. My first 1200 was never quite right so I got rid of it after 30k miles and bought another. Only then did the dealer who had serviced it all along find the fault in the first bike! My first Trophy, a 900, broke down after 5 miles because the dealer had snagged the petrol pipes while putting the tank on the new bike. Electrical problems? One oil pressure switch failure and one headlamp bulb. Engine problems? None. Brakes? Worn out due to high mileage and salty roads. Bodywork: Some fairing rattles due to loose fasteners - easily rectified. Panniers rattle due to wear. One failed speedo cable.
The best British Bike that will ever be made. Certainly the best value bike ever made. To be loved or hated.
Update: 18/9/2010 Just eight years old and had its first replacement brake disk. Will probably change the chain and sprockets this winter. So I will have used two sets in 80k miles.
Big bike, silent, fast. Lousy brakes (wear out quickly) fork dive, rear end hops when pressed. Triumph really messed up with the seating position. Noone seems to want to say the bike is so uncomfortable that you don't WANT to ride it more than a couple of minutes, Anyone who says it fits them is an anatomical anomaly or a liar: The bars are too far forward, your ass is shoved to the back of the seat. Too much weight is put on the hands and you get nerve pinches in your upper back.
Triumph engineered the half bars to fit under the faring and forgot how people are made. Several companies offer "remedies": Genmar offer horrible little aluminum inserts that raise the bars, stretch the hoses and cables but do not solve the problem. Spiegler in Germany make a complete upper triple tree with new bars and fastenings complete with cables and hoses but it costs over 250 Euros. Engine wise it's nice - quiet and tractable. The cush drive is too slack for the power, and chains wear out incessantly. The bike won't handle with Metzelers period. If you're suicidal, buy a set. I finally got it to handle with Pirelli Diablos (I know, their owned by Metzeler, but the Italians know how to make rubber compounds) and seriously readjusting the suspension settings. WATCH THE REAR REBOUND DAMPENING! Now before anyone goes doo-lally on me: Mine is a 2003, bought with 13K on it. It now has 20K. I have a 1950 Vincent, a 1947 AJS, a 1937 Norton, a 1990 BMW and a 1949 Trophy TR5 Generator engine. I ride constantly. I'm one of those smug clowns who really lives on his bikes and this one ALMOST makes it if someone can figure out how to make it driveable. I'm 6'1", 185 pounds, 58 years old, in great shape and just pissed off at this bike. Anyone want to buy it? Got a new Corbin seat and is in super condition. If you've got back issues don't even bother.
I own the 2001 version of this bike. The 1200cc 4 cylinder motor sure does pack a punch. It can out perform most bikes on the road.
It is a great tourer and commuter especially if the full luggage set is installed. This consists of two panniers and the optional top box. I have the triumph panniers but the top box I have is made by shad. The triumph top box is an optional extra and expensive new. It can be purchased on eBay though but you will need to be patient to locate the colour you are after.
It is a large bike but is ideally suited to those longer in the leg. It fits me perfectly as I'm just over 6 foot.
The comfort is variable but some people chose to fit an alternative seat such as a Corbin or install a sheepskin cover. The comfort for the passenger is alot better due to the width of the seat.
I commute everyday on mine 20 miles each way and find it ideal as the fairings keep the worst of the weather off and the heated grips are great in the winter. It may be a big bike but I still manage to commute through the streets of London on it. It is more manoeuvrable than you expect especially as it is about 7 foot long.
If you find the buffeting from the wind too much alternative wind shields/screens are available. Both genuine and non genuine can be obtained. I find the stock screen perfect though.
It is fitted with chain drive which doesn't take much looking after if a scottoiler is fitted and minimal adjustments are needed.
The service interval is every 6000 miles. Servicing the bike can be done by the home mechanic but there are one or two fiddly things. For instance to change the air filters the tank has to come off and most of the fairings. The filter housing is normally changed as well as the filters itself as it's easier. But as it has 4 separate carburettors it can be very fiddly to line up each one to the rubber connectors and onto the filter housing.
The other awkward thing is the fact that you need to remove most of the lower fairing in order to drain the oil from the engine sump and replace the oil filter. But it doesn't take too long to carry out this work.
One of the weaknesses of the machine is the coils commonly fail leading to engine running problems. There are 2 fitted to the 1200cc machine and again it necessitates the removal of the petrol tank to access them. Shop around for the best price for any parts as main dealer prices can be very expensive.
It is an undiscovered classic and excellent all rounder. A good alternative to a BMW, gold wing or Electra glide. You should be able to find them available for less than £3000 ($5500). They are available as a 4 cylinder 1200cc model or the 3 cylinder model is 900cc
This motorcycle outdoes any other that I have ridden. Acceleration from 30 to 60 or from 20 to 50 can be smooth, without any noticeability that you are accelerating. Handling on a corner is superb if you lean and shift your hips a little. The suspension is faultless. Mileage is 10 miles to a litre for less than 40 mph. I have felt no vibrations through the handlebar grips yet. Tyres should be knobby types or racing wets for old country roadws with plenty of patches or tar streaks. It is not top heavy but very susceptible to the tyre type versus the road surface.
In 2002, as a 35 year old male who always wanted the thrill only available from a motorcycle I decided to take my test. On completion I promptly went to my local bike dealer and bought a Suzuki SV650S. To me it was lightning fast, big.....and the first step into the world of bikes. One year later I embarked on a 3 week solo trip from Northern Ireland (where I live) to the south of Spain. Again due to my inexperience I thought the SV was THE BUSINESS!!!. A great trip, and it seems to have driven me forward in my quest for my next biking adventure.
With my experience growing (I'm a hobby biker only. Don't use it on a daily basis) I decided that my next trip (South of France, Corsica and Northern Italy and planned for July 2006) deserved a bike that was fitting for the journey. I looked at Pan Europeans, and whilst I did like them I accidentally came across a 2003 Trophy 1200, one owner from new, in immaculate condition with 9000 miles on the clock. And the deal was done.
It is a dream to ride and I'm currently spending my spare time getting used to it. I love it. It looks amazing, runs so sweetly, is pretty ok on fuel, and is unbelievably comfortable. It is heavy when turning at slow speeds but I guess a bit more experience will soon solve that problem. Luggage capacity seems to be more than sufficient for anything I'll ever need it for.
So far so good as far as I'm concerned, may the wheels keep turning as smoothly as they have been doing.
Many years ago, about 1979 in fact, JJ Burnel, the bass guitarist of The Stranglers, released a solo album entitled Euroman Cometh. On that album there is a track called Triumph (Of The Good City), it is completely instrumental, however, as a backdrop throughout the song is the sound of a motorbike being gently revved. The motorbike in question is none other than JJ Burnel?s beloved Triumph Bonneville and the sound of it captured my imagination. I was 15 years old at the time and I hoped that one day I would own such a bike, if not a Bonneville then a Triumph at least. ~ Background ~ In November 2003 my dream came true when I finally became the proud owner of a Triumph Trophy 1200cc. I had previously owned a Honda Transalp 650cc, but due to the reckless actions of a Milk Float driver I found myself without a motorbike. After over a year of legal wranglings with the Milk Float driver?s insurance company the case was eventually heard in the Magistrates Court where I was finally vindicated and the Milk Float driver was found at fault for the traffic accident and guilty of a couple of Road Traffic Offences. Shortly after I was offered a compensation package of £2000 by the Milk Float driver?s insurance company which I duly accepted. That helped fund the purchase of my Triumph Trophy. I bought the Trophy, second-hand, from a local dealer. It is the 2000 model and came complete with a top-box and side panniers. I was originally looking to buy a Honda Pan-European but I saw the Trophy in this particular dealer?s showroom and it seemed like fate was on my side so I just had to buy it. I?ve ridden touring bikes before, as that is something I do as part of my job, including the Pan-European, but the Trophy is something else. ~ A Little Bit Of History ~ The present day Trophy is an ancestor, in name only, of the 1949 Triumph TR5 Trophy. When Triumph started making motorbikes again, after the collapse of the c
ompany in 1984, the first ?new? motorbike produced was the Trophy 900, in 1990, with the Trophy 1200 being made and evolving from 1991 onwards into the awesome machine it is now. Sadly though the Trophy 900 stopped being made after 2001. ~ Technical Stuff ~ The Trophy has an in-line 4 cylinder engine with an actual size of 1180cc, a 6-speed gearbox (1 down and 5 up), has a maximum power of about 106bhp and a top speed of just over 150mph. It takes unleaded fuel and the tank can hold 25 litres with 5 litres of that amount being the reserve capacity. With a pretty good rate for this type of bike of 40-45mpg this means the Trophy has a pretty respectable range of about 225 miles. There are 4 analogue gauges on the Trophy; a fuel gauge, a speedometer/odometer with trip counter, a rpm gauge and lastly the all important clock! As the Trophy is electric start there is also a small display panel behind the gauges that has a pretty standard set of symbols; left and right indicator, oil pressure warning, side stand warning and neutral gear indicator. Now for the size of the bike. It is 2152mm long (just over 7ft), has an overall width of 790mm (about 2 ½ ft) and an overall height of 1430mm (nearly 5ft). The seat height is 790mm which, for me, is a good thing because I haven?t been blessed with the longest of legs but on the Trophy I can sit with at least one foot on the ground comfortably while I am on my toes on the other foot, unless it is resting on the foot peg. The Trophy has a dry weight of 235kg (over 35 stone!) and has a maximum payload of 217kg which includes rider, passenger, luggage and accessories. My Trophy came complete with top box and 2 side panniers (or mini-suitcases as the wife likes to call them); the top box has a 5kg capacity and the panniers have a 6kg capacity each, so there is plenty of room for luggage for those overnight or longer journeys. As the bike is still newish it came with
an owners handbook and for someone like me who isn?t the most mechanically minded it is an excellent reference guide. The book is very informative and comprehensive with plenty of hints and tips to keep the bike in tip-top condition. ~ The Experience ~ Despite its size and weight I?ve found the Trophy relatively easy to handle and fairly easy to manoeuvre in small spaces. I will admit that I was a bit in awe of the bike when I first rode it as I was naturally nervous after the accident on my Honda and I hadn?t ridden a motorbike since, plus, the Trophy is the biggest bike I had ever ridden. However, in time, I have got used to it and have gotten more and more comfortable and at one with the bike now making it an absolute pleasure to ride the Trophy. Acceleration and braking are very good although one little gripe is that the foot brake is in a slightly awkward position. To get good contact with the foot brake I have to turn my foot inwards and down slightly, almost under the bottom part of the fairing, which isn?t too comfortable. The riding position is excellent and I prefer to be able to be in the upright position as opposed to the lean-across-the-tank style which is normally attributable to sports bikes. The fairing is well designed and contours the front of the bike beautifully giving good protection to my legs. The windshield/visor is of a good height and also protects my upper body from the main force of the elements and any flying debris off the road. I normally ride the bike to and from work and around town and obviously while it wasn?t designed for this the Trophy does an excellent job although I can sometimes feel the weight of the bike at the slower speeds which can make the steering less responsive but again that only happens sometimes and is only a small hindrance. On the plus side, with the Trophy I can nip in and out of traffic queues nearly as easily as I could on a smaller bike despite what I sa
id above about feeling the weight of the bike at slower speeds. When time has allowed I have ridden the Trophy as it was built for, taking it on a handful of 100 mile journeys and a couple of 320 mile round trips along the motorway. Once on these journeys and when the Trophy has properly warmed up I can almost hear the bike thanking me as it loves being opened up and given good running space. At good speed over long distances the Trophy comes into its own and I feel very secure on the bike. There is obviously quite a bit of noise but not from the engine, no, that just runs so smoothly, the noise is the sound of riding at speed with the air rushing past but a good set of ear-plugs helps reduce that. The Trophy is extremely stable at speed too with very little or no vibration however on one journey I found that after some distance I experienced pins and needles in one of my feet which was caused by the combination of the bike absorbing the vibration through its frame and into the foot pegs and the way I had my foot positioned on the peg. A change in the resting position of my foot on the peg soon sorted that out. Although the wife hasn?t been on the bike yet I have taken my teenage kids on the Trophy and they loved it. The previous owner kindly fitted a vinyl covered pad to the top box which acts as an excellent back rest for the pillion passenger and makes the ride much more comfortable. As the seating on the Trophy has been so well ergonomically designed when I do have a passenger I hardly feel their weight in the bike and it is just as easily manoeuvrable as if there wasn?t a passenger, especially when cornering. Later this year, in the summer, I am planning to ride on the continent and go to see my brother in Munich, and I can?t wait! Since owning the Trophy I?ve only had a couple of problems. The first one was not long after having the bike and it would be a pain to start, would cut out for no apparent reason and woul
d very often ?pink? when riding along. It turned out to be a fault with the ignition coil which needed replacing and the mechanic who fixed it explained that he had been in touch with the local Triumph main-dealer who stated that there was an issue with ignition coils but not a common one. Luckily the bike was still under the dealer?s warranty so it didn?t cost me a penny. The other problem was a puncture in my rear wheel. Somewhere I picked up an industrial sized staple probably from straying into the ?gutter? of the road (the centre part of a side of road between the tracks of a 4 or more wheeled vehicle where all kinds of debris collects). Thankfully the puncture was in the centremost part of the tyre so all it cost me was the price of a puncture repair rather than the costly price of a new tyre. ~ The Final Word ~ The Trophy is a dream to ride, it looks fantastic and is a real head turner. It is powerful and easy to ride, a real pleasure indeed! It might be a sports-tourer and it sounds like one but in that sound, if you listen carefully, you can hear the unmistakable sound of the Triumph roar reminding you of the great heritage of this great motorbike manufacturer. The only drawback, and it is only a minor inconvenience, is that the Trophy is chain-driven as opposed to other bikes in this class that have changed to shaft-drives, but then that is only minor when you consider the pride of actually owning a Triumph! The Trophy does depreciate in value, from new, quite drastically, and whilst I highly recommend this bike I would advise you shop around for a second-hand one about 3-5 years old that will cost on average no more than £4500 (that includes Triumph top box and panniers which can cost up to £1000 new). I assure you that you won?t be disappointed!
Late last year, I had the opportunity to trial a new Trophy 1200 for about two weeks to do a run across Australia, what a gloriously comfortable ride it was. The seating position was perfect for me, not that I am tall, in fact I am a mere 5’9”. Anyway, the fuel economy was excellent, noise? what noise, it was so quite I nearly fell asleep a couple of times. Lighting was also excellent unlike most machines that are available these days. High speed (220k/p/h) was smooth with the fairing doing a superb job of protecting me from the bugs. I did get a chance to test the braking power from 200k/p/h due to a skippy and found it to be quite stable considering I gave a hand full and a foot full. Around town the bike tended to drop into the corners which didn’t bother me as I just give a hand full of throttle and it was fine. It did gobble up the fuel around town but then, it wasn’t built for town was it? I have also very recently had the opportunity to test ride the 2000 Daytona 1200. A trip of 850km through winding hills and long straights, rough roads, smooth roads and with a two friends. One with the latest Duke, the other on an Aprillia. Sorry but the Aprillia was superior overall but cost twice as much too. I rode both the Duke and the Trumpy and the Trumpy was easily the easiest to ride, had better braking ability, more stable through rough twisty bits and more economical in the fuel department. I liked it that much I am currently saving to purchase one so that I can stir my Ducati mates.