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I had one of these for a couple of years. Bought it in 1998, T reg and new. First Trophy I had. It broke down 5 miles from the dealers as they had snagged the petrol pipes while putting the tank on. At least they came out and put it right on the spot.
I did some 28000 miles on it over 2 years and apart from a failed oil pressure switch I cannot remember any problems with it. It was always dealer serviced. Never used any oil. Changed the tyres at around 12000 miles, which is pretty good but I mostly did motorways and just squared off the tyres.
It felt very different from the bike I'd just got off, a 1976 Triumph Trident T160V, a mere 750cc. The Trophy is much taller while you sit in the T160. The Trophy also has a fairing, a pretty big one .. and a big tank and the tucked-in luggage carriers on the rear. Much less vibration, particularly at 70+. The T160 was a killer at those sort of speeds.
I don't own the 900 now but I do have two of the 1200s, an 02 and an 03.
The 900 is a lighter machine. As everything else is the same it is down to the weight of the extra cylinder and the four carbs on the 1200 as opposed to the three carbs on the triple.
Switching to the 1200 I noticed an immediate effect on my upper arms and shoulders. The 1200 made them ache. The 1200 has to be pushed around. I don't notice it now after all these years but I certainly did when I switched.
I feel the 1200 is better balanced at very slow speeds, probably because of the extra weight lower down from the heavier engine. It's probably an illusion but somehow the 900 always felt more like it was going to tip at slow speeds.
The 900 and the 1200 sound very different. The 900 was chirpy, a pleasant sort of noise. The 1200 sounds coarser, hollow-sounding. I always wear earplugs so I'm not too bothered by what they sound like. Above 50 you cannot hear anything but wind noise anyway.
The 1200 is smoothness personified. It just goes at any speed, particularly at overtaking speeds. No flat spots. Top gear all the way as fast as you can get into it. Change down a couple at thirty through town to minimise snatching on the chain.
The 900 is very different. You have to work the gears..and there's a dreadful flat spot as you accelerate. The engine starts to shake the whole bike. I'm told all the triples have it but it is most noticeable on one of these heavy bikes. I've driven other Triumph triples and it certainly was nowhere near as bad on those. Always at the same point on the rev counter. It can get quite embarassing if you get it wrong at the bottom of a hill, fully laden and two-up. The damn thing just won't go up the hill. So down a gear you have to go to get the revs past the flat spot. You lose momentum and end up back with the revs on the flat spot, so down another gear you go. It's like towing a caravan with an underpowered 3 litre Ford up Porlock hill and being overtaken by an Austin seven as you gradually lose all momentum. (That really happened to my dad. I was a sprog in the back seat).
All said though, I loved my Trophy 900. The fuel consumption is much better than the 1200 four. Add on 10 mpg for the 900 against the 1200. (45-55 for the 900). I coaxed the 900 back from North Wales to Essex at the height of the fuel strikes, in 2000 I think it was. A very long slow ride. The 1200 would never have made it.
Once the 900 is past the rev problem it goes a treat. Motorway cuising is no problem for one of these. It embarasses me now to think how fast I went along on it - my first Trophy.
A joy to own - until the dealer lends you a 1200 while your 900 is in for a service......... cunning b...........
I nearly went out to look for a low mileage 900 with the petrol price getting so high and I do a lot of miles. I'd even have been able to live with the rev problem as I wanted it for motorway work. But I've got a couple of the 1200's now and they will see me out.
PS There's nothing more nerve-wracking than gritty hairpin bends on a fully laden Trophy with passenger. Well maybe one thing, sliding backwards with the brakes locked solid while standing still on a very steep hill. These bikes are for big strong people.
This is the true essence of what a sport touring motorcycle should be. I have owned a 1996 Triumph Trophy 900 for a couple of years now and I just love the bike. It is easy to pack up and take off on long trips. Half the fun of riding the 900 triple model is the sound of the engine. I sounds just like an exotic european supercar. It is guaranteed to turn heads wherever you ride it. The bike is just so smooth to ride down the highway. Buy carefully though. If you don't have the time to ride it, the bike is very tempting to leave town on even if you planned on taking a short run around town. The bike couldn't have any more character when compared to other bikes. It's totally different. If you can find a triple, snag it. The only cons are that it is quite top heavy (easy to get used to), and it is quite hot through town. It heats your legs up pretty well in the summer heat. This bike is built to go the distance and is easily classified as quite a mile-muncher.