All Tests – Trophy 1200 SE Test: on the way to the Triumph? – The return of an icon

Trophy 1200 SE test: on the way to the Triumph ?

All Tests - Trophy 1200 SE Test: on the way to the Triumph? - The return of an icon

The Triumph Trophy 1200, which disappeared at the end of 2003, is making its comeback with the suitcases filled with the ingredients of success: invigorating 3-legs, tasty cycle part, smooth comfort and 4-star equipment. Feast test with the high-end SE version.

The return of an icon

Little by little, Triumph is getting smaller: after strengthening its offer in the trail-road type motorcycle segment thanks to, then to, the English manufacturer continues to expand its range by launching the Trophy 1200 (read in particular our ).

Or rather by "relaunching" the Trophy 1200, since this new road takes a glorious name: discovered at the Cologne show in 1990 and available in two versions (one with an 1180cc in-line 4-cylinder, the other with a "3-legged" of 885cc), the Trophy was the road spearhead of Triumph until 2003.

Clearly more imposing and opulent, the 2013 Trophy 1200 model however abandons the "sport-tourism" predispositions of its famous predecessor and is positioned as a top-of-the-range road bike. A logical orientation insofar as the excellent Sprint GT is already responsible for satisfying road-sport enthusiasts (read in particular our).

Long (2235 mm) and wide (975 mm on the handlebars), the Trophy 1200 is rather intimidating with its "motomobile" dimensions. From the massive windshield (electrically adjustable and equipped with a very practical memory function) to the 31-liter suitcases (standard) capable of accommodating an integral, through the generous fairings, its volumes immediately announce the color: it is a motorcycle designed to comfortably cut the road in big slices !

Naturally, it shares this objective with particularly sharp rivals (read our box on the following pages) … from which the Triumph designers were clearly inspired! It is indeed difficult not to notice the similarities between the English novelty and the BMW R1200RT (the rear, in particular) and the Honda Pan European (the front).

"If our bike looks like RT or Pan European, as you say, it’s because it has the same goals and the same customers", defends Simon Warburton, the product manager of Triumph. In other words: to play on the same ground, it would be advisable to wear a similar outfit…

This marketing discourse is however unconvincing, especially on the part of Triumph whose success is very much linked to its ability to stand out: the two lenses of the Speed ​​and Street Triple, the timeless "boil" of the Bonneville or the spectacular setting in front of the engine of the Rocket III are as many stylistic demonstrations specific to the production of Hinckley.

So what ? Inspiration and creativity have they deserted the Triumph R&D department? Nay! Because under this "classic" dress hides avant-garde technical solutions, a new and light aluminum chassis and above all an engine perfectly adapted to the road exercise: the very modern three-cylinder in line discovered on the (read our presentation detailed engine and cycle part on the penultimate page).

Motor: action !

Hardly retouched compared to the maxi-trail, the big "3-legs" delivers this rocky musicality punctuated by slight backfiring at the gas cut characteristic of Triumphs. Slightly muffled by the use of a longer silencer to prevent it from becoming intrusive, the pleasant soundtrack of the Trophy 1200 is in itself an invitation to travel. And not all of her competitors can say the same !

The only small false note comes from the usual whistling emitted by the distribution chain: even if it turns out to be less present than on the "triple" of 1050 cc, this phenomenon does not necessarily fit with the wadded atmosphere sought on a road…

The same goes for the gearbox, which is less smooth and silent when changing from the first two gears than certain references of the genre. Too bad, because the final transmission, it elicits only compliments: from the Explorer, the shaft and cardan assembly is completely transparent. No slamming escapes, while the "lift" effect often encountered on this type of acatene transmission (the spring is stretched during acceleration and compressed during deceleration) is here completely absent..

Another advantage of the engine architecture so dear to Triumph: its width less pronounced than a four-cylinder block. This feature benefits accessibility, because the arch formed between the thighs can be contained despite the large displacement (1215 cc) and the 26-liter tank. This results in a very reasonable spacing at the knees, allowing a pilot of 1.75 m to put his feet flat with the saddle in the low position..

Adjustable from 800 to 820 mm in height (a model lower or higher by 20 mm is available as an option), this seat provides the welcome and senatorial comfort expected in this category. Well designed, soft but not soft, offering enough space to "settle down", the saddle of the Trophy 1200 has all the assets to become the preferred chair for motorcyclists swallowing kilometers. !

These good arrangements are complemented by the ideal positioning of the long branches of the handlebars. With his chest straight, the pilot only has to stretch out his arms so that the gloves fall naturally on the handles. The placement of the footrests is a little more open to criticism: slightly too high, they force the saddle to be placed in the high position to increase the space allocated to the long legs..

Fortunately, thanks to the ingenious system found by Triumph, the operation takes only a few minutes and does not require any tools: as on the Explorer, it is enough to disassemble the two saddles and move a block – in the form of a bar – provided for this purpose. A 1.75m pilot then continues to touch the ground with both feet, but with the toe of the boot on one side.

Adjusting the seat height is an opportunity to note that the boot space is just large enough to accommodate the approved "U" lock sold by Triumph as an option (read the list of options in the "Commercial information" section "of our technical sheet on the last page).

Equipped with a readable on-board console which is full of information (read the "Instrumentation" part of our technical sheet), the Trophy has equally supplied stems: there are the usual buttons (starter, indicators, headlight, etc. .) to which are added the controls for the instrumentation, the electric windshield and the cruise control installed as standard.

On the Trophy 1200 "SE", the even more top-of-the-range model made available to us during this test, the information is even more numerous! As standard, this "SE" version also offers a tire pressure indicator (TPMS), a third 12 V socket (near the passenger), electronically controlled suspensions (TES) and a quality audio installation (radio, MP3, Bluetooth) controlled by a satellite placed next to the left stalk.

Unfortunately, the ergonomics of all these controls can be improved: too far from the thumb, the buttons of the electric windshield, the optional heated handles and the sound system require you to let go of the handle to be operated. Ditto for the warnings switch, located under the dashboard: not very practical – nor very careful – to access it while driving…

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