All Tests – Trophy 1200 SE Test: on the way to the Triumph? – More royalist than the queen?

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

All Tests - Trophy 1200 SE Test: on the way to the Triumph? - More royalist than the queen?

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

More royalist than the queen ?

Discovered in Scotland, between the plains of St Andrews and the steep roads of the Highlands, the Trophy 1200 SE has had plenty of time to reveal its charms to us during an excursion of more than 400 km. Varied and winding, the route included bumpy and gravel areas as well as faster, perfectly paved sections..

First observation: the heavy weight of the Trophy 1200 is quickly forgotten. Let’s get on well: with 301 kg all full, lifting the Trophy SE from its side stand requires a certain effort, even a certain effort when it comes to hoisting it onto the power plant. And the front axle is moderately lively below 30 km / h, a speed below which it tends to engage slightly.

We must see the consequences of a geometry designed for stability rather than agility (1542 mm of wheelbase and 27 ° of caster angle). But also those with a center of gravity located higher than – by chance – on an R1200RT, which enjoys a structural advantage in this area thanks to the flat installation of its two cylinders.

Quickly integrated as common to most large road motorcycles, these characteristics are not enough to obscure the excellent work of weight balancing carried out by Triumph. Robbing a handkerchief and reacting to orders with speed and precision, the Trophy 1200 SE plays on urban exercise with astonishing good grace..

The elasticity of its engine is no stranger to this: able to slow down in 6th gear without hiccuping and to tow frankly only 500 revs higher (i.e. at 30 km / h in 4th gear, for example), the three-cylinder is monstrous … of availability! Showing a curve – or rather a "line"! – torque exceeding 100 Nm from 2500 to 9500 rpm, the Trophy 1200 SE has the quiet strength of a Russian weightlifter !

No need to take a look at the on-board console to know the gear engaged: just screw on its electronic accelerator (read our technical point on the following pages) and it extracts itself from all situations without any downtime. A real success capable of making the most fervent defenders of this technology reconsider the interest of an automatic gearbox. !

And the extension is not to be outdone, since after reaching its peak of torque (120 Nm) at 6450 rpm, the "triple" continues to push vigorously to the red zone (10,000 rpm) . On reflection, this mechanism is simply ideal for road use: full, flexible and powerful (134 hp at 8900 rpm all the same), it condenses all the qualities required in this category of motorcycles..

Not to spoil anything, the three-cylinder is sober (from 5.3 l to 6.1 l / 100 km measured during our test), reliable (revision every 16,000 km) and melodious. Once exceeded 5000 rpm (where very slight tingling manages to go up to the handlebars), the gentle purring turns into a nasty growl with muted tones !

Its only flaw is in fact directly linked to its extraordinary qualities: filled with all the modes, in particular thanks to an injection calibrated with small onions, the "3-legs" delivers its force in a so constant way that some will lend it a certain form of linearity. Starting with those nostalgic for the hairy nags balanced by the 4-cylinder of the old Trophy 1200…

The flying carpet made in England

Brilliantly suspended, the new Trophy 1200 SE displays a rigor and intuitiveness rarely encountered in this category. Favoring comfort in standard settings, the suspensions can harden by means of an electronic action on the trigger (front-rear) and the preload of the rear spring (see the full explanations in the "Electronics" part of our technical point).

Only available on the SE version, this device called Triumph Electronic Suspension (TES) enhances the excellent cohesion between the front and the rear. It also significantly reduces mass transfers depending on the load and / or its handling. Steering and very reassuring in "Normal" mode, the front axle gains even more precision in "Sport" mode.

Despite its overweight, the Triumph would become almost incisive in curves, where it accepts almost without flinching to dive while retaining the brakes. And even in the bend, a possible recourse to combined braking (read the section "Cycle part of our technical point) is barely felt: the front barely locks, but without moving the motorcycle from its path..

This relative sportiness would also be the result of the "made in Hinckley" assembly of the suitcases. Discovered on the Sprint GT and adopted since on the Tiger (800 and Explorer 1200), the Triumph Dynamic Lugage System (TDLS) is a system allowing luggage to tilt 5 ° around their upper attachments. It would allow "eliminate certain resonance phenomena", assures Triumph, and especially to less burden the agility of the bike once the suitcases loaded.

Powerful, constant and returning an excellent feeling to the grip of the adjustable right lever (idem on the left), the braking provides extremely satisfactory deceleration capacities to the Trophy 1200 SE, including on a wet and bumpy road where responsiveness and ABS effectiveness has proven to be extremely convincing.

Much less transparent, the traction control appeared too intrusive. Once entered into action in a fairly sensitive way, this disengageable device takes its time before restoring the arrival of power, no doubt out of excess of caution. On the other hand, the Trophy 1200 is not a Superbike: is it not better a short frustration than a big fright? ?

Verdict: already at the top !

Stable whatever the speed, the Trophy 1200 SE also benefits from a well-studied aerodynamics: not only the protection offered by its screen and its fairings is imperial, but no sway was felt despite strong gusts of wind. lateral and a peak at 220 km / h !

The competitors of the Trophy 1200

  • BMW R1200RT : 2 cyl. flat, 1170cc, 110 hp and 120 Nm of torque, 259 kg with 90% of fuel tank – € 17,700

  • BMW K1600GT : 6 cyl. in line, 1649cc, 160 hp and 175 Nm of torque, 332 kg with 90% of full – € 20,700

  • Honda Pan-European : 4 cyl. in V, 1261cc, 118 hp and 117 Nm of torque, 329 kg all full facts – € 15,390

  • Kawasaki 1400GTR : 4 cyl. in line, 1352cc, 155 hp and 136 Nm of torque, 304 kg all full facts – € 17,499

  • Yamaha 1300FJR : 4 cyl. in line, 1298cc, 144 hp and 137 Nm of torque, 291 kg all full facts – € 16,999
  • Better: thanks to the use of judiciously placed deflectors, the calories released by the three-cylinder are evacuated far from the legs of the pilot. A well thought out practical aspect, to which are added many other "little touches" which confirm a thoughtful design and matured in every detail.

    Perfectly readable and easily adjustable, the "flashing mirrors" serve, for example, as hand protectors. The contrasts of the instrument panel change automatically with the brightness, while the volume and the balance of the sound system (SE version) automatically – and effectively – adjust to ambient noise.

    The presence of valves of angled rims, rubbers intended to protect the indicators or the accessibility of the crutches is also appreciated. In short, future owners will appreciate a motorcycle perfectly cut to fulfill its missions: to offer as much comfort and pleasure on long journeys as during shorter and more "recreational" getaways – even during everyday journeys..

    Under these conditions, the commercial objective set by Triumph seems quite reasonable: between 600 and 700 sales for the year 2013, knowing that the Trophy 1200 will be available at the end of October or the beginning of November at a price of 17,250 € for the standard version. and € 18,870 for the luxurious Trophy 1200 SE.

    Some of its rivals, especially from across the Rhine, turn out to be significantly more expensive once equipped with all the on-board equipment as standard on this ambitious Englishwoman …

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