Triumph has decided to enter the middleweight streetbike market in a big way, releasing the new Trident 660. This roadster combines a lot of what Triumph does best, but at a more affordable price point.
Triumph’s known for building stylish bikes, with high-end components, excellent fit-and-finish, and preferring to use three-cylinder engines. The company’s execs say that’s the pattern they used for the Trident, recycling one of the brand’s respected names from the past, and putting it on a machine that’s supposed to offer a lot of bang for the buck.
The Trident uses a 660cc three-cylinder motor. It’s similar to the 675 engine, but with more than 60 new parts. It’s tuned for torque, and Triumph probably wanted to cut some costs, too. According to the factory, max output is 80 horsepower at 10,250rpm, and 47 lb-ft of torque at 6,250rpm. Triumph says most of the torque is available through most of the rev range; this isn’t a peaky motor, designed for flashy output numbers at the expense of street performance.
There’s a stainless muffler as standard equipment. An assist/slipper clutch is also standard, and six-speed gearbox. Buyers can opt for an up/down quickshifter at extra cost.
This is the first three-cylinder engine in this class of mid-weight, mid-priced 650s, as Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki have twin-cylinder engines here, and Honda has its four-cylinder 650 series. Triumph claims its triple offers the best of both worlds, with decent low-end torque like the twins, and high-end power like the fours.
The Trident has a basic electronics package, with no IMU. There’s throttle-by-wire, with Road and Rain riding modes, traction control and ABS (traction control can be switched off, ABS can’t). There’s even a colour TFT screen. None of this is groundbreaking, but it’s not standard in the 650 street bike class. The Trident has LED lighting, as every modern bike should.
The Trident has a tubular steel frame, with aluminum wheels. The front brakes use dual-piston Nissin calipers and 310mm discs; in back, there’s a single-piston caliper and 255mm disc.
In their reveal presentation, Triumph’s execs made much noise over the Trident’s Showa suspension (upside-down forks, and linkage-equipped monoshock). Unfortunately, that front suspension is non-adjustable, and the shock is only preload-adjustable, but it’s still encouraging to see Hinkley make an effort to put proper components on the bike.
The Trident also comes fitted with Michelin Road 5 tires, another case of Triumph using quality kit, instead of cheaping out.
Fuel capacity for the Trident is 14 litres, and Triumph says wet weight is 189 kilos. Seat height is 805 millimetres, so this should be an easy-to-handle bike all-around, not too intimidating to most riders. In overseas markets, Triumph will also offer the option to restrict output, keeping the bike learner-legal (no such worries in Canada, though!).
Triumph says the bike’s seat is designed for passenger comfort, not just the rider. That’s smart, as many riders in this class are interested in practicality. Unfortunately, the pillion grab handle will cost you extra, but maybe not many riders want it anyway, preferring their significant other hang on tight as they accelerate …
All in, Triumph already has 45 accessories developed for this bike, and the aftermarket will probably step in soon as well.
The Trident will come in four different colour schemes. They should be available sometime next winter in Canada (assuming everything runs to plan), and pricing will start at $8,999.
That’s a very interesting price, as it puts the Trident in the middle of the Japanese competition. Furthermore, Triumph claims the Trident’s cost of ownership is actually less than competitors, partly because of longer service intervals (16,000 kilometers between major engine servicing). Also, the Trident comes with a two-year warranty as standard, more than some competitors, and buyers can add one or two years of extra coverage (at extra cost, of course!).
With all the uncertainty in the market, it’s hard to say whether Triumph has a guaranteed winner here, but it’s certainly trying hard to grab some market share it’s long ignored.