The newest incarnation of the Trophy launched by Triumph in 2012 puts the luxury in luxury touring. The 1215 cc engine — also used in the Tiger Explorer — gives smooth power delivery and packs a respectable punch when it comes to torque and horsepower. Available only in select markets, the Trophy SE is lightweight for a tourer and comes with amenities you’d expect to see on a bike intended to go the distance.
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Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Trophy SE.

  • 2014 - 2016 Triumph Trophy SE
  • Year:
    2014- 2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
  • Displacement:
    1215 cc
  • Price:
    18999
  • Price:

Design

2014 - 2016 Triumph Trophy SE
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With sportbike styling in the front and touring comfort in the rear, the Trophy SE comes with features you’d want to see on a touring bike. The wind-tunnel tested windscreen is electronically adjustable for height and creates a quiet cockpit with little or no head buffeting. Electronic suspension allows you to change your suspension settings on the handlebars and three-way electronic preload adjustment lets you tune the suspension to accommodate passenger and cargo for your trip.

Features I’d expect to see on the top-of-the-line tourer are here, such as adjustable seat height, an integrated audio system with Bluetooth/iPad capabilities, cruise and traction control, wide saddle and comfortable pillion, and tire pressure monitoring. A 6.6-gallon fuel tank combined with estimated mileage of about 55 mpg combined gives you a range of over 300 miles.

Chassis

2014 - 2016 Triumph Trophy SE
- image 683804

Even with its 649 pound dry weight, Triumph actually took significant steps to keep weight down, starting with the bones of the beast. Aluminum beams make up the twin-spar frame that not only carries the weight of the bike, but can support up to 527 pounds of some combination of rider/passenger/cargo, for a total well over the half-ton mark.

The factory set the steering head at a moderate 27-degrees for 4.7 inches of trail, and this should be plenty to lend the Trophy SE some stability at speed despite the compact, 60.7-inch wheelbase. A single-side, cast-aluminum swingarm pulls double duty as a housing to enclose and protect the driveshaft with the additional benefit of being lighter than a traditional, yoke-style swingarm, and the 17-inch rims are made from cast aluminum in a final effort to keep unsprung weight on the low end of the spectrum.

So far we have a rather unremarkable bike that’s comparable to any of a number of tour bikes out there, but all that changes when we get to the suspension. Triumph opted for a WP suspension package with 43 mm, inverted forks up front and a monoshock on the swingarm that provide 5-inches and 4.72 inches of travel, respectively. Best of all, ride quality is electronically controlled, allowing you to adjust both front and rear for compression- and rebound-damping, plus a hydraulic-preload function on the rear monoshock, and all at the touch of a button. Preset ride profiles (sport/normal/comfort) automatically set up the suspension values for quick changes on the fly.

No doubt this is a lot of bike to stop, but Triumph gives you the tools you need with a pair of 320 mm front discs and four-pot, Nissin calipers and a 282 mm disc in back with a twin-pot caliper, both with ABS protection. Additionally, the rear brake lever also pressurizes two of the pistons in the front brakes, so there is a measure of built-in brake balancing.

Drivetrain

2014 - 2016 Triumph Trophy SE
- image 683809

Triples are known for smooth power delivery, and so it makes a natural pairing for a bike built for comfort over the long haul. The beating heart of the Trophy SE is just such an engine, with an in-line, three-cylinder configuration that gives up even power pulses with relatively low vibration. An all-modern machine, it meets stringent emission standards through the use of liquid cooling with electronic fuel injection and a ride-by-wire throttle system that automatically strikes a balance between demand and capability for seamless delivery through the range.

Dual, over-head cams time the valves, and an oversquare, 85 mm bore and 71.4 mm stroke gives us a total displacement of 1215 cc with some fairly decent power numbers to boot. At 6,450 rpm, Triumph’s triple churns out 88 pound-feet of torque for reasonably comfortable cruising, but open it up to 8,900 rpm and you get the full 132 horsepower out of it. A six-speed transmission sends engine power down to the rear wheel via the shaft final drive, and contributes to the 35 mpg/city, 58.2 mpg at 56 mph and 42.9 mpg at 75 mph mileage figures.

Pricing

2014 - 2016 Triumph Trophy SE
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MSRP on the 2016 Trophy SE is $19,499. Available colors are Phantom Black or Pacific Blue and Triumph offers a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty with an option for five years extended warranty.

Competitors

2015 - 2018 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring
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2015 - 2018 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
- image 657770

My first inclination was to go with the California 1400 Touring from Moto Guzzi. The engine is close enough, and it’s built for more-or-less the same purpose, but the difference between the look of the “Euro-sleek” Triumph sport-tourer and the Western-geared ’Guzzi was too much. I just don’t feel like they are looking for the exact same slice of the pie. Kawasaki, on the other hand, hits much closer to the mark with its Concours 14 ABS, and I think it will appeal to exactly the same sort of buyer, so let’s see how they stack up.

First off, the looks. Personally, I like the sleek panache of the Trophy, and think it manages to carry itself with a certain grace, whereas the Concours 14 is just a little too “Power Ranger” for my taste. I realize that taste is subjective, but there’s my take on it. Beyond that, they both come built for the job with windshield, fairing and leg protection dominating the front of both machines. Hard saddlebags (panniers) provide storage, and both have the capacity for carrying a passenger or some cargo on the rear. In short, everything you need to hit the open road.

The chassis are different in an interesting way. While Triumph used a modern, but still common, twin-beam frame, Kawasaki goes the monocoque route with a stressed-skin structure. Unibody models are fairly common in the scooter market, but one doesn’t see them on a bike this big very often. As usual, I’m a bit snakebit with the whole unibody thing, and prefer a traditional frame-and-sheet metal setup. Both bikes run with fully adjustable suspension, but only the Trophy comes with a fancy electronic suspension, a big point for Triumph.

Kawasaki gains an advantage with its choice of mill for the Concours. While the Triumph lump measures out at 1,215 cc, the Concours comes packing an inline-four with an 85 mm x 71.4 mm bore and stroke for a total displacement of 1,352 cc. To compound Triumph’s woes, the Concours mill cranks out something in the neighborhood of 153 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque versus 132 ponies and 88 pounds from the Trophy. Purely performance-driven buyers will likely find this point to be the dealmaker in favor of the Kawasaki.

The Concours picks up a big win at the till. At only $15,499, the Kawasaki is significantly lower than the $19,500 sticker on the Trophy SE. This will definitely be a draw for the budget-minded crowd, and is liable to put a lot of pressure on Triumph. Comfort-seekers will pay the extra dough for the more luxurious Trophy.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Trumpet has had a lot of experience over the years with triple-cylinder mills, and this engine has proven itself over the last nine years. That’s a pretty good run, and it means that the factory got it right, which means they will be replacing it with something else very soon, right? I like the idea of three-cylinder touring because of the more-tolerable vibration, and the electronic suspension is just great – no dirty knees from adjusting your forks/shocks.”

She Said

“I like that the Trophy SE is lightweight for its class. I don’t feel like I’m wrestling with it, even at low speeds. Power delivery is smooth and even though it’s easy enough to find a touring bike with more torque and horsepower, I don’t find the ride lacking at all.”

Specifications

Engine type Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Capacity 1215cc
Bore 85mm
Stroke 71.4mm
Fuel system Ride by wire, fuel injection
Exhaust Stainless steel 3 into 1, side mounted stainless steel silencer
Final drive Shaft Drive
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 6 Speed Constant Mesh
Oil capacity 1.1US Gallon
Frame Aluminium beam twin-spar
Swingarm Single-sided, cast aluminium alloy with shaft drive
Front Wheels Cast aluminium 5-spoke 17 x 3.5in
Rear Wheels Cast aluminium 5-spoke 17 x 6.0in
Front Tires 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tires 190/55 ZR17
Front Suspension WP 43mm upside down forks, manually adjustable rebound damping, with 130mm travel. SE - WP 43mm upside down forks, electronically adjustable rebound damping (sport/normal/comfort) with 127mm travel.
Rear Suspension WP monoshock with remote oil reservoir, manually adjustable hydraulic preload, manually adjustable rebound damping, 120mm rear wheel travel. (SE electronically adjustable hydraulic preload, electronically adjustable rebound damping.WP monoshock with remote
Brakes front Twin 320mm floating discs, Nissin 4-piston calipers, linked brakes (front brakes partially activated by rear), ABS (non-switchable)
Brakes rear Single 282mm disc, Nissin 2-piston sliding caliper, ABS (non-switchable)
Instrument display and functions: Dual analogue gauges (speedometer and tachometer) with multi-function dot matrix LCD display screen, ambient light level brightness compensation. Rider-configurable dual trip computers (1 with adjustable automatic reset). Screen shows audio system information, TES status, TPMS status, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, gear position indication, clock, air temperature, frost warning and accessory heated seats/grips status display, cruise control status and headlight level adjustment. Hazard warning light button. Scroll/select button on handlebars
Length 2235mm
Width handlebars 858mm
Height without mirror 1435-1555mm
Seat height 770-790mm
Wheelbase 1542mm
Rake 27.0º
Trail 119mm
Tank capacity 25l
Wet weight 301 kilo
Max power ec 134PS @ 8900
Max torque ec 120NM @ 6450
Colors Phantom Black, Pacific Blue
Price $19,499

Source: Triumph Trophy SE Brochure

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