2013 Triumph Trophy SE

Road Test Review

The Triumph Trophy SE is the only all-new model in this comparison, yet it seems strangely familiar. Its liquid-cooled, 1,215cc in-line triple is the same engine found in Triumph’s Tiger Explorer adventure tourer (though the Trophy has a taller sixth gear and recalibrated throttle-by-wire settings), and its styling, cockpit and features are eerily similar to that of the BMW R 1200 RT. At the Trophy’s world launch last year, Product Manager Simon Warburton freely admitted that the RT was Triumph’s design benchmark (Rider, December 2012 and on ridermagazine.com). The unanimous sentiment among our test riders, however, is that Triumph missed a golden opportunity to develop a distinctive look for the Trophy.

For the American market, the only Trophy model you can buy is the higher-spec SE, which includes an audio system, Triumph Electronic Suspension, a tire pressure monitor and a third 12V socket as standard equipment. Curiously, especially given the competition, heated grips are a $250 accessory. Our test bike had a heated grips button, but no heat! (For $1,500, the limited-edition Launch Pack adds heated grips, heated rider and passenger seats, a color-matched top trunk with carrier, a taller touring windshield and foot air deflectors.) Furthermore, what would be the accessory low seat elsewhere is the standard seat in the U.S., dropping adjustable seat height from 31.5/32.3 inches to a more inseam-friendly 30.3/31.1 inches. The well-equipped Trophy SE will set you back $18,999—less than the BMWs, but more expensive than the Kawasaki and Yamaha.

Like the other bikes in this test, the Trophy has standard locking hard saddlebags. Their 31-liter volume is about average, and their locking and mounting mechanisms are easy to use. What makes them unique is the Triumph Dynamic Luggage System, which allows the saddlebags to sway over a 5-degree arc and links them together, effectively isolating the chassis from unwanted inputs.