2021 Triumph Trident review – the new king of affordable bikes?
We've been in Tenerife testing the new £7,195 triple
In a bike world that's dominated by headlines of 220hp superbikes, Sahara-smashing adventure machines and track-troubling supernakeds, it's easy to forget that most people's riding careers start on slightly more humble machinery.
Triumph has cottoned onto this, and that's why it's just introduced the Trident – an 81hp, 660cc roadster that can be restricted so new riders can legally ride it on their A2 licences. At £7,195 it's the most affordable Triumph on sale, and it's aimed squarely at buyers of things like the Yamaha MT-07 and Honda CB650R.
Sadly for everyone, I had to go to Tenerife to find out if it's any good. Watch the video below to find out, or read on for more thoughts.
What is it?
In a word, accessible. From the low 805mm seat height to the lithe 189kg wet weight, there's nothing about the Trident that's off-putting. Pulling away, the bike just disappears underneath you, and the light clutch and smooth three-cylinder engine mean you'll confidently put your feet up on the pegs the moment you start rolling.
The Trident's 660cc triple is mostly new – it's actually loosely based on the old Daytona 675 engine
But give the throttle tube a twist and you'll likely sport a wide grin as the triple engine builds revs quickly with that classic Triumph growl, hardening to a racy scream as you head towards the 10,500rpm rev limiter. The 81hp output isn't earth shattering, and the bike always sounds faster than it's actually propelling you – but again, this is an approachable bike designed for the road, not setting laptimes. The 660cc motor's mostly new, and has gone through its own engine development programme and it has 65 new components, all with the aim of boosting low-end and mid-range torque. You end up plodding along in 30mph limits in fourth or even fifth gear, and can still accelerate reasonably quickly if you stay in those ratios. It's flexible, and suits cruising and chasing the redline equally well.
How does it handle?
Despite being setup for the road, the Trident is so agile and stable in bends that you'd have a lot of fun with it on a track day. The wide aluminium handlebars tip the bike in quickly, with no wallowing or shimmying. The Showa fork might be unadjustable, and the rear shock only tweakable for preload, but the setup works brilliantly.
The Trident handles like a bike that costs £3,000 more
We rode 100 miles, most of which was on the hairpin-laden twists up to Tenerife's Mount Teide. Not once did the Trident deck its pegs, buck, weave or do anything other than give a confidence-inspiring – but fun – ride. Triumph's done a great job of blending stability with an agility that'd make a hummingbird look like a sumo wrestler who's been on the Christmas Toblerone.
This is all helped by standard-fit Michelin Road 5 tyres – a sensible (and premium) all-weather tyre that gives impressive confidence in the wet and dry. We ended up riding for a few hours on soaked roads in driving rain, and not once did the bike feel unsettled or lose grip – though you can flick between road and rain modes to heighten the sensitivity of the standard-fit traction control and ABS.
The standard-fit Road 5 tyres mean you don't have to panic when it starts raining
The only slight quibble with the Trident's handling is that the damping is reasonably firm, and over sharp bumps in the road it's not the last word in comfort, but it's a relatively minor issue.
What about the tech?
The Trident uses a smart circular dash that's split into two sections. The top part is a pin-sharp and super-clear white-on-black LCD display that shows your fuel level, revs and speed. Even in the bright daylight of a Tenerife winter day it remained perfectly visible. The lower half is a small rectangular colour screen, which shows the menus, a gear indicator, time, date, temperature – all of which you can flick through using four arrow buttons on the left handlebar.
You can unlock more tech goodies by adding the optional Bluetooth module to the bike and using the MyTriumph app to ping turn-by-turn navigation to the Trident's dash from Google Maps on your phone, and you can also use it to control your GoPros.
Sounds good – what didn't you like?
There are a few parts of the Trident that do show its budget roots. The clutch lever isn't span adjustable, for example, while the front brake lever is. The rear brake lever is a stamped piece of black metal that looks at odds with the otherwise chromed heel guard and silver footpegs. The paint finish on the satin-black version of the bike already looked a bit grubby and worn in places on bikes with 400 miles on the clocks – not a problem I saw on the the gloss-finished bikes.
But really, these are minor niggles. Triumph's done a cracking job of creating a low-cost bike that's fun to ride and feels pretty posh while remaining accessible and dead easy to get on with.