“Ah, there you’ll have it.” That’s what crossed my mind when Triumph announced the new Trident. Because isn’t it logical that Triumph, with its rich triple history, also offers a more “classic” three-cylinder naked in the current range?
The new Triumph Trident 660 is the third Trident generation. From 1968 to the mid-1970s and well into the 1990s, Triumph built its first two generations. The new one received a 660 cc engine, as its name suggests.
That engine is very different from the one in the Street Triple S, which also has a 660 cc heart. Of course the Trident takes over some parts from the Street, but just under 70 new components provide a different engine character. While the Street’s three-cylinder mainly emphasizes sporty top end power, the Trident aims at the lower and middle revs. You can also see it in the figures: 64 Nm and 81 hp for the Trident, 66 Nm and 95 hp for the “smallest” Street.
In addition to a new engine, Team Triumph conjured up a completely new design. The round LED headlight is a bold nod to the earlier Trident generations while the tank with covered knee pads enhances the classic look. Don’t call it retro though. The whole looks quite sporty, although the Trident stays far away from the more aggressive street fighter design of the Street Triple.
As usual for Triumph, the finish is very neat and executed with an eye for detail. The radiator caps for example I think are a particularly nice accent. The back of the motorcycle … not so much. I’ve been looking at it for a week, and no, it just didn’t click. I’m turned off by the fender/licence plate holder.
The compact look of the Trident translates into a compact feel when you’re in the saddle. The seat height of 805 mm and its narrow shape make this naked accessible to the more short-legged, although the long-lanky club might find the Trident – especially its knee room – too compact.
Your posture is more relaxed than sporty, but start the engine and you’ll be quickly inclined to explore the sporty side of the Trident.
And it likes to do that. Again I am amazed at how wonderfully smooth and airy Triumph manages to make its triple engines run. As if it takes no effort, the Trident climbs through its revs. Very very linear. Which means you sometimes bump into the limiter if you’re gassing it, somewhere at 10,500 rpm. At that moment it seems as if there’s still more to come, but it suddenly cries to a halt. Mind you, at that point you are probably not only playing with the Trident, but also with your driver’s license.
A very attractive starting price of $8,095 is hanging at the handlebars. For that price you can’t expect the top material from the racks of, for example, Öhlins or Brembo. The Trident received a non-adjustable upside-down Showa fork, a Showa monoshock in the rear (only preload adjustable) and Nissins to bring you to a stop. Frame and swingarm are made of steel, with the Street Triple it’s aluminum. Still, the weight of the Trident ticks down to a very acceptable 189 kg.
Despite those rather “limited resources”, Triumph has managed to make the rolling chassis feel anything but “budget”. The Trident steers light and stable, and it effortlessly sticks to the chosen lines, while the brakes are certainly powerful enough. The Trident can therefore easily handle some more aggressive riding, and although 64 Nm and 81 hp don’t sound particularly impressive, I never felt I was missing out on anything. Add the triple soundtrack: pure enjoyment. Only the quickshifter was absent on my bike, but you can find it in the options list.
The Trident has two riding modes (Road and Rain) and in addition to ABS also traction control (which stands out because of its subtlety and can be switched off). The nice round dash has two TFT screens: at the top you will find speed, rpm, fuel gauge and gear indicator, at the bottom there’s basic information such as trip counters or action radius which you can scroll through with the menu buttons on the handlebars.
Sometimes I’m not very eager to return a test bike, and the Triumph Trident 660 is definitely one that I would have loved to keep for a lot longer. A handsome classic-sporty look (although I think its rear is a turn-off), clean finish, lovely three-cylinder, solid rolling chassis, and all that tied together with a string that has an attractive price tag dangling on it. What more do you want?
Photography: Michele Micoli
+ Lovely engine and good rolling chassis
+ Attractive price tag
+ Sweet design …
– … except for the rear
– Too compact for the long-legged club?
Engine & transmission
Type: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
Capacity: 660 cc
Bore: 74.0 mm
Stroke: 51.1 mm
Max Power: 80 bhp (60 kW) @ 10,250 rpm
Max Torque: 47 lbft / 64 Nm@ 6,250 rpm
System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Exhaust: Stainless steel 3 into 1 header system with low single sided stainless steel silencer
Final Drive: X-ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, slip and assist
Gearbox: 6 speed
Frame: Tubular steel perimeter frame
Swingarm: Twin-sided, fabricated steel
Front Wheel: Cast aluminium, 17 x 3.5 in
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminium, 17 x 5.5 in
Front Tire: 120/70R17
Rear Tire: 180/55R17
Front Suspension: Showa 41mm upside down separate function forks (SFF)
Rear Suspension: Showa monoshock RSU, with preload adjustment
Front Brakes: Nissin two-piston sliding calipers, twin 310mm discs, ABS
Rear Brakes: Nissin single-piston sliding caliper, single 255mm disc, ABS
Instrument Display and Functions: Multi-function instruments with colour TFT screen
Dimensions & weights
Width Handlebars: 31.3 in (795 mm)
Height Without Mirror: 42.9 in (1089 mm)
Seat Height: 31.7 in (805 mm)
Wheelbase: 55.2 in (1401 mm)
Rake: 24.6 º
Trail: 4.22 in (107.3 mm)
Tank Capacity: 3.7 US gal (14 litres)
Wet Weight: 416.7 lb (189 kg)