Spied: 2012 Triumph Trophy

All-new, large-displacement, shaft-drive tourer breaks cover

Forget the Tiger 800 and radically revised Speed Triple—Triumph’s all-new Trophy tourer, spied here during road testing in Spain, is the firm’s most significant new model since the Daytona 675 was launched in 2006. Powered by a clean-sheet redesign of the firm’s signature three-cylinder inline engine, this model introduces the next generation of large-capacity motorcycles from the British firm.

Details surrounding the new engine are still sketchy, but it reportedly shares very few parts with the current 1050cc unit, and will almost certainly displace at least 1200cc, if not more. For a bike of this size, aimed at rivals like Kawasaki's Concours 14 and the new 1600cc BMWs, anything smaller would be uncompetitive. Perhaps the most important change is a totally different gearbox mated with shaft final drive—a must-have in the touring marketplace. Following its debut in the Trophy, the same motor will likely power a new, large-capacity Tiger adventure tourer.

The new motor is fit to a hefty cast aluminum chassis, with Triumph's trademark single-sided swingarm now incorporating a parallel link to neuter the shaft drive's torque reaction under acceleration. The rear shock is mounted low on a linkage similar to Honda's Unit Pro-Link design, saving space and making room for a substantial subframe suitable for carrying luggage and passenger loads. A remote rear shock preload adjuster is visible on the right side of the bike. Upside-down forks suggest decent handling is a priority, too. Brake calipers mount conventionally and not radially, though additional hydraulic lines running to the front calipers indicate a linked braking system. ABS is expected to be standard equipment.

Triumph has been developing the new machine for at least three years, and this prototype is clearly in near-production form. Expect it to appear as a 2012 model, launched in late 2011.

A massive, full-coverage fairing, large-capacity saddlebags and shaft drive position Triumph’s Trophy squarely among competitive touring bikes like the Kawasaki Concours 14 and BMW new six-cylinder K1600GT.
Photographed during road testing in Spain, the Trophy appears in almost-final form. Adjustable handlebars and footpegs suggest the riding position is still being perfected, and lighting is provisional as well.
The huge muffler suggests the all-new inline triple will be much larger than the present 1050cc model, likely displacing 1200cc or more. Low-riding rear shock should allow ample underseat storage.