2013 Triumph Trophy SE – Road Test Review

2013 Sport-Touring Comparison Test: BMW K1600GT, BMW R1200RT, Kawasaki Concours 14, Triumph Trophy, Yamaha FJR1300
2013 Triumph Trophy SE (Photos by Rich Cox)

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.

2013 Sport-Touring Comparison Test: BMW K1600GT, BMW R1200RT, Kawasaki Concours 14, Triumph Trophy, Yamaha FJR1300
Helmet: Arai Vector-2 / Jacket & Pants: Joe Rocket / Boots: Aerostich / Tailbag: Wolfman

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.

2013 Sport-Touring Comparison Test: BMW K1600GT, BMW R1200RT, Kawasaki Concours 14, Triumph Trophy, Yamaha FJR1300
The central multifunction display is very detailed and customizable.

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.

2013 Triumph Trophy SE Specs

Base Price: $18,999
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: triumphmotorcycles.com

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line triple
Displacement: 1,215cc
Bore x Stroke: 85.0 x 71.4mm
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Adj. Interval: 20,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection w/ throttle-by-wire, 46mm throttle bodies x 3
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Shaft, 2.55:1

Ignition: Digital inductive
Charging Output: 950 watts max.
Battery: 12V 18AH

Frame: Aluminum beam twin-spar w/ engine as stressed member & cast aluminum single-sided swingarm
Wheelbase: 60.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 27 degrees/4.7 in.
Seat Height: 30.3/31.1 in.
Suspension, Front: 43mm male-slider, Triumph Electronic Suspension (TES), 5.0-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, TES, 4.7-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston calipers & partially linked ABS
Rear: Single disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17
Rear: Cast, 6.00 x 17
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 190/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 689 lbs.
Load Capacity: 371 lbs.
GVWR: 1,060 lbs.

Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gals., last 1.1 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 PON min. (high/avg/low) 48.8/43.2/35.4
Estimated Range: 285 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 3,000

This sidebar was published as part of our 2013 Sport-Touring Comparison Test: BMW K1600GT, BMW R1200RT, Kawasaki Concours 14, Triumph Trophy, Yamaha FJR1300.


  1. Don’t let the steep MSRP scare you; even higher for 2015. There are brand new leftovers still in many dealers’ inventory. I purchased my 2014 TTSE recently from a local dealer at a deep discount. Other than no heated grips, this bike comes loaded with electronics and creature comforts for long distance touring. My favorite features on the “SE” are the TPMS, the XM satellite radio with bluetooth connectivity, and electrically adjustable wind screen. The 1215cc triple is a pure joy as well!

    • Triumph Trophy SE has my interest. but have not ridden one yet. Can’t make myself spend 18-19K, but 14-16K may. Had a Sprint 955, loved motor and handling, but old body can’t take that seating position anymore. Thanks for comment, you have me thinking.

    • Dave, what constitutes a deep discount? I have found new 2014 TTSEs as well, but only discounted by the current promo or $1500. I would love to know the discount from MSRP you were able to get and if the promo was part of the discount. I believe cost on the bike itself is at or about $15,769 “invoice”. I am really not inclined to pay full retail for new old stock.

  2. Triumph stopped making the exported TROPHY SE to the USA in 2017. So, only lasted 4 years in the market with this model. Why?

    Some reasons from a Triumph Trophy SE owners forum I’ve read and one experience are –

    Many complained about the lack of after-sales service (warrantee delay timing: one guy waited up to 6-weeks for warranted parts which is a big chunk of the limited riding season in Upstate NY).

    Also, they didn’t advertise it much, at least not where I live…with all the features to bost about it would have grabbed the attention of potential buyers.

    And one more flaw in the bike – the dual center-stand was a bitch to use/get down. So much so, some people refused to try using it for fear of dumping the bike, some people built a ramp for the front wheel to ride up and get more ground, Clearance, thus room for it to swing down before taking the weight of the bike in their garages.

    Myself, when I tried it in a dealership’s showroom before a test ride, I must have tried too hard and torn my Right Achilles tendon during the attempt. That ELF-ing hurt, and needless to say I need surgery to repair the tendon and recovery/physical therapy – and never got to ride the Trophy myself after that (lost the whole riding season). So, maybe if they are going back to the drawing board with this model, they’ll fix that issue? Safety tip, instead of placing the area of the ball of your foot on the center stand pad, try using the heal area for reduced tension on the Achilles tendon, and maybe deliver more of your body weight directly into it for helping lift the bike (any bike). Note: Triumph sent an inspector from Atlanta. GA USA HQs to the dealer to look over the Trophy, made no admittance of product defect and didn’t pay a penny for the injury, no “INJURY” lawyer wanted the case/represent me for Product defect/liability issue causing the injury because probably under $100,000 if they even won – too little for their time and effort.

    So, it seemed like the Trophy SE was basically a nice motorcycle, but TRIUMPH was bad about supporting it in the USA, and fixing some flaws in a timely manner.

    Now I’m looking at Yamaha’s FJR Sports/Touring model (did a test ride on one in 2014, always the 1st week of June – during the AMERICADE Rally week at Lake George, NY and loved the nimble handling). Sadly, Triumph wasn’t there with Trophy to test ride, but Kawasaki brought a Concours which I tried and not liked.

    • Hi Av8or Dave.
      That sucks having a bad experience on just checking out a possible bike. I know both my Honda STs have a handle for center stand position. I’ve always wondered if it didn’t come with one how on earth would o get it up.
      Just read a comparison of the big five tourers. The comment was the Concours n FJR were uncomfortable n didn’t handle as well as the Trophy n BMW RT. I’m looking at the Trophy but might do some more digging on rider reviews. Also want to make sure the local dealer can fix it. Happy riding.
      London, Ontario


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