A design prototype for a new Triumph Trident has been unveiled by the British marque at the London Design Museum, our first peek at a forthcoming middleweight roadster model of the same name.
Triumph fans will immediately recognize the Trident moniker as an important piece of the brand’s history. Triumph’s first three-cylinder production engine powered the 1968-1975 Triumph Trident, and a full-factory racing Trident known as “Slippery Sam” became legendary, winning five consecutive Isle of Man Production TT races. In the 1990’s, the name resurfaced with the Trident 750 and 900 naked bikes.
Triumph representatives shared limited information about the prototype in a presentation with select members of the motorcycle press, but did confirm that a 2021 Triumph Trident would be available in early 2021. Technical specifications, pricing, and other information will be revealed in the coming weeks when the production model is officially revealed.
The all-white prototype gives us a glimpse at this new middleweight roadster, which is aimed at other middleweight naked bikes such as the Honda CB650R, Kawasaki Z650, Yamaha MT-07 / XSR 700 and Suzuki SV650, in terms of pricing and audience. Price is a major consideration for buyers within the middleweight segment and Triumph hopes that the Trident’s to-be-announced competitive MSRP will foster a new generation of riders.
This project is the culmination of a four-year development cycle at Triumph’s UK Hinckley offices, while manufacturing will take place in Triumph’s Thailand plant to maintain a lower MSRP. Italian motorcycle designer Rodolfo Frascoli was tapped and is said to bring an Italian influence to the Trident prototype. Frascoli has worked with Triumph several times in the past and most recently lent a hand in the design of the Triumph Tiger 900 lineup.
The Trident prototype features many classic design cues that we’ve come to expect from the Hinckley factory, with clean lines from nose to tail reminiscent of the Street and Speed Triple motorcycles, and fuel-tank indents that appear on a variety of Triumph bikes. Of course, the clean lines of the prototype are accentuated by the lack of turn signals and large license plate holder.
Details such as the round headlight and instrumental panel give the prototype a welcoming roadster appearance. Stylistically, the Trident prototype sits between the brand’s traditional “Modern Classics” and its aggressively styled roadsters and supersports. Riser handlebars and a relatively comfortable looking seat pave the way for what could be a neutral, enjoyable riding position.
Hinckley engineers were tightlipped about performance figures and displacement of the triple-cylinder powerplant, though they did say that this prototype is a non-running model, as evidenced by the lack of wiring, cables and other plumbing.However, the engine cases and bolt patterns seen here bare a striking resemblance to the original 675 engine used in the Street Triple 675 and Daytona 675 lines, so Triumph may be resurrecting and updating this powerplant for use in the Trident.
Currently, the middleweight category is populated by parallel and V-twin powered motorcycles, making the Trident’s three-cylinder engine the first of its kind in the class.
The all-new tubular frame looks like it may be made out of steel, which would certainly lower the overall manufacturing cost of this motorcycle. However, it does boast a cleverly styled swingarm that seems to be cast or machined aluminum. Braking components are dual floating Nissin calipers in the front and a single radially mounted caliper in the rear.
Unlike many of this motorcycle’s would-be competitors, the Triumph Trident prototype features an inverted fork. In the rear, a single shock takes care of suspension duties. These appear to be non-adjustable suspension parts, which fits with the theme of affordability for the Trident and is common within the class in which it aims to compete.
On the technology front, Triumph engineers have promised “class leading technology as standard.” Whether this means throttle-by-wire, ABS and traction control is unknown.
We’ll have to sit tight and wait for updates on the Triumph Trident, which is looking to be another enticing addition to a hotly contested segment of motorcycling. For now, feast your eyes on images of the Trident design prototype and allow the wheels of speculation to turn.