In August, Triumph previewed its upcoming 2021 Trident triple in the form of a white-painted styling model shown at London’s Design Museum. Now the firm has released the first images of the machine in final form—disguised only with a Triumph-logoed wrap to hide its eventual paintwork. As with the initial reveal, Triumph isn’t offering much information on the Trident just yet, but it’s confirmed that the model will be a “new entry-point” into the firm’s three-cylinder roadster range, which means its price is definitely going to undercut the cheapest version of the Street Triple that’s currently available.
Other teasing details include a promise of “torque-rich” performance—which we can translate to mean an engine that isn’t tuned for out-and-out power—as well as “class-leading technology” and “agile, confidence-inspiring handling.”
In the absence of any official technical specifications, we’re left to draw conclusions from what we can see on the bike. It’s clear the chassis is new, with a much simpler design than the Street Triple’s aluminum arrangement. Appearances may be deceiving but we get the impression those frame tubes are steel rather than alloy, and the area around the swingarm pivot area is probably a plastic, cosmetic finisher rather than the structural aluminum component that it first appears to be. Underneath those arrow-straight frame tubes hangs Triumph’s familiar small triple engine, but not in the 765cc form of the latest Street Triples. The clutch cover is the latest design, but the crank cover in front of it is the old shape that was last seen on the 675cc Street Triple in 2016. Since 2017 that cover has been smaller, with a different bolt pattern, reflecting a completely redesigned engine case.
In fact, there’s a good chance the powerplant itself is different too. As mentioned in the last announcement, our information suggests the engine is neither 765cc nor 675cc but 660cc in capacity—a design that was created initially for the Australian market, where legislation for inexperienced riders limits them to 660cc and restricted power.
While the US version won’t be power-restricted, it’s likely that the engine has been designed with a maximum output of no more than 94 hp to suit convoluted European licensing laws where new riders are initially limited to restricted A2 class bikes with no more than 47 hp, which importantly can’t be derived from machines making more than twice that figure—hence the importance of the 94 hp figure. At the moment, Triumph caters to that market with the Euro-spec Street Triple S, which confusingly uses a 660cc version of the new Street Triple engine rather than the old design seen on the Trident.
Engine aside, the Street Triple S appears to be a source of several of the Trident’s components. The fork is a visually identical Showa—41mm in diameter and fitted with two-piston Nissin sliding calipers at the bottom. The discs these calipers grab aren’t the floating units used on the Street Triple though; they’re cheaper units bolted directly to the wheels rather than mounted on separate spiders. At the back there’s a new swingarm design, with a simpler shape than the Street Triple’s to save cash, and a Nissin caliper instead of the Street’s Brembo. One element that was missing on the previously revealed model was the license plate carrier, which turns out to be swingarm-mounted to keep the tail clean.
Triumph’s claim of “class-leading technology” means that despite the bike’s simplicity, we can still expect a certain level of electronic trickery. A couple of different engine modes, for instance, and traction control is likely to be standard although we’d be surprised if it extends as far as being an IMU-controlled setup. The simple, circular instrument isn’t the mechanical dial that it appears to be; it’s a black-and-white LCD display with two separate panels that will offer all the information you need but without the glitz of the full-color TFT dashes used elsewhere in the range.
Triumph is promising a full reveal “very soon” and says the Trident will go on sale in spring 2021.