Late fall is always an exciting time of year for us, despite the arriving weather bringing to end a glorious riding season. This is the time of year when the world’s motorbike manufacturers begin unleashing their new machines for the coming year and 2021 looks like there’s be a bumper-crop f scintillating rides on offer. One of the most anticipated is Triumph’s all-new Trident 660. The British firm’s extensive streetbike line-up has long lacked a genuine middleweight machine, focusing instead on their highly popular retro classic twins including the Street Cup, Thruxton and Bonnevilles. The Trident clearly breaks the mold of everything that’s come before it being neither a classic design borrowing from Triumph’s past, not a futuristic sportsbike. Instead, the Trident’s reserved-but-modern looks should appeal to sensible motorcycle riders searching for a bike with manageable power (claimed 82 horses) lightweight, responsive handling and that unique exhaust note and power delivery that only an in-line triple can deliver.
We’ve recently completed the final touches on CRM’s long-term 1995 Triumph 900 Trident custom – look for it on the cover of our upcoming December/January issue – and the history of the model is one that’s long fascinated us. The first of Triumph’s three-cylinder rides was, indeed labeled the Trident back in 1970, introduced on the heels of Honda’s game-changing CB750. The British manufacturers quickly caught on to the Honda’s appeal, realizing that modern, Read: 1970s) riders desired something more in performance and technical sophistication than Triumphs old school twins could offer. The Trident, whose air-cooled, 750cc engine was also installed in BSA’s Rocket 3, proved fairly adept at roadracing, but sales were sluggish from the start. When the new, John Bloor-owned iteration of Triumph surfaced in the early 1990s, the three-cylinder engine layout soon became a trademark of the re-born brand, and though it appeared to be bike designed to appeal to, ahem, older, more settled riders, the then-new Trident was a strong, capable performer with long-term reliability to spare.
What will this new version of the venerable Triumph triple hold in store? Well, the PR team at Triumph North America have promised to place CRM among the lucky duckies granted early test rides aboard the new bike, so we’re easily as excited as everyone else to take a ride. The official spec looks promising and the bike’s hardware is top flight from its adjustable, inverted Showa forks to its four-pot Nissin brakes. Keep en eye o this space for our first impressions of what shou