The Trident 660 is the latest middleweight street bike from Triumph and aims to provide an entry-level option in their line-up that can please old and new riders alike. And boy have they succeeded!
This particular category of the motorcycle is absolutely stacked right now with many of the largest and most well-known manufacturers offering some kind of budget middleweight street bike. Despite the 'budget' tag, these bikes have been getting better and better with every update, bikes like the MT-07, Z650 and CB650R are all high-quality machines with an equally high fun factor for a relatively affordable price.
Triumph has now arrived with something a little bit different and something that might just push the whole category forward with its quality and refinement.
A brand new model
Triumph has clearly set out with a specific goal with this bike, to deliver an 'accessible' model in their street naked range, without losing any of the thrill usually associated with this category. We will get to how they have managed to achieve this in a bit but first, let's talk about what makes this bike different.
For starters, the 660cc liquid-cooled inline 3-cylinder engine makes this the first triple in its class. The stats are all very respectable, putting out 80bhp with 64Nm of torque at 6,250rpm. Interestingly, Triumph claims the bike can sustain 90% of this peak torque all the way from 3,600rpm to 9,750rpm and riding it certainly backed that up. It means that there is plenty of steady pull all the way through the rev ranges in any gear.
Obviously, Triumph is well known for its triple engines with the Street Triple holding its place as the king of the middleweights for years. But the engine used here on the Trident is actually brand new and developed specifically for this model. All the experience and know-how Triumph has built up has been poured into this new engine and despite being derived from the old Daytona 675, it has been completely retuned and there are enough new components to make it its own beast entirely.
The other unique thing here is how the Trident delivers its power. These days the trend is to have that low down instant delivery, but the Trident is a little bit more laid back. The peak torque comes in the middle of the rev ranges here and on top of that, Triumph has designed the ride by wire throttle to be a little more forgiving than normal. When you first start to twist, it feels a little muted and this is clearly a conscious choice. The aim after all was for an entry-level bike but one with enough power to please everyone. The way they have achieved this is by making the motorcycle as user-friendly and easy to manage as possible. If you are gentle with the throttle, you can have a laid-back and relaxing cruise, it's very difficult to get yourself into trouble (at least by accident). Open up the throttle a bit harder and this bike can still fly – all the power is there when you want it and when you are ready for it.
Another factor that helps with this user-friendly nature is the addition of the bike's ride modes. We have two to choose from – 'Road' and 'Rain'. As you might expect, the ‘Road’ mode gives you the Trident's full power and the ‘Rain’ mode...reigns it in a little. Sorry I couldn't resist it. The traction control, (yes this is a 7 grand bike with traction control!) is individually assigned to each mode, with the ‘Rain’ mode getting increased levels. It is also switchable so you can turn it off entirely on one mode or both should you desire.
Aside from just being a dead handy feature (especially with our reliably unreliable UK weather), it means as a new rider, if you were still a little nervous about the 80bhp power here, you could just stick to the ‘Rain’ mode for a bit and ease into it. There is also an A2 restriction kit available too and it would certainly make for a great A2 option that can last a very long time as you steadily unleash more of its potential.
Top of the class
For a motorcycle that costs just £7,395, there is a really impressive level of quality and attention to detail on display in the Trident 660. Triumph has achieved everything they set out to with flying colours. Let's go over some of the bike's features and more importantly, how they actually perform on the road.
The brakes are one of the standout aspects of the Trident. Nissin twin 310mm discs on the front and a single 255mm disc on the rear with ABS as standard. Most of the stopping power is at the front, which is the way we like it, and the brakes feel very responsive and confidence-inspiring. Even at high speeds, a quick squeeze of the brakes gives instant results and never leaves you in any doubt you can stop with plenty of time to spare. Absolutely fantastic!
For suspension, we have Showa 41mm USD forks up front and a preload-adjustable Showa mono-shock on the rear. The forks are not adjustable but again, this is the budget category and fortunately, it feels fantastic anyway. Nice and firm but still with no problem absorbing the lumps and bumps of B-road riding. You may get a bit of a tank slapper if you hit any larger bumps but it's best to look out for and avoid those kinds of things anyway!
The 6-speed gearbox is incredibly smooth and gear changes feel effortless. The slip and assist clutch that comes as standard makes downshifts a doddle and the levers are lovely and light, meaning no fatigue in the wrists. One thing I did notice, and this is no criticism just something you would get used to, the first 3 gears are relatively short. I did find myself at the limiter a couple of times because it just felt like there would be a little bit more to come. Once you hit 4th, the gears become a lot taller and thanks to the generous spread of torque, it's actually easy to just have a lazy day and let those tall gears take care of everything if that is what you are in the mood for.
Let's talk about the ergonomics on the Trident 660. The seat height comes in at 805mm which makes it nice and accessible, I am 5 foot 10 and can get both feet down flat with no problem. The Trident feels incredibly comfortable in general, there is a nice upright ride position with plenty of legroom, wide bars and a relatively thin tank with small leg cut-outs.
I already mentioned the lovely and light levers and combined with a spacious and very comfy seat, it all comes together to make a motorcycle you can literally ride all day and not get tired. One thing I will mention is that tasty sharp tail end design which looks fantastic but means that the pillion seat is very small. You can take a passenger on shorter rides without problem but on a long-distance journey, I'm not so sure how it would hold up.
Despite the tank being relatively narrow for a bike of this size, it is still an ample 14 litres, and the average estimated mpg is around 50-60. If you are riding conservatively on a commute you might expect to hit 150 miles between fill-ups, but the fun factor of this bike is not to be underestimated. If you find yourself pushing it a bit harder on some back roads you can expect it to cover a lot less distance. There is no wind protection as standard so, at high speeds, you can feel the wind hitting you in the chest a bit with this upright stance but honestly, even that wasn't particularly difficult to deal with and there is, of course, an optional windscreen accessory.
I have seen the looks of the Trident 660 divide people a bit but, personally, I love it. It goes down the neo-retro route that Triumph do so well and combines the best of modern aesthetics with a bit of classic style mixed in. As with everything else on this motorcycle, there is a lot of attention to detail with little Triumph badges all over. The large circular headlight is LED, and the dash has been made to look like a traditional circular dial, despite being fully digital.
Speaking of the dash, it is an LCD display with a full-colour TFT screen below. All the info is nice and large with trip meters, odometer, mpg, gear indicator and anything else you can think of. You can access the mode menus and assign traction control using the easy-to-navigate switchgear on the left side of the bar and there is even a separate mode button if you just want to change without cycling menus. It's all very intuitive and user-friendly – the theme of the entire bike, really. There is a free Triumph app that can connect and provide other features including sat-nav, but the connectivity module is an optional accessory, so you’ll need to check with your dealer on that one.
A budget middleweight game changer?
It is difficult to find any flaws at all with this bike, especially when we look at it in the context of its price range. Everything about the Trident simply feels great. It is easy to ride and easy to manage but still has all the firepower you could need for UK road riding. Beginner riders will be able to handle this bike just fine so long as they treat it gently and better riders than me will be able to push it to its limits and still have a ton of fun. It will make for an excellent commuter as well as a weekend toy and it really does seem like the perfect all-rounder. If you are looking to go on tour with a pillion or set lap records on track days, then you might have to look elsewhere but you will also likely have to pay a lot more money. For everything else, the Trident 660 has you covered, and it does it in style!
At £7,395 the Triumph Trident 660 seems like a bit of a game-changer in its category, and it will be interesting to see how its rivals answer back but, as of right now, it's going to be hard to beat!