Triumph Trident T150V


Make Model

Triumph Trident T150V 750




Tansverse three cylinder, pushrod OHV, 2 valves per cylinder


741 cc / 45.2 cu in
Bore x Stroke 67 x 70.5 mm
Compression Ratio 9.1:1
Cooling System Air cooled
Lubrication Dry sump


3 x 27 mm Amal concentric carburetors


Individual points & coils



Max Power

43.8 kW / 60 hp @ 7250 rpm


Single plate, dry, diaphragm type


5-Speed, constant mesh

Final Drive

Chain, 104 links

Gear Ratios

1st 12.90 / 2nd 9.21 / 3rd 6.97 / 4th 5.93 / 5th 4.98:1


Dual downtube steel cradle

Front Suspension

Telescopic fork, hydraulic, oil damped

Rear Suspension

Swingarm, dual shocks, hydraulic dampers, adjustable preload

Front Brakes

10 in Hydraulic disc

Rear Brakes

8 in SLS drum in conical hub

Front Wheel

WM 2-19

Reart Wheel

WM 3-19

Front Tyre

3.25-19, Dunlop K70

Rear Tyre

4.10-19, Dunlop K70


Length: 2184 mm / 86.0 in
Width:     840 mm / 33.0 in
Height:  1005 mm / 43.5 in


1448 mm / 57 in

Ground Clearance

160 mm / 6.4 in

Seat Height

813 mm / 32 in

Dry Weight

209 kg / 460 lbs

Wet Weight

228 kg / 503 lbs

Fuel Capacity

9 Litres / 5.0 US gal / 4.2 Imp gal

Top Speed

194 km/h / 121 mph

Early Tridents suffered from reliability issues ranging from oil leaks to mushroomed valve stems, plus valve guide and transmission gear wear. High oil consumption was often noted, and testers and owners alike complained of a hard-to-adjust clutch. Even so, Cycle praised the clutch in a 1972 test where the editors launched their bike down the drag strip 21 speed-shifting times with nary a missed shift. For all its foibles, the Trident was strong as an ox.

By the time they built our feature bike, a 1974 Triumph Trident T150V (“V” for 5-speed, introduced in 1972), Triumph had things pretty much right. Electric start was still waiting in the wings (that would come in 1975, with the T160), but the Trident now had a disc front brake, traditional styling, and most of its reliability issues, save for the occasional oil leak, addressed. And it was still fast. A Cycle shootout of 1973 Superbikes put it third out of six in lap times and the quarter-mile, behind Kawasaki’s fearsome 750 2-stroke triple and new 903cc Z1 four but ahead of Norton’s 750 Commando, Ducati’s 750 GT, Harley-Davidson’s 1000 Sportster and Honda’s CB750.

Swing a leg over the Trident and you settle into familiar territory, with relatively high handlebars giving an easy reach from the forward sloping seat. Switch gear is standard Lucas, and the view across the tank reminds you of a Bonneville of the same period. Turn the key, “tickle” the carbs and Keith’s Triumph Trident 150 fires to life with a surprisingly easy jump on the kickstarter. Credit goes to an aftermarket Tri-Spark ignition replacing the stock — and troublesome — trio of points, making this a one-kick bike. Proper carb synchronization is critical to a good running Trident

Shifting is on the right (left hand shift came with the T160), one down and four up. Period reports gave the Trident’s gearbox mixed reviews, but the one in Keith’s bike shifts nicely, with an easy catch into first gear and smooth shifting across the board. In 200-plus miles of riding I never missed a shift and it never hung up on me at a stop.

The engine spins up readily, and pulling away the first thing you notice is the Trident’s ample power. While period reports complained of lackluster urge below 3,000rpm, Keith’s bike pulls strongly from idle. Around town it’s easy to ride, its nicely weighted steering aided by a slim profile that makes the bike feel smaller than it is. It feels civil, not raucous.

That is until you get out on the road. Twist the throttle hard and the Triumph Trident T150 sheds any pretense of civility. The revs climb quickly and easily — much faster than a Bonneville twin — and the exhaust, even with stock cans, emits a lovely, slightly muffled howl. Things really start to happen above 5,000rpm, and from there to 7,500rpm it fairly flies. Period testers claimed you could rev the triple to 8,500rpm without concern thanks to the Trident’s near bulletproof bottom end, and speeds of 120mph-plus were easily reached. In the 80mph range the Trident is sure and steady, although engine vibes start to intrude above 5,500rpm.

High-speed handling is excellent, if not quite in the same league as a contemporary Norton Commando. Keith likes the Trident’s seating position, but for my tastes the bars are too high and too far back. A 2-inch rise versus the 6-inch rise of the stock bars would push your weight farther over the front end and, in my opinion, make the Trident a much nicer high-speed machine. The downside to fast riding is abysmal gas mileage: We saw a low of 28mpg and a high of 32mpg, by all accounts normal for the model.

The suspension is period-typical, with limited travel front and rear and a fairly hard ride. Yet it’s not unduly harsh, and the front end feels planted most of the time. One place where the Trident pulls up short is in the braking department. The single front disc feels wooden and disconnected. And while the rear drum bites well enough, it’s the front brake that really matters, and this one just doesn’t deliver the sort of confidence you’d like from a bike that’s so easy to ride fast.

At around 500 pounds fully fueled it’s not exactly light, but it’s well proportioned and feels lower than it actually is. A nicely weighted clutch, smooth-shifting transmission and highly tractable engine let you dial in your favorite speed with ease. The Triumph Trident 150 is comfortable, fast and, properly set up, quite reliable, qualities that are often at odds in a vintage Superbike.

Source: Extracts from an article in Motorcycle Classics, written by Richard Backus, 2013