Triumph Trophy 900


Make Model

Triumph Trophy 900


1991 - 92


Four stroke, transverse three cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder.


885 cc / 54 cu in
Bore x Stroke 76 x 55 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 10.6:1
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil 10W/40


3 x 36 mm Mikuni carburetors


TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition)
Starting Electric
Spark Plug NGK, DPR8EA-9

Max Power

71.4 kW / 98 hp @ 9000 rpm

Max Power Rear Wheel

68.1 kW / 91.3 hp @ 9000 rpm

Max Torque

83 Nm / 8.46 kgf-m / 61.2 ft/lb @ 6500 rpm
Clutch Wet, cable operated


6 Speed 
Final Drive Chain
Frame Steel, trellis frame

Front Suspension

43 mm Telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Tri-link rising rate with adjustable preload.

Front Brakes

2 x 296 mm Floating discs, 4 piston Nissin calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 255 mm disc, 2 piston Nissincaliper

Front Tyre

120/70 VR17

Rear Tyre

160/60 VR18
Rake 27o
Trail 4.1 in
Wheelbase 1490 mm / 58.7 in
Seat Height 780 mm / 30.7 in

Dry Weight

217 kg / 478.4 lbs
Wet Weight 250 kg / 551 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

25 Litres / 6.6 US gal / 5.5 Imp gal

Consumption Average

6.8 L/100 km / 14.8 km/l / 34.8 US mpg / 41.8 Imp mpg

Braking 60 km/h - 0

14.5 m / 47.6 ft

Braking 100 km/h - 0

41.4 m / 135.8 ft

Standing ¼ Mile  

12.4 sec / 176.0 km/h / 109 mph

Top Speed

212.5 km/h / 132 mph

TRIPLES, whether they sit in Waterford crystal or tubular steel frames get me in the gut. They invigorate and excite. They have hat elusive, seemingly ideal compromise between smooth, bur-bore power and two-pot lightness and throbbery; brutish memories of madcap kWak strokers and musclebound Laverdas; the continuing unanswered questions. The triple is the last, great, untapped engine layout - why doesn't anyone (BM K75s excepted) build them? And what might they be like?

So to say Triumph's new triples lave been eagerly expected is a bit like saying Mikhail Gorbachev's been having teething troubles at the supreme Soviet. Public interest at Triumph's NEC unveiling last year leaked with the threes. Most advance orders went their way. And however brill the four cylinder 1200 Trophy may be, the whisper from the factory was always 'well, if you think that's good, wait for the triples'. So we waited. The Daytona 1000 came, bettered even the Trophy in many respects and we waited. And waited.

Now the waiting is over.

The 900 Trophy is in fact identical to the 1200 in every respect bar the engine. No, be more precise, there are FOUR differences between the two: the engine, obviously, although the six speed gearbox is the same; the final drive ratios, lowered (lightly for the 900's claimed 100 horse power at peak against the 1200's 125; all-up weight down by a significant 39 lbs and fairing stickers which say '900' instead of' 1200'. But that, truly, is it.

The surprise is that away from the spec sheet, all bar the latter of those changes conspire to make the triple a vastly different machine. The weight loss is apparent first, and, if you've tried a 1200 demo, confuses too. Everything, its proportions (with a tallish 31-inch saddle but slim 5 gallon tank and seat); riding position (canted forward into a sports crouch more akin to a ZZ-R11 than the more upright, definitively sports-touring aspect of such as an FJ1200) and fascia remind instantly of the 1200. But where the 12 is a true litre-plus heavyweight with all the occasional clumsy awkWardness that brings, then the 900, at 4891bs dry, has the paddling ease of a VFR750 (4761bs) or GPZ900 (5151bs).

That 39 lbs has all been shed from the engine. Effectively it's a 1200 with one pot lopped off. Cylinder dimensions are according to the Triumph long-stroke norm (ie as per 1200 Trophy and forthcoming, identically-powered, 900 Trident - both Daytonas and the 750 Trident use the short stroke configuration). Suitably slimmer cases house the evenly spaced 120 crank and that in turn drives the twin balancer shafts up front and the standard-issue six-speed 'box aft. Claimed performance peaks at l00bhp at 9500rpm (compared to the 1200's 125 @ 9000) together with an impressively-meaty torque figure of 59.7lb.ft at just 6500rpm (next to 73 @ 8000).

And, on the throttle, it's refreshingly different, impressive and memorable. Not just different from the 1200 or Daytona — different from everything: any bike, anywhere, ever. If the 1200 is an immensely strong engine in a class already brimming with very similar Jap machinery, then the 900 reminds it's a triple and unique - the very first, modern, meaty triple -  with every turn of the crank.

And the word is, excuse me, 'thrummm'. That is the Triumph triple sound, the triple feel, the triple experience. At idle a rich, satisfying 'thrummm' through the stainless Motad silencers. At launch from a gentle 3000rpm there's easy, thrumming pull without the sense of brute power triumphing over sheer bulk that the 1200 evokes. Above that it's free-revving, progressive, eminently flexible and glitch-free. And it's got the deep bellow of an Aston Martin.

That slingshotting, midrange urge might have been predicted from the engine's long-stroke configuration, but what genuinely surprises is the combination of that instant, any gear, bounding response with a neat smoothness -  thanks to the 120 crank and balancer shafts - that rivals even its bigger brother. That's not smooth as in sterile. That's smooth as in: physical irritation - nil; svelte, curdling, soothing music to the ears and senses - three. Top of the league. Mega.

What heightens that experience (for yo, the distinct character of the 900's engine made my brief spin a joyful experience rather than simply an appraisal of impressive performance) is the quiet, no-fuss way the bike's chassis and cycle parts blend with the engine.

The sixth cog in the gearbox may be almost redundant, but the clutch is light, the gear lever action short, crisp and pleasing. You don't think about it. While internal ratios remain unchanged, the final drive has been reduced to the ultimate effect that top gear should be good for about 145mph at the 9500rpm redline. About 10mph down on the 12 but delivered in such a way that it's enough, surely, for most.

The steering, with a 27°/105mm rake/trail combo, is slow, secure and gentle like the 1200's. But with 40 lbs , less weight to throw from corner to corner the 900 is easier, its centre of gravity is lower, the 296mm floating discs and four pot Nissin brakes are less stressed and the sensation from the excellent Dunlop Sports Radial tyres is more distinct and precise.

But the 900's not perfect. The fairing, for a sports-tourer, simply isn't in the same league as something so accomplished as an FJ1200. The mirrors could still be better (as could the headlight) and, despite being narrower and with revised fairing inners to suit, the engine still wafts plenty of heat onto your legs. But, in all, the 900 triple has definitely been worth the wait.

If the 1200 was monstrously impressive, then the 900 is invigorating and richly special. The thrummm of its engine gives it a fair shovelful of what the 1200 was slightly lacking - character - yet, at 40lbs lighter, it also loses little by way of outright performance and altogether seems a superbly balanced, rounded package. That's praise indeed. Better still, at £6300 the 900 Trophy is not only competitive, but when you realise it's cheaper than both the FJ1200 with ABS and CBR thou, it's almost a bargain. And all that from a brand new bike, from the brand new factory of a brand new BRITISH firm? Miraculous. Truly. D

Source Bike Magazine 1992