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I bought my Trophy back in 1994. It was immaculate, two years old and cost a fiver under five grand with less than 5,000 miles
on the clock.


TROPHY LIFE



Up until then, I'd ridden a variety of trail and off-road bikes, big Hondas and Yamahas including 500 twins, 550 and 750 fours and a couple of 1000cc machines. Frankly, my first ride up the road on the Trophy 900 nearly caught me out. The torque was incredible and required a quick resetting of the perception gauge in my brain.

If you read most reviews on this machine, the words top-heavy pop up again and again and, for the most part, it's true. When you first ride it, it does feel like a bit of a lump to move around. However, invest a little time and you'll be rewarded with a very planted ride. In fact, the more confident you are with it, the better it gets. Cranked over in a fast, long sweeping bend, there's no better place a Welsh biker would wish to be.

As a commuter, it's sublime although you might want to lose the fairing inlay panels or the complete bottom sections in summer months as it does get quite warm when you're pottering along in traffic. The upside benefit is that when winter comes, the heat is retained around the midriff and inside leg which is most welcome on chilly days. Riding position is very comfortable and, if you pop a tank bag on, it's even more so, as the ergonomics seem to allow you to almost rest your chest on the bag which reduces riding effort.

My only niggle is the narrow bars. My Trophy has end cap extensions and I find myself half gripping those rather than 'tucking in' to the actual handlebar grips. This could easily be sorted but it doesn't bother me enough to do so and, over time, I've just got used to the quirky grip position. On closed roads, I've enjoyed between 135 and 140mph and it is incredibly stable. Brakes are excellent but can be upgraded if you feel the need. I never have.

Suspension is a bit soft and could be sharper for more spirited riding but it works well for general use and, trust me, 'general use' can be very brisk indeed. The engine is fabulous. Did I mention the torque? I could fit a quicker throttle which would perk things up but the gain would probably be offset by less rideability when commuting so I've left it alone. What is impressive is this so called 'sports-tourer's ability to rev out and dip into the red line at 10,000rpm. Personally, I can't get enough but then I love the bike so I'm a little biased.

Yes, I'm very happy with my Triumph Trophy. A nineteen year old bike that gets my heart racing and I'm still the owner seventeen years after buying it. You can pick these up now for less than a grand. I saw a mint one on eBay recently for a mere 1,500 and, actually found myself thinking about buying it - the Trophy really is that good.

I might buy another bike this year - who knows? I have my eye on a Red Triumph Daytona 955i but I'm not selling my Trophy just yet. In fact, this winter, it's coming off the road for a major overhaul and a respray. I think after nineteen years it's earned it. And yes, that's me in 1994... Terminator shades and about 20 kilos lighter.

WORDS MARK ROBERTS PHOTOGRAPHY MARK JOHNSON
 
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