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The Rocket 3 could have been well named the Trident from Hell. Triumph Trident 660 though is much more meek. Probably a Trident suitable for his minions? But then if you know, it is the minions who always are more carefree and have more fun! And I just got off the Rocket 3 R and drove off to Dehradun in a Thar. The perfect representation of the adage, Mountains are calling and I must go. Perhaps the best way to review the Triumph Trident 660…
Writing after riding, riding after writing. That’s the life of a journalist. On some days you love that life and on some days, not so much. After getting off the saddle of the Triumph Trident 660 and ready to type away, I can say that this day makes me love that life, love it to death and back. Triumph knows how to make awesome motorcycles. What they don’t know is when to stop. And it’s not even a complaint.
Spoiler alert: The Triumph Trident 660 is a bloody fantastic motorcycle and in my opinion, the best that one can get their hands on in this segment and, if I may be so bold, it is encroaching some other segments for that title too. But hey, don’t leave just yet. Don’t you know that like all things in life, the journey is as important as the destination? Here too, I have told you about the destination but the journey is what was more fun, for me and hopefully, it would be the same for you. I’ll start by telling you what the Trident 660 reminds me of, in addition to being a slight (and strong) reminder of the original Street Triple 675.
It reminds me of a Kiwi. Not the bird, not the ethnicity, but the fruit. The fruit looks like a stone and is as uninteresting as one too. But cut it open and you know why it’s so expensive. The Triumph Trident 660 reminds me of it not because it’s expensive (it isn’t) but because of the internet generation trying to judge it based on a spec sheet. Blasphemy, I do declare! It is a sin to do so especially when what you have on hand is Triumph branded.
Nowadays, when 200 bhp is the norm, Triumph’s 660cc inline-3 makes 80. Self-thinking and self-adjusting suspension get the spotlight nowadays but here we have Showa’s 41mm USD forks and a Showa monoshock. No IMUs chipping away at 0s and 1s along six-axes, no overload of little joysticks and buttons and whatnot. There are a few but they are very intuitive. More than anything, it is just a motorcycle. And God knows how much I miss that; a motorcycle being just that… a motorcycle. The Triumph Trident is a fantastic ‘motorcycle’.
Talking about buttons, I have to mention that there is an optional Bluetooth package that enables the bike to connect with your smartphone using an app that can be downloaded on Android or iOS. It allows you to read condensed navigation on the console. You can receive calls and connect with your headset. Also, you can even control your GoPro without taking off your hands from the bike. I tested the navigation and it can save your neck unless you do not get into a crowded city where watching a full-blown map is more useful and quick. But it works and is a nifty add-on.
Now talking about the rest of the bike, let us start with the design first. There is no doubt that Triumph knows how to package their motorcycles. It is especially difficult with roadsters. That is because fairings can help you hide some mess but with roadsters, everything is out there. So it is an achievement that all the wiring mess is well-hidden on the Trident 660. Overall too, the motorcycle seems compact and well-built. The tank with that peculiarly branded tank-grip of sorts looks contrasting and pretty cool. The rear is pretty neat too and again reminds you of the original Street Triple sans the grab rails.
Now, the front is what I really like. It was almost inevitable that after contraptions for headlights were the rage, things would go back to the classic round ones. While I like the trend, there are only so many ways in which you can differentiate your light circle from someone else’s. The Trident 660 pulls it off and quite easily too. A shapely band with Triumph branding cutting the circle in half? I can dig that. There is something about round headlights that makes them so attractive.
Overall, I like how the Triumph Trident 600 looks. It looks simple, it looks elegant and it looks purposeful. Purposeful as in something that looks like its description- an urban roadster. Up to this point, I was thinking that I might find something to nitpick about but it was surprisingly hard to actually dislike anything about this bike. But since it’s my job, I’d say the horn wire looks unwieldy. Blame Triumph for making my job tough.
Now that we are past that point, I’d say spec-sheets are a waste of paper and Adobe subscription if it’s a PDF and looks are to each his own. Nothing makes or breaks a motorcycle more than the performance, the how of how it rides. So, let’s get to that because it will take a while and I mean it.
Starting with the best thing about the Trident 660, I absolutely adore this engine. It is everything you want in a bike that does not have you on the ragged edge all the time. Instead, it is very easy to deal with, very easy to live with, and very easy to wring the heck out of it when you are in the mood. While the innards are new and improved, being relatively layman, I will say that it is a slightly shorter stroke variant of the good ol 675.
What that results in is a blindingly quick-revving, quick-shifting, and punchy little number. Peak power arrives at 10,250 rpm. But it does not feel that way. The whole powerband seems like it’s full of the 80 horses and 64 Newtons on offer. It pulls away effortlessly and gathers speed quickly. It literally feels like flying through the gears and before you know it, you are in the top cog.
In a regular motorcycle that may translate to overeagerness where the motorcycle seems like it cannot hold a gear and needs too many downshifts for overtaking manoeuvres on the freeway. The Trident 660’s power delivery is tuned in such a manner that despite those hurried manners, it is surprisingly tractable and possesses terrific roll-on acceleration. Even while cruising in the 6th gear, it seldom requires a downshift for overtakes.
So it is very different from the original Street Triple in the sense that it is an easy-to-ride motorcycle that can be somewhat of a hooligan if you want it to be while the former was a hooligan that just happened to be rather easy to live with and deal with. And so, it is not a perfect track-day weapon but it is a perfect motorcycle for learners and the perfect motorcycle for the experienced ones to have some fun on. After so long I have experienced what it feels like to have the throttle wide open on a motorcycle. Take it from me that it is much more fun to wring the life out of a small motorcycle than live in fear on a big one.
Building on that, let us move on to the transmission. It is slick despite being devoid of a quickshifter. It is crisp and I love the glorious downshift noise. I was never worried about the sound department because Triumph always nails it. Now, despite that, I’d say that this motorcycle needs, no, deserves a quickshifter. Because of it being a bike so light and peppy, I was throwing it around the hills of Doon like no one’s business, and I definitely want to do it more efficiently if I have to negotiate hundreds of hairpin bends in a day and throttle out of them…
Adding to all that finesse is a soft power delivery with precise fueling. As a result, you have on hand a butter-smooth and city-slick, roadster. Also, you have traction control so that you can enjoy the ease of the Trident 660 and you have the option to switch it off if you feel like the front tyre needs some air-time… for cooling purposes, of course. On that note, I did feel that the traction control does feel a tad intrusive and dominant, especially when you go over a speed breaker or a pothole the engine takes time to come back to power. It just didn’t feel right. But maybe it can be fixed with some manual settings.
Moving on, let’s talk about the handling. Before that, let me point out that it weighs 189 kg fully fueled and road-ready. Agreeably, it is not the lightest motorcycle out there but that is still a pretty good number especially when you have 80 horses to haul that mass around. Even at slow speeds, it feels like an incredible light and nimble motorcycle. Easy to slice through the traffic and easy to back up in case you get over-excited and find yourself in a place where you think there was space. Happens to the best of us.
Triumph has a history of making motorcycles that are phenomenal handlers. The Trident 660 is no different in that regard. What is surprising though is that it is devoid of all the electronic trickery. Basic suspension, no interventions, no nothing. This is one motorcycle that tells you that among the people working at Hinckley, we still have some good ol tuners. Despite the setup and hardware being rather basic, it has been tuned to near perfection. Lack of high-end parts doesn’t mean that they have skimped on the fun or handling part. This is still one of the best 600cc nakeds out there and it’s more affordable than many.
When you are riding it slowly, the Trident 660 is easy to move around on. It is compact and agile. Gather some speed and you are assured that it is quite surefooted too. Now, Triumph did us, and themselves, a major favour by taking us to the mountains for the Trident 660 for its first ride. Majorly because that is where you can thoroughly put the motorcycle’s handling prowess to test and minorly, it just looks beautiful in the setting.
The suspension is mostly pliant on bad roads. Only the harshest and sharpest of bumps are felt by the rider. But this minor niggle is an extremely small price to pay for the rewarding experience that riding this motorcycle hard is. The chassis is so sublime and so balanced that it makes you weep with joy. It is responsive but not overly so which makes some motorcycles twitchy. Yet, it is very happy in the corners and tracks the intended line effortlessly.
The best part though is that even if you make a mistake, it is still very much composed and makes you rectify those. A brilliant tool for learning the tricks of the trade. Truth be told, I rode the Trident 660 immediately after completing #roadTripUnited2021 with the Rocket 3 R and the Ninja H2. And trust me anyone would be much faster on the Trident 660 in the mountains than those two behemoths. The fun factor is unparalleled and it also takes into account how carefree can you be with your motorcycle.
The engine plays its part here as well. It makes exiting the corners very exciting with its omnipresent grunt. Along those lines, the Trident 660 is one brave middleweight. I say that because it can take a surprising amount of beating and bashing. Ride it as hard as you possibly can and yet, it doesn’t bat a lash. It just soaks it all up and in return, it plasters a grin on your face as long as you are in the saddle.
I quite liked the Nissin brakes as well. They may not be the top-end kit found on some other motorcycles but hey, the asking price more than justifies it. And me saying that does not mean that the brakes are not up to the mark. They are and you better believe me. They more than serve the purpose for 99% of the riders. But the 1% that have watched too much MotoGP and have some experience to go with that too (fortunately!), may seek a little more bite.
Finally, ergonomics. As you can see in the photos and as the roadster tag entails, it is a very comfy motorcycle. The seat height is decent at 805mm. The handlebars are wide. The footpegs are set slightly rearwards. Ultimately, you have a comfortable rider’s triangle that does not rob you of the ability to get your head down when you want to. The tank pads/scoops I mentioned earlier, well, helps immensely in gripping the motorcycle and to tuck the outside leg in a corner.
In addition to all that I have mentioned, the geometry (rake, trail, wheelbase and such) are also spot on. Tight rake to keep things agile and spirited and moderately long wheelbase to keep things steady at speed without making the going too sluggish. Balance… is important. The Trident 660 possesses loads of it.
Verdict… I don’t think I need to say more. I predict that the Trident 660 can be the bestseller for Triumph Motorcycles for the foreseeable future. Do I say that because it is the most affordable Triumph? No. I say that because it is a Triumph. Because they know how to make a chassis. Because they know how to tune a motorcycle to perfection. And most importantly, because they know their ‘triples’. I say that because Trident 660 deserves all the accolades one can shower upon it.
This is THE perfect upgrade for someone who is currently riding a 400cc or even a 250! It is also good for someone who is making a comeback to motorcycling and doesn’t want to keep taming a mad raging bull that can kill. But this bike is also good for someone who rides a Rocket 3 or a big adventure bike but wants something that is good for urban commutes while still wanting to look stylish and be fast enough when required.
But yeah… it being the most affordable Triumph is a bonus! They have pulled out yet another ace, or should I say, another Trident from their sleeve.
Here are some more photos including some details and a few of the more than 40 accessories that the Triumph Trident 660 can be customized with.
Also, here’s some number crunching for you.