A trident. A spear with a personality disorder. Or cutlery for a lover of five pound steaks. And traditionally the weapon from the PSU of Poseidon, a God from the time when people still believed in Gods. And the unimaginative ones. But dramatically charged type name for three-cylinder combustion engines. The Triumph So trident.
Triumph made Tridents
That was based on some fiddling by staff members who had tinkered an extra cylinder on a 500 cc twin. That bit of self-motivation was picked up by management when the Japanese four-cylinder invasion threatened. The three-cylinder pushrod engines consisted of an annoying amount of castings, the production quality left something to be desired and they were quite maintenance-sensitive. They tended to inhale pieces of air filter.
In Autobahn confrontations with Honda CB750, the Triumphs harakiri
Many engine blocks finally died between 2500-10.000 km. But the Triumph Tridents were beautiful. They sounded wonderful and were the ideal dance partners on secondary roads. My used bought Triumph Trident T150 got a ton of TLC and continued to serve me faithfully for something like 50D miles. He was followed by another used machine... A Honda CB750 Four. It cost me $2.000 by the way.
Books have been written about the demise of the British motorcycle industry
And then came John Bloor, a real estate entrepreneur. He had a crush on a piece of former Triumph factory site to build new construction and invested more than £1983 in 80.000.000 in the trademark rights of the deceased Triumph and the construction of a new engine factory in Hinckley. To learn how good motorcycles should actually be made, he looked at how Kawasaki did it. After that he was consistent: He didn't continue building the outdated parallel twins, but he made modular three and four cylinders that more than resembled the Kawasakis from a few years before. The new Triumph Trident, together with a good marketing strategy and with the shine of the brand still in mind, turned out to be a great motorcycle.
And of course the three-cylinder 750 cc version of it became a Triumph Trident
In addition, the 750 was the 'savings model'. The 900 cc version of the Triumph Trident was clearly more richly equipped and allocated. But the three-cylinder had a nice appearance. Mine Triumph Trident from 1991 looked slickly stylish. I bought it with a dealer-unsolvable malfunction. After much searching, the chokes turned out to be operated, but not to work. The 1 in 11 compressed three-cylinder with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder delivered 90 horsepower at 10.500 rpm. That took some getting used to, because my old T150 delivered 60 horsepower at a suicidal 7250 rpm, but thought it was nice enough at 5000 rpm. Also, the new Trident was a lot bigger than its namesake, who looked slender, slender and almost moped-like compared to its youngest relative.
The old one delivered a maximum torque of 72,5 Nm at 6900 rpm. Dressed in British Racing Green sportswear, the Hinckley Trident delivered 67 Nm of torque at 8500 rpm. And extending it to above 10.000 rpm was no problem at all.
The original or the new?
As a former owner of both an 'old' and a 'new' Trident I can only say: “nice machines those Tridents”. Oh, yes: the early Hinckley models are also very nicely priced in these times.
The youth photo was taken by Frank Pekaar, still Triumph rider