bels triumph trophy 1200


Originally more sportster than tourer, Hinckley Triumph’s first bike slowly evolved into a fully-fledged tourer with a slightly sporty personality. The main change to the Triumph Trophy 1200 came in 1995 with a much-improved fairing and bodywork, as well as colour matched hard luggage fitted as standard. The Triumph Trophy 1200 is a proper, big (and tall) old school tourer with decent ability and classy touches.

The Triumph Trophy 1200's four cylinder 1180cc engine was detuned from an original high of 141bhp to a softer 108bhp for its touring role, but lost none of its silky smoothness or roll-on friendly torque. The Triumph Trophy 1200 is ideal for touring as there’s enough grunt to haul pillions and luggage along at three figure speeds, all without having to stir the gearbox unnecessarily.

Like many Triumphs, the Triumph Trophy 1200 is not only tall but its suspension is quite firm - especially for a tourer - but that just means the 237kg (522lb) bulk is well controlled and the Triumph Trophy 1200 won’t squirm or wallow through bends like a lot of softly sprung touring bikes. Instead, when the road turns twisty, the Triumph Trophy 1200 can maintain the pace and give a fun and sporty ride.

That sleek slab of plastic offers good weather protection, but could possibly benefit from a slightly higher screen since air spilling over it can hit the rider full on the helmet. The Triumph Trophy 1200's fairing’s not as wide as some of the competition, with slightly less protection for the hands and feet, but that’s the price you pay for good ground clearance and a modicum of sporty handling ability. Pillions are well catered for on the Triumph Trophy 1200, with a broad, flat seat and well-placed grab handles running on either side of the seat.

There were three main models of the trophy

Triumph Trophy Models:

1991: Triumph Trophy launched.
1995: Complete revamp. New fairing, lights, exhaust, retuned engine and now with hard luggage as standard.
1999: New upper fairing turrned gave it the Pan-European look, and few other minor changes.
2002: Triumph Trophy 1200 deleted.

My Triumph Trophy 1200

Engine Mods:

  • Daytona 1200 engine
  • K&N Filter + rejetted
  • Wolf/Trident pipes
Chasis Mods:

  • Graphite Grey paint from the last of the line '02 - '04 version
  • 11 hole top fairing with 12" Clearview screen
  • Triumph Gel seat
  • Triumph heated grips
  • Triumph fork guards
  • Triumph feet air deflectors
  • Triumph top box and panniers
  • Hagon fork springs
  • Hagon shock absorber with remote pre-load adjuster
  • Six pot Hayabusa callipers
  • Daytona side stand (slightly longer)
  • Auxiliary power socket just below the left hand glove box
  • Oakley taalking alarm - "Attention! This Triumph Motorcycle is being stolen!"
  • Baglux tank cover and bag

bels triumph trophy 1200 dyno curve

Originally bought as a slightly tatty 1997 burgundy red model, and became another never ending project.

The body work, including the standard nine hole top faring (as in most of the photos) was repaired and a cutdown 12" "Sport" screen was fitted. I ended up building two mirrors out of three pairs to make a decent set. Is there anybody out there that knows of good aftermarket mirrors for the Trophy?

When I managed to get hold of a good condition top box in Graphite Grey paint from the last of the line '02 - '04 versions, I liked it so much I re-sprayed the whole bike to match. This colour is my favourite for this model.

Bought a Corbin seat, didn't like it and sold it. Now have a Triumph Gel seat, and at less than £140 new they are a bit of a bargain.

Next, the suspension. Hagon fork springs and shock absorber with remote pre-load adjuster.

The Hagon fork springs and oil seem to sit a little low, so I added an extra 10mm preload spacer to the forks. When riding you forget the front end is there as it seems to do nothing wrong. The shock is very compliant both one up and two up. The problem was that the Hagon shock was only 321mm long and the standard shock is 327mm long - that meant that the bike sat about an inch too low and as a consequence it dragged the belly pan when cornering hard. When I spoke to Hagon about this, they could not have been more helpful. The whole bike went there for a week, and when I got her back they removed their shock, completely rebuilt it and re-fitted it for me. The old shock was 321mm long and the new one is 327mm long, the same as the standard shock. This has lifted the bike back to where it is supposed to be, and the handling seems fine.

Then I wanted some extra go from the engine, and decided to just buy a Daytona engine. The black paint on these engines is a bonus as it matches my colour scheme - the last Trophies also had black engines. I also used a Daytona side stand which is slightly longer and stops it leaning over so far.

The Daytona engine I got from a '93 model with the flat plate over the Sprag Clutch. It only had a genuine 1500 miles on it and had sat around in the back of a garage for over ten years. As a testament to these engines, all I had to do was fit it to the bike, fill it up with fresh oil and water, turn it over very slowly for a couple of minutes (in top gear turning the back wheel) and then with 20 seconds it started on the starter button and settled into a steady tick over. I didn't even change the plugs or filter.

After a good service, the extra compression became quite obvious and showed up the old battery's inadequacies - I had to buy a new battery.

The Dynojet Kit I got was for a Daytona and was second hand. It is an early type with a "two stage" needle instead of a tapered needle, although all seem in good condition. I fitted it as per the instructions, with 116 Dynojet main jets, and the K&N filter and drilling an extra air hole in the slide. The engine was smooth on part throttle between 2,000 - 5,000rpm and very strong after about 7,000rpm, easily pulling to 140mph. The problem I had was bad pickup below 2,000rpm where it stumbled, and not liking full throttle between 4,000rpm and 6,500rpm.

I stripped the carbs back down and cleaned them again, but could not cure the problem? So I stripped and rebuilt the carbs again, this time without the kit:

  • Set the pilots air screws at 2.5 turns out
  • Put the standard slides back in with the single 0.8mm hole
  • Fitted the standard needles and needle jets back in with the needles raised one notch - note that if you ever strip these down that there are two different needles for the outside pair/inside pair
  • Fitted 125 main jets - not Dynojet
  • Left the K&N filter in the air box
  • Left the black plastic baffle tubes in, but removed the white foam inserts
The low down pickup was then fine and I could run around in top gear below 25mph around town etc. There was no hesitation in the midrange and the kick from around 6,500 up to the 9,700 rpm rev limit was very strong.

I ordered a set of Wolf/Trident Oval Stainless end cans, but the link pipes put them up where the panniers would normally be. After some redevelopment with Peter Sorell, we managed to make a set of link pipes that fitted, looked good and allowed the panniers to fit. The removable baffles will stay out most of the time, but in all honesty, don't seem to make much difference.

When I managed to get her up on the dyno, jetting was about right, and she made a good honest 125bhp, actually peaking at 128bhp, on the rear wheel.

To upgrade the brakes I have a set of six pot callipers from a Hayabusa, and they are sitting on the shelf waiting to go on.

I have also fitted Triumph fork guards, feet air deflectors to the fairing which look good against the grey paint, heated grips, an auxiliary power socket just below the left hand glove box, and my favourite accessory - an Alarm that shouts "Attention! This Triumph Motorcycle is being stolen!"

I managed to purchase an 11 hole fairing from a 2001 model, which has the more touring look to it, much like a Pan European. I now have a 12" Clearview sport screen for summer and a standard Triumph screen for winter.

This bike has now been sold. After over four years of ownership and many fun moments, she has gone to a good home.

last update 17 July 2009

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