Back in the ‘60s, the BSA Rocket 3 was also sold as a Triumph: the Trident. And today, not only does the British brand have its own Rocket 3, but now the Trident is back, too. Naturally, such a history means the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 is under a bit of pressure to succeed. But recent reviews suggest the affordable roadster is rising to the occasion.
What does the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 offer riders?
With a starting price of $8095, the 2021 Trident 660 is the cheapest bike in the Triumph lineup. But just because it’s an entry-level motorcycle doesn’t mean it lacks content.
As its name, the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 has a 660cc inline-three engine linked to a six-speed transmission. It’s derived from the same engine used in the outgoing Daytona 675, the last-gen Street Triple, and the non-US Street Triple 660 S, MCN reports. However, it has unique internals and different gear ratios, Motorcyclist reports. Plus, it makes 80 hp and 47 lb-ft.
The 2021 Triumph Trident 660 has more to offer than just its engine, though. It has Showa suspension, Nissin disc brakes with standard ABS, and standard traction control, Cycle World reports. A slipper clutch is standard, as is LED lighting, a TFT dash, and two riding modes, while a quickshifter is optional, RideApart reports.
Buyers can also fit their Trident 660 with heated grips, a USB charging port, and a Bluetooth module that offers navigation as well as phone, music, and GoPro control, Bennetts reports. Triumph also offers plenty of additional accessories, including luggage, different mirrors, as well as engine and frame protection.
The 2021 Triumph Trident 660 “packs a ton of fun into a simple package,” Cycle World says
There are a few areas where the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 shows some of its entry-level cost-cutting decisions, Cycle World reports. The front Showa forks, for example, are non-adjustable, as is the clutch lever, DriveTribe reports. And some of the smaller components, such as the horn wiring and rear brake pedal, are a bit cheap, Cycle World reports.
However, overall, the Trident 660 is a rewarding and smile-inducing bike to ride, Motorcyclist reports. It’s not as sporty as the latest Street Triple, VisorDown reports, but then, it’s not trying to be. This is a motorcycle designed to be fun and unintimidating for newer riders, and Triumph nailed it, TheGirlOnABike reports.
The suspension is well-dampened and well-calibrated, delivering good handling without being too firm. A 31.7”-tall seat and wide handlebars make for a neutral, upright, and comfortable riding position. “The brakes are relatively basic,” Motorcyclist reports, but they’re effective, as are the traction control and ABS. All-in-all, it’s hard to fault the Triumph Trident 660’s handling, Motorcyclist reports.
The Trident 660’s powertrain also contributes to the ease of riding. At 417 pounds fully-fueled, the Triumph roadster is relatively light, so 80 hp is more than enough to have a blast. Plus, because 90% of the inline-three’s torque is available at low RPM, the bike just pulls, Motorcyclist reports. The ride-by-wire throttle is extremely precise, RideApart reports, something I enjoy about my own 2012 Street Triple R. And both the shifter and clutch lever are similarly slick and precise, VisorDown reports.
All in all, the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 is an extremely accessible machine—one worthy of its predecessors, DriveTribe and RideApart report.
Is it worth choosing over the competition?
The 2021 Triumph Trident 660 is definitely worth a test ride. But, as Motorcyclist notes, as a middleweight naked bike, it joins an extremely popular—and well-contested—bike segment.
As such, the Trident 660’s biggest rival is arguably the Yamaha MT-07, a bike Cycle World said is “destined to be canonized as one of The Great Standard Bikes of the 21st Century.” At $7699 it’s slightly cheaper than the Trident, as well as 14 pounds lighter. Plus, for 2021 it has a new LCD dash, LED lighting, and larger ABS-equipped brakes, RevZilla reports. However, with 75 hp and 50 lb-ft, the MT-07’s 698cc parallel-twin engine is slightly less powerful, RideApart reports.
Besides the MT-07, the Triumph Trident 660 also has to contend with the Honda CB650R and the Kawasaki Z650. The former is heavier and about $1100 more expensive. And while it has a 649cc inline-four engine, the CB650R has about the same horsepower and torque as the Trident, Cycle World reports.
As for the Z650, with ABS it starts at $7749. And it too offers a slipper clutch and a TFT display with smartphone connectivity. Plus, it’s slightly lighter than the Trident 660 and has a slightly lower seat. However, while its 649cc parallel-twin engine matches the Trident on torque, it’s down 13 hp, Bennetts reports.
Choosing between these bikes ultimately depends on your level of comfort. But the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 deserves to be on your watch list.
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