TRIUMPH TRIDENT 660 (2021 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Cheap to own
  • Well equipped
  • Street Triple DNA

At a glance

Power: 80 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.7 in / 805 mm)
Weight: Medium (417 lbs / 189 kg)

Prices

New £7,195
Used £7,200

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The Triumph Trident 660 is a breath of fresh air, just when you thought new bikes were getting ever more powerful, complicated and expensive, It makes a modest but very useful and fruity 80bhp, costs comfortably less than the base spec Street Triple S and even has 10,000-mile service intervals to keep your bank balance happy.

It’s a simple, characterful and grown-up feeling machine that’s happy commuting or scratching. Comfortable, engaging and so easy to ride you really don’t have to think about it, new riders will love it, but the experienced will find it also handles way better than any of its rivals. It’s fast without being tricky to manage, or too in your face and oozes low down punch, but the triple lacks the playfulness of Yamaha’s twin cylinder MT-07. Great build quality, generous detailing and cheap running costs are the icing on this middleweight naked cake.

But it’s more that. You can feel the same sporty DNA in its chassis and engine that’s made the Street Triple such a hit over the years, so while the Trident 660 does have a caring, sharing side, it also gets the blood pumping and puts a big smile on your face.

Watch: Triumph Trident 660 video review on MCN

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Triumph already make a 660cc triple designed to be A2 licence restricted in the shape of the Street Triple S, so where does the Trident 660 fit in? Well, its name may evoke memories of the British firm’s old '60s and '70s triples, or even the first ‘90s ‘Hinckley’ Triumph Tridents that started their current renaissance, but it’s no retro.

The Trident 660 has been conceived to be even friendlier and more road focussed than the sportier Street Triple S. It’s a completely new model, which is a rare thing nowadays, from its tubular steel chassis, minimal styling and ride-by-wire electronics.

Granted, its engine, which is very different to the Street Triple’s, may have started life in the original Daytona 675 (with a brief appearance in the Aussie-only 2014 Street Triple 660), but it’s now crammed with so many upgraded parts its now barely recognisable, so you’d have to say that’s new too.

With its minimalist bodywork and more than a hint of a street-fighting stunt bike look to it, there’s an overriding feeling of slimness and stripped back airiness to the Trident 660 when you climb aboard. Cut-outs in the tank bring your knees close together for control and the riding position is more relaxed than that the sportier and slightly bulkier-feeling Street Triple.

There’s lots of legroom for the tall, despite the Triumph’s compactness, but its 805mm dual seat is low and slim enough for shorter riders to get feet flat on the floor, which is always a confidence booster. Tapered ali bars are nicely wide and arc back gently towards you, for a reach that’s on the comfortable side of sporty, which is good news for your wrists in traffic and on long trips.

On the move the Trident 660 is a bike of two halves. It’s light on its feet, characterful and easy to use as everyday commuter on the one hand, but on the other it’s a naked sportsbike with a Moto2 soundtrack, fruity low-gear acceleration and incredible poise and accuracy through corners.

It can do both of those things equally well because it weighs just 189kg ready to go and the chassis has the kind of balance its Japanese rivals still struggle to get right (most are too soft at the rear and harsh at the front). That’s squarely down to clever Triumph design, development and a talented team of test riders.

The Trident 660 is of course built down to a price, but there’s been no scrimping when it came to creating it. It’s had the same love, care and went through the same brutal regime as any new Triumph, including their Moto2 project. The Trident 660 has undergone over half a million miles worth of durability testing, 1200 miles of flat-out speed runs, 31 individual rig tests over 3440 hours, over 20,000 miles on track and 3300 hours on the road.

As a result, the suspension is well damped, sprung and never jars or wallows. Steering is light, natural and the brakes are full of power, feel and devoid of unwanted ABS intervention. Michelin Road 5 rubber grips in the wet, dry and across a wide temperature range, so always instils confidence. The Triumph is accessible, friendly and confidence inspiring. but it’s also so sure-footed you’d need to be going some to get it out of shape on the road.  

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Three-cylinder motorcycles are always lauded for their versatility, mixing the grunt of a twin with the long-revving excitement of a four. It’s why Yamaha’s MT-09 has been such a success and why Triumph had produced 600,000 triples by the end of 2020…and counting.

The Trident 660 has incredible thrust for its capacity and there’s meaty, but friendly power right through the rev range. It’s never fussy about what gear you’re in, it’ll pull cleanly regardless. 80bhp might not sound much in these 200bhp-obsessed days but it’s still a lot, especially with the motor’s shorter first four gear ratios, so when you give the triple a tickle it doesn’t hang around. Tuck down behind the clock for long enough with the throttle against the stop you’d see around 130mph.

Throttle, clutch action and gearbox are all as delightful as afternoon tea and while it has traction control and ABS, the Trident 600 is so sure-footed during our test we never trouble them, even in the wet.

Overall performance sits somewhere between Kawasaki’s 67bhp Z650 parallel twin and Honda’s more powerful 94bhp inline four-cylinder CB650R. The Triumph’s engine character ensures that it’s more visceral than both of them, but then there’s the MT-07.

Yamaha has a new version for 2021 which we haven’t ridden yet but the outgoing MT-07 was something special, selling by the truckload and winning awards and group tests since it arrived in 2014. In terms of handling and composure the Triumph has the Yamaha beat hands-down, but the MT-07 ‘s 74bhp parallel twin cylinder engine will always take some beating in terms of thrills and playfulness.

But the Trident 660’s engine is calm at low speed and cruises nicely on the motorway thanks to its tall fifth and sixth gears. It might only have a 14-litre fuel tank but averaging an indicated 60mpg that’s 185 miles between fill-ups.

Tech spotlight - Triumph Trident engine

Haven’t we met before?

Triumph’s Trident 660 motor isn’t the same as the triple powering the current, shorter-stoke 660cc Street Triple S. It’s actually a heavily reworked Daytona 675 lump with its stroke reduced from 52.3mm to 51.1mm, trimming capacity to 660cc. Power and revs are also dialled down from a track-tastic 123bhp@13,500rpm to a more road-friendly 80bhp@10,250rpm.

The engine has 67 new components, including crank, pistons, gudgeon pins, cylinder liners, cylinder head, cams, crankcase castings, sump, cooling system, radiator, alternator rotor and stator, air intakes, exhaust and slip and assist clutch for a light lever action.

Most usefully for a bike designed for everyday riding it has more grunt at lower revs than the Street Triple S with over 90% of its torque delivered from 3600rpm to 9750rpm. Its new gearbox has shorter first to fourth gears for more low-down thrust and a slightly higher fifth and sixth for more comfortable cruising.

Unlike the old Daytona 675 the Trident 660 has a modern ride-by-wire system to control everything from fuelling to rider aids and modes (Road and Rain).

Read more about the Trident's new engine and the bike's development here.

Triumph Trident: New rider-friendly

An A2 licence restrictor kit is also available to reduce power to 46bhp@8750rpm and torque to 44ftlb@5250rpm, which can be fitted by a dealer…and undone again when the time comes.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Paint finishes, equipment level and attention to detail are all top notch and you get a two year unlimited mileage warranty. The motor is now in such a safe state of tune Triumph have extended service intervals to 10,000 miles, making it cheaper to run. So, if you stick to the Trident 660’s service schedule over three years it’ll only spend 8.3 hours in the workshop having its first (600 mile) service and three annual services, including new brake pads, chain and sprocket and a brake fluid change. Triumph says its main rivals will spend 2.7 to 7.5 hours to longer up on a ramp and cost you more.

We don't have any owners' reviews for the Trident at this point, but you can leave one here

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

It’s the cheapest bike in Triumph’s 2021 line up and has middleweight naked rivals like Honda’s similarly priced CB650R, the cheaper Kawasaki Z650 and class-leading (and again cheaper) Yamaha MT-07 firmly in its sights.

They’re the kind of machines adored by commuters, newer riders and the experienced who want something fun for the weekend without having to pay big bucks for the pleasure. Given the Trident’s performance, long service intervals, finish and equipment level it’s excellent value for money.

Equipment

5 out of 5 (5/5)

The rider’s eye view down is textbook, modern-day Triumph and everything you can see is neat, well finished and thought out: uncluttered switchgear, big, useful teardrop-shaped mirrors and an elegant single round clock with twin displays. At the top is a crisp white on black LCD readout displaying speed, revs and fuel level. The colour TFT screen beneath contains a clock, trips, gear position, set-up menus and when used with Triumph’s app displays turn-by-turn sat nav, music and call functions.  

Elsewhere the Trident 660 bursts with the kind of detailing that makes its Japanese rivals seem quite ordinary: full LED lighting, self-cancelling indicators, an immobiliser, lightweight five spoke ali wheels, Michelin Road 5 tyres, an adjustable brake lever, Nissin brakes and a neat underslung exhaust that makes a nice tingly, triply noise for your ears to enjoy.

Showa forks aren’t adjustable, but for normal riding by average sized riders you won’t need to fiddle anyway. The rear shock has a linkage and is adjustable for preload, which you’ll need to ramp up for two-up work or carrying luggage.

One of its most distinguishing features is its cut-down back end, uncluttered by a number plate, mudguard and indicators, which are all mounted on the swingarm instead. Underseat plastics can be swapped for accessory pillion grab handles.

Fuel tank cut outs, complete with textured plastic pads and aluminium badges place knees closer together giving the Trident a narrow, controllable feel. Cropped Triumph logos appear on the more expensive black/silver, silver/red paint schemes.

Paint finishes are up there with the best Trumpets and the detailing continues with neat little badges and logos subtly contained within the tank knee pads, fuel cap, headlight, taillight, handlebar clamp and clocks. 

Triumph has created a 47-strong range of accessories for the Trident 660 including a Bluetooth connectivity system, an up/down quickshifter, an underseat USB charger, scrolling LED indicators, tyre pressure monitor system, fly screen, aluminium bellypan, bar end mirrors, machined ali parts, heated grips and pillion grab handles. There’s also a quick release tail pack and tank bag, crash and paint protection, covers, cleaning kits, battery chargers, an alarm, tracker and locks.

Specs

Engine size 660cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 12v, inline triple
Frame type Tubular steel perimeter
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension Showa 41mm USD forks non-adjustable
Rear suspension Showa single shock, adjustable for preload
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs with two-piston Nissin calipers. ABS
Rear brake 255mm disc with single-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price £7,195
Used price £7,200
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 80 bhp
Max torque 47 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2021: Triumph Trident 660 introduced.

Other versions

None. 

Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH TRIDENT 660 (2021 - on)

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