Triumph to roll out 2200cc cruiser and Blackbird rival

Triumph’s much-anticipated super cruiser will have a world-beating 2.2 litre capacity, but it won’t be here until 2003.

It’s the latest move in a capacity race among cruiser makers, currently led by Honda’s 1800cc VTX.

Triumph is close to completing development of its 2200cc machine. And it will be a triple. It will also be the only triple on sale with the crankshaft in-line with the frame.

Indian and Henderson were famous for in-line four-cylinder engines, Sunbeam made a twin in the’50s, and only BMW’s axed K-series 750cc was bold enough use an in-line triple.

The layout makes for a longer wheelbase than an across-the-frame multi-cylinder design, but all cruisers are long and heavy, so the engine set-up seems to make sense. It should give the bike a real " long and low " look.

Starting life as a project in the research and development area at the Hinckley factory, the cruiser has quickly emerged as a viable bike and is expected to make an appearance at the end of next year. Road testing is already underway in the UK, and also in America, where the bike has undergone hot-weather testing to make sure the huge triple doesn’t overheat under pressure.

Triumph engineers are believed to have kept the bulk of the motor smaller than you may expect. Incredibly, rumours from the factory say the first prototype engines used the same crankcases as the 955cc Sprint – albeit with much taller cylinders for a longer stroke.

To keep the engine compact it is thought this new bike will have the longest stroke of any Triumph.

The long stroke will also give the bike huge reserves of torque. Giving the Triumph cruiser a bore of 97mm and stroke of 98mm would produce an engine with a capacity of 2171cc and a very low revving grunty nature, perfect for a cruiser.

Like most bikes with in-line crankshafts, the Triumph is expected to use a shaft drive design.

Triumph would not comment on the bike.

Other Triumph’s in the pipeline include the naked TT600, which we expect to see at the NEC Show in November, and there could be a replacement for the Trophy tourer on the cards using a shaft drive. That bike would get a new four-cylinder engine based on the latest Daytona’s 955cc triple. The four, expected to have a capacity of around 1275cc, should be the most powerful Triumph engine ever built.

In chain-drive form and with a higher state of tune, the same basic motor is also expected to appear in a super-tourer to compete with the likes of Honda’s Blackbird and Suzuki’s. All these bikes should appear within the next two years.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff