These exclusive pictures show Triumph’s long-awaited 2.2litre cruiser.
If you want to see more of it, make sure you get MCN, out on Wednesday, February, 28.
The bike is due to be launched next year and sources close to the factory suggest it will simply be called the " Twenty Two " – a reference to the 2200cc engine and a nod towards the past. In the 1950s and 1960s Triumph built a 350cc machine called the Twenty One.
The bike shown here is said to be a relatively early version of the new machine. Even so, the final version is expected to be virtually identical.
One difference is the engine itself, as this early bike used a 2000cc version of the new in-line three cylinder motor. A source close to the factory said: " It was originally going to be a two-litre, but Triumph thought if they were going to make a big bike, they might as well make it really big so they’re going for 2200cc. "
The Twenty Two will be the biggest capacity bike in mass production – and offer more than 150lbft of torque – equivalent to two Honda FireBlades.
While in-line engines are usually mounted across the frame, the Triumph’s triple runs lengthways down the chassis – in a style not commonly seen since Indian’s classic " fours " of the 1930s. Other modern bikes with longitudinal motors tend to use flat, " boxer " motors – like Honda’s GoldWing and F6C – or have their in-line engines laid horizontally like BMW’s K-series four-cylinder bikes.
The advantage of the Triumph layout is that it allows the firm to use an engine that’s twice as big as most of the competition without using any more space than a conventional cruiser’s V-twin, and without the reduced ground-clearance of a horizontally-mounted motor.
Triumph refuses to comment on the bike, or even to confirm that it exists, but insiders reckon it will go into production and on sale in March or April of 2003 at a price in excess of £10,000.