Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it was impossible to miss the release of the 2021 Triumph Trident 660. There was seemingly more excitement around the launch of the Trident than any other motorcycle in late 2020 or early 2021. And for good reason.
Triumph has built a reputation on producing exceptional small- to middle-weight triple cylinder motorcycles. So when news of the Trident 660 prototype dropped in August last year, the industry was understandably all aflutter.
With such a build up, we went into this review with one major question: “Could the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 be the best LAMS bike available on the market?”
The Trident 660 presents riders with an entry level option as part of Triumph’s venerable Roadster range of motorcycles. Starting at $12,690 ride away, the Trident 660 is roughly $2,000 cheaper than the Street Triple S and represents exceptional value.
Powered by a 660cc liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC inline 3-cylinder engine. The 660 triple is good for 39.8 kW (53 bhp) with peak power at 8750 RPM, and 59 Nm of torque, peaking at 5000 RPM. Sold only as a restricted or LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) bike in the Australian market, the Trident is available unrestricted in most other markets where it puts out 60 kW (80 bhp) and 64 Nm of torque.
This shouldn’t pose a deterrent however, as the Trident 660 is still a highly capable bike. In fact, around town you’d be hard-pressed to even notice it’s a restricted motorcycle. It’s really only once you start to push the Trident above 7500 RPM that you start to notice the restriction, in which case it’s time to knock it up a gear and keep on keeping on. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Yes it’s restricted and and yes I’d love to ride the unrestricted version available in other markets but nevertheless, the Trident 660 has some pull. Sure, it runs out of steam above 7500 RPM but as mentioned, this doesn’t detract from the overall performance of the bike.
Around town the Trident 660 is in its element. It’s the perfect urban commuter with plenty of punch to get you off the line and ahead of traffic, yet small enough to filter through the tightest of gaps. The clutch is super light and has a really long and forgiving friction zone – which is perfect for heavy traffic and new riders alike. The front brake is good, but not exceptional, and the rear brake is fine. Given it’s predominantly aimed at the urban warrior, this is probably okay.
It’s through the twisties where the Trident really surprised me. I was expecting it to handle the urban commute with ease, however I wasn’t so confident in its capability through tight corners and flowing country roads. To my surprise, it easily stayed in the mirrors of almost anything except high-end sports bikes and super nakeds. Its punchy throttle response and agile handling mean the bike tips into and powers out of corners exceptionally well.
The Trident’s only limitation in this environment is its brakes, with the Nissin two-piston calipers not quite up to the task of wiping off speed quick enough to really push the needle.
The ride is on the firmer side, but it’s certainly not uncomfortable. With only preload adjustability in the rear, Triumph has opted to strike a balance with an offering that walks a fine line between comfort and performance – a line they walk exceptionally well. Potholed city roads and speed bumps are navigated with the same nous as tight, fast country roads. Another tick for the Trident.
I’m not sure why, but the seating position was also a lot more aggressive that I was expecting. Sure, it’s a roadster, however you’re quite lent forward on the Trident, and with the pegs set back a fair way, your weight is firmly planted over the front end. This certainly aids performance and thankfully the position is still very comfortable with little pressure placed on the wrists even after more than an hour in the saddle.
Speaking of the saddle, whilst comfortable overall, it could do with a trim around the waist as it’s quite wide. The extra girth led to some unwelcomed rubbing in the thigh region and some consent issues between me and the Trident. Still, it’s more a mild inconvenience than a deal breaker.
The Trident 660 is a well finished bike that looks even better in the flesh. Images of the Trident seem to bloat the features a little, with the tank and tail in particular looking a little bulbous. In person however this isn’t the case. I still wouldn’t go as far as calling the Trident sleek, however it is far better proportioned when you’re standing next to it.
All new for the Trident, the instrument cluster is first class. With a super clear display even in direct sunlight, the split screen display provides all the functionality you need. At the top, the LCD display provides a view of speed, RPM, fuel and gear position, whilst the bottom TFT screen provides the most functionality – allowing you to dive into the menu, adjust riding modes and even view phone and music commands, turn-by-turn navigation and GoPro camera operation if fitted with the optional connectivity system.
The switch gear is also very good, with everything well laid out and easy to access. Whilst not a massive talking point for most bikes, for those aimed at beginners or riders lacking confidence, it’s an important consideration. Other than the electric start and kill-switch, all switchgear functionality is available on the left-hand grip. Apart from the usual offering of the horn, indicators and lights (including a flasher or pass function that activates the high-beam), the Trident is also equipped with a mode button to access the two rider modes, as well as selectors to navigate and select options from the menu.
Available in four different colour schemes, the Matt Jet Black I had on test is the pick of the bunch for me. Also available in Crystal White, Sapphire Black, and Silver Ice Diablo Red (Matt Jet Black and Silver Ice Diablo Red for an additional $300), you’re bound to find a colour scheme that works for you.
- Light, agile and highly maneuverable
- Perfect urban commuter
- The best LAMS bike available on the market?
- Seat could do with a trim for width
- Gearbox occasionally struggled to find first
- Found the gear and brake levers to be a little cramped
Overall, the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 surprised me. The hype surrounding this bike was deafening, making it difficult to from an opinion of the Trident that was entirely mine.
I’m not sure what I was expecting from the Trident 660, but one thing’s for sure, I wasn’t expecting it to be anywhere near as good as it was. Down on capacity and power and looking a little frumpier than its Street Triple older sibling, the Trident had me fooled. The hype is real and this is one hell of a motorcycle.
But is the 2021 Triumph Trident 660 the best LAMS bike on the market? It’s a simple answer from me at the end of the day: not only is it one of the best LAMS bikes available this year, it’s also one of the best small to middle-weight naked bikes available on the market, period.
2021 Triumph Trident 660 Specs/Features:
- Engine displacement: 660cc
- Power: 53 bhp (39.8 kW) at 8750 RPM
- Torque: 59 Nm at 5000 RPM
- Engine type: liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
- Clutch: wet, multi-plate, slip & assist
- Gearbox: 6-speed
- Final drive: x-ring chain
- Fork: Showa 41 mm upside down separate function forks (SFF) with 120 mm of travel
- Suspension: Showa monoshock rear suspension unit, with preload adjustment and 133.5 mm of travel
- Front brake: Nissin two-piston sliding calipers on twin 310 mm floating discs
- Rear brake: Nissin single-piston sliding caliper on a single 255 mm disc
- Wheels: 17 inch front and rear with Michelin ‘Road 5’ tyres as standard
- Weight: 189 kg (wet)
- Fuel tank: 14 litres
- Seat height: 805 mm
- Ride-by-wire throttle
- ABS and traction control as standard
- Multi-function instruments with colour TFT screen
- LED lighting all round, with self-cancelling indicators
- Riding modes: Rain and Road
- Price as tested: $12,990 AUD (ride away – based on postcode 2000 and fitted with optional Matt Jet Black and Silver Ice Diablo Red paint scheme +$300)
- Options include:
- Technology pack ($1,295.20) which includes: connectivity system which enables phone and music operation, turn-by-turn navigation and GoPro camera operation; up and down quick-shifter; USB charger; and scrolling LED indicators
- Protection pack ($609.77) which includes: frame protection kit; tank pad; engine cover kit; and fork protectors
- Style pack ($1,041.43) which includes: fly screen; aluminium bellypan; machined bar end mirrors; pillion grab handles; and bar end finishers.
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