WHEN IT comes to a bit of flag-waving there’s nothing like getting choosing a British bike over all those overseas rivals. And for most of us that narrows it down to just one brand; Triumph.
Sure, you could buy a Norton or a CCM, but, let’s face facts; Triumph is still the only UK brand that offers a range including viable alternatives to the majority of Asian, American and European rivals. It’s an impressive feat and one that’s established the Hinckley company as a worldwide force to be reckoned with.
But which Triumphs are the ones that UK riders actually opt for? Rather than looking at sales figures, which only give a snapshot of what’s popular in a particular moment, and even then only among the relatively small number of riders in a position to be buying brand new at any one time, we’ve taken a look at the bikes actually in use on British roads.
Fortunately the Government has done the hard work here, totting up the total numbers of bikes with current road tax and splitting them into make and model.
So, without further ado, here are the top ten Triumphs, as chosen by real riders.
10: Sprint GT
The Triumph Sprint GT is one of those unsung heroes of motorcycling. Now sadly gone from Triumph’s range, this sports-touring evolution of the Sprint ST was a convincing alternative to the ubiquitous Honda VFR800 and combined a bargain price with understated looks and the character of Triumph’s famous three-cylinder engine. DFT figures show that there are a around 1,500 of them in use in the UK at the moment.
9: Rocket III
Surprised at this one. Again, the Rocket III is one of those bikes that Triumph has recently unceremoniously ditched from its range after nearly 15 years as the world’s biggest-capacity production bike. You’d have thought it would at least have deserved a send-off, but the Rocket turned into another victim of tightening emissions rules with the onset of Euro4 legislation. However, despite high prices and an unquestionably niche position in the range, the Rocket remains one of the most popular Triumphs on our roads with more than 2,200 in use.
The Thruxton is surely one of the most attractive-looking machines in Triumph’s range, and while the Ohlins-suspended R version is far from cheap there are few more convincing brand new cafe racers on the market. More than 2,300 of them are on the road in the UK, slotting the Thruxton into eighth place. But as the first bike on the list to still be in production, it’s likely to move upwards as more are made.
7: Daytona 675
Another late, lamented Triumph model, there are still vague hopes that Triumph might revive the Daytona on the back of its Moto2 engine supply deal but there’s no solid evidence that’s going to actually happen. In recent years sales were slow, to say the least, but regardless there are over 2,600 Daytona 675s in use in the UK.
The Thunderbird looks like something of an odd-man-out in Triumph’s range these days, the only bike using the firm’s 1,700cc, DOHC parallel twin engine. Given that most cruiser buyers don’t look any further than their local Harley-Davidson dealer, it’s impressive that the bike has managed to become the sixth most popular Triumph in the UK, with some 3,400 in use.