Trophy's new home

A surprise addition to the garage

I was gifted an old Triumph Trophy 1200 by a friend, Keith that had stood unused for a few years (I was told), which I picked up from Bletchley (Milton Keynes) on 18th January 2020.

At the time I didn’t have any details, I didn’t know the colour, age, condition, mileage or how long it had been standing.

Triumph Trophy parked up in a garden
The Trophy's home for many years

Picked the Trophy up from Bletchley with the help of Paul, my brother (who has a tow hitch on his car) and a trailer borrowed from another Paul, a member of the Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club (#TOMCC) who lives local to me.

We got to Keith’s and armed with a mug of coffee (made by his sister), we went outside to take a look. Keith had uncovered it, but it basically stood where it had done so for about 5 years. The side fairings had been removed at some point and were complete, but the fairing bolts were missing.

It was parked up when Keith bought a Speed Triple and aside from him trying to get it running around 3 years ago, it hasn’t moved. While it did run, it didn’t run properly, we suspect because the idle jets in the carbs were blocked. From around 4000rpm, it ran fine but not below that.

There was also a problem with it leaking petrol, the fuel tap was suspected, so the tank was drained.

We found the brakes were seized so with the help of Keith, one of his mates and Mike (me & Paul’s uncle) who turned up shortly after we got there, we got the bike on the trailer & started to tie it down. I had 3 ratchet straps plus a further two nylon straps. Two of the three ratchet straps snapped (at which point I realised they had been sitting in my garage for around 16 years) so we borrowed another strap from Mike plus some nylon rope & managed to successfully get the Trophy home & on the workbench.

Triumph Trophy sitting on the workbench
Trophy's new home for a while

A quick inspection confirmed all the brakes were seized, the bike was covered in cobwebs and spider poo, the seat cover had degraded & torn, and the foam was crumbling to the touch. Both tyres were deflated, the front to 4.5psi which had to be partially inflated so it would sit in the wheel clamp on the bench. The clutch was inoperative and appears that the clutch lever is bent.

I could also see that the chain was corroded although the rear sprocket seemed to be ok. While the one key I had worked ok in the ignition although a little stiff, I couldn’t get the key to open the fuel cap. The key turns around 75 degrees, but the latch appears to be jammed.

What I've found

It’s a 1993 bike, registered on 4th June 1993 with an 1180cc 4-cylinder engine, pushing out a claimed 141bhp. It’s the first of the bikes designed and produced by Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, established in 1983 by John Bloor after Triumph Engineering went bust and new triumphs were rolling off the production line by 1991. Made in Hinkley, the first Triumph Trophy 1200 was released in march of that year.

The first owner of this bike lived in Emmerson Valley, Milton Keynes, Keith was the second owner, having acquired it in 2004.

Keith said he rode it around 5000 miles, including a couple of European tours, so it would have had around 12000 miles when he bought it.

I’m now the third owner of this Caspian Blue Trophy and it has 17128 miles on the clock. The original Trophy was Caribbean Blue, but a product revision in 1992 led to the Caspian Blue colour and the revised 4-cylinder bikes became known as the Trophy 4 at the same time.