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Top five… Triumph special editions

special edition headline

Special editions and limited editions are pretty commonplace in the car and motorcycle world. The idea is simple: take a standard product (usually one which has been in the range for a few years), find a theme, chuck on a few accessories and create a fancy paint job. It’s a well proven formula, and a good way to create interest in aging models.

Triumph have proven to be the masters of this approach over the past two decades, typically pumping out several modified models each year. With the recent announcement of a Trident 660 special edition, we delved into the archives to find four of its forebearers which also tickled our fancy, before taking a look at the new Trident 660 Tribute Edition.

 

Triumph Daytona 955i Centennial Edition (2002)

 

 

Triumph Daytona 955i Centennial Edition

 

 

Since being reborn under the stewardship of John Bloor in the mid-1980s, Triumph eschewed fancy marketing and instead focussed on its engineering and manufacturing prowess. There wasn’t much by way of factory specials, but by 2002 that was all about to change.

The first ‘Hinckley’ Triumph went on sale in 1991 and 11 years later came this, the Daytona 955i Centennial Edition. As the name suggests, it was brought out to celebrate 100 years of the Triumph brand and was based around the standard Daytona 955i sports bike. The single sided swingarm was a big engineering change from the standard model, although as the first generation 955 Daytonas (known as the T595) used the same set-up it was more a case of raiding the parts bin than an all-new arrangement.

Otherwise this was a specced up standard bike with a £400 price premium. The very dark British Racing Green (called Aston Green in the brochure) paint and union flag badges emphasised the Britishness, while other modifications from standard included a colour matched seat cowl and some carbon fibre bits and pieces – not to mention the obligatory ‘Centennial Edition’ badges.

Triumph also made a Centennial Edition Bonneville T100, however the infamous factory fire of April 2002 halted production, making them extremely rare.

 

Triumph Bonneville T100 50th Anniversary Edition (2009)

 

Triumph T100 Bonneville 50th Anniversary

 

Triumph has spat out numerous special edition Bonnevilles over the years, hardly surprising when you consider it is the brand’s most famous model, but one of the most collectable is this, the 50th anniversary model from 2009.

Just 650 of these were produced in Triumph’s Thai factory, representing the engine capacity of the iconic originals. They were painted in a ‘Meriden Blue and Exotic Orange’ livery reminiscent of the classic 1959 Bonneville T120 and came with an almost obligatory numbered plaque on the handlebar clamp, linked to a certificate of authenticity signed by company owner John Bloor, polished engine cases and a customised saddle with white piping.

The bikes sold out almost immediately, although fans could still get a piece of the action with an accompanying range of branded clothing. 

 

Triumph Speed Triple 15th Anniversary Edition (2010)

 

TRIUMPH Speed Triple 15thAnniversary

 

One could argue that the first Triumph Speed Triple was something of a special edition in itself.

The original Speedy was a bit of a mongrel when it was launched in 1994, combining bits and pieces from the T300 series of bikes to create a café racer which proved more popular and enduring than the Daytona and Tridents upon which it was based.

This mongrel turned into the archetypical British bulldog and, to celebrate 15 years of the model, Triumph unveiled this 15th anniversary edition for the 2010 model year. This was particularly significant as it bore the signature of Triumph owner John Bloor on the tank, which doesn’t sound like such a big deal until you consider that he is an extremely private man, who despises the spotlight. As well as JSB’s signature on the tank, the ‘John Bloor’ edition came with a special black and red paint job, new graphics, matching wrist watch and a bunch of farkles from the Triumph accessories brochure, including flyscreen, gel seat and belly pan. Total production was quoted at around 1500 units, or just over one for every Triumph dealership of the time.

 

Triumph Speed Triple RR Bond Edition (2022)

 

triumph_speed_triple_1200_rr_bond_edition

 

Triumph has always been proud of its association with the movies. Marlon Brando rode a Thunderbird 650 in The Wild One, Steve McQueen was a huge fan and, over the years, they’ve been ridden by stars as diverse as Richard Gere, Ann Margret, Tom Cruise and Pamela Anderson.

The latest silver screen tie up is with the James Bond franchise. Triumph provided its Tiger 900 and Scrambler 1200 models for the last 007 movie, No Time To Die, and as part of the deal put on sale some heavily marked up ‘007’ editions of the bikes which appeared in the film.

Further stretching the association was this, the Speed Triple RR Bond Edition.

Created to celebrate 60 years of Bond movies, a limited run of just 60 units were produced for sale around the world. Priced at £21,995, over £4000 more than the standard version, the Bond edition features a clever grey-over-black livery which incorporates the names of all the 007 movies on the fuel tank, as well as other Bond iconography, such as the famous gun barrel image seen at the start of the movie.

Technically, as is usually the case with special editions, the Speed Triple RR remains as per the standard homologated machine. You do, however, also get a bespoke indoor bike cover, numbered plaque and a certificate signed by current CEO Nick Bloor.

 

Triumph Trident 660 Tribute Edition (2024)

 

Triumph Trident Tribute Edition

 

The latest Triumph special edition is based around the Hinckley company’s entry level Trident 660.

Costing £7,895, the same as the standard version, the Tribute Edition features special paint, as well as the additional fitment of a quickshifter and a colour-matched fly screen and belly pan, upgrades you’d normally have to pay extra for.

The tribute is to the most famous Trident of all, the ‘Slippery Sam’ production racer which famously won five consecutive Isle of Man TTs between 1971 and 1975, as well as enjoying success at other high profile events like the Bol d’Or 24-hour endurance race.

The 2024 tribute gets a white, red and blue livery inspired by Slippery Sam, as well as large decals with the racer’s famous number 67. Of course it’s no replica. Slippery Sam was named after its famous aerodynamic fairing, which was a non-standard modification from the road bikes of the period. Today’s 660 remains a naked roadster but, with no price increase, the Trident 660 Tribute Edition is a pretty cool styling exercise which adds value to an already very good motorcycle, while respectfully paying homage to one of the most famous motorbikes in the company’s history.

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