Considering a Gen 2 Trophy 900, couple of questions ... - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question Considering a Gen 2 Trophy 900, couple of questions ...

This leads to questions, please bear with me, background may help get best answers …

I’ve been all-weather touring/camping for 40+ years and plan on continuing for a long time. Perhaps a bit above average mechanical competency, I’ve always maintained and modified my own machines. I'm comfortable repairing/modifying all systems of non-injected motorcycles.

I’m considering purchase of a very low-miles box-stock original ’96 Trophy 900 (gen 2, twin headlight) garage queen as a slight downsizing replacement for a long faithful but extremely top-heavy heavy ZG1000 Concours (it has 150+ lbs on the Trophy; my body is not quite keeping up with my attitude ). The 900 Trophy is attractive to me for many reasons understood by y’all already.

This specific very clean example obviously needs a complete refresh of everything rubber in it, that’s not a problem; nor is total fluid flushing and non-engine bearings refresh. I think I have a good handle on the ‘top ten issues’ with the Trophy, and mitigating most of those is not a problem (coils, alternator bolts, for example).

Lots of searching in this great forum leaves me with two issues needing confirmation / clarification / opinion:

1. I believe that the Trophy has a 400W (nom) alternator (perhaps the identical Denso unit as the single-headlight ZG1000). In winter I run up to 130W of heated gear, which can require close monitoring of charging voltage on the single-headlight Connie, particularly if stuck in low-speed traffic (so shut-down the heat for a bit and press-on ;-). Not a problem with the revs above 3k. Can I expect about the same with the two-headlight Trophy? Any problem installing a cut-out relay on one headlight and running ‘cyclops’ to gain 55W if needed?

2. Regarding the starter sprag clutch issue …. if a one-time most reliable fix is paramount, the consensus seems to be install the latest version OEM sprag assembly, clearancing the case as needed. I understand this may also require swapping of only one gear (no shafts) in the tranny to match the larger 53-tooth sprag, correct? The VIN on the '96 Trophy 900 of interest is 034XXX. It is a ‘grey engine’ and does not appear to have the ‘convenient access plate’.

I can do the sprag fix in my workshop no problem. Even with ‘impending failure warning’ I don’t think it is a situation I’d want to have come up on a multi-thousand mile, multi-week trip. Finding myself facing ongoing push-starts or risk of loose and destructive bits in the tranny while on the road is not acceptable, I’d need to preempt the matter with a high-confidence fix for the machine to meet my needs.

Clarifications / comments most appreciated. TIA.

Last edited by Centex; 06-23-2014 at 10:59 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 08:51 AM
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I have a '96 900 Trophy and have owned it since new. The problems I have had are all the relays failed so I added dialectric grease and no issues since, I upgraded front and rear suspension with Works Performance units. installed SS brake lines. I installed a Scottoiler and chains last 30000 miles +. The heat sender unit failed and all the headlight bulbs. Other than these issues the bike has been stone reliable. I only use Triumph branded motor oil and am fussy regarding oil, chains, tires and all maintenance. I do all work except valves. I ride in all weather as well but I do not have heated grips, GPS etc. I do have a pigtail for an electric vest but never plug it in.

What ever happened to Roberta Claypool?

Last edited by dudley; 06-24-2014 at 08:54 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 11:41 AM
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My '96 900 Trophy is also top heavy, I don't know how they compare to a Connie.
I've run with a Widder vest, armchaps, and gloves and have had no charging issues.
Only the very early Trophys had the sprag access plate. Knowing the vin number is still no clue to the sprag size, 51 & 53 tooth gear. Get the little gear that matches the sprag gear. Use a good battery and the sprag shouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't buy a garage queen. All that sitting ruins the gas tank, carbs, and other rubber bits. A cutout switch for a cyclops would be no problem.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 06:49 PM
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There are probably many riders on this forum that may disagree with me and I'm probably stepping on toes around here but in my opinion the Trophy would not be a good choice for what you want to do. Consider the distance between Triumph dealers in the U.S. and the fact that most of them don't keep a stock of parts on hand. I would sooner take an old Harley across this country before I would rely on my Trophy. At least Harley parts are easy to come by.
That being said, I bought my 96 1200 for $700 five years ago. It's had it's little quirks but I've taken it on a couple 1000+ mile trips and it hasn't let me down yet. But my philosophy is that considering the price I paid, I could abandon it if I had to.

Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 01:27 PM
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My experience is that Triple Trophy's are workhorses and over-engineered to be reliable touring bikes. 38,000 trouble free miles of long distance riding. Many rides of 3,000-5,000 miles up to Yukon, BC, Wyoming, etc. Nothing has broken. Bike just keeps running. Regular maintenance is all that has been required. Valves have never even gone out of spec.

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you'll get run over if you just sit there."
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 07:42 AM
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Old Harley?

I'm guessing PaulF would not trade his for an old Harley.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 06:45 AM
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i would suspect harleys need to have ready parts availability - they don't do long distances at highway speeds very well here in germany - most of them move slightly faster than the trucks, 56 mph. on the other hand triumphs are generally very reliable beasts and anyway, any half competent mechanic would be able to fix most things that could go wrong even if it was a bit of a jury rig.

buy the trophy!
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