Triumph is a British motorcycle company with a long heritage and many unique models under its name.
Triumph has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years with many technological and mechanical updates being made to their models without taking away from the overall aesthetic of the Triumph heritage brand.
This article answers the question: “How Long Do Triumph Motorcycles Last?”…
Here’s The Short Answer To How Long A Triumph Lasts
In simple terms, Triumphs old and new can have very long lifespans, but the rule of thumb is typical that the older the model year, the more maintenance it requires to keep it running reliably.
Triumph bikes before 2015 were air-cooled, which made them susceptible to a number of serious problems. Models made after 2015 that are liquid-cooled tend to be easier to maintain, even past the 100,000-mile mark.
How Many Miles Do You Get On A Triumph?
Any Triumph motorcycle should be capable of surpassing 100,000 miles in lifespan, but some make it there more easily than others.
A new model from the 2016 model year onwards is still quite dependent on maintenance to make it but has a much better chance of exceeding 100,000 miles in its life than an older model.
The maintenance schedule requires in particular regular oil changes, maintenance of the chain, careful attention paid to frame integrity – ensuring there are no cracks, etc. – and additional care for the polished surfaces that are somewhat susceptible to corrosion, even on the newer models.
Maintenance is more demanding on air-cooled models, and they are more likely to have a lifespan lasting up to about 75,000-80,000 miles, but some models have known much longer life, even reaching 200,000 miles.
What Is Considered High Mileage For These Models?
On an older air-cooled Triumph model, mileage exceeding 30,000 would be considered high mileage.
Most buyers looking for a used Triumph motorcycle would search for one of 20,000 miles or less.
For a newer model, the threshold for high mileage would be raised slightly to the range of 45,000 or more.
The newer, liquid-cooled bikes are still dependent on full and proper maintenance, but they are very solidly constructed and will last well when properly cared for.
How Many Years Does A Triumph Typically Last?
The average motorcyclist only covers about 3,000 miles per year, meaning that a well-maintained Triumph motorcycle would have many good years of riding ahead of it.
You can expect to get at least 15-20 years of life from a properly maintained Triumph motorcycle, but that will be cut to about half that when the owner doesn’t follow the proper maintenance schedule and respond to warning signs quickly.
The larger, newer models will last the longest, and the smaller, older models will typically wear out first.
Is The Triumph Reliable?
The Triumph brand has a mid-level ranking when it comes to reliability in the world of motorcycles.
They are ahead of many European and North American competitors, including BMW, Ducati, and Canadian Can-AM.
However, Triumph is somewhat lagging behind its Japanese competitors, specifically Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki.
Triumph experiences a failure rate after 4 years of 29 percent, which is a lot higher than Yamaha and Suzuki, both of whom enjoy a rate of just 11 percent.
These numbers are only when you look at the very broad and historical range of Triumph motorcycles, however.
If you single out certain models like the Tiger 800 and Bonneville T100, the bikes are deemed very reliable by owners and professional reviewers alike.
Does A Triumph Last Longer Than Other Motorcycles?
Owners can expect a Triumph to typically last longer than some other motorcycles, namely other European brands such as BMW and Ducati.
It has to be said, however, that a Triumph will not as easily last as long as a Japanese-brand bike such as a Suzuki or Yamaha.
In order to match or outlast most other motorcycle brands, a Triumph needs meticulous care and attention.
Triumph owners have to stick rigidly to their maintenance schedule and see that any problems are dealt with quickly in order to prevent them from becoming more serious and doing more damage.
For example, on the Triumph Tiger 800, the bike tends to easily eat through the rubberized plastic chain rubber that is there to protect the swingarm.
This part has to be replaced every 6,000 miles, lest more serious damage is caused.
What Typically Breaks First On A Triumph?
On most Triumph models, the first thing that seems to go wrong is related to electrics and wiring.
There have even been some recalls in the past due to wiring issues, specifically, wiring looms being damaged by faulty headstock tidies.
These problems tend to exist more on the Street Scrambler, Street, Twin, Bonneville T1200, and Bonneville T120 models.
Another vulnerable area on Triumph motorcycles is polished chrome areas on the exterior.
They create a beautiful aesthetic, but they are prone to corrosion, especially in areas that experience harsh winters where road salt is employed.
Salt is a serious catalyst for corrosion.
9 Great Tips To Make Sure Your Triumph Will Last Long
Below you’ll find 9 key pieces of advice tailored specifically for owners of Triumph motorcycles.
1. Keep Your Triumph’s Clean
A buildup of dirt, grease, and grime can hinder many mechanical functions within your Triumph, especially in the carburetor.
Endeavor to keep all parts of the motorcycle clean, but add special focus to the carburetor, and other areas where carbon and other contaminants can build up and create blockages.
You should also keep the fuel lines clean, as well as the polished chrome surfaces clean and dry, especially during winter when there is salt on the roads.
2. Keep Your Triumph’s, Tire-Pressure Full
Having tires either over-inflated or under-inflated can be dangerous for your Triumph.
Underinflation risks a blowout, which is dangerous for you, but the added traction also forces the engine to work harder, which adds strain to it and therefore additional wear and tear.
Overinflation can also make the bike less stable when riding and can reduce contact with the road surface, which isn’t good when navigating twisty roads.
3. Keep Your Triumph’s Brake Pads Fresh
The brake pads on your Triumph should last about 20,000 miles, but you should inspect them after the first 500 miles, and then every 6,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first.
Even if you feel it’s slightly early to change the pads, it’s always better to have fresh brake pads than worn for a Triumph motorcycle because on some Triumph models the brake action is quite demanding and there is no ABS.
A fresh brake pad is therefore a useful ally in braking safely.
4. Keep Your Triumph’s Chain Tight
The chain needs attention after the first 500 miles, and then every 6,000 miles or 12 months.
It needs to be adjusted, checked for wear and tear, and lubricated every year or every 6,000 miles.
On average, a chain should last up to 20,000 miles, but on a Triumph, it is frequently less than that, especially on older models. The 6,000-mile/annual checkup is therefore essential.
5. Keep Your Triumph’s Clutch Adjusted
As with many components on a Triumph motorcycle, the clutch needs attention at least every 6,000 miles, and after the first 500 miles if it’s brand-new.
The clutch cable has been known to have issues in some Triumph models, notably the 2016-2018 Bonneville models.
The clutch cable has been known to wear through parts of the wiring loom which impacts your turn signals and other electrical systems.
This obviously impacts the safety, to have the clutch cable adjusted properly every 6,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first.
6. Keep Your Triumph’s Oil Fresh And Full
Oil changes, along with filter changes, are arguably the most essential and unmissable bit of Triumph maintenance.
Never overlook an oil change, at least once a year.
It will need new engine oil, new filters and will need a close inspection for engine and coolant leaks.
Missing even one such appointment could see real damage done in the subsequent period.
7. Keep Your Triumph’s Wheels Aligned
A typical motorcycle needs a wheel alignment checked every 10,000 miles or so, but for an older Triumph motorcycle, we suggest increasing the frequency to every 8,000 miles at least, especially if you ride the bike more often.
If you are riding a post-2016 model and cover fewer than 6,000 miles a year, then your alignment can follow a 10,000-mile or bi-annual alignment check.
8. Keep Your Triumph’s Battery Charged
Keep your Triumph battery in good health by not allowing it to run flat.
One way to do this is to ride the bike regularly for at least 40 minutes each time, for example, once a week.
Doing so will ensure the battery is kept at optimum levels.
Long periods of idleness will drain the battery, as will, forgetting to turn off any electronics on the bike when leaving it idle overnight or when parked.
If you don’t have the option to ride it regularly enough to maintain battery levels, then you should invest in a trickle charger and keep it topped up at least once every two weeks.
9. Keep Riding Your Triumph
Finally, as we touched on in the previous point, the regular riding of the bike is what will help the mechanics and battery to stay healthy.
A Triumph sitting idle is just as prone to problems as one that is taken out on the road constantly and pushed too hard.
Nice steady and regular riding will give you great enjoyment but also keep the bike ticking over nicely.
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