The Touring disposition of the LE is unmistakable because of its truly jinormous rear travel-trunk, which makes taking a passenger on an overnighter a real pleasure.
Seriously, there’s enough room for all your gear and a small pet inside this cave-like fiberglass box.
It’s worth noting the lid works great if properly latched, however, we encountered more than one situation where the lid popped open unannounced and flopped around like a half baked salmon.
Amenities for the passenger are substantial. There are 2-speed hand warmers operated by a nice, large toggle on the right side passenger handgrip. The larger toggle is nice when wearing gloves as it’s easy to feel the larger detents between hi, lo and off settings.
Passenger footrests provide good grip and are high enough small passengers can brace themselves for bumps, braking and downhills.
Passenger handholds are exceptionally large and look like something the Millennium Falcon might have used to control thrust stability. However, inasmuch as these big handgrips seem to garner inordinate attention and comment, they work.
First and foremost, they’re comfortable and very adaptable. There are so many different places to gain grip, passengers can move their hands around to myriad positions combating fatigue while gaining improved leverage side-hilling or riding tricky terrain.
There was some concern about the overall ride quality of the TRV LE chassis. We’ve tested all three of Cat’s luxo-TRVs including the 700 and the 1000 and, in our opinion the best ride comes from the 1000.
It appears to us the rear suspension may be a little over-sprung on this lighter 550 powered version. Clearly, the rear shocks are the shortest of the three units compared here but shock length is not necessarily a definitive determiner of ride quality.
Our passengers felt the TRV was choppy and sometimes transferred an abrupt feel to the rider when running gnarly trail surfaces.
From a protection standpoint, the TRV offers exceptionally clean quarters. The rear wheels are well contained in the fenders and the big cargo box keeps flying mud from getting near the passenger.
Obviously, rear rack space is excellent proven by the existence of the giant cargo box. Site lines for the passenger are good, however we sensed the rear seat area could be a bit more elevated. Furthermore, stability fore-aft is superb with the passenger positioned well ahead of the rear axle.
We give the TRV high marks for overall space in the rear passenger compartment. While the seat cushion appears a little short there’s actually a lot of room between the driver and the passenger, eliminating the annoying sensation of the passenger bumping into the rider under braking or on downhill grades.
What’s obvious is the amount of space the driver has to move around. The seat is exceptionally spacious up front and the TRV LE’s standard windshield/faring provides extra warmth and protection for the passenger as well as the driver and is probably the warmest in the 2-up category.