Stu­art Wood


ILOVE THE THRUX­TON R for emo­tional rea­sons, I’m re­ally proud of what we have achieved with it, but also be­cause the rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is great too. It’s a clas­si­cally styled café racer that also works er­gonom­i­cally, is fuel ef­fi­cient and hits all the emis­sions leg­is­la­tion but it’s fun to ride and looks great. I don’t ac­tu­ally own one, I’m lucky that I get to ride the whole range and devel­op­ment bikes too, but I’d have one with clip-ons, be­cause I def­i­nitely pre­fer the lower bars rid­ing po­si­tion. And I’d have the cock­pit fair­ing too, which is more about looks than wind pro­tec­tion. It’d be in the sil­ver ice colour scheme. It’s fan­tas­tic in that colour. My favourite ride on one was prob­a­bly on the press launch in Por­tu­gal. It was fast rid­ing on a mix­ture of open sweep­ing roads and very twisty turns. Great roads, and peo­ple were re­ally hav­ing fun. We got to the first stop and ev­ery­one was smil­ing. I know they’re re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers, but the fun they were hav­ing re­ally val­i­dated the bike. As a café racer it’s got a ba­sic stance and lines and pro­por­tion that you ex­pect. It’s a mod­ern, high ca­pac­ity en­gine but there is day­light around the en­gine and that is crit­i­cal to get­ting that clas­sic café racer feel. It re­ally is a great piece of pack­ag­ing. But it’s so in­tu­itive to ride. It doesn’t mat­ter whether you are re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced or a novice. We were ob­vi­ously de­vel­op­ing a whole new Bon­nie plat­form, 900cc and 1200cc, at the same time, so the process took longer than if we were work­ing on a sin­gle model from an ex­ist­ing plat­form, but the Thrux­ton project took about three years. We were al­ways go­ing to do a café racer, and six months into the process you know what it’s go­ing to look like. Styling and en­gi­neer­ing hap­pen to­gether. The bore and stroke is con­sid­ered along­side the look of the bike, be­cause the height of the en­gine is go­ing to af­fect the line of the tank. The po­ten­tial of the bike only re­ally be­came ap­par­ent dur­ing test­ing. A bike re­ally comes alive dur­ing test­ing, we started to ride it and to de­velop it, and the po­ten­tial be­came crys­tal clear. The ge­om­e­try al­lowed it to feel like a sports­bike, so it be­came a bike that de­manded sports spec­i­fi­ca­tion sus­pen­sion, brakes and tyres. The thing I find so pleas­ing is that the team have achieved some­thing that works, but which looks ob­vi­ous and el­e­gant. No one re­ally needs to know how much ef­fort goes into mak­ing that pack­ag­ing pos­si­ble.

‘I love the Thrux­ton R, es­pe­cially be­cause the rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is great’

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