‘ This is no style queen, it’s all about go as well as show’ Con­tin­ued over

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes - By Jon Urry MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

t this year’s NEC show there was a per­ma­nent crowd sur­round­ing a small area of Tri­umph’s stand. Even the tra­di­tional Tri­umph doubters were be­ing drawn into the throng, and it was the re­sult of one bike – the Thrux­ton R.

On looks, Tri­umph had blown the retro world apart, and then spiced things up fur­ther by adding an equally mouth-wa­ter­ing ar­ray of good­ies. This was a bike that had a spec list to tempt even the most ar­dent of sports­bike fol­low­ers to at least give it a se­cond glance. Brembo monobloc brakes, Öh­lins

Ashocks, a com­pre­hen­sive elec­tron­ics pack­age and a 1200cc wa­ter-cooled en­gine, this was a proper mod­ern retro in ev­ery sense of the word.

But such ex­cite­ment can be a dou­bleedged sword. It’s great to have ev­ery­one in­ter­ested in your prod­uct, but if it fails to meet ex­pec­ta­tions the brown stuff can re­ally hit the fan. And, worse still, a his­toric name such as Thrux­ton could be tar­nished for­ever. With Tri­umph deal­ers be­ing in­un­dated with pre­orders for the Thrux­ton R, are Tri­umph about to face an almighty back­lash or have they hit the bulls­eye dead cen­tre?

Hav­ing spent the most time and money in its his­tory on de­vel­op­ing a new bike, it’s no small re­lief that

Tri­umph have ab­so­lutely nailed the Thrux­ton R. This is a mod­ern retro that isn’t a one-trick pony – not only does the Thrux­ton R look stun­ning, it goes pretty damn well to boot. Sur­pris­ingly so.

This may shock you, but the Thrux­ton R has a shorter wheel­base than the Speed Triple and has equally ag­gres­sive ge­om­e­try. On a mod­ern retro, that’s pretty bonkers and un­der­pins the fact this is no style queen, it’s all about go as well as show. Mar­ried to 17-inch wheels and thor­oughly mod­ern sus­pen­sion and tyres, this ag­gres­sive stance makes the Thrux­ton R a po­tent pack­age on the road. But one that doesn’t in­tim­i­date, and that’s a big part of the Thrux­ton’s charm.

From the very first time I tipped the Thrux­ton into a bend I felt com­fort­able on it, it’s one of those bikes that you just click with in­stantly. When Tri­umph an­nounced its dry weight was 203kg I thought that was a touch porky for such a stripped down ma­chine, but to ride it feels far lighter. A com­bi­na­tion of the light­weight spoked wheels with alu­minum rims and a low over­all weight dis­tri­bu­tion make the Thrux­ton in­cred­i­bly easy to flick from side to side, less ef­fort than the BMW R ninet and yet equally as sure-footed thanks to its qual­ity run­ning gear and well set up sus­pen­sion.

Rid­ers al­ways get ex­cited about pre­mium brand sus­pen­sion units on bikes, but they are only as good as the guys who have set them up. The Thrux­ton has been set per­fectly for road use, al­low­ing the qual­ity of the damp­ing to ac­tu­ally be ex­ploited by the rider. You can charge into bends while trail­ing the front brake and the Showa fork sucks it all up, and de­liv­ers ex­cel­lent feed­back while upright too, deal­ing ef­fort­lessly with sud­den jolts caused by pot­holes. One of Tri­umph’s test rid­ers told me that they put a huge amount of ef­fort into the Thrux­ton’s sus­pen­sion to en­sure it re­acted this way, and it shows. You also have to hand it to the en­gine de­sign­ers as they have come up trumps with the new mo­tor.

Af­ter re­main­ing tight-lipped for so long, at the Thrux­ton R’s launch Tri­umph even­tu­ally re­vealed both the power and torque fig­ures for their

9How fast does the Thrux­ton go?

Ac­cord­ing to Tri­umph the bike won’t go faster than its clocks show, which is 140mph. MCN saw 125mph with a bit still to go…

Will there be a Street Twin Thrux­ton model?

There is no of­fi­cial ‘Thrux­ton in­spi­ra­tion kit’ from Tri­umph and they won’t com­ment on fu­ture mod­els. Some deal­ers still have the 2015spec, 865cc Thrux­ton mod­els for £7899, if you want a smaller ca­pac­ity air-cooled par­al­lel twin.

And the con­tro­ver­sial 11th ques­tion: Where is it built?

All the Bon­neville mod­els, in­clud­ing the Thrux­ton, are built in Thai­land. How­ever, all the de­sign, pro­to­typ­ing and test­ing is done at the firm’s Hinck­ley HQ, or at Tri­umph’s Span­ish test­ing fa­cil­ity.

in the same space as the 900 but still looks aes­thet­i­cally cor­rect. The 1200 gives you more power and torque, which means more practicality as well as per­for­mance.

Why have you changed from a 360-de­gree crank to a 270-de­gree one?

MCN SW The 270-de­gree crank gives much bet­ter bal­ance within the en­gine. To the rider this means it is smoother with fewer vi­bra­tions. Ev­ery­one wants char­ac­ter, which you get with the 270-de­gree crank thanks to fir­ing pulses and lovely sound, but you donõt get vi­bra­tions through the bars and pegs.

Was air-cool­ing a con­sid­er­a­tion?

MCN SW Ab­so­lutely. We could have con­tin­ued to air-cool the bike, but it would have been less fuel ef­fi­cient and re­stricted what we could have done with it in the fu­ture. This is a mo­tor at the be­gin­ning of its de­vel­op­ment cy­cle where an air-cooled one would al­ready be near­ing is lim­its.

So why does it have air­cool­ing fins?

MCN SW They cool the en­gine! The fins work with the wa­ter jacket, mean­ing we can use a smaller ra­di­a­tor, which ul­ti­mately makes the bike look bet­ter.

‘We could have kept it air cooled but it wouldn’t be as fuel ef­fi­cient’

Thrux­ton R’s stun­ning chas­sis makes cor­ner­ing a real joy Base-model Thrux­ton (right) costs £1300 less

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