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