STREET TWIN TAKES TO THE DIRT… AND LOVES IT

Street by name but it’s not limited to tar­mac

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

As you might have al­ready seen on page 36, I took my Street Twin on the Austin Vince Twin Shock Trail Fin­der in the Span­ish Pyre­nees last month.

The Street Twin’s stan­dard Pirelli Phan­tom Sportscomp tyres weren’t suit­able for the Span­ish trails so a pair of the ex­cel­lent and bru­tal­look­ing Con­ti­nen­tal TKC80 Twin­duro tyres were fit­ted.

Clear­ance be­tween mud­guard and front tyre was min­i­mal and any mud would have clogged it instantly. On closer in­spec­tion I could see the guard was at­tached to a bracket that spans the fork legs. This re­duces clear­ance even fur­ther but with no easy way of rais­ing the guard I just had to hope the trails would re­main dry. Luck­ily they did and the tyres gave me much-needed con­fi­dence and grip on the rocky tracks.

The other is­sue was the ABS sys­tem. ABS can be ter­ri­fy­ing off road as some sys­tems can get over­whelmed. More dirt-ori­en­tated ma­chines have off-road modes or al­low you turn the ABS sys­tem off com­pletely. As the ABS isn’t switch­able on the Street we dis­con­nected the front wheel sen­sor and zip-tied it out of the way. As the trac­tion con­trol uses the same cir­cuit, we had to dis­able that too – luck­ily that sys­tem is switch­able from the bars.

Ground clear­ance on the Street is limited but the bash­plate (£100, plus fit­ting) is very flat so when the Tri­umph did ground out we were able to rock and slide it over the ob­sta­cle. The Street Twin’s very light slip as­sist clutch also en­ables the clutch lever to be com­fort­ably op­er­ated with two fin­gers, in­spir­ing con­fi­dence on the trail.

De­spite its short­com­ings the Street is a hoot down the trails and with the TKC80 tyres fit­ted it’s more than ca­pa­ble of light green-lan­ing. I’ll def­i­nitely be tak­ing the Street Twin trail rid­ing again this sum­mer.

‘An­other 27km due west and there’s a su­perb tapas bar’

Conti’s TKC80S did well on the trails

Not much clear­ance with the mud­guard

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