‘It’s tailored fit versus forced’
The Thruxton R looks, feels and rides as if it was destined to be converted into a café racer while the XSR900 is brilliant bike ruined by its ill- conceived bolt- ons. It’s the difference between tailoring the bike from its design stages to be customised into an alternative style and attempting to force an existing model to become something it isn’t.
The half-fairing and slightly lowered bars, not to mention the beautiful exhaust note, makes the Thruxton’s riding experience far more engaging and evocative of yesteryear – which is what you yearn for in a modern café racer. On the XSR the overly low bars cramp the riding position and make for an unpleasant and uncomfortable ride that only conjures up mental images of the next fuel stop and a chance to shake life back into your aching wrists and dry your wet arse.