Thruxton R Much more than a looker
Relph was enticed by the style then utterly convinced by the Thruxton R’s all-round ability over almost 9000 miles
In all my years of running test bikes for MCN, I think my tenure of the Thruxton R was one of the best. I didn’t even have to get on the bike to get a buzz, just looking at it out of the window was enough to get my pulse racing.
When I broke the bike down into its component parts in my mind (brakes, suspension, engine, chassis etc), I loved each and every one – but I must admit I that I did have a favourite. I had an absolute soft spot for the Triumph 270-degree 1200cc, eight-valve parallel-twin, producing a meaty 96bhp and enough torque to pull a house down. That engine was pure pleasure on any road, but steep, uphill corners became my favourite.
Riding the Thruxton down to Triumph’s Tridays Festival in June on a mammoth trip to Austria, and gliding along the infamous B500 through the Black Forest in Germany, with more uphill corners than you could shake a stick at, I had found utopia. But unlike any childhood fairytale, this one was different – it did exist.
This was the point everything came together: braking, handling and that gorgeous parallel-twin, day after day, mile after mile, I felt as one with the Thruxton. And you know the best bit? I got to do it all again on the way back!
The Thruxton was then forced back into more mundane service, the commute to work, popping to shops, the usual. But it was a very different experience after the big trip as I would now seek out the best winding road and extend my ride wherever possible.
One Sunday I managed a belter of a ride to the MCE British Superbike meeting at Thruxton, rather fitting I thought. Seeking out the smaller winding roads, the Thruxton was in its element. The ride both ways was fantastic and sneaking up onto the winner’s podium was brilliant!
When not riding, I was forever tinkering with a plethora of accessories available from Triumph, giving the Thruxton my own personal touch and a look that I found appealing.
Not everything was purely aesthetic, however. The clear flyscreen proved a great addition, even though it was only small, as it redirected the wind just enough to take the strain off my neck, but also held me up at speed to take the pressure from my wrists.
It was not until nearly the end of my time with the Thruxton that I finally fitted Triumph’s official café racer fairing; this was the bit that really transformed the bike for me, not just to look at but also to ride. It took me quite a bit longer than the recommended time, but the end result was well worth it. The fairing looked stunning on the bike, but even better when I was looking down from the cockpit view whilst onboard. The lower bars put a little added pressure on my wrists, but only at low speeds.
Having said all this about the Thruxton, despite all its excellent qualities there has been one downside. It was one that didn’t become apparent right until the very end either; it was the effect that the bike it had on me when it was finally time to give back the keys – I was gutted!
‘Despite all its qualities, there was a downside to my time with this bike... handing back the keys’
FINAL REPORT 8850 MILES
Ignoring that epic vista, Simon only had eyes for the Thruxton R Commuter, racer, tourer, object of affection – the Triumph does it all