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

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - si­mon.relph@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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

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