NOT JUST AN­OTHER BON­NIE

Over a pe­riod of time comes a recipe so per­fect that it finds its name carved in the his­tory books. Fish and chips is one. The Tri­umph Speed Twin is an­other

Evo India - - CONTENTS - WORDS by AB­HISHEK WAIRAGADE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY by KING­DOM CRE­ATIVE

The Tri­umph Bon­neville Speed Twin is un­like any of its sib­lings

FISH AND CHIPS IS A BRI­TISH DELICACY that was so pop­u­lar at one point in time in the UK that it was ex­empt from ra­tioning! Win­ston Churchill even called fish and chips as ‘good com­pan­ions’. To­day, its be­come a sta­ple meal and is sold in over 11,000 shops across the coun­try with the Brits con­sum­ing al­most 400 mil­lion por­tions of the pop­u­lar dish, ev­ery year! But hey, we are not Good House­keep­ing and I’m not Gor­don Ram­say. How­ever, I re­cently wit­nessed some­thing as leg­endary as the bat­tered fish and fried pota­toes mish­mash. It also comes from the land of The Queen and its foun­da­tion is a recipe that is guar­an­teed to en­sure suc­cess for Tri­umph. Be­hold the Bon­neville Speed Twin, blokes.

Good-look­ing like its brethren, the Speed Twin is prop­erly vin­tage with its min­i­mal­is­tic looks and comes pack­aged with a lot of tech. Based on the range-top­ping Thrux­ton, the Speed Twin shares the cra­dle with the cafe racer but comes with a new rear sub­frame to in­cor­po­rate the changes to the ge­om­e­try. The rake is lazier by 0.1deg and the trail is longer adding to the wheel­base. Just like the chips, made of thick-skinned pota­toes, found in Bri­tain, the Speed Twin comes sans the lard, un­like the Amer­i­cans. There’s weight sav­ing of pre­cisely 10kg over the Thrux­ton, and at 196kg (dry) the Speed Twin is one of the light­est neo ret­ros out there.

The nicely laid out twin-pod clus­ter is rem­i­nis­cent of the glo­ri­ous 20th cen­tury clocks with ana­logue speedo and tachome­ter, while the dig­i­tal read­outs help you tog­gle be­tween trip me­ters and rid­ing modes, along with other vi­tal bits. The ac­ces­si­ble 807mm bench seat is quilted in a typ­i­cally retro man­ner and ta­pers to­wards the fuel tank for easy an­chor­ing. The tall-ish han­dle­bar is wide enough and comes with bar-end mir­rors which look classy. For­tu­nately, it isn’t a back-breaker like the Thrux­ton thanks to the pegs be­ing moved for­ward by a mas­sive 38mm and be­ing low­ered by 4mm at the same time.

The roads of Mal­lorca were wet and full of moss; the first time I had ever wit­nessed it on a road, which meant the long 250km ride was to be ini­ti­ated in Rain mode. I cranked the en­gine on and the authen­tic Brit sound­track started play­ing. The tra­di­tional par­al­lel

twin-acous­tic sound­track is def­i­nitely a high­light of the pack­age. Pow­ered by the liq­uid-cooled, 1.2-litre en­gine seen on the Thrux­ton in ex­actly the same ‘High Power’ state of tune, the Speed Twin makes 96bhp and 112Nm. How­ever, it’s not about num­bers but the creamy torque de­liv­ery when it comes to this Bon­nie. Fresh fish is al­ways im­por­tant to make the per­fect fish and chips. The en­gine here is no fresh catch but suits the mo­tor­cy­cle’s char­ac­ter to the T. Tractabil­ity is def­i­nitely one of the USPs of the en­gine with most of the torque be­ing de­vel­oped at a measly 2200rpm, go­ing all the way to 6750rpm in a friendly-flat man­ner. Barely any down­shifts are re­quired whether you’re over­tak­ing or slow­ing down for pedes­tri­ans. Af­ter warm­ing up the tyres, I shifted straight to the full-blown Sport mode. How­ever, the party piece and also the pooper is the Sport mode. The en­gine in all its glory is sim­ply bril­liant and rar­ing to go when in Sport, even pulling the front wheel to­wards the sky, even with trac­tion con­trol on. The down­side here is the fu­elling at low revs, with snatchy out­puts which is very un­like Tri­umph. But we do love our fish and chips with brown sauce, don’t we?

The piece de re­sis­tance is the ride and han­dling though. The ride qual­ity of the Speed Twin is a work of ge­nius. In Mal­lorca we hardly found any pot­holes or even speed bumps, but the Tri­umph Speed Twin is def­i­nitely not on the firmer side of life. The sus­pen­sion travel of Kayabas at both ends is iden­ti­cal at 120mm, which means it rarely bot­toms out, un­like the Speed­mas­ter or Bob­ber. I would wager a pack of my choic­est whey pro­tein that the Speed Twin’s sus­pen­sion setup is go­ing to ac­quit it­self ad­mirably over the much worse roads back home. What is in­cred­i­ble though is that this isn’t at the cost of han­dling. In fact, it’s quite the op­po­site. Whether it’s about chang­ing di­rec­tions or stick­ing to its line in cor­ners, the Twin does it all with a sure­foot­ed­ness that is en­dear­ing.

The Speed Twin is just about per­fect. Al­most as per­fect as fish and chips. It’s a gem of a ma­chine that puts not a foot wrong. It feels com­pact and wraps around you de­spite its large di­men­sions. It’s child­like play­ful­ness cou­pled with the en­gine’s ma­ture per­for­mance equates to one solid pack­age that can’t re­ally be crit­i­cised. Tri­umph In­dia is con­tem­plat­ing a March 2019 launch and the price is ex­pected to be be­tween `12-13.5 lakh, which would put it bang in be­tween the Du­cati Scrambler 1100 Sport and BMW RnineT. Now, can I have mine with the Bri­tish green sauce (read shade), Mr. Chef? ⌧

WHETHER IT’S ABOUT CHANG­ING DI­REC­TIONS OR STICK­ING TO ITS LINE IN COR­NERS, THE TWIN DOES IT ALL WITH EASE

Left to right: Twin-pod ana­logue cum dig­i­tal clus­ter goes well with the mo­tor­cy­cle’s retro theme; the Thrux­ton-de­rived mo­tor is punchy; bench seat re­quires slightly more pad­ding

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