First impressions on the new Thruxton R from Triumph…..
Thanks to Triumph dealers Jack Lilley, I had the use of a new Thruxton R for a day a little while ago. I already ride a Street Twin, so it was a great opportunity to see what the extra cc and horsepower that the Thruxton brings would be like on the roads I normally ride.
First things first….the finish on the bike is superb. The overall aesthetic is one of nostalgia, but it is obvious this anything but a retro patsiche. Triumph have nailed that ‘retro’ look (for want of a better expression) and of the current crop of such bikes, the Thruxton is the most genuine.
As per the video, I won’t go too much into the technical spec, there are far more professional reviews out there that will do that for you, or you can always click here to have a mooch around the Triumph site. What I wanted to concentrate on was how it performed in the real world.
OK, so its a cafe racer, so that means rear sets and clip on’s……cue aching wrists and stiff back….Not on the Thruxton R’s watch sonny. The clip ons are cleverly designed, as they look ‘old school’ but are actually reasonably high, meaning the rider bears very little weight on their wrists and there is no craning of the neck to see where you are going. Similarly the rear sets are not too far back, nor too high. The overall riding position is therefore comfortable yet still purposeful.
When riding the bike the extra HP and torque over the 900cc Street Twin is immediately noticable, not in an aggressive way, there is just a bit more pep, and it pulls like a train for longer. According to Triumph the bike weighs just over 200kg (440lbs) dry, but because the new engine design it carries this weight low. The makes the Thruxton nimble, agile and balanced, whether its rolling it through the twisties or bimbling through town. Its no slouch either when you crack open your right wrist, the smooth power delivery is evedent with no snatching. Oh and that soundtrack from the upswept pipes is glorious. You would only want to swap to other pipes if you wanted it louder!
Onto the suspension. Well the R model gets Showa 43mm upside down forks on the front and Ohlins piggy backs on the rear. Both offer 120mm (4.7 in) of travel and full adjustability. The set up coped well with the A roads and country lanes that surround my house without any adjustment from factory settings. However I can’t help thinking they are a bit of overkill for general riding. This also brings me to a little ‘bugbear’. Why do they have to be gold? I know it signify’s “I’ve got expensive adjustable suspension” but for me it jars a little with the traditional styling. The upside down forks also require the use of a fork shield, which is most definitely ‘unretro’. If i were spending the money on the bike i’d probably opt for the standard Thruxton, and spend the difference on accessories. the big ugly rear mudguard and light being the first to go. Add a fairing and you’ve got a proper looking Cafe Racer.
I didn’t really touch on the rider modes in the video, but they are a straight forward option. ROAD is the standard setting and the one i guess most riders will leave it on. SPORT sharpens all the responses up a tad, and I guess is useful if you fancy a track day or feel like being a hooligan on the road. RAIN as it would suggest softens everything down, and initiates the traction control earlier to try and prevent wheelspin.
A couple of negatives? well i’ve already mentioned the colour of the suspension (why yellow shock springs Triumph why?) and the other little issue for me was the super shiny clocks. They look great, but in bright sunshine they can be a little hard to read. Finally, first gear was difficult to engage a couple of times, and it doesnt have the positive ‘clunk’ that i love on my Street Twin.
So to summarise….At £11,700 otr it’s not a cheap bike, but you do get a lot for your money, and the bike is a massive improvement over the outgoing Thruxton with more power, more torque, better handling and better brakes etc etc. Its an easy bike to live with, does everything excellently and looks fantastic. If you want to pull up somewhere and turn heads this is the one for you. If you bought one, you wouldn’t be disappointed and i think its the sort of bike you’d keep for a long time and love every minute of riding it