IMAGES | TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES

Let’s put modesty aside for a moment and reflect on Triumph’s somewhat impressive stable of Modern Classics. There’s the outstanding Thruxton RS, a true café racer if ever there was one; Bonneville and Scrambler ranges; the Speed Twin, all with OTR prices across the board from £8,900 to £13,000. Oh, hang on, what’s that quietly minding its own business in the corner? A Street Twin. Perhaps you didn’t notice it at first because it doesn’t shout ‘Look at me!’ In fact, it doesn’t shout anything because it doesn’t have to. Neither does it pretend to be anything other than a truly honest, unintimidating machine with a price tag of £8100. That’s as humble as its presence.

But then that’s only half the tale. Because what we have here is Triumph’s sales chart-topper. According to the manufacturer, the reason for its success has been down to a mix of entry-level price, classic looks and easy demeanour. Didn’t we just say that? Anyway, it’s good that we concur.

“That’s nice,” commented a biker as I parked up at Willingham Woods, Lincolnshire’s mecca for bikers drawn from across the county and Yorkshire’s hinterland, where they enjoy tea and chit-chat, particularly on Wednesdays and Sundays. I happened to be there on a Thursday, and whilst there were fewer people around than the norm, bikers that were present strolled up and down, ears pricked as they heard another machine approaching, the latter strategically altering speed as it passed the ‘cash cow’ van with camera poised to snap the unwary. Some might well be muttering ‘Bugger’ under their breath, steaming up the visor for their stupidity. Chancers, eh!

The 900cc parallel twin is a breeze to ride, and whilst not exactly a café racer, it sits comfortably in the retro mould, and if you are a sucker for a comfy seat and more upright riding position, then here you have it. Yes, there is something hugely likeable about this bike, whether it is its lightness, its power curve, or its willingness to please. For me it ticks all the right boxes.

First introduced four years ago, Triumph has been busy tweaking here and there, particularly with the upgraded high torque Bonneville engine, which gives the rider 18 per cent more peak power, up 10PS to 65PS at 7,400rpm. You are also treated to a higher rev limit, up 500rpm from 7,000rpm. Then there are those Brembo front brakes, cartridge forks for better feel, and cast wheels, all locked into an improved finish and nice detailing. You are also treated to two electronic riding modes – Rain and Road. To be honest, you don’t need any more than that. Road is there should you fancy a full throttle response, and you can easily dial in Rain to dampen (sorry!) things down, should you worry about reduced grip when it’s wet.

As part of the original cult revolution in both bike and biker identity when the original Bonneville engine first saw the light of day, I can look back fondly on those early years, and can see how that DNA has worked its magic on the current line-up, casting a spell over this new breed of updated modern classic. That contemporary look includes its own particular level of detailing and finish, from the blacked-out sculpted engine and sprocket covers, to the original machined engine fins and Triumph maker’s mark triangle and Bonneville engine badges.

What’s more, this bike is very much a blank canvas when it comes to aftermarket accessorising. Make it what you will, or leave it as it comes out of the crate, you can adapt to your heart’s content with well in excess of a hundred premium accessories at your disposal, designed, engineered and tested alongside the Street Twin.

 I have been enjoying various rides this year, all with their own template of style and performance; all offering a feeling of expectation and hoping not to disappoint. The Street Twin has managed to tap successfully into a fertile vein, offering unaffected pleasure on the open road. It has a quiet charisma, one that alters your perception when you ride it, and little wonder, then, that it has proved such a prodigious success. It is like cracking open an oyster and hoping for a pearl. Bingo!

Head out into the countryside and into a tempest of wind, and soon you will be grinning. With a character all of its own, it is wonderfully indulgent no matter how you ride it, being dynamic in its handling, although this is not a motorcycle that will take kindly to abuse, and neither should you ever consider that. You need to ride this bike to fully appreciate all that it can offer, however, from its comfort to its wonderful level of control, its balance and its relaxed handling and, yes, its responsiveness.

So, if your desire is for a contemporary custom bike that oozes character even before you consider following the accessorising route; amazing detailing and finish; original styling cues; and, at the forefront, a modern, capable ride and a road presence to match, then here it is. It is an icon, whichever way you look at it. One with an outstanding British pedigree to match.

It is just that extra level of expressiveness that I hoped for and did not expect, that had me particularly warming to this bike. Yes, you can bung on all the bells and whistles, but sometimes less is more. Triumph has managed to embrace a sea change in simplicity, and yet encapsulated it in an extraordinary dynamism, articulated in a more accessible fashion than its contemporaries. In the hierarchy of retro machines, it can stand tall and proud.

As part of the original cult revolution in both bike and biker identity when the original Bonneville engine first saw the light of day, I can look back fondly on those early years, and can see how that DNA has worked its magic on the current line-up, casting a spell over this new breed of updated modern classic. That contemporary look includes its own particular level of detailing and finish, from the blacked-out sculpted engine and sprocket covers, to the original machined engine fins and Triumph maker’s mark triangle and Bonneville engine badges.

What’s more, this bike is very much a blank canvas when it comes to aftermarket accessorising. Make it what you will, or leave it as it comes out of the crate, you can adapt to your heart’s content with well in excess of a hundred premium accessories at your disposal, designed, engineered and tested alongside the Street Twin.

I have been enjoying various rides this year, all with their own template of style and performance; all offering a feeling of expectation and hoping not to disappoint. The Street Twin has managed to tap successfully into a fertile vein, offering unaffected pleasure on the open road. It has a quiet charisma, one that alters your perception when you ride it, and little wonder, then, that it has proved such a prodigious success. It is like cracking open an oyster and hoping for a pearl. Bingo!

Head out into the countryside and into a tempest of wind, and soon you will be grinning. With a character all of its own, it is wonderfully indulgent no matter how you ride it, being dynamic in its handling, although this is not a motorcycle that will take kindly to abuse, and neither should you ever consider that. You need to ride this bike to fully appreciate all that it can offer, however, from its comfort to its wonderful level of control, its balance and its relaxed handling and, yes, its responsiveness.

So, if your desire is for a contemporary custom bike that oozes character even before you consider following the accessorising route; amazing detailing and finish; original styling cues; and, at the forefront, a modern, capable ride and a road presence to match, then here it is. It is an icon, whichever way you look at it. One with an outstanding British pedigree to match.

It is just that extra level of expressiveness that I hoped for and did not expect, that had me particularly warming to this bike. Yes, you can bung on all the bells and whistles, but sometimes less is more. Triumph has managed to embrace a sea change in simplicity, and yet encapsulated it in an extraordinary dynamism, articulated in a more accessible fashion than its contemporaries. In the hierarchy of retro machines, it can stand tall and proud.

Specifications

Price:
£8,100
Engine:
900cc Liquid-cooled, 8 valve SOHC parallel twin
Power:
64.1bhp (47.8kW) @ 7500rpm
Torque:
59lb-ft/80Nm @ 3800rpm
Transmission:
5-speed
Frame:
Tubular steel cradle
Front Suspension:
KYB 41mm forks, non-adjustable with cartridge damping, 120mm travel
Rear Suspension: KYB twin RSUs, with pre-load adjustment, 120mm rear wheel travel
Front Brake:
Single 310mm floating disc Brembo four piston fixed caliper, ABS
Rear Brake:
Single 255mm disc. Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Front tyre:  100/90-18
Rear Tyre:
150/70R-17
Seat Height:
760mm
Fuel capacity:
12 litres/2.64 gals
Fuel economy:
72.4mpg (claimed)
Kerb weight: 
198kg/436lb

 

Triumph

Never standing still, always pushing to get the best from ourselves, for our riders. Building iconic motorcycles that celebrate our past while embracing the future through bold design, original styling, purposeful engineering and a genuine passion for the ride.