I have always had the stereotype of Triumph being an old man’s bike, how wrong I was. Despite this, it didn’t take much effort for me to be talked into taking the Thruxton R out for a spin. I first saw the Thruxton R at motorcycle live in 2016 and I just thought wow. The combination of black and gold is always a wicked combination, no matter what bike it always looks fantastic, and the styling is retro, and everybody knows Retro is cool, but it also has modern touches.
The day of taking the bike out on test was going to be interesting, the majority of bikes I have ridden, have all be 4 cylinder sports bikes with the high revving screaming engine, and the uncomfortable riding position. The Thruxton was the opposite, it still feels a sporty riding position, but not superbike kind of sporty. The engine is sublime, Triumph have done a very good job with the new T120 engine, but they have been doing these twin cylinder engines for a very long time. I was so impressed with it’s incredibly torquey, burbley parallel twin, the power and torque kicks in like a flash, from very low RPM’s and while it’s not out to beat speed records it does get a wriggle on when you really want it to. The gearing is spot on, for both around town but also motorway cruise speed and handy for A road blasts, with no problems overtaking slower traffic. The suspension (front Showa, and rear twin Ohlins) suit the bike perfectly, it provides a smooth ride even over potholes, but not too soft. Not only does it give good ride quality, but the twin rear shocks give the bike the added bling factor and really stands out with the black paintwork. The main shock (not that kind), for me though after coming from sportbikes was how narrow the fuel tank was on the Thruxton. By looking at the Thruxton it gives the impression that this bike won’t take much abuse when out on the twisties. It’s certainly not a superbike, and it’s not going to be the first choice for a trackday, but it holds its own, and I dare say it would be great fun on track, peg scraping and all. However it is equipped with Pirelli Diablo Rosso rubber, on 17” spoked rims and this provides great feedback and grip levels, even with me riding it in the pouring rain.
We took the camera out for the day Ben and I could not put the bike in a position where it looked out of place. We managed to blag our way in front of a stately home, a place where the Thruxton R looks like part of the furniture, but then the Thruxton looked just as good sitting in front of a Starbucks. Even on the move, it looks beautiful, driving through town the number of double-takes and attention the bike got was unreal. I’ll admit I couldn’t help looking at myself in shop windows, and I’m not normally a poser.
Attention to detail is on the money, little triumph icons and badges in subtle places really make the Thruxton look the part. Engraved logos on bulb holders and in other areas add that personalised feel and just make the bike even more pleasing to the eye.
Retro bikes seem to be the in thing at the moment, with nearly all manufacturers doing some sort of retro or cafe racer style. The Thruxton does not disappoint when it comes to looks. The fake air cooling fins on the cylinders make it look like an old retro ride despite being liquid cooled. Some might not like this, I think it’s ode back to its heritage is great, and makes the Thruxton R feel like a proper Thruxton.
Even better is the wide arrangement of aftermarket accessories available, a couple of weeks after riding the Thruxton I bumped into somebody at a cafe who had the Vance and Hines pipes on his. If the standard triumph can isn’t enough (which it totally is), the V&H pipes just make it even better! With the fact, they are all triumph genuine approved accessories the fit looks amazing, and really well priced also.
It’s £12,200 OTR price may seem rather steep, but when you think back to earlier with the quality and finish I think it’s well worth it. Despite its retro looks, it is packed with technology, ride by wire throttle, abs, rider modes and traction control all come as standard on the R, even an underseat USB charging port too.
The only other niggle I would say is there is no pillion seat, but then that wouldn’t be a problem as if you were after a pillion seat then a standard Thruxton I am sure would be sufficient. I think this would be a perfect second bike, I don’t think I could give up a sportsbike completely for it, but then I am young and foolish, I would happily have a Thruxton as a second bike for the butty runs from cafe to cafe, and for doing the large distance on.