I have always had the stereotype of Triumph being an old man’s bike, how wrong I was. It didn’t take much effort for me to be talked into taking the Triumph 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 still looks fantastic. 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 ride, are all be 4 cylinder sports bikes. I’m used to 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.
Thruxton R has had Development since the 60’s
The engine is sublime. Triumph has done an excellent job with the new T120 engine. They have been doing these twin cylinder engines for a very long time. Impressed with it’s incredibly torquey, burbley parallel twin, the power and torque kicks in like a flash, from very low RPM’s. 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 and motorway cruise speed. Handy for A road blasts, with no problems overtaking slower traffic. The suspension (front Showa, and rear twin Ohlins) suit perfectly, providing a smooth ride even over potholes. Not only giving good ride quality, but the twin rear shocks give the bike the added bling factor.
The main shock (not that kind), for me though after coming from sportbikes was how narrow the fuel tank was. It gives the impression that this bike won’t take much abuse when out on the twisties. It’s certainly no superbike. It’s not going to be the first choice for a track day, but it holds its own, and I dare say it would be great fun. Equipped with Pirelli Diablo Rosso rubber, on 17″ spoked rims. This provides excellent feedback and grip levels, even in the pouring rain.
Black and gold…
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. Blagging our way in front of a stately home, the Thruxton R looked part of the furniture. That said the Triumph Thruxton R looked just as good sitting in front of a Starbucks. Even on the move, it looks beautiful. Riding 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 usually a poser. Attention to detail is on the money. Triumph icons and badges in subtle places really make the Thruxton look the part. Engraved logos on bulb holders and add that personalised feel and 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. Despite being liquid-cooled, the fake air cooling fins on the cylinders make it look like a retro ride. Some might not like this, I think it’s ode back to its heritage is excellent, and makes the Thruxton R feel like a proper Thruxton.
Customise the Thruxton R your way
Even better is the comprehensive arrangement of aftermarket accessories available, a couple of weeks after riding the Thruxton I bumped into somebody at a cafe which 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 all triumph genuine, approved accessories the fit looks impressive and well priced.
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.
Thruxton R Pillion problems
The only other niggle I would say is there is no pillion seat, but then this is also a plus at the same time. If you were after a pillion seat wouldn’t be a problem as if you were after a pillion seat then a standard Thruxton I am sure would be sufficient.
There is just one issue. I don’t think I could give up a sportsbike completely, but then I am young and foolish. Without a doubt, the Triumph Thruxton R makes the grade for a perfect second bike.
Did somebody mention a cafe run?
The Thruxton R really is an Instagram poser.