2016 Triumph Street Twin

Editor Score: 84.5%
Engine 16.5/20
Suspension/Handling 13.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 8.5/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 7.5/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score84.5/100

Wow, this is sort of dangerous ground Triumph is treading with its new Hi-Torque-engined Street Twin: Its all-new bigger, more modern, liquid-cooled 900cc parallel-Twin actually makes, ahhhh, less peak horsepower than the previous generation 865cc unit. That’s why they insisted we journalists ride the bike before the tech presentation, and kept the cocktails flowing the night before. Savvy marketing on their part. Triumph claims just 54 horsepower (at 5900 rpm) for the new motor, which is at least 10 hp less than I’d have estimated from my butt-clench dyno after a day’s spin around Valencia and environs on the new bike.

2016 Triumph Street Twin Announced

That’s because it’s way torquey; the Street Twin gets the new Hi-Torque motor, with a single 39mm throttle body keeping intake velocity high at low rpm (other Bonneville versions will get a Hi-Power 1200cc version of the new Twin with two throttle bodies, to be launched by Triumph over the next few months). I’m a vocal fanatic of Honda’s NC700X, and 10 years ago you couldn’t shut me up about the Buell XB-9S. The new Street Twin is a lot like both of them, in fact it’s somewhere in the middle since it makes more power than the Honda but less than the Buell. Also, like the Honda, its other claim to fame is 36% greater fuel efficiency than the old Bonneville: Triumph says it’ll get 60.8 mpg in urban use, and one of the engineers who’d been riding one a lot said he routinely gets around 64 mpg. At the end of my 150-mile day, my bike said it was getting 63.8 mpg. Which is a good thing, since the Street Twin gets a smaller tank than the other new Bonnies, only 3.2 gallons. The new engine also exceeds Euro 4 regulations.

It’s all about the torque with the new Street Twin motor. It’s lights out at 7000 rpm, 1000 rpm sooner than the old Bonneville. But it’s making nearly 60 lb-ft of torque at only 3200 rpm, to the old bike’s 50 at 5800 rpm.

It’s all about the torque with the new Street Twin motor. It’s lights out at 7000 rpm, 1000 rpm sooner than the old Bonneville. But it’s making nearly 60 lb-ft of torque at only 3200 rpm, to the old bike’s 50 at 5800 rpm. (The chart is Newton meters.)

Basically then, if you were expecting a blazing fast new beginner Bonneville, you’re disappointed. For most Bonneville buyers, according to Triumph, it won’t be a big deal at all. Buyers of bikes like this one (and the Ducati Scrambler, etc.), they say, don’t look at spec charts (and for the those who do, the new T120 and Thruxtons will be here shortly with the Hi-Power version of the new Twin).

Triumph’s marketers say buyers of the Street Twin won’t care that the old 865cc engine is rated at 68 hp at 7500 rpm (and 50 lb-ft torque at 5800), compared to the new 900cc engine’s claimed 54 hp at 5900 rpm but nearly 60 lb-ft at 3200.

Triumph’s marketers say buyers of the Street Twin won’t care that the old 865cc engine is rated at 68 hp at 7500 rpm (and 50 lb-ft torque at 5800), compared to the new 900cc engine’s claimed 54 hp at 5900 rpm but nearly 60 lb-ft at 3200.

Frankly, it wasn’t a problem for me either. Even in “sporting” use, most people just don’t rev their motorcycle to redline very often, and the new bike really does have a very meaty midrange just like the chart shows; the Street Twin is a torquey little beast that gets it done. It’s not a wheelie monster like the old Buell was, but it’s faster than the NC. Strangely enough, for a bike with a 7000-rpm redline, I never banged into the rev limiter except when I did it on purpose; it’s a soft one, and feels farther up the dial than 7000 rpm. (You can’t really know since there’s no tachometer, not even a digital one you can scroll to.) The Triumph’s torquey enough down low and geared tall enough to satisfy your baser instincts without really wringing its neck. In top gear (fifth) and pulling hard past 90 mph, it felt just as easily willing to punch right past 100 mph as the Indian Scout Sixty I tested two weeks ago did – but on the Triumph I kept running out of straight or empty lane before I could quite get there. Spain’s not Las Vegas.

The seat’s only 29.5 inches high, which makes the Street Twin a great round-town scoot for optimally sized people. The “gearbox” cover and fenders are plastic, but it’s really nice plastic.

The seat’s only 29.5 inches high, which makes the Street Twin a great round-town scoot for optimally sized people. The “gearbox” cover and fenders are plastic, but it’s really nice plastic.

Part of that is down to the Street Twin’s reduction in mass. The old Bonneville was nothing like light; the new one’s really only lost about 12 pounds (478 wet, says Triumph) when you factor in that it carries one gallon (six pounds) less fuel, but it feels like it’s lost more. It weighs something like 80 pounds less than an Indian Scout Sixty, which isn’t the Triumph’s real competition. But it’s also around 60 pounds heavier than a Ducati Scrambler, which is.

A single 39mm throttle body behind the brushed alloy trim keeps intake velocity up for excellent torque. The other Bonnies will use twin throttle bods. It would be truly classic if we could dispense with big ugly gas tank seams. Alas...

A single 39mm throttle body behind the brushed alloy trim keeps intake velocity up for excellent torque. The other Bonnies will use twin throttle bods. It would be truly classic if we could dispense with big ugly gas tank seams. Alas…

Compared to the previous Bonnie, though, wheelbase is two inches shorter, rake is two degrees steeper and trail – at 102mm – is 4mm shorter. Those numbers and the reduction in weight conspire to make the new Twin a happy, willing partner in the curvy Spanish countryside through the orange and olive groves. The front tire is a 100/90-18 bias ply, the rear a 150/70 R17 radial Pirelli, a combination engineer/test rider David Lopez says Triumph played with for over a year to get right. Lifting the tread pattern from the classic Pirelli Phantom race tire of yore lends a nice period touch as well.

Pretty sporty and with a gripping plot; I couldn’t get anything to drag but the footpeg feelers now and then after I cranked the shocks’ preload adjusters up to about the middle of their range.

Pretty sporty and with a gripping plot; I couldn’t get anything to drag but the footpeg feelers now and then after I cranked the shocks’ preload adjusters up to about the middle of their range.

David Lopez, ex-Triumph 955 superbike racer and current chassis development engineer/ test rider, is one of 11 Triumph staff people working at the Barcelona subsidiary. He’s not allowed to talk about the Hayabusa beater that got shelved years ago.

David Lopez, ex-Triumph 955 superbike racer and current chassis development engineer/ test rider, is one of 11 Triumph staff people working at the Barcelona subsidiary. He’s not allowed to talk about the Hayabusa beater that got shelved years ago.

Those tires ride a 41mm fork in front with 120mm travel, and a pair of shocks out back with dual-rate springs (also 120mm travel). The ride feels really bump-absorbent, plush and well-damped around town – a great urban scoot and commuter – and I didn’t experience a single kidney shot from bottoming out all day. It’s also firm enough to flog pretty hard in the mountains under my 165 pounds of rider and gear. It’s just soft enough to encourage you to attempt to not make any really sudden moves, but you can ride it like a modern motorcycle with no complaints when you need to; mash both brakes all the way into bumpy apexes. No skittering, no problem.

Again, like on many “entry-level” bikes lately, the front brake caliper is a slide-type two-piston bargain-bin unit (Nissin), but it has no problem yanking the bike down from speed with excellent feel and modulation, especially if you use the rear at the same time, which is easy to do thanks to standard ABS. Lopez, the engineer, says the Street Twin’s new geometry and weight distribution give it some of Triumph’s best 60-to-0 stopping distances, thanks to excellent balance. Along with new rake and trail numbers, the new bike carries more of its weight on its front tire, which gives it a generally more modern feel than the previous one.

120915-2016-triumph-street-twin-b32a7541 (1)

In curvy road mountain terrain, the new bike’s more connected to the road even if it’s not as powerful up top. The torque down low seems to make up for it, squirting the bike out of corners. (It doesn’t usually feel like it needs the switch-offable traction control, but it’s nice to have when it’s damp.) The ride-by-wire mechanism is contained in the throttle housing, and power feeds in smoothly when rolling it open from any rpm. On the kind of twisting roads where motorcycles belong, it feels like the Street Twin could keep up with lots of sportier, more powerful bikes through really good systems integration; all components play together nicely, while transparent ergonomics and handlebar instill confidence.

The stainless thing underneath in front is the catalyzer. We’re Euro 4 compliant and then some.

The stainless thing underneath in front is the catalyzer. We’re Euro 4 compliant and then some.

With less than 500 miles showing on my test bike’s odometer in the morning, I could feel the five-speed gearbox breaking in as I rode it, or maybe the oil just getting warm? Clutch pull is really light and a little grabby when cold, but the gearbox works fine when it’s warm, allowing easy clutch-free up and downshifts when you’re feeling aggressive, and even a little dirtbike style clutch-fanning now and then.

We’re just a tad sportier than the previous Bonneville.

We’re just a tad sportier than the previous Bonneville.

On the other hand, it’s the kind of bike you can just roll leisurely along upon and enjoy the scenery. For 5-foot-8 me, the riding position is ideal, the seat’s perfectly comfy, and the 270-crank engine feeds practically zero vibration into the chassis at any rpm, even though it’s bolted in solidly, thanks to not one but two counterbalancers. It’s more compact than the old bike, and it’s nice on chilly days to be able to caress the cylinder head with your knees for a little warmth. (Heated grips are one of many options.)

120915-2016-triumph-street-twin-img_0675

The bike comes with a handy USB port under the seat and a 12-volt outlet on the headstock, and with this bike Triumph is on the accessorizing bandwagon with over 150 hop-up and customizing accessories including different seats and luggage, exhausts, flyscreens – the Scrambler kit above is available in Europe and probably will be here in the U.S. as well, complete with Vance & Hines pipe with removable baffle, tiny taillight, brown ribbed seat, etc… And now Triumph will begin making a greater effort to sell clothing and accessories too, why not? Other companies make a killing on their t-shirts.

It really is a swell little bike for pirating around the Spanish Main upon. Bombing along on the freeway at 80 is also vibe-free and easy.

It really is a swell little bike for pirating around the Spanish Main upon. Bombing along on the freeway at 80 is also vibe-free and easy.

There you have it. The OG British Superbike, circa 1965, takes on an entirely new character in the new Street Twin, a modern classic set to inspire a new generation, Triumph says, of riders who appreciate the overall experience more than they desire to reset the land-speed record. Should be fun to see how it plays out, and even more fun to sample the new T120 Bonneville and Thruxton as they roll out over the next couple of months. And for us old codgers, maybe the most fun of all will arrive with the new Speed Triple around June, a bike the Triumph people had to bite their tongues hard to keep from talking about. Something for everybody.

2016 Triumph Bonneville Line Overview

It took decades to cultivate the gray whiskers, so it was nice of Davida to kick in period-correct helmet and goggles to go with.

It took decades to cultivate the gray whiskers, so it was nice of Davida to kick in period-correct helmet and goggles to go with.

2016 Triumph Street Twin Specifications
Engine Type Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel Twin
Displacement 900cc
Bore/Stroke 84.6 x 80 mm
Compression Ratio 10.55:1
Maximum Power (claimed) 54 HP (40.5kW) @ 5900 rpm
Maximum Torque 59.0 lb-ft (80Nm) @ 3230 rpm
Fuel system Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin brushed silencers
Final drive O ring chain
Clutch Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox 5-speed
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front Wheel Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke 18 x 2.75in
Rear Wheel Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke 17 x 4.25in
Front Tire 100/90-18
Rear Tire 150/70 R17
Front Suspension Kayaba 41mm forks, 120mm travel
Rear Suspension Kayaba twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120mm rear wheel travel
Front Brake Single 310mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Rear Brake Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Instrument Display/Functions LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analogue speedometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, trip computer, scroll button on handlebars, TPMS ready, heated grips ready, fuel consumption display and traction control status display.
Length 2090 mm
Width (Handlebars) 785 mm
Height Without Mirrors 1114 mm
Seat Height 750 mm
Wheelbase 1439 mm
Rake 25.1º
Trail 102.4 mm
Dry Weight 436.5 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity 3.2 gallons
Fuel consumption 72.8 mpg at constant speed of 56 mph
52.0 mpg at constant speed of 75 mph
Combined 63.3 mpg*
* Figures obtained according to the emissions procedure GTR2 of the World Motorcycle Test Cycle (WMTC).
Emissions Euro4 Standard: CO2 – 87.0 g/km
Other Standard equipment ABS, Traction Control, Ride-by-wire, Immobiliser, USB socket, LED rear light

Free Insurance Quote

Enter your ZIP code below to get a free insurance quote.

Triumph Dealer Price Quote

Get price quotes for Triumph Bonneville from local motorcycle dealers.

Triumph Communities

  • Old MOron

    Sounds like a fine bike. Good looking, too. Might hang with the Guzzi V9 or V7, but Ducati’s Scrambler looks to be the class bully. I hope we’ll have a multi-bike MOronic shootout.

    Quick note on the first graph. The scale is off by about 20 lb-ft.

    http://www.motorcycle.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/120915-2016-triumph-street-twin-torque-dyno.jpg

    • john burns

      them are Newton meters. We corrected to lb-ft.

      • Alexander Pityuk

        Damn, JB. I was staring at the graph for about 10 minutes trying to figure out what it was all about. Without success, I finally went on to find the explanation in the end of the caption.

  • Old MOron

    As usual, I read your stuff more than once. I came up with another question:

    “The front tire is a 100/90-18 bias ply, the rear a 150/70 R17 radial Pirelli, a combination engineer/test rider David Lopez says Triumph played with for over a year to get right.”

    Why, JB? Why? Why in the world did they work so hard to put unmatched tires on the bike? As long as they were working so diligently, why in heck did they not design the bike to work with two radials?

    • john burns

      Tires are a mysterious thing, but whatever the reason the ones on this bike are really good; nice stable ride, solid handling, great bump absorption. I believe the Guzzi V7 uses bias ply tires on both ends, and doesn’t feel nearly as planted as the Street Twin does at speed.

      • Old MOron

        John, I’m a fan. You know I’m a fan. But it sounds to me like you had the engineer/test rider at your disposal, and you neglected to interrogate him about this baffling, incongruous, counter intuitive, “why in God’s name did you do that?” situation.

        • john burns

          why not ask the Pope to explain the Holy Trinity?

          • Old MOron

            I assure you: had I the Pope at my disposal, I wouldn’t squander the opportunity to ask him.

          • john burns

            but would you comprende the answer?

          • Old MOron

            Me? No. I’m a MOron. That’s why I look to motojournos of your esteemed caliber.

          • john burns

            some things I know better than to ask, esp. when English is 2nd language (or 3rd or 4th) of the questionee. The man said they spent over a year finding what works best.

          • Old MOron

            Personally I find tires and tire technology very interesting. I appreciate that with the bike feeling so good, and being face-to-face with the test rider, maybe you had other things to talk about. Thanks for your replies.

          • john burns

            Nobody ever told me it was bad to mix radials and bias? I assumed it was a compromise between the engineers and stylists? Works great on this bike in any case.

          • Old MOron

            Hmm, I may have just answered my own question. Trizzle reports that Yamaha will put Pirelli Phantom tires on its new XSR700. http://blog.motorcycle.com/2015/07/24/motorcycle-news/yamaha-xsr700-to-come-with-pirelli-phantom-tires/

            The front tire is a radial in the 17-inch size, but seems to not be a radial in the 18-inch size. Click the Size Range tab here: https://www.pirelli.com/tire/us/en/motorcycle/sheet/phantom_sportscomp.html See how there is no “R” preceding the radius measurement?

            Maybe Triumph is using the same tires. Or maybe they don’t make radials in 18-inch tires. And Triumph optimized the bike for whatever is available.

            Wait, the Pirelli MT60 is available in an 18-inch radial. That’s the tire on Ducati’s Scrambler. So Yamaha used a 17-inch front on its bike and mounted a radial tire. And Ducati chose an 18-inch radial front. I’m still curious as to why Triumph chose the tires that it did.

          • john burns

            I would’ve waterboarded the guy if I’d known you were going to lose sleep. Forgive me.

        • Goose

          How about the real problem is that you have been brainwashed by lawyers into thinking there is something inherently wrong with mixing radials and bias ply tires?
          Back in the ’90s the hot tires for certain BMWs was the same set up. It was only discussed where no one could overhear because of fear of lawsuits. Officially we had to say “You can never mix bias and radials!”. If you went to the back of the shop you’d see most of the employee’s “K” bikes had mixed tires.

          • Old MOron

            I distrust lawyers as much as the next guy, but your blame may be mislaid here. If mixing bias ply and radial tires is an open call for lawsuits, why would Triumph put them on their bikes?

            I’m happy to ride whichever tires feel best. I find the mixing of bias ply and radial tires fascinating, if a little dubious. I was hoping for some insight as to how or why Triumph chose they’re tires.

            “Officially we had to say ‘You can never mix bias and radials!'”
            It sounds like you sold/sell BMW’s or tires. Can you shed some light on why mixed tires might work well? Thanks.

          • Goose

            You don’t understand the situation. If ONE “expert” says something is a bad idea the lawyer has grounds for a lawsuit. He may not want to go to court because he knows he’ll lose. He also knows it will cost thousands to go to court so he may be planing to settle out of court. I’ve seen this done on groundless unlawful firing cases at my place of work. If you can get your percentage of a $70K out of court settlement for an hour or two’s work why not?

            I can’t give you a reason mixing bias and radials is a good idea or a bad one, I’m not a tire engineer. I can just say I’ve done it and, in at least some cases, it works very well. Maybe in other cases the result is an unridable bike that will crash at the first corner. We’d need at honest (i.e. not being monitored by the companies legal department) tire engineer to give us answers to that very good question.

          • Old MOron

            Goose, were you feeling confrontational earlier?
            First you said I was brainwashed by lawyers.
            Now you acknowledge that it’s a “very good question.”
            Oh well, as I said below, I understand why JB may not have asked it.

          • Goose

            You have been brainwashed in that you think something bad will happen every time bias and radial tires are mixed. That isn’t true, I can verify that from personal experience. I think it is also pretty unlikely Triumph would release a bike with the combo if it was a bad thing.

            Notice I said a tire engineer, not a Triumph employee. People seem to think an engineer is a general propose title. I’ve been titled as a Sr. Engineer, a Consulting Engineer, etc. in my former field, computer networking. That doesn’t mean I know jack about how a front tire with the plies laid out at an angle (on a bias) to the bead would interact with a rear tire where the plies at 90 degrees to the bead. I doubt the Triumph engineer working with JB was a tire engineer, more likely an ME.

          • Old MOron

            Jeeze, I’m beginning to think that you’ve been brainwashed into insisting that I’ve been brainwashed. I don’t believe something bad will necessarily happen by mixing tires. I just find it very peculiar that an OEM would work for an entire year to deliberately mix tires.

            Check the text. Lopez is a “chassis development engineer.” And he’s also an official test rider. I would hope that he would have at least some insight into tire choice. You think he went for a test ride and never considered tire-chassis interaction?

            Okay Goose, now how has my brain been washed?

          • Goose

            Now I remember why I don’t post on motorcycle sites often.

            1. “you have been brainwashed by lawyers into thinking there is something inherently wrong with mixing radials and bias ply tires?”

            2. “You have been brainwashed in that you think something bad will happen every time bias and radial tires are mixed.”

            I’m done. I doubt repeating the same statement a third time will have any affect on your understanding.

          • Old MOron

            Well, sorry if I spoiled the experience for you. If it’s any consolation, you’ve been rather puzzling, yourself. On the one hand you seem to agree that tire choice is a good question. On the other, you seem annoyed with me for asking.

            Oh well, happy holidays, you MOron!

          • Goose

            OK, breaking my word because you seem to be sincere: What have a said that offends you? Being brainwashed makes you a victim, not dumb or a bad person. You’ve been feed a stream of BS pretending to be safety advice by the legal departments of the manufacturers of tires and motorcycles. If I didn’t have first hand experience I’d have fallen for it too. If that is the problem how about I change brainwashed to “willfully misled”? or maybe the “victim of a con”?

            Thanks and a Merry Christmas/ happy solstice/ kwanzaa or I hope you had a great Hanukkah.

      • priap1sm

        That’s all well and good, but in 10 years when those tires aren’t available anymore the bike will handle like shit. Heck, in 4 years when tire tech improves, you won’t be able to roll with the latest improvements the way you would on any other bike. Nice bike, like it a lot, but this is a weird bit that I’m a little disappointed with.

  • Ducati Kid

    JB,

    Upon review it’s clear HINCKLEY ‘knows’ their customer base and shall build accordingly.

    Featuring adequate power with lackluster brakes and suspension.

    A shattering motorcycle industry recommendation –

    Raise the price to $8,999 supplying improved brakes and suspension as depicted!

    Consider white colored, TRIUMPH script, Calipers emblazoned as shown.

    “That’s how one TRIUMPH’S over Global competitors!”

    Suggests this ‘Wee Bonny’ below …

  • Ducati Kid

    JB,

    Upon review it’s clear HINCKLEY ‘knows’ their customer base and shall build products accordingly.

    Featuring adequate power with lackluster brakes and suspension.

    A shattering motorcycle industry recommendation –

    Raise the price to $8,999 supplying improved brakes and suspension as depicted!

    Consider white colored, TRIUMPH script, Calipers emblazoned as shown.

    “That’s how one TRIUMPH’S over Global competitors!”

    Suggests this ‘Wee Bonny’ illustrated …

  • Randy Pancetalk

    50 bucks shy of the 2016 KTM 690. I wonder which is more fun.

    • DickRuble

      That’s a rhetorical question, no doubt. But fun is not the only thing in life. No, I am not a presbyterian.

    • CruisingTroll

      Depends entirely on how one get’s their kicks. I know which one I’d rather have on Route 66.

  • Ducati Kid

    John,

    Upon review it’s clear HINCKLEY ‘knows’ their customer base and shall build products accordingly.

    Featuring adequate power with lackluster brakes and suspension.

    A shattering motorcycle industry recommendation –

    Raise the price to $8,999 supplying improved brakes and suspension!

    Consider white colored, TRIUMPH script, Calipers emblazoned as shown.

    “That’s how one TRIUMPH’S over Global competitors!”

    Suggesting the ‘Wee Bonny’ illustrated below …

  • Gary

    Fifty four? Really?

  • Sentinel

    Great write-up as usual John. Please tell me they included some accommodation for locking your helmet to the bike.

    • john burns

      I don’t remember seeing a helmet lock or cable when i took the seat off. Do any bikes have them anymore? They are available in the aftermarket.

      • Sentinel

        My SFV650 has one hook under each side of the seat so that I can lock up two helmets at the same time. For a person that uses their bike as actual daily transportation, having a feature like this is very very needed, and I”m not really happy with the aftermarket offerings I’ve seen. What a shame.

  • Alexander Pityuk

    What a lovely thing. I would prefer this over any cruiser any time. I mean, you got your classic looks, some heft to it, low power, high torque, semi-archaic technology. But it still is so much better than a cruiser…

  • Luke

    I wish it had shed a few more pounds, but it seems like a step in the right direction.

  • Andrew Capone

    This is a good thing, well done. In spirit, the Street Twin is more akin to the 500cc Trophy / Tiger class of the ’60’s, the entry point to big twin-dom. But the iconic name ‘Speed Twin’ still lies dormant. Might we see, in a few years time, a 1200cc variant, an upright Bonneville take on the Thruxton R, with that nameplate on it?

    • Ted

      Interesting point about the Speed Twin moniker. One could hope your theory could come to pass. It is somewhat odd that a company that once was the equal of any in twin performance, should be so lacking in the same today. Although, it seems that these new models of twins might well be a turning point. I guess that was the cause of my disliking of the first twin offerings, more heavy cruiser than sport, unlike the originals. I am very excited about there new models though. I think they look great, and while I realize the Street Twin isn’t exactly a performance machine in todays market, it sounds like just what I might be looking for today.
      CONGRATULATIONS TRIUMPH, CONTINUE THE PURSUIT OF THE TWINS!

  • DickRuble

    It’s as if Triumph felt Bonneville and Street Twin target customers belong to two non-overlapping sets. Any clue as to what the potential buyer of the Street Twin is? I don’t think a new motorcyclist would see much difference between the two, especially since one’s not allowed to test bikes, let alone test both models. The lower torque of the Bonneville might be a bonus, if one is to believe to incongrous argument put forward during the launch of the Indian scout (non intimidating torque curve, remember that one, it’s not a flaw, it’s a feature?).

    • Kevin Duke

      Yeah, a sub-400-lb 650cc Triumph sounds very appealing to me.

      • john burns

        I bet the price tag wouldn’t be so appealing. Lightness is the most expensive thing isn’t it?

        • Old MOron

          The Ducati Scrambler Icon is 410 lb wet, and it’s pretty reasonably priced. Yamaha’s FZ7 is 397 lb wet, and it’s even more reasonably priced.

          • Martin Buck

            The Yamaha will no doubt be a fine bike, and a lot of fun, but it has no real appeal to anyone interested in aesthetics. All the mechanical bits are as attractive as a ditch pump, and offer no evocation of history or taste. A thin veneer of styling does not a classic make.

          • Scott

            Fake carbs hiding injectors don’t evoke history; they evoke ridicule.

          • Old MOron
          • john burns

            I love the FZ-07. Great motorcycle, form follows function and I’d forgotten how light it was on our scales…

          • john phyyt

            Triumph; 54 HP ,436.5 lbs FZ-09; 74 hp ,368 lb Dry. And Price difference is also thousands in Yamaha’s favor.: Both are , no doubt, great bikes . Some of us look at heritage; race and otherwise quite differently ; Which manufacturer just won Moto GP?

        • Kevin Duke

          Maybe the motor could be significantly lighter with a crankcase that also didn’t have to accommodate a 1200cc version. And smaller reciprocating parts would mean smaller and lighter counterbalancers. A man can dream…

    • Old MOron

      Are you referring to the Street Twin and the 865 cc Bonnie? Perhaps they’re keeping the air-cooled version for the purists. They would be a non-overlapping set of buyers, right?

      • DickRuble

        They’re both close in cc, weight, general size. Air cooled vs water cooled ? Not sure it is a segmentation criterion. If they plan to phase out the air cooled, I would say ok. Otherwise it’s just confusing the buyer, who tends to be a lot less inclined to tinker with his/her bike than twenty, thirty years ago, average speaking.

        • Ryan Flowers

          The air cooled bikes are gone after 2016.

  • Brett Lewis

    If the wet weight is 18 lbs less than the air-cooled Bonnie, regardless of whether it has a smaller tank, shouldn’t Triumph be given credit for the full 18 because the bike will go just as far with it’s smaller tank? And to add liquid cooling while reducing wet weight, I’m impressed.

    • john burns

      good point.

  • Pushr0d

    A pint of Grecian Formula, stat! JB, how about an expose’ article on tank seams? They are ugly as sin, but seem to be the ‘State o’ the Art’.

  • Ducati Kid

    John,

    Upon visual review it’s clear HINCKLEY ‘knows’ their customer base and shall build products accordingly.

    Featuring adequate power with lackluster brakes and suspension.

    A shattering motorcycle industry recommendation –

    Raise the price to $8,999 supplying improved brakes and suspension!

    Consider white colored, TRIUMPH script, Calipers emblazoned as shown.

    Notice the concealed Radiator – Four (4) years for HINCHLEY to show a Radiator?

    “That’s how one TRIUMPH’S over Global competitors!”

    Suggesting the ‘Wee Bonny’ illustrated below …

  • Ducati Kid

    John,

    Upon visual review it’s clear HINCKLEY ‘knows’ their customer base and shall build products accordingly.

    Featuring adequate power with typical brakes and suspension.

    A shattering motorcycle industry recommendation –

    Raise the price to $8,999 supplying improved brakes and suspension!

    Consider white colored, TRIUMPH script, Calipers emblazoned as shown.

    Important –

    Notice the concealed Radiator – Four (4) years for HINCHLEY to show a Radiator?

    “That’s how one TRIUMPH’S over Global competitors!”

    Suggesting the ‘Wee Bonny’ illustrated below …

  • SRMark

    i was a huge fan of the engine in Mean Streak. I love the engine in the Buell S2. Neither were horsepower kings. It has every thing to do with exiting a turn. Guess I will just have to hop on this thing to see if 54 hp in enough. I have an idea that it will be. Anybody out there good at rolling the tank edges? Harley can do it on their bargain basement Street 500. Pitiful Triumph.

    • therr850

      Seams, seams, seams. Nearly every bike I’ve owned had seams, from my first bike, a Triumph 650 single carb, through Hondas, Kawasaki’s and Suzuki’s. Comments on the “ugly” seams were less than one in two-hundred from admirers. Can’t say I noticed any negative effects on comfort, speed or handling either. If you like the bike, buy and ride the bike, a lot.

      • SRMark

        Didn’t say I wouldn’t ride or buy one. And no, the negative effect isn’t on comfort, speed, or handling. It’s on the perceived image. I think the seams detract from a beautiful bike. And if I bought one, I’d just put some black piping along the edge to hide it. Too me Triumph is of a higher level in terms of aesthetics. At least they should be.

  • TriumphRider87

    Nice write-up! The bike is intriguing and I’d like to test-ride one, but I doubt I’ll trade in my 2014 Bonnie for one.

  • JMDonald

    The Ducati Scrambler is the benchmark and hard to beat. All things being equal what are the differentiators? For those more inclined to buy a Triumph for whatever reason this is a nice city bike. I cannot help but like it. Did you have to get a special license to wear that helmet?

  • Craig Hoffman

    With all that low end torque, and a 2″ shorter wheelbase, this bike has to be a wheelie machine. Send Duke in to investigate 😉

    The fuel economy numbers are amazing. On this bike, one could look down their nose at the Prius driver and look cool doing it. That alone makes this machine worthwhile.

    • DickRuble

      The fuel economy may have something to do with the peak torque at low revs and the ultra high octane gas (98) available in Europe. Don’t expect to see that with the alcoholic donkey piss we get here at the gas pumps.

      • Craig Hoffman

        Speaking of donkey piss fuel, I saw a funny sight the other day, E85 cost more than regular E15 gas. Had to laugh at that one. Oil is cheaper than corn. Gotta love it.

        • DickRuble

          Yet they are still forcing the ethanol on us…

        • El Apestoso

          It’s not the cost of the corn, it’s the cost of processing it. Ethanol is expensive and wasteful. It actually takes more energy to produce than what it can provide.

      • Steven Hunter

        Octane is a measure of resistance to explosive detonation under compression, not a measure of the energy content of the fuel, but you knew that, right?

        • DickRuble

          and that resistance to explosive detonation increases with the content of iso-octane (the alkane) and decreases with increased amounts of impurities, which, incidentally also diminish the energy density of the fuel. You knew that, right?

    • Ted

      It could be that at this weight, and a more forward weight bias needed to load the 100 front tire down for the handling that it is capable of, it really isn’t prone to wheelie. Can’t believe John didn’t check that out. He must be getting old! One would think with that much torque it couldn’t be TO HARD.

      • Craig Hoffman

        It is not what this bike is about I suppose, but Mr. Duke did manage a wheelie on a BMW K1600, so I am confident in his hooligan abilities! Would make for a cool photo.

        • Kevin Duke

          I’d like to give it a whirl! The K16 was easy compared the one in this photo.

  • Montana dave

    Nice write up. Agree with some of the replies. Overall a nice job with nitpiks. Tank seams absolutely ruin the looks of one of the most beautiful traditional shaped tank. Just to save a few bucks.Perhaps l’m old school but all motorcycle should come with tachs and standards with center stands. Not $300 options + labor. 60 lbs is 60 lbs too much. One must always congratulate Hinckly for bringing Triumph back & keeping it profitable. Something the Italians have never learned. He knows the business.

    • Kevin Duke

      Does anybody actually know if Bloor’s Triumph is profitable…?

  • MarkE

    Just a huge pity that Triumph are going the wrong way. The true Triumph classics that made the name were the 500cc models. Bigger and beefier is a dismal direction.

  • Gary

    Flat torque curves are nice. I know because my lawn mower has one. But 54 friggin horsepower??!! How much does a 650 Burgman have?

    • therr850

      Horsepower is for show, torque is for go. Torque gets you rolling from a stop or out of a curve. Horsepower really is good for top end and where does it get regular use? Torque lifts the front wheel, if you are into that. I’ll take a table top flat torque curve(?) for daily riding and touring every time, thank you.

      • ahh

        Why is that? Because it rhymes? A moments thought should be enough to realise what a ludicrous statement that is. For example, a top sprint cyclist produces far more torque than the Street Twin, why not put some pedals on it if you really think torque is so important? Or how about my rear wheel nut being torqued up to more than 59 lb-ft, but the front wheel not lifting off the ground when I torque it up. Learn some critical thinking skills.

        • therr850

          No. Because it is fact. You want hard acceleration from a stop you need high torque. Look at super bike racers. V-twins will normally out accelerate four cylinders off the corners. The higher horse power fours will catch up on long enough straights. Some road tests of the new generation electric bikes accelerate from a stop harder than gas engine bikes because an electric motor makes maximum torque from zero rpm. Their high torque allows them to be geared for the speeds they reach.

          • ahh

            It seems you didn’t read this bit ‘a top sprint cyclist produces far more torque than the Street Twin’. Or it is your belief that if you stuck some pedals on a Street Twin and put a cyclist on it, it would be able to out accelerate a motorised one? It wouldn’t, therefore your assertions are wrong.

          • therr850

            .?????

  • lundque

    3.2 US gallons or 3.2 Imperial gallons? The Brit engineer might have been more familiar with the latter. You don’t show liters and There’s an extra 3 quarts from an imperial measure.

    • john burns

      we have an email in to our rep to confirm, but I’m thinking US gallons since all Triumph’s official website specs are in US gallons.

    • Kevin Duke

      It’s 12 liters, so 3.17 U.S. gallons.

      • lundque

        In that case, Wow! Comparable with my ’77 Bonnie, God rest its soul, and I’ll bet the brakes actually work and the gearbox doesn’t self destruct like that one did.

  • Scott

    I guess I’m the only one that thinks the tank should be bigger. I commute and go on a few long rides a year on my Thruxton. The range ain’t amazing. I’ve always wished there were factory tank options. I’m sure there are plenty of people that want some tiny tank for looks and sport reasons. I want a big tank for lazy reasons and I’m big so I like big things.

    I also don’t mind the tank seam. The old ones had them, it was just a chrome band going through the center of the tank. I liked those too.

    All in all it’s a handsome bike but the hp figures are of course surprising. But no one buys these bikes thinking the got the fastest machines anyways. I look forward to the test ride.

  • Toly

    It’s sounds like the reviewer is desperately trying to squeeze an ounce of excitement from a plain and boring bike… and failing at that. Or is it just me?

  • Ducati Kid

    John,

    It’s clear HINCKLEY ‘knows’ their customer base and builds product accordingly.

    Featuring adequate power with typical brakes and suspension.

    A shattering motorcycle industry recommendation –

    Raise the price to $8,999 supplying improved brakes and suspension!

    Important –

    Notice the concealed Radiator, lip-less Fuel Tank, TRIUMPH script Calipers with side panel Street Twin labeling.

    “That’s how one TRIUMPH’S over Global competitors!”

    Strongly suggesting the ‘Wee Bonny’ illustrated below …

    • c w

      “Triumph’s”: possessive form of proper noun “Triumph”

      “triumphs”: present singular conjugation of verb “triumph”

      • Ducati Kid

        CW,

        My thanks, what about the motorcycle presented?

  • Artthedart

    5 speed? I guess the Bonneville and Thruxtons get the 6 speed. If all three share the same bottom end, why not give the Street Twin a 6 speed. I really like my 2013 Bonnie but it could use another gear.

  • Old MOron

    Calling all MOrons. It’s Friday. How about a caption contest?

    “Damn, I packed my son’s hipster skinny jeans by mistake!”

    http://motorcycle.com.vsassets.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/120915-2016-triumph-street-twin-ap1_3220-422×633.jpg

  • Tom Dinchuk

    Hey John,
    Interesting!…A little closer to the T120’s and T140’s of old (I’ve owned both). The major

    difference being the low end torque and 270 firing order. My 1970 was a snotty
    mid-range monster and my 1977 was a slightly detuned version of the 70 with better
    handling and disc brakes. At 6’2” I currently own a rejetted 2001 with aftermarket
    pipes and an electronic (add on ) tach ( and love it). As a Triumph rider since 1967 I

    won’t be giving my current ride for this one; but I can understand the pull for new

    or returning riders ( Triumph you need to add a tach though).

  • Kos

    Nice writeup, John. If I could request any MO article for 2016, it would compare and contrast the new Street Twin, Bonnie/Thruxton, and Speed Triple. I’ve always wanted a Triumph, and it would be interesting to see where the strengths, weaknesses, and character differences lie.

    Written by you, of course!

  • Ted

    I never thought much of the previous triumph twins. No, actually I didn’t like the looks or performance of them at all. I THINK THE NEW TWINS LOOK GREAT! ESPECIALLY THE ENGINES. With no annoying vibes at 80 and good handling ( I always tour with none touring bikes) I think they may have finally made the twins what they should have been in the beginning. Hope they do well.

  • Kevin R Dunn

    Thanks for explaining the HP issue. Had noticed that question had started a flurry on MCN over the subject. The usual, people jumping to conclusions. I wonder in those upgrade parts will they offer something that does unleash some more top end but not lose the mid-range grunt? If they don’t other’s will (if possible). I quoted your first paragraph on the MCN forum. :)

  • Stephen Miller

    That really is a nice jacket.

  • BDan75

    I’m not sure I’d buy one, but it’s a nice looking bike (tank seam aside), and I’ve gotta give ’em credit: Cleanest integration of radiator and catalytic converter I can recall seeing…

  • TheMarvelous1310 .

    This should DEFINITELY be tested against the Scout Sixty!

    For one, the Scrambler is about as similar to the Street Twin as the Twin is to the Scout, in that they’re all motorcycles. That’s all they have in common.

    For two, the only other American I can think of that can be compared to the Twin is the Sportster, which will continue to be too low until HD imports the Roadster. Or started selling Smoky Mountain Scramblers out of the dealership.

    And for three, the Scout’s already beat everything in its class! EVERYTHING! It hasn’t lost a single comparison! It needs to compete upmarket, to find its limits. And I think it would prove to be an objectively better bike than the Twin or the Scrambler! PROVE ME WRONG! Please?

  • priap1sm

    Dude, that boot dragging on the ground looks like an accident waiting to happen!

  • Freojim

    Nice review. Thanks for that.

  • Tom Dinchuk

    Sounds (and it does) like an under powered Ducati.

  • c w

    Mr. Burns, are the above MPG claims/observations in UK or US MPG?