Carrying the banner of the Bonneville’s racing heritage, Triumph looked to the Thruxton, appropriately taken from the 500-mile racing series that first helped garner the Bonnie’s racing cred. While, as with all the new Bonnevilles, the authentic appearance is important, the primary emphasis with the 2016 Triumph Thruxton and the R was on power and handling.
Be sure to visit our 2016 Triumph Bonneville landing page to learn more about the background and details of the new Thruxton’s engine and chassis, including discussions with engineers who brought this critically important new platform to life for Triumph.
To take care of the power of the Thruxton, Triumph massaged the engine into what it calls the 1200cc “high power” state of tuning. While the 1200cc parallel-Twin maintains its same basic eight-valve configuration, the performance increase comes from the “low inertia” components, including a lighter crankshaft, higher compression head, high-flowing intake and exhaust, plus revised EFI tuning with sports mapping (in addition to the Rain, Road, and Sport ride modes). The resulting 82.6 lb-ft of torque at 4950 rpm is a whopping 62% more torque than on the previous Thruxton. (Since the 1200cc engine is 38% bigger than the existing 865 mill, even in an identical state of tune to the old engine, one would expect about a 40% bump in torque from the increase in displacement alone.) Also, note the higher rpm of the torque peak which points to the revvier nature of the engine. This type of jump in power would be difficult to achieve without the upgrade to liquid-cooling.
While the information on how Triumph sharpened the handling of the Thruxton is scarce, we know, thanks to information from the chief engineer, that the Thruxton and the R have significantly steeper sub-23° rake. Also, one of the few specifications revealed at the unveiling is that both front and rear wheels will be 17-in. spoked units wearing Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa skins.
Suspension and brake components separate the Thruxton from the Thruxton R. While the Thruxton appears to use twin shocks with ramped preload adjusters and the same dual-disc, two-piston calipers on the front wheel, the R model gets some of that ever-so-sexy gold on its suspension components. The fully-adjustable, inverted Showa fork takes care of the front, while a pair of Öhlins fully-adjustable piggyback shocks handle the rear. Braking duties are dispatched with dual Brembo floating front discs and a pair of Brembo monoblock four-piston calipers!
Both Thruxtons receive the same dual analog instruments with LCD menu system for heated grips setting (Thruxton accessory only), cruise control (Thruxton accessory only), ride mode, gear-position indicator, dual tripmeters, range to empty, fuel level, average and current MPG, service indicator, and access to deactivate traction control and ABS.
The Thruxton pair’s styling can be described as high-gloss café racer. With details like an aluminum tank strap, clip-on handlebars, and slightly rearset pegs, the street racing heritage is on full display. The R ups the gain with a painted seat cowl, a clever Monza-style gas cap cover that flips open to reveal a locking gas cap, a clear anodized aluminum swingarm, and a polished top triple clamp. Not surprisingly, the riding position of the Thruxtons is the most aggressive of the new Bonneville family.
The Thruxton’s paint schemes are suitably racy in Jet Black /Pure White, with a black tank stripe and the de rigueur Competition Green, with a metallic gold tank stripe. The R goes for bold solid colors with the Diablo Red and Silver Ice choices. By now, readers should expect a Thruxton Inspiration Kit, and Triumph delivers with three options. The Track Racer kit includes a sculpted dolphin fairing with lower clip-on handlebars, a painted seat cowl (included on the stock Thruxton R), rear fender removal kit with compact light, LED turn signals, Vance & Hines slip-on mufflers, knurled handlebar grips, and a leather tank strap. The Café Racer inspiration kit receives a tinted flyscreen in place of the fairing in the Track Racer kit.
However, the most intriguing inspiration kit is the Thruxton R-specific race kit. Yes, that’s right, Triumph is releasing a race-only power kit for taking the R to the track. The items in the kit will be stainless headers with no catalytic converter, stainless open megaphone exhaust, race-spec cam, race-spec washable air filter, and clip-on handlebars. These should be pretty tasty additions to the Thruxton R.
While we appreciate Triumph releasing any information about the Thruxtons, we’ll all just have to wait until next January to find out the details.