At both the unveiling and riding introduction of Triumph’s new Street Twin, the manufacturer noted that the new 900cc engine made more torque – and at lower rpm – than the previous 865cc mill. At the riding introduction, Triumph expanded its claim to include the Street Twin producing less peak horsepower than the previous, smaller engine. So, imagine our surprise when we actually get our sweaty mitts on a production model Street Twin and dash it over to our local dyno shop – and learn that the new engine makes both more torque and horsepower than the most recent dyno run we have of the old 865cc engine.

2016-Triumph-Speed-Twin-vs-scrambler-vs-thruxton-hp-torque-dyno

Well, isn’t that quite the pickle we’ve gotten ourselves into. What was supposed to be a quick, “Hey, look at the numbers the new Bonneville Hi-Torque 900 engine puts out,” turned into a bit of a mystery. Well, after a cup of coffee, it turned out to not really be much of a mystery after all.

We’d chosen to compare the Street Twin’s numbers to the 2015 Bonneville Scrambler (from the Scrambler Slam: Ducati Vs Triumph shootout) because both the new 900cc engine and the old 865cc Scrambler version had 270° crankshaft. We made this choice because, we wanted an apples-to-apples comparison and because typically, 270° Twins tend to make slightly less power than 360° Twins. So, we didn’t want to be accused of setting the Street Twin up for failure.

The MotoGP Werks dyno where we learn again that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics

The MotoGP Werks dyno where we learn again that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics

However, once we took a glance at the shape of the dyno graph put out by the 2013 Thruxton, we knew that Triumph had been referencing its 360° crank-powered engines in the Street Twin graphs in their press kit. So, we ended up learning that the performance figures in the press kit were pretty dang honest – weighing in at less than the expected 10% difference between crank torque and horsepower (as typically published by the manufacturers) and rear-wheel power/torque that publications use. Where the truth may have been stretched a bit was in the claim of an 18% increase of peak torque for the Street Twin. The current 57.8 lb-ft of the 900 versus the 53.2 lb-ft of the 865 Thruxton yields about a 9% bump. (The usual caveats of these figures being from different dynos on different days do apply.)

Regardless of how we want to split hairs, the Street Twin maintains a torque advantage over the Thruxton below 5,000 rpm – right where most urban scoots spend their time. A quick, unofficial butt-dyno test ride confirms that the Street Twin does feel quicker around town than the previous generation Bonnies. More of that impression awaits in an upcoming shootout with a gathering of other urban-focused Twins in the near future.

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  • john phyyt

    On 2016 model,Torque actually declines in the sweet 2000 to 5000 rpm range. This is very different , Great for city cruising. But you are going to be smoked everywhere else.

    • Kenneth

      I don’t see that. I’m comparing the red lines (Street Twin) to the blue (Scrambler) and both hp and torque of the St Twn appear to be higher, from 2,700 to 5k rpm. Right? Lots of lines on this graph…

      • john phyyt

        I am speaking of torque line of 2016 model in isolation. Whilst no one ever races when they are out riding with friends. Sure.. ! Maybe your buddies are less competitive. I would miss the adrenaline easily available, cheaper, elsewhere.

        • Kenneth

          You must be a lot younger than me if you’re into racing on public roads. Yeah, I’m sure you’d be happier with an FZ-09. Hey – watch out for that deer!

  • JMDonald

    I think this is a nice city bike. I like it.

  • Born to Ride

    Did not know that tidbit of information about the street twin being a 270 crank. That would explain the marked power difference and the “High-Torque” nomenclature. That must mean the “High Power” version in the new Thruxton must be a 360 crank. How exciting, I had all but written that bike off as an object of future desire.

    Also, that thing must have awesomely confident handling if JB was willing to ride it peg to peg like that in a 3/4 face helmet. Can’t wait for the Thrux review.

  • http://www.techvelocity.com Aaron Lephart

    Thanks for adding real world numbers to the debate! I am a numbers guy and this helps.

  • Old MOron

    I had to read that explanation a couple of times.
    Based on the press kit, you expected the 2015 Scrambler to beat the Street Twin, but it didn’t. You realized that in their press kit, Triumph must be referring to its 360° bikes relative to the Street Twin. So you put the 2013 Thruxton’s numbers up and finally saw what you expected to.

    Have I got that right?

    “More of that impression awaits in an upcoming shootout with a gathering of other urban-focused Twins in the near future.”

    Cool.

    • Ducati Kid

      OM,

      I believe of greater importance than engine numbers is the – REDUCTION (shorter) – in wheelbase 61mm (2.401″).

      Important as TRIUMPH touts these new motorcycles featuring improvements, guess this now includes a observably changed Bonneville.

      These cycles are indeed appropriate for ASIANS and ‘short-of-stature’ riders.

      Unfortunately these latest Bonneville’s are not your fathers (larger) motorcycle …

    • Ducati Kid

      OM,

      I believe of greater importance than engine numbers is the – REDUCTION (shorter) – in wheelbase 61mm (2.401″). (Old at 1500mm vs 1439mm new)

      Important as TRIUMPH touts these new motorcycles featuring improvements, guess this now includes changed Bonnevilles.

      These cycles are indeed appropriate for ASIANS and ‘short-of-stature’ riders.

      Unfortunately these latest Bonneville’s are not your fathers (larger) motorcycle …

      • Old MOron

        I remember JB said that Triumph worked very diligently to make the new new Bonnies work with a bias-ply front tire and a radial rear tire. I bet the wheelbase figures in this. Anyway 56.7 inches of wheelbase is about half-way between the all-conquering Super Duke and Buell’s 1125R. Should be fine.

        • Ducati Kid

          OM,

          I argue the – shorter – wheelbase will cost customers because it’s not physically sized as in TRIUMPH’S past.

          The market will tell …

  • TheMarvelous1310 .

    I can’t wait to see what the high output version makes, but I like the numbers this one makes. 52 and 57 is plenty of twist and spin to have fun with, but also low enough to control at the limit if it gets a bit dicey and you overcorrect. Goldilocks numbers.

  • mark lang

    I question the crank timing as it is suggested to affect overall power and torque. The motor is a pump. Given the same variables such as displacement, carburation, ignition and cam timing would not the 270* and 360* motors be expected to deliver identical power figures, although having a different feel or character?

  • Simon Brown

    Interesting to see the graphs. Peak power is fairly irrelevant figure for normal use. It would be more interesting to compare the area under the power or torque curve as that would give a better indicator of the power or torque available throughout the rev range. Looking at the graphs I would estimate that the Speed Twin would have a similar area to the Thruxton up to 6600rpm. After that the Speed Twin dies out quickly. The Triumph factory graphs compared the Speed Twin with the T100 not the more highly tuned Thruxton. I agree that the different crank timings should not theoretically make any difference. It would also be interesting to compare rear wheel power and torque graphs.

  • kawatwo

    I must be getting old because these are beginning to look good to me :

    • Luke

      I’ve always figured a Bonny would be my last bike.

  • Starmag

    I am waiting for the 2016 Thruxton dyno run. When is that going to happen? It’s March already.

  • Sal Paradise .

    The graph actually says that the old 865 Bonnie/ Thruxton blows the new bike away. Yes, I know, torque… torque smorque. Power is speed and the older model just has more power.

    • Kenneth

      “Power is speed” – and torque produces acceleration.

      • Sal Paradise .

        If you have ever ridden a Harley, you know that torque does not equal quick. You get a burst of torque and then hit a wall. Meanwhile a bike with a revving motor is slowly passing you by.

        • Kenneth

          “…and then hit a wall.” At what speed? We’re talking street riding, right? Yes, I once owned a Super Glide, and instant torque at street speeds is quicker than having to wait for a revvy engine to get “on the cam” from low RPM. And I’m sure Kerouac would prefer this Bonneville, “Sal Paradise.” Jeez.

          • Sal Paradise .

            A steam engine would be really “quick” because it has the most torque. I have an 865 Bonnie warmed over stage 1 and there is very little waiting, has power all over. Compared to a Bonnie which revs to 8500, a Harley literally hits the rev limit at 5k. Rented one out west and hit the rev limiter several times.My Bonnie will make that Electra Glide look like a farm tractor up in the mountains.

  • uniquename72

    If Triumph had made an America in the 1000-1200 cc range, I’d have bought one in a second. I loved my 2004 America (now totaled) for commuting, but it was tough to deal with on the highway for any real distance.

  • Bmwclay

    Guess I’ll just stay with my 78 BMW R100S. That has 70 HP and 57 ft lb. torque. Also has twin discs. And a 6 gallon tank…………………..just saying, what’s new is old. Don’t be deceived.

  • liberpolly

    I am utterly confused by this chart – it seems to be showing HP at the wheel, is it?

    The Thruxton number is show as 68.9 HP, but your article on Thruxton – http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/triumph/2013-triumph-thruxton-review-91475.html – says “horsepower (68 crankshaft ponies claimed) …Our bike spat out a peak of 61.7 horsepower on a rear-wheel dyno.”

    So which one is it? Is this chart showing rear wheel figures, or crank figures?

    • Kevin Duke

      All our numbers are from the rear wheel. Crank dynos aren’t readily available nor convenient.