2020 Triumph Thruxton RS First Look

John Burns
by John Burns
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More power, less weight, upgraded everything and an orgiastic 1600-word press release for Triumph’s original cafe racer.

Triumph Press Release:


The Legend Evolves

2020 triumph thruxton rs first look

The name ‘Thruxton’ is an internationally-acclaimed motorcycle racing icon born from incredible success at the Thruxton 500 race and the Isle of Man TT, inspiring a whole generation of fanatical cafe racers.

Designed and developed to further evolve a legend, the new Thruxton RS model combines all the original cafe racer DNA with modern Thruxton capability while setting a new level of performance with a higher power engine, more supreme cafe racer handling, and even more contemporary styling, finish and detailing.

2020 triumph thruxton rs first look

All the Hallmarks, Features and Quality of the Celebrated Thruxton R

  • Beautiful design with iconic cafe racer DNA and silhouette
  • Incredible specification with class-leading chassis and top-spec suspension, brakes, tires and technology set-up
  • Premium finish and detailing

Much Higher Performance

  • Updated 1,200cc high power Thruxton RS engine
  • Major power increase, up by 8 HP to 104 HP, with increased power across the entire rev range
  • 83 LB-FT of peak torque delivered 700 rpm lower in the rev range
  • More responsive and characterful engine characteristics with 20% reduction of inertia
  • Higher revving engine, with a red line now 500 rpm higher than the previous generation
  • Enhanced rider modes
2020 triumph thruxton rs first look

More Agility and Intuitive Cafe Racer Handling

  • 13 lb lighter than its predecessor
  • Higher specification Brembo M50 radial monobloc calipers
  • New sticky Metzeler Racetec RR tires

Other features include:

  • Twin 320 mm floating Brembo discs & master cylinder
  • Race bred, adjustable Showa big piston forks
  • Fully adjustable Öhlins twin rear shocks
  • ABS & switchable traction control o LED headlight
  • Underseat USB
  • Immobilizer

More Modern and Contemporary Style

  • New fully blacked-out style, detailing and finish, including:

o Black anodized wheels and engine covers o Black spring set-up the premium Öhlins RSU

  • New premium twin-color paint scheme

Built to Personalize

  • 80 custom accessories including new brushed stainless steel Arrow silencers with carbon end caps and cafe race fairing
  • “Track Racer” inspiration kit

Higher Power – Updated Thruxton RS Engine

2020 triumph thruxton rs first look

The new Thruxton RS achieves 8 HP more than the previous Thruxton R. This is delivered by significant engine upgrades including high compression pistons, revised ports and cam profile, a secondary air system, and a whole host of lighter weight engine components, including:

  • Low inertia crankshaft
  • Clutch
  • Balance shafts
  • Rare-earth alternator
  • Magnesium cam cover
  • Thin walled engine covers

Along with the higher power, the Thruxton RS delivers a higher torque punch low down and across the entire rev range, peaking at 83 LB-FT @ 4,850 rpm, 700 rpm lower than its predecessor.

Together, these engine updates deliver a 20% reduction of inertia and a new, more responsive and characterful Thruxton RS engine that revs harder for longer, revving 500 rpm higher than the Thruxton R.

The Thruxton RS’ distinctive twin upswept silencers deliver lower emissions and the unmistakable sound of a British twin, a rich and raw note that matches the bike’s legendary name.

2020 triumph thruxton rs first look

Behind the stylish exterior sits a liquid-cooling system, carefully integrated to minimize its visual impact and helping the Thruxton RS achieve lower emissions and enhanced fuel efficiency. Combined with a high first major service interval of 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers), this contributes to a reduced overall cost of ownership.

Higher Modern Capability

The new Thruxton RS features a full suite of rider-focused technology to deliver advanced rider control and safety for enhanced confidence – sensitively integrated to maintain its iconic original cafe racer style and character.

Thruxton RS technology features include:

Three Upgraded Riding Modes Linked to the ride-by-wire system, the upgraded three selectable riding modes – Sport, Road and Rain – now adjust throttle map, ABS and traction control settings to better suit riding conditions or rider preference. This is enabled via the latest generation ride-by-wire, which delivers enhanced rideability, safety and control.

ABS The contemporary safety standard with minimal visual impact, the ABS is responsive yet unobtrusive.

Switchable Traction Control Managing the Thruxton RS’ high torque delivery when traction is compromised, the switchable system offers increased rider control.

LED Headlight Incorporated into the headlight, the LED headlight brings excellent visibility and a distinctive light profile.

LED Rear Light Built into the cafe racer inspired minimal tail set-up, the LED rear light brings a distinctive rear light pattern and excellent power efficiency.

Ride-by-Wire Enhancing throttle responsiveness, safety and feel.

Torque Assist Clutch Optimized for a lighter touch and feel to the clutch to make it easier to ride for longer distances.

Switchgear Elegant switchgear presents simple fingertip controls for easy access to the key features on the twin clocks.

USB Charging Socket For maximum rider convenience, the USB charging socket charges riders’ essential devices.

Engine Immobilizer Transponder integrated into the key adds greater security.

Stylish Twin Clocks, beautifully detailed and premium, incorporate a digital menu system accessed by the handlebar mounted scroll button. Key features include: – Riding mode setting – Gear position indicator – Odometer – Trip settings – Service indicator – Range to empty – Fuel level – Average and current fuel consumption – Access to turn off traction control features – Clock

Even More Agile and Intuitive Cafe Racer Handling

Significant weight savings across the entire motorcycle delivered by engine refinements and a lighter weight battery make the Thruxton RS 13 lb lighter than the Thruxton R for a more dynamic and agile ride.

In addition to the weight savings, the Thruxton RS now features new, category-leading Brembo 4- piston M50 radial monobloc calipers and twin floating Brembo front discs, delivering excellent stopping power, along with new unique race-specification Metzeler Racetec RR super sticky tires.

There are also race-bred adjustable Showa USD big piston forks and premium, fully-adjustable Öhlins piggyback reservoir rear shock, delivering an engaged and thrilling ride.

More Modern and Contemporary Style

A legendary name that created motorcycling history and represented a generation of cafe racers, the Thruxton was always a distinctive, beautiful and authentic motorcycle – the all-new RS is the next evolution of this celebrated name. With all of Triumph’s iconic original cafe racer DNA, a new blacked-out custom look, muscular poise and a host of beautifully designed premium features, the new Thruxton RS does not leave the style behind.

Key features include:

  • New black powder-coated engine covers, cam cover and sprocket cover finishes
  • New black Öhlins RSU springs
  • New black Thruxton side panel and sprocket cover with integrated heel guard
  • New premium black anodized wheels
  • Unique ‘Monza’ cap
  • New Triumph triangle tank decal (only on twin paint scheme option)
  • Unique sculpted Thruxton tank
  • Stainless steel tank strap
  • Clear anodized aluminum swing arm
  • Daytona footpegs
  • 22 mm clip-on handlebars
  • Black mirrors and indicators
  • Twin ride-by-wire throttle bodies and unique Thruxton intake finisher
  • Gold engine detailing
  • Distinctive red signature key

The new Thruxton RS comes with a single, body-colored bullet seat set-up as standard. This enhances the motorcycle’s focused, cafe-racer style. An optional pillion seat accessory kit will be available with a bespoke dual seat and footpegs.

The new Thruxton RS comes in two color choices:

  • Jet Black
  • Matte Storm Grey and Matte Silver Ice

Building Your Own Thruxton RS Custom

Designed with personalization in mind, the Thruxton RS comes with 80 accessories to help you add even more comfort, style, protection and security.

It’s never been easier to create your own special with a host of custom-inspired parts to choose from, including:

  • Brushed stainless steel Arrow silencers with carbon end caps
  • Cafe racer fairing
  • Fender eliminator kit
  • Pillion seat and footrest
  • Comfort seat, tank and knee pads
  • Triumph-engineered security additions, including:

o New Track+ and Protect+ ground anchor and disc lock.

**Availability of accessories is governed by local market legislation – please check with a Triumph market representative for availability.

The Original Cafe Racer

Born from the racing success of the Triumph Bonneville, the original Thruxton played a major part in the birth of motorcycle motorsport on both sides of the Atlantic. Starting with the legendary Thruxton 500 race series of the late 1950s – where the racing ‘Bonnie’ first got its name – the ‘Thruxton’ was a dominating force, with the first top step coming courtesy of British legend Mike Hailwood. In 1969, Malcolm Uphill won the production race at the Isle of Man TT, becoming the first production motorcycle to achieve a 100 mph average lap. By the 1960s it had also become the bike of choice on the road, inspiring a generation of teenage cafe racers.

Across three significant generations, the Thruxton has maintained its position as the original cafe racer, encapsulating all the style, attitude and key hallmarks of the early cafe machines. In 2016, Triumph launched to international acclaim a completely new generation of this iconic racing name: the Thruxton R – the Ultimate Cafe Racer. A truly modern roadster designed to literally live up to the legend, with real poise, real power and real performance complemented with unique finishes, detailing and the highest level of engine and suspension specification.

2020 Triumph Thruxton RS Specifications

Engine TypeLiquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
Bore/Stroke97.6 x 80 mm
Compression Ratio12.066:1
Maximum Power105 PS/103 bhp (77 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Maximum Torque112 Nm @ 4,250 rpm
Fuel systemMultipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
ExhaustBrushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin silencers
Final driveO-ring chain
ClutchWet, multi-plate assist clutch
FrameTubular steel cradle
SwingarmTwin-sided, aluminium – Clear anodized
Front Wheel32-spoke 17 x 3.5 in, aluminium rims
Rear Wheel32-spoke 17 x 5 in, aluminium rims
Front Tyre120/70 ZR17
Rear Tyre160/60 ZR17
Front SuspensionShowa 43 mm USD big piston forks, fully adjustable 120 mm travel
Rear SuspensionFully adjustable Öhlins twin shocks with Piggyback reservoir, 120 mm rear wheel travel
Front BrakeTwin 310 mm Brembo floating discs, Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc calipers, ABS
Rear BrakeSingle 220 mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Width (Handlebars)745 mm
Height Without Mirrors1,030 mm
Seat Height810 mm
Wheelbase1,415 mm
Trail92 mm
Dry Weight197 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity14.5 L
Fuel Consumption4.9 l/100 km (58 MPG)
CO2 Emissions114 g/km
John Burns
John Burns

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Join the conversation
  • SRMark SRMark on Nov 05, 2019

    An exquisitely styled bike with that god-awful tank seam.

    • Dain Bramage Dain Bramage on Nov 05, 2019

      Great! Now I can't un-see it.

      Anyway, if I got a Triumph, it would be the Speed Twin. I'd get to all the cafes just as fast.