Triumph is preparing to give the Street Twin and Street Scrambler new names, continuing its recent trend of giving its models new monikers. The changes may happen soon, as Triumph has filed certification documents in Australia, renaming the Street Twin as the Speed Twin 900, and similarly, changing the Street Scrambler to the Scrambler 900.
It was just about a year ago when we sampled Triumph’s reborn Speed Twin for the first time on home soil, in a two-bike standoff against a way-more-expensive optioned-out BMW R nineT. At the time, we were slightly underwhelmed and had to rate the new Speed Twin second, by a hair.
It’s all relative. How good or bad a thing is all depends on the competition, doesn’t it – a thing that’s kept us employed and entertained for more than a few years now. Competition is good for business; MO comparison tests usually always draw in more eyeballs than single-bike reviews. In a perfect world, we’d gather up all five or six contenders in a given class for a week-long flog over hill and dale and racetrack. But in the real world of today, well shoot – it looks like our Top Five most-read comparisons of 2020 are only two bikes each.
Is Retro still booming? It was when BMW built its first R nineT in 2013, a bike that was so successful they’ve built like five more versions in the ensuing years. In fact, there are so many nineT’s it’s hard to keep them straight. We put the R nineT Pure in last place in 2017, when we shot it out against the now-defunct Honda CB1100EX and Triumph Bonneville T120 Black here. But in 2014, we rated the standard R nineT first, in a comparison involving the also-defunct CB1100 regular and Moto Guzzi Griso 8V.
Triumph knows a thing or two about winning Best Standard MOBOs. Last year, the Street Triple RS took home the honors, and two years before that, the Street Twin landed a MOBO. Impressive. And that’s the word that we would use to describe the 2019 Triumph Speed Twin.
When Triumph decided to create a model that sat between the Thruxton and the Bonneville T120, the designers could have simply taken the Thruxton, adjusted the riding position through higher bars and lower pegs from the T120, and then called it a day. Instead, the engineers cranked out an all-new model, taking features of both the Thruxton and the T120 and turned it into the 2019 Triumph Speed Twin. We’ve already posted the first ride review of the Speed Twin, but in these connected days, we also need to post a review made up of moving images. So, behold! Through the marvels of modern technology, you can enjoy the company of me, your humble reviewer, wherever you have an internet-connected device.
Within Triumph’s Modern Classics line there was always a sizable gap between the Bonneville T120 and the Thruxton. The Bonnie had a nice standard riding position and more sedate power delivery, while the Thruxton had a much more committed rider stance and sportier performance. What about riders who wanted an upright riding stance but craved more get up when the go knob was twisted? Well, the good folks in Hinckley have answered the call with the 2019 Triumph Speed Twin.
Ever since the 2019 Triumph Speed Twin was announced in early December, we’ve been excited about the prospects that it posed. The idea of Thruxton power wrapped in a more relaxed package intrigued us, and now, the moment is at hand. Thanks to the magical tubes of the internet, we have the skinny on the Speed Twin just hours after the press briefing at the riding launch in Mallorca, Spain.
This is an unusual Ask MO Anything, as this question was delivered not by a reader but by me. During the presentation for the T100 Bonneville I rode last week, I asked why Triumph chose a 270-degree crank for its new Bonneville parallel-Twins rather than the 360-degree orientation of Triumph’s originals. Miles Perkins, Triumph’s Head Of Brand, attempted to give me a satisfactory answer but admitted I’d be better served by a response from one of Triumph’s powertrain specialists.