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.
Suppose you ran a motorcycle manufacturer lucky enough to have produced one of the most iconic motorcycle lines of an era. For the past 15 years your factories had assembled a popular family of motorcycles based on that previous generation to steady increase in sales, ultimately totaling 20% of the company’s international purchases. Still, progress marches onward, global emissions laws change, and the time is ripe for refreshing and broadening the model line. Having stewardship over an icon carries a special weight, making any revision fraught with risk. However, where there is risk, often there is great opportunity nearby. Triumph Motorcycles found itself in just that position with the Bonneville and set about the task of updating and broadening the family to meet today’s motorcycling while remaining true to its heritage.