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Triumph THRUXTON Retro Motorbike Review

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Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Triumph Thruxton is a great looking retro cafe racer, which just doesn't have the punchy power you'd expect of a big twin. It also sounds dull, boring almost. Compared to buying a well restored Triton 650 for the same money, the modern day Triumph Thruxton is a weak imitation of genuine cafe racer cool.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Triumph Thruxton has a healthy 69bhp, which is well up on the Scrambler/Speedmaster power output from the same mill, but the Triumph Thruxton doesn't have the punch that a big twin should have somehow. The bike sounds like it's being strangled by its quiet exhausts - a Triumph Thruxton should bark, and bite.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

For a moderately heavy bike, the Triumph Thruxton handles OK, but it doesn't convince the rider that this a genuinely sporty thing to ride, apart from the `full-on' racy riding position. Suspensiosn is too soft and adjustable for preload only. When pushed hard, the Triumph Thruxton goes all mushy.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

It's got carbs - how authentically old school is that? OK, as you'd expect, the Triumph Thruxton is a bit lacking in creature comforts, but even a stripped down, 21st century cafe racer should have a bigger fuel tank and a second front disc brake.

Triumph Thruxton (2003-current)

Detail Value
New price £7,349
Dealer used prices
£4,920 (2008) - £7,140 (2014)
Private used prices
£4,340 (2008) - £6,430 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 865 cc
Power 69 bhp
Top speed 115 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4
Value rating is 2 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The finish is OK on the Triumph Thruxton, but this isn't a motorcycle which you would ride every day to work, all year round. There are too many little bits and pieces on the Triumph Thruxton which don't weather too well and even though it's a cheap bike, it could be better finished.

Value

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 4

Buy a retro Ducati or Harley-Davidson and you'll always find a queue of buyers when you're ready to sell it. Buy a Triumph Thruxton and your options are more limited. Fact is, you have to be an absolute Triumph devotee to own this slow, underbraked and uncomfortable motorcycle. Find a Triumph Thruxton for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

2003: Triumph Thruxton 900 launched.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 115 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.2 secs
Max power 69 bhp
Max torque 53 ft-lb
Weight 205 kg
Seat height 790 mm
Fuel capacity 16.6 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 865 cc
Engine specification 8v, twin, 5 gears
Frame Steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 320mm disc
Rear brake 255mm disc
Front tyre size 100/90 x 18 in
Rear tyre size 130/80 x 17 in

See all Triumph THRUXTON motorcycles for sale

Triumph
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15926 miles

£3,495

Triumph
THRUXTON

5358 miles

£6,195

Triumph
THRUXTON

5358 miles

£6,195

Triumph
THRUXTON

5358 miles

£6,195

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(14 reviews)

  • Excellent Retro Reliablility

    soundgen

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I own a 2013 Thruxton 900 and LOVE it. I have put on aftermarket cans and a few other accessories. I also have had the engine remapped. It is now a bit faster but sounds sooo much better than when new. It has everyone looking. It looks beautiful and can keep up with anyone in the twisties. It isn't as fast at accelerating, but I have so much fun on good UK country roads. I have so many people asking me about it at lights and filling stations. I even commute on it (I got the Triumph Gel Seat) and with some TLC it got through the winter in perfect condition. I have done 3000 miles on it and can't get enough of it. If you commute then you might prefer some wind protection, but I like this bike so much, the look, sound and feel remove any atmospheric discomfort that there may be... What MCN has said that is negative can easily be remedied with Triumph accessories or aftermarket ones. Own one, love one.

    02 April 2014

  • Super

    Empire

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Had red one - with sports pipes - excellant bike - real head turner - not yr boring little plastic crotch rocket - Try it =

    03 July 2013

  • 2005 Triumph Thruxton 900

    kingmoham

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Bought new in November of 2005, after nearly 4 years of service, I submit the following for review: In four years I have put 12,000 miles on the clock, changed the tires once (Avons), changed the brakes pads twice, seasonal fluid changes, all without incident. Battery is the original and shows no sign of failure, being maintained by a tender when not in use. I have had zero quality issues. No rust, no chipped paint, no crappy chrome, no torn seats, no frayed cables, no nothing. The 'Old Fashioned' Carburetors have performed flawlessly since new. My Thruxton is ridden year round in new England, but not in all weather situations. I don't ride in the rain or snow, but have ridden at temps below freezing, as well as temps above 100 degrees F. and regardless of temps, the Thruxton seems to perfectly do what is asked of it. It certainly isn't the fastest, quickest, nimblest, or advanced. But it has become is one hell of reliable motorcycle that can make your face smile, and it will always be an attention getter, as it will pull a crowd away from the Harley Davidson, Ducati, or the Japanese ride at any event, and you'll find yourself answering the same questions over and over from interested folks. It is, exactly what Triumph Motorcycles wanted this motorcycle to be...a very appealing, all around reliable motorcycle.

    30 March 2010

  • 2005 Triumph Thruxton 900

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Bought new in November of 2005, after nearly 4 years of service, I submit the following for review: In four years I have put 12,000 miles on the clock, changed the tires once (Avons), changed the brakes pads twice, seasonal fluid changes, all without incident. Battery is the original and shows no sign of failure, being maintained by a tender when not in use. I have had zero quality issues. No rust, no chipped paint, no crappy chrome, no torn seats, no frayed cables, no nothing. The 'Old Fashioned' Carburetors have performed flawlessly since new. My Thruxton is ridden year round in new England, but not in all weather situations. I don't ride in the rain or snow, but have ridden at temps below freezing, as well as temps above 100 degrees F. and regardless of temps, the Thruxton seems to perfectly do what is asked of it. It certainly isn't the fastest, quickest, nimblest, or advanced. But it has become is one hell of reliable motorcycle that can make your face smile, and it will always be an attention getter, as it will pull a crowd away from the Harley Davidson, Ducati, or the Japanese ride at any event, and you'll find yourself answering the same questions over and over from interested folks. It is, exactly what Triumph Motorcycles wanted this motorcycle to be...a very appealing, all around reliable motorcycle.

    30 March 2010

  • 2008 Thruxton

    ThruxtonBandit

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I got my Thruxton at the begining of the year and have riden it nearly every day since. I love this bike and would recomend it to anyone who likes to cruise fast. I realise its not a fast bike but the twin gives you plently of low torque while the the rider position gives you a fast feel- I get to feel like I'm a retro holigan without too much risk to my licence. If you get this bike just remember, your not buying a super bike. your buying something that will put a grin on your face. nothing pleased me more when my colegue, who rides a GSXR6 came over to me bitching because everyone who stops by looks at my bike and not his. Thats why I ride a Thruxton ;) Ride and handling: Front brakes could be better. A second disk would cure it and the suspension could be beefed up but I think a second disk would spoil the look and feel of the bike. Equipment: plenty of after market bits you can add if you want them. I h\ve no complaints here. Reliability: I've put 4k on my clock since January and I had one thing go wrong in that time (touch wood- I have to ride home tonight). The front break braket broke. this, I think, was due to me putting a disk lock on my bike and trying to ride off with it on. I must have put a hair line fracture in it or some thing because it broke shortly after. Turned out to be a recall part anyway as the bolts that hold it all on are too short. you can get the whole thing fixed by Triumph free of charge. Value: I guess you could get more for your money but I guess Triumph know they are selling to enthusiasts, dont they. Engine: Again, 4k miles and not a peep. not one drop of oil either. my only negative is its a little under powered and doesnt sound the way it should unless you change the pipes. my bike is going to get a few upratings but i have the better pipes so at least it sounds closer to what you want. Overall. Great bike. If you want one- get one. you will not be dissapointed.. but you will want to tweek it. Do not leave the show room with the standard pipes on. You have been warned.

    28 July 2009

  • A bike to play dress up with.

    David washbrook

    Birmingham ,

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I've repeatedly been given a Thruxton as a courtesy bike from my local dealer, and I have to say, I love it. The bike I rode had a few mods, the Arrow 2 into 1 can, a headlamp cowl and a single seat conversion. With the clubman bars, bar end mirrors and the racy riding position it equates to a lot of (slow) fun. The aftermarket can makes it sound angry and loud enough to scare small children, it barks on big throttle openings and pops and bangs away on the overrun, which I have to admit is part of the appeal. You just have to get into the spirit of the thing and wear an open face helmet and goggles. As a practical everyday machine, look elsewhere. As an experience, well you just have to try it.

    31 October 2008

  • For The Individualist

    billkincaid

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    For what I paid for my Thruxton, I had other choices. This bike suits me, though. It's different. Not a plowhorse Harley, not a racehorse Ducati, just a sleek, retro-cool machine that has a long pedigree. Harleys feel like they're made from tractor parts. There's that whole macho-scowl thing that goes with riding them, too. And the sport bikes are more scary-fast than I can handle, or can use riding to work on 35 mph streets with dozens of stop signs and signals along the way. I just sold a 1968 Bonneville, and got used to people stopping by to talk with me about it in parking lots and at stoplights. I get a little of that on the Thruxton, too, to my surprise. There's a lot of nostalgic Triumph lovers out there. In standard trim it's too quiet, so I traded the mufflers in for Triumph offroad-use-onlies - "TORs" -which make it sound a lot better. I also eliminated the rear fender to capitalize on that cool littl tail-cone on the back of the seat. Finishing touch - painting it exactly like the 1968 Bonneville I just sold. It's the only full retro Thruxton around.

    28 September 2008

  • my kind of ride

    Jelle

    BE

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    The thruxton may not be a genuine racing machine, it lacks some stopping power, and it's hp-output is a little sad for a 900. But those are all little things you can easily fix yourself (just like the sound). Personally I think it's the best bike I ever had, it took me from Belgium to Greece in less than a week, without even drinking a drop of oil. Ok, if you ride it for a complete day (let alone 4 days), you'll feel a bit shaken & banged up, but hey! at least you know you've been riding a motorcycle! :) I added an old ducati 750 tophalf fairing & a steering damper, switched the sprocketguard for a lighter one, removed the air injector, half-emptied my exhausts, and made some crash protectors and an other taillight. Not necessary, just fun to do. In my own eyes this bike beats anything else. (neglecting the classics like a ducati 900ss, triton and norton manx of course)

    05 February 2008

  • good classic lines

    65380301

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    as a second bke it is a very satisfiying bike to own and ride.it is a good contrast to my other bike(RS Sprint). As a 856cc air cooled motorcycle the power out put is what you would expect with todays emision laws, but in spite of the lack of modern day power it is very rewarding to ride. Yes the clip ons are low but for my height (5'8) its make a good ride. To sum up its fun and relistic bike to own.

    22 January 2008

  • Go your own way...

    Gobert23

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Before you even consider the Thruxton, you have to consider what you're looking for in a motorcycle. Me? I was after something completely different, a different ownership experience, where the pleasure of riding and owning would rate higher than having the most sophisticated technology, razor sharp handling or power output. I wanted to enjoy the ride and stay well within the bounds of the law. Being able to take in the sights and sounds at a slower pace, yet having a smile in every mile. My other thought was that I wanted to experience the 'golden age' of motorcycling, without having to deal with dodgy electrics or small puddles of oil... There was a few choices available, but the Thruxton ticked (almost) all the boxes. I felt it was better value than a Harley Davidson and presented a better experience than perhaps an aircooled Ducati or even an ol' Enfield. It's important to do a little research and work out what upgrades and changes will cost. The aftermarket parts for a Harley were just to expensive to be justifiable and I really didn't buy into the 'lifestyle' experience they were pushing. Triumph seems to have remembered that bikes are about, well, bikes... and not about mass branding and 'image'. The Triumph doesn't over promise and under delivery. It does axactly what it says on the tin. So far, I've been pretty impressed with my choice. Yes, it doesn't bear any comparison to any modern Japanese machinery. The brakes are weak and lack progression, the suspension is soft at the front and stiff at the rear as standard... and the stock exhausts hardly raise a whisper. I have to say that the brakes were the only immediate disappointment, with my expectations higher, but I can accept (to a degree) that some budgeting had to be done is sourcing the caliper (rubbish!) and the master cylinder (not far behind it). With the initial niggles adressed, the riding experience needs my head to be re-calibrated. With open pipes, there is a satisfying rumble from the engine, with just a hint of crackle on the overrun (carbs are lovely in that respect). It can only really be described as 'soulful'. The performance doesn't break any records (the originals weighed less and had more power), but there's reliable, usable electrics and electric start. I would say that the engine is willing, if totally understressed. There's certainly more than a little tuning potential to be had using traditional tuning techniques (filter, exhuasts and jetting... remember those?) The Thruxton does benefit from adjustable front forks (unlike the standard Bonnevilles) but only for pre-load. Adjustments are essential if you're going to even think about a pillion. What I like is being able to build that 'bond' with the bike. Take apart, service, fettle and adjust as I need; without needing a diagnostic or a degree in electronics...

    22 August 2007

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pete7k

pete7ksays

2008 Thruxton - my new bike

I am often a little disappointed by reading journalist's reviews of bikes in general, and non sports bikes in particular. I own a Yamaha TDM900 (my 4th) and have rarely seen more than grudging acknowledgements of 'practicality' and little else applied to this splendid bike. Now getting better that MCN has on on the test fleet. (Thank you MCN) Since retiring at 60, I had been looking for a Thruxton for some time having decided reliving my old Triumph days pof the 60's by buying an actual early 60s Bonneville is too expensive and they never stopped properly, or were as reliable as I wanted. I finally found a genuine 2008 Thruxton which had the standard Bonneville bars and nice pipes I wanted fitted by the dealer before delivery. It also had only 312 (yes 312!) miles on the clock and a good price sealed the deal. I bought it. I have put about 250 miles on in the last couple of days and the bike is an absolute joy. Comfortable, compact, low (compared to TDM), good fun in the twisties (Cat and Fiddle today) and sounds exactly as a Brit parallel twin should. It also for some reason attract masses of attention from bikers and non bikers alike. To me, a 63 year old who started riding in 1965, it is the perfect machine to relive old days. I am keeping the TDM, whioh has full luggage, GPS etc, for serious touring and 2-up work. I now have a modern bike and a 'classic' for vastly less than the price of a real classic (good T120s are fetching over £10,000!!) Well done Triumph! My Thruxton is a British bike that is part of a comprehensive modern range that responded to a diverse market in a way that the old Triumph ( in the later years) failed to do. Pete

08 July 2012 21:18

NewAeon

NewAeonsays

Rating Vs. Bonnie

I'm interested in why this got a 3 star rating when the Bonneville and Scrambler got 4.

Bonneville gets 4 stars for value because it's "a cheap motorcycle to run and cheap to buy and Triumph Bonnevilles doesn’t lose much money past the original hit when bought new" but the Thruxton gets 2 because you probably won't be able to sell it because it's so uncomfortable..?

The Thruxton has the same brakes, except a 10mm larger front disc, and the same fuel tank as the Bonneville, but it gets 2 stars for value, compared to the Bonnie's 4, because, among other things, it should have better brakes and a larger tank.

Seriously? So is it not better to just buy a Bonneville and but clip-ons and a rear seat cowl on it, or is this just a complete BS review?

 

 

06 June 2012 20:20

ChrissyboyHurley

User's Badge

ChrissyboyHurleysays

2010 Thruxton

Just completed the first 100 miles on the clock and it's a dream. Lots of comments about it being underpowered! It may be as I've come from a Speedmaster but it seems fantastic to me all through the revs though I'm still keeping it on a tight leash- more than enough for UK roads. The new bars are comfortable enough but the best thing is it just turns heads, young or old everyone has something to say. I'm chuffed with mine.

10 May 2010 15:16

chopper07

chopper07says

Unique

I keep looking at this one and it keeps calling my name.  There are no true standards anymore.  Most crusiers style worship at the alter of Harley and Davidson.  It seems that Dirt Bikes and Sports Bikes are trying to mate and form some weird uncomfortable hybrid that will be forgotten in the sands of time.  The Bonneville was never forgotten.  The Thruxton seems to be the ultimate Bonny (sort of a off the shelf / out of the box customized  Bonneville).  Cafe Racer looks and real world riding position and performance.  Yeah, take your Japanese / Italian Plastic Rocketship to 160.  You'll either be pushing up daisys or signing lots of endorsements (traffic tickets here in America). 

03 November 2008 08:45

mjj338

mjj338says

Thruxton

I joined MCN today and I agree with tou, a Triton is the max to put in your livingroom, but a Thruxton is to ride , without oil leaks, and shure you arrive where you want at the time you want. the Triton is a dreammachine, the Hinckley Modern Classics are made for the road.

25 October 2008 22:13

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