TRIUMPH THRUXTON (2003-on) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"A great looking retro cafe racer"

Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view

"A great looking retro cafe racer"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 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.

Engine 3 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

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 group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

14 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH THRUXTON (2003-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your TRIUMPH THRUXTON (2003-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.9 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.1 out of 5
Equipment 3.2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent Retro Reliablility

02 April 2014 by soundgen

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Super

03 July 2013 by Empire

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

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

2005 Triumph Thruxton 900

30 March 2010 by kingmoham

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

2005 Triumph Thruxton 900

30 March 2010 by Anonymous

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

2008 Thruxton

28 July 2009 by ThruxtonBandit

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

A bike to play dress up with.

31 October 2008 by yournamehere

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

For The Individualist

28 September 2008 by billkincaid

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

my kind of ride

05 February 2008 by Jelle

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... Read more 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)

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

good classic lines

22 January 2008 by 65380301

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Go your own way...

22 August 2007 by Gobert23

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... Read more 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...

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 14 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2003
Year discontinued -
New price £7,349
Used price £5,500 to £10,500
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £81
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 69 bhp
Max torque 53 ft-lb
Top speed 115 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.2 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 865cc
Engine type 8v, twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 16.6 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 320mm disc
Rear brake 255mm disc
Front tyre size 100/90 x 18 in
Rear tyre size 130/80 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2003: Triumph Thruxton 900 launched.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

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  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Rear view
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  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Top view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Top view
  • Triumph Thruxton motorcycle review - Instruments
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