TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN 1200 (2019 - on) Review
- Better front end feel thanks to USD forks and updated brakes
- Metzeler Racetec tyres added for 2021
- Torque-laden 1200cc parallel twin noe Euro5 compliant
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Triumph’s new Speed Twin is more than just a comfier Thruxton. Taking the best bits from the raciest of their retros and laidback roadsters, it’s fast, fun, all-day-comfy, easy to manage and despite its modest suspension and braking hardware, has the ride quality, poise and stopping power of a Street or Speed Triple.
The throttle response isn’t as polished as many Triumphs and some may still want the ability to fine-tune their suspension, but the Speed Twin is a classy, affordable slab of retro that its rivals will struggle to keep in their sights.
The Speed Twin is a good seller for Triumph – they've shifted over 11,000 of them since the 2019 launch and in 2021 the model got an update for Euro5. Triumph took the opportunity to do more than just clean up its act though and the bike gets a whole new feel.
So, what’s new? Quite a bit – some changes you can see, and some you can’t. The most noticeable tweak from the first model are the upside down forks – chunky 43mm Marzocchi items, albeit with no adjustment – and posh Brembo radial calipers biting bigger 320mm discs.
The wheels are new too – 12-spoke lightweight aluminium rims shod with trackday-ready Metzeler Racetec RR K3 rubber.
Less obvious at first glance, but just as important, the engine is now more or less the same spec as the Thruxton RS, albeit with a different exhaust system and engine mapping to keep it just a few horses down.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Sustained hours in the saddle won't bother your joints. Pegs are 4mm lower and 38mm further forward than the Thruxton's, seat height is lower (just 807mm), despite having 10mm more padding and the tapered bars have more than a hint of ready-for-action Speed Triple about them.
Twinges of derrière discomfort eventually creep in after around six hours in the saddle - about five hours better than the torturous Thruxton's.
Aside from a new subframe, aluminium down tubes and the odd bracket, the Speed Twin’s frame is the same as the Thruxton's. Suspension for 2019 and 2020 bikes is by KYB: non-adjustable forks up front and preload-adjustable twin shocks at the rear. Don't worry about the lack of twiddlers because the chassis set-up is Triumph at its glorious best.
Perfectly balanced and with sumptuous ride quality, the Speed Twin rolls through corners with a twinkle in its eye and slightly lazy steering geometry makes fast corners its party piece. Slowing down the fork dive on the brakes with a dab of compression damping would be nice (if we’re being fussy), but the suspension will be bang-on for most riders and styles.
Lightweight seven spoke wheels contribute to the Speed Twin's breezy agility and Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyres (the good ones, not cheap spec OEs) dig in hard once they’re up to temperature. Four piston, four-pad Brembos may not be radial, but who cares when they ooze this much power and feel?
For 2021, Triumph gave the Speed Twin new forks, Metzeler tyres and upgraded brakes.
The new forks have a firm, high quality feel to them, and along with the sticky tyres you’ve got a beatifully planted front-end feel that allows you to get away with trail-braking deep into turns. It seems to roll perfectly naturally into bends with no real effort – just the hint of pressure against the inside bar and the bike sets itself up to whatever angle of lean you’ve dialled in, no fuss, no drama.
Well, unless you start hitting big bumps mid-corner, when it’s a bit less lovely. The rear shocks – carried over directly from the old model – are budget items and it shows.
The harder you push and/or the bumpier it gets, the more they lose their composure. They’re not actually bad – just not as good as the front end, and not as good as the rest of the bike. At least they’ll be easy to replace with something better a year or two down the line though.
One other point about the shocks – normally you can fiddle with the preload adjusters on these using every single bit of the bike’s toolkit (which consists of one Allen key behind the right hand side panel). With the new silencers, though, access is extremely tight and you really need to loosen the exhaust mounting and swing the silencer out of the way.
The new brakes are a step on from the old system. Monobloc Brembo M50 calipers and radial master cylinder are undoubtedly overkill for a 100bhp roadster, but they do look good and in conjunction with relatively soft pads, they offer a good balance of power and feel.
The ABS system is maybe a bit over-eager, especially at the rear (use the back brake at all while stopping hard and the ABS kicks and jerks) but I suspect although that was an irritation on dry tarmac, it might be a bit more welcome on a greasy December commute.
Ergonomics are good – or at least they were for my stumpy legs and 5ft6in build – with flattish bars giving plenty of leverage and a position that’s purposeful without being too sporty.
The seat is a bit of a plank, to be honest, but ok for a couple of hours at a time, especially on the kind of roads where you’re constantly shuffling about on the seat. On a couple of fast sections of dual carriageway it was no surprise to find anything over about 90mph was unpleasantly windy, and I wouldn’t want to do much of that if I could avoid it.
Better to slow down a bit and ease the strain on your neck – 70mph in top, incidentally, is at a lazy 3500rpm, from which there’s plenty of overtaking grunt available without needing to bother the gear lever.
Even at legal speeds though, you’re never going to be long between fuel stops and leg-stretches. Triumph claim about 50mpg for the Speed Twin, and a quick calculation after a splash and dash at 80-odd miles showed we’d averaged about 45mpg – not too bad, but with a smallish 14.5 litre fuel tank it means you’ll be looking for fuel at around 125 miles, assuming a nominal reserve of a couple of litres.
When you get to the fuel station, you might find, as I did, that you can’t put the sidestand down – it simply wasn’t possible to snag the sidestand tang with the heel of my Sidi race boots, so I had to lean down and do it by hand. No one with normal boots had a problem though.
According to the spec sheets, the new model has slightly steeper rake/trail figures than the old one, despite having the same frame, so it’s tempting to put that down to the new forks. A closer look, though, reveals that’s just because the rear shocks (same as last year) come with an extra step of preload at the rear, raising the back and giving slightly quicker steering and slightly better ground clearance.
EngineNext up: Reliability
A reworked 'High Power' 1200cc parallel twin-cylinder Thruxton lump provides the Speed Twin's beating heart and darkly gruff soundtrack. The motor alone is 2.5kg lighter, thanks to its revised clutch assembly and new engine covers. It even has a magnesium cam cover, like a Ducati Superleggera.
Making 96bhp to the crank, the Speed Twin delivers supersport punch when you dial in the revs, but there's so much grunt, delivered from almost tickover, it’s more rewarding to use lazy gears in the corners and surf the Triumph’s great wave of torque on the way out.
Triumph are masters of ironing out the glitches from their ride-by-wire throttles, but the Speed Twin's fuelling is a little abrupt on and off the gas at low speed. Once you're rolling (or in Rain mode) the throttle becomes nicely damped, though.
For 2021, the engine has been overhauled to meet Euro5 emmissions regulations and now also makes a little more power. It's the last of Triumph’s Bonnie family to be updated for Euro5 and Triumph have put in quite a bit of work into the engine. It has; a lighter crank, a posh new alternator with rare earth magnets for less inertia, new higher compression pistons, modified intake and exhaust ports, and higher lift camshafts.
All this means you get a modest power increase over the old model (up around 3bhp to a claimed 99bhp, with peak power now delivered at 7250rpm), and a fraction more torque, delivered slightly lower down the rev range.
There’s traction control (switchable) and three-way riding modes – Rain, Road and Sport. All three deliver full power, so it’s just the delivery and throttle response that vary.
Euro5 compliance means a new exhaust system, but still retaining the old bike’s neat layout, where it looks like a two into two straight through system, but the downpipes don’t actually connect directly to the silencers.
Instead, they divert under the sump to the catalytic converter and pre-silencer, before diverting back out again to the mid-pipes and silencers. The point where they diverge is hidden by a neat little stainless cover and you really wouldn’t know all that tiresome emissions stuff was hiding away there.
The lighter engine internals help the motor spin up more quickly and you can really feel the difference. It’s still got the grunt to be able to pull hard from low down, although perhaps it feels a little harsher than before without the extra crankshaft mass to damp down vibration, but let it spin just a bit higher – from 3500rpm upwards – and it really drives, perfect for slingshotting between bends on these twisty Portuguese roads.
The best compliment I can pay is to say it’s the sort of engine where you don’t need a rev counter – partly because you’ve got a wide spread of useable grunt over a wide range, but more because it’s just so easy to instinctively feel what it’s going to do when you open the throttle.
Warning: you’ll also find yourself just winding the throttle on and off just to experience that surge of grunt again and again – fun, but intensely annoying for anyone you’re riding with...
I was very pleased to see the three engine modes are easily changed while riding – no messing around. You just press the button on the left bar to pre-select the one you want, it flashes, then shut the throttle and pull the clutch in at the same time, and the new mode is active.
As mentioned previously, the traction control is also easily switchable (press the info button 'til it shows TCS, then press and hold to toggle between on and off) but for that you do need to be stopped. Once you turn the ignition off, the Mode reverts to Road, which is a bit annoying – I’d prefer it to remember its last setting – but that ease of switching means it’s not a problem.
Also fair to say that the slightly less nervous low-down throttle response in Road is easier to get on with in traffic, where Sport can hunt and shunt a bit, especially when you’re on an almost-closed throttle, just coasting down to a junction or lights, for example.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Judging by our Triumph Speed Twin owners' reviews, there doesn't seem to be a huge amount wrong with the Speed Twin's build quality or reliablity. It scores mainly four or five stars, with no negative feedback at time of publication.
The 2021 model is brand new and so there is no reliability information as yet but the build quality and finish seem good.
Looks are subjective, but I think the Speed Twin looks great, especially in the metallic red we were riding. All the inconvenient modern stuff is tucked away neatly (especially the exhaust/emissions kit as mentioned before, but it’s still got enough visual clues – especially the new front end – to say it’s a serious performance bike, not a wannabe classic cruiser.
From ten feet away everything looks solid, quality, class – even the mudguards are brushed aluminium, not plastic – but get right up close and there are a few cheap touches that betray some cost-cutting (the plastic headlight bowl, for example).
The mudguards, incidentally, could both usefully be a bit longer – the day before our ride was wet and riders were getting soaked from water flung up between the rear mudguard and the number plate holder.
At the front a longer guard would keep gunge and stones from the vulnerable radiator – several of the test bikes were already showing minor stone damage.
The only design touch I’m really not keen on is the clocks. They manage to pack a fair bit of available info into a tight space, and it’s generally easy to pick and choose what you want to see, but I’d have preferred a simpler, cleaner white dial design.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Triumph gives you get bundles of style, performance, tech and quality parts for little money, but the Speed Twin is ever so slightly more expensive than the comparable BMW R nine T Pure and Kawasaki Z900RS.
Street Twin owners who want a bit more oomph (ok, a lot more: 49% more power and 40% more torque) will love the new Speed Twin, as will Bonneville T120 riders who just want a bit more of everything and Thruxton owners who value their wrists.
It also has enough power and joyful handling to keep all but the most speed-crazed sportsbike and super naked fans happy and relaxed on the road, too.
Triumph Speed Twin vs 2021 BMW R nine T
BMW and Triumph are head and shoulders ahead of the game when it comes to creating modern, old-school charmers with sizzling performance.
There are machines that do the job of cruising in a haze of yesteryear bliss for a lot less, but the R nine T and Speed Twin are apex predators.
Both are stripped-down, straight-barred roadsters, detailed to within an inch of their turn-ups with big brakes, quality suspension and electronics hidden neatly away. Both have tank badges with genuine history – the Triumph is Steve McQueen and the Beemer the soldiers chasing him.
On paper their twin cylinder engines are similar, too. The BMW punches out 108bhp and 86lb.ft of torque from its updated Euro5-spec 1170cc boxer and the Triumph produces 96bhp and 83lb.ft from a 1200cc parallel twin.
But bikes aren’t ridden on paper, and out on the road the way their engines look and act couldn’t be more different. The liquid-cooled Speed Twin burbles away with its cylinders neatly in line, dishing out impeccable thrust throughout the revs. Over on the air/oil cooled R nine T its punchier, more instant delivery comes from huge power stations sticking out horizontally in front of your shins.
They’ll both do around 140mph on a good day and either machine will scratch the itch of those who’ve left their sportsbikes behind. They’re the most unlikely wheelie machines when you turn the electronics off, too.
It’s a close call. Each bike is deliciously finished and detailed, easy to get on with and compared with their cheaper, less powerful rivals, they are genuinely quick and sharp in the bends. If you like your Sunday mornings to end with a silly grin and flies in your teeth, these are the bikes for you.
The Triumph is the one you’ll buy with your head. It’s cheaper, more polished and comes with everything you need to tickle your classic taste buds – from its Monza fuel cap to the burble from its big parallel twin engine.
The brakes, suspension and tyres (in the winter) aren’t quite as good as the BMW’s and it isn’t as roomy, but if you can live with those things you’ve just saved yourself a stack-load of cash.
But from the moment the R nine T wakes from its slumber, kicking to the right as it crackles into life, you know you’re on something special. Some might not enjoy its Germanic quirkiness, but it’s one of the most magnificent feelgood sportsbikes around.
As well as a new engine, forks, wheels and tyres the 2021 Speed Twin also gets is a slight price hike – it’s up £300 on the old model to bring it to £11,000 on the road for the standard gloss black version, or £11,200 for Matt Storm Grey (with yellow accents) or the Red Hopper metallic finish (as per the bikes we tested).
To put that price into context, the cheapest BMW R nineT (which Triumph see as their main competition in this market sector) is the base Pure model at £11,395, while ‘normal’ R nine T models start at £13,150. The Speed Twin’s other stated rival, the Kawasaki Z900RS, ranges from £10,649 to £11,649.
As we've come to expect from Triumph’s latest generation of retros, you get a lot of tasty spec for your money, including riding modes, traction control, ABS, a torque assist clutch, new clocks, bar end mirrors, a Monza fuel cap and immobiliser.
If you want all the bells and whistles then maybe a stripped-back modern classic isn’t for you. That said, there’s a USB charging port under the seat, LED lighting (including a Daytime Running Light) and the new bike is pre-wired for heated grips and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, both available as accessories along with dozens of other options.
Triumph team up with Beeline
Triumph chose the Speed Twin to showcase their new tie-up with the Beeline navigation system. For those who don’t want to fit a bulky sat-nav unit (or their phone) on the handlebars, but still want some route guidance, the Beeline is a possible alternative.
The small but suprisingly heavy unit (the case is solid aluminium where you’d expect plastic) sits on your bars and connects to your phone via Bluetooth, once you’ve downloaded the specific Beeline app. Then you can either create a route on your phone, import from another source, or switch to Compass mode, which allows you to put in start and finish points and then rather than giving you detailed instructions, it just points you in roughly the right direction while letting you head off down side roads or make it up as you go along.
For this ride we used a pre-loaded map from Triumph. Downloading, installing and pairing to the phone was easy (and I’m no tech-lover) and once I got the hang of interpreting the simple info on the screen, it worked ok, although on several occasions I was expecting to go one way according to what I was being told, while our lead rider acually took us somewhere else. Not sure whether that was my fault, Beeline’s fault or the lead rider’s fault, but I suspect I’d need a lot more time with it to be able to trust it fully.
Speaking of time, the limiting factor is battery charge time. Firstly for the unit itself, which doesn’t charge from the bike so needs separate charging each evening, and secondly for your phone – the constant Bluetooth activity is incredibly power-hungry and everyone finished the day with barely enough power left to send a photo of their first beer to Instagram/Facebook/Grandma (other social platforms/relatives are available).
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 8v parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel with aluminium cradle|
|Fuel capacity||14.5 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm USD Marzocchi forks, non adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Twin shocks, preload adjustable|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||220mm rear disc with single-piston Nissin caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||160/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£280|
|Used price||£8,000 - £10,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||99 bhp|
|Max torque||83 ft-lb|
|Top speed||135 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
- 2019: Speed Twin launched with a Triumph Thruxton-based engine and chassis with roadster styling and riding position.
- 2021: Speed Twin updated to meet Euro5 emissions rules, with new USD forks, brakes and grippier tyres to boot.
Watch our video review of the 2019 Triumph Speed Twin below:
MCN Long term test reports
MCN Fleet: Torquey Triumph Speed Twin shows mercy on its stock tyres
Looking back on those heady days of Springtime, when the tarmac was warm and the Triumph Speed Twin's odometer was only showing triple digits, I distinctly remember wondering about how much abuse the rear tyre was taking. Sure, the Triumph retro is no big-power sportsbike, but given the fact that th…
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN 1200 (2019 - on)
13 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN 1200 (2019 - 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
engine is superb, very exciting. front suspension is appalling, amazed other reviewers have not mentioned this. hit bumps at speed and the front forks totally overwhelmed, nearly had me off of a straight road. am going to have to spend a lot of extra money sorting this out. Love the bike but really disappointed by front forks. If you buy one and aim to use the available performance you will HAVE to upgrade suspension. many other owners say the same.
I was thinking brakes would be obviously better than my 900 street scrambler, not so just yet but will not doubt improve. no complaints though.
Superb, instant grunt, like sitting on an Apollo Rocket booster. really exciting especially in sport mode. Cant believe they get 98bhp out of this motor, my old Kawasaki Z1 made 82 and I thought that was a powerhouse. Love the way the hi torque comes in at around 3.5K and delivers all the way. No need to hunt revs, fabulous.
too early to be sure but look very good.
too early to respond to this.
again engine is magnificent. I have heated grips (which are a boon on my 900 street scrambler and will be on the speed).
Buying experience: bought from Fowlers in Bristol - excellent team, really good. part exec for my street triple 765 and dealer increased the part ex value during negotiations.
Recommend? Yes definitely, superb power great handling and good brakes and I think it looks good too. The best feature is the very torquey engine, the worst ( for me) is the slightly too firm seat. I got fed up of trying to find the sidestand with my foot so I drilled and tapped a 5mm thread and screwed in an Allen screw covered in rubber, it’s a great fix.
This bike excels on twisty B roads
Superb in every respect
This would cost more than double on the next service, ouch!
It’s a retro but has a high spec for a retro
Buying experience: Great triumph dealer made buying a pleasure
Version: Speed twin 1200hp
This bike has loads of pulling power and it handles really well and with the Brembo brakes it stops on a sixpence
I've done 100 run as yet
The engine pulls really well and performance is good and fuel consumption seems really good aswell
No problems it brand new and the build quality is very good
I don't know yet what the service costs are
The tyre choice is bang on and the bike is just a great all rounder I think triumph have done a very good job
Buying experience: I brought the bike new from lings triumph and the price was £11050 and I thought the sales team were really good
Annual servicing cost: £250
Ridiculous fun. Like a two wheeled V8. Superb handling and surprisingly comfortable. Be prepared for people to want to chat when you park. The nostalgic looks are just that - on the road this thing flies and makes a terrific noise. Grunt is instant and very addictive. Never been more pleased with a purchase.
It's a simple package but all seems work so well. The brakes do squeal though at slow speeds - bit annoying.
Addictively grunt. Overtakes in a heartbeat and pulls like a train from any gear. Seeing a red line at 6500 - 7000 RPM looked a bit strange at first - but the gearing and the gearchange mean you are more than happy to use the box and play. Superb fun.
Superb finish. Haven't had it long enough yet to comment on the reliability- but my last bike was a Triumph and was pretty faultless.
10000 mile service intervals will make a nice change.
Considering the budget suspension it handles very well, the brakes are good and the torque from the engine is fantastic There is a lot of throttle play but this can be sorted with spacers and the tank range is a bit limited i would recommend this to friends
This bike does it all, bimbling about, touring, and if you feel like it a bit of scratching and you can ride it all day due to riding position and seat comfort
torque, torque and more torque
This bike looks fantastic as standard but it is improved by fitting a tail tidy, also I would suggest fitting throttle spacers to get over the snatchy action, Vance and Hines exhausts and xpipe to decat and KN filter all of which makes it sound better and gives you a bit better throttle response standard tyres are very good
Buying experience: dealer very good service
Annual servicing cost: £200
Great sound and handling. I've made a few upgrades having owned this bike for 18 months. Original tires lasted 5000 miles before it went pop with gentle riding, believe this is ok for expectancy. Love the sound with the V&H exhaust but without the cat even better. Tail tidy a bit of luggage added. Up graded the seat to a Bonnie seat gives 2cm on the height and much better pillion space, it also adds to comfort for the rider. It needs a bit of modification to fit but worth the effort for two up. All in all a great bike and still a thrill to own and ride. A great bike.
Great ride -Only minor issue with brakes which bind a little at low speed making the final stop and foot down a bit more of a judgement. Triumph factory Manager says it needs to be ridden harder on the brakes to clear the dust due to sport brake design. Not sure I like the idea of braking hard for no reason and it only lasts a mile or so before it returns. Sill only a minor point.
Love the low down torque and sound V&H fitted as std on mine.
Getting on average 62mpg actual. Can nudge up to 70mpg if I try. Fuel take 0 miles appears on average 35miles before tank is empty. But once you know you can get 200 miles on a tank with out worry.
Its got all I need as was a demo model.
Buying experience: Good dealer experience
Annual servicing cost: £180
It's a very sweet handling bike, with more than enough grunt to put a smile on your face. It reminds me of the KTM 950 SM I used to have, but with a lower seat and better looks. At normal road speeds it's not slow either.
The brakes are very good. I'm used to radial Brembo's, these aren't radials but they are Brembo's and they stop it very quickly indeed. They offer really good feel if you are really pressing on, on some of the shocking roads near me i have had the antilock kick, to the point I'd say its a little on the sensitive side. But other than that they have been excellent overall. Ride quality is a mixed bag, smooth flowing A+ B roads the suspension will be fine and the bike handles everything most people would want, unfortunately a large number of the roads near me are not like that. The chassis copes fine, but the suspension struggles. Mine is now running Maxton Rear shocks and i will be getting the fork internals done soon. The difference on one B road i ride regularly is now about 20mph, if I'd done that before I'd have ended up in a hedge. This is a shame, I do wish they had given it slightly better suspension that was adjustable. But once that is sorted, the bike handles brilliantly everywhere. The Rosso 3 tyres it come on really suite the bike as well, I really like Pirellis and these are brilliant.
Initially the low speed fuelling was the worst I've had on any bike, however a DNA filter and more miles seems to have smoothed it out a lot. Having said that, the engine is the star of the show, it drives from low down really well and when you are moving at normal speeds the pick up is a hoot, I actually prefer riding it as an experience to my MT 10SP. Nearly everything is despatched with a briefest of twists. The gearbox is precise and clutch light and it thuds forward with very little provocation and I absolutely love the sound through the Vance & Hines cans I have on it.
The aluminium everywhere, other than the mudguards, fur up as soon as they get wet for any period of time (An hour in the rain will do it). It came as a bit of a shock, as it's been years since I've seen corrosion form that quickly on a bike. I tend to have to use autosol and elbow grease to keep it looking new (other than dowsing everything in ACF50). Mechanically it's been faultless.
Triumph charge more for their servicing than other manufacturers, however my experience has been excellent so far and the dealership have really impressed me compared to some others I've dealt with over the years (Youles Blackburn).
I actually really like the clocks, they look basic but give me all the information I need. Definitely fit the heated grips, it does make a difference in the middle of winter, and the work well. Accessories wise you can blow a fortune, knock yourself out. Tyre wise, it's running standard Rosso 3's, not some OEM rubbish that looks like them but isn't. The bike was developed for these tyres and I would stick with them, they are excellent and seem to be offering a good compromise of performance and longevity.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer. Paid full price as they were new and everyone wanted one, there was a delay to get them.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Gorgeous ride, build, incredibly versatile in use and customisation option. And a stunner look at and listen to.
Ride quality is awesome. Sadly, front brakes have warped slightly, which doesn’t affect the ride, but Triumph will replace these under warranty.
TORQUE ALL DAY IN ALL CONDITIONS.
A relatively weak battery has been my only complaint. Otherwise it is spot-on.
Haven’t serviced it yet.
Ride by wire is like having 3 different bikes in your garage. Amazing.
Buying experience: Smooth and unpushy.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Superb handling, brakes, looks and sound. The sidestand is tricky to locate with your foot.
Has chronic brake squeal coming to a halt.
Superb spread of power .
Great amount of equipment for a retro, would like a thermometer
Buying experience: Easy with no stress
Great bike only spoiled by loud squeeling from front brake when coming to a stop.
Would be 5 out of 5 but for front brake squeel problem, handles very well, comfortable. Stay in the saddle between fill ups.
Brilliant engine, so much torque. Bit glitchy at low speeds unless in rain mode.
As above, squeeling front brake and gear change connecting rod fell off on a ride.
Only had 1st service, included in purchase.
Everything I need
Buying experience: Bought new from Triumphworld, Chesterfield. Very good buying experience. Paid more or less asking price.
As others have said the engine is a peach and I love the low weight coming as I am from serious illness my GSA was just too heavy. It's very easy to ride at a relaxed pace and deceptively fast if you want to get a move on. All the power you need in the real world. I've just completed a tour in Germany from the UK and completed 1600 miles at 64 mpg - I avoid motorways most of the time. On the last day I rode 570 miles home in heavy rain so I can attest to the fact that the slim looking saddle is comfortable and you can tour. Issues? Well the turning circle is limited as is luggage carrying capacity - fine for a couple of weeks but a GS it isn't! The standard suspension set up is very good but adjusting the rear shocks for luggage or a pillion is awkward as the access is restricted by the exhaust - oh yes they sound lovely!
The brakes are superb though I'm getting some squeal, probably just need a thorough clean. Strong and progressive. Th handling set up out if the box is really good and the Pirelli Rosso III tyres inspire confidence wet or dry.
It sounds good has lovely mid range torque and flies if you open it up. Riding it the sense is of a strong, well engineered motor. It combines a relaxed easy ride when you are just enjoying the roads with a sense of power and urgency when you want it.
Only completed 2500 miles so far as I've had the bike for less than three months - the build and finish seem excellent, we shall see.
Has used no oil and has only cost me a replacement tyre - can't blame Triumph for the nail!
Tricky as its the simplicity that appeals. I only ride in sport mode, I know how to be more subtle in the wet. Ive added a small dart screen which is of some use but looks so good it could be mistaken for an official part. Also added a Hepco Becker rack for practicality.
Buying experience: Bizarrely I bought this as a "used" bike from a dealer who had sold it to it's first owner who never rode it. It had 5.7 delivery miles and I paid £800 less than the price of a new one.
Annual servicing cost: £500
The best and worst features about this bike: The best part about this bike is the solid performance. The engine is the focal point and an absolute jewel. There are more powerful bikes but this thing accelerates everywhere, all the time thanks to its large displacement twin cylinder engine. It no Hayabusa but will get to illegal speeds nearly as quickly and with much less drama. The sounds it makes are lovely. The worst part about it is there is no Speed Twin R, for now. The throttle is not as snatchy as some reviewers would have you believe. I ride mine in Sport mode daily and with a pillion Rain works a charm.
The stock suspension is just fine. I weigh 180 and flog the bike on nice Saturday mornings. Even with a pillion at ABS threshold braking it doesn't bottom out. The front brakes are an odd duck. Generally they work great but have occasional groans at low speeds and sometime seem like they need a few stops to warm up. The longer you look at the bike the more you realize it's a hodge-podge of other Bonneville's parts with a better Thruxton R motor. It is the best streetbike you can buy for any amount of money. After 4 hours I need a 10 minute break. On Sunday rides to a favorite breakfast place 2-up there are no complaints. It accommodates a passenger with ease and still has enough beans in it's pockets to lift the front wheel in 2nd.
I wanted to give the engine 5 of 5 but frankly it doesn't have the frenetic top end hit of large displacement 4 cyls. R1's at go-to-jail speeds will leave you on the freeway. 135mph is not 170mph but frankly I don't suffer from a lack of power on the street and the way the motor makes power makes it so much more usable than a 4cyl. The engine is a sweety and not many reviews have done justice to the fact that it delivers all that grunt RIGHT NOW. Any gear, any speed, if the engine is turning it is producing enough power to settle the chassis on corner exit or beat that Acura for lane choice. Not a lot of shifting required. If you can see a hole in traffic it is yours. The bike has the grunt and brakes to make it a very capable streetbike.
Don't know about the 10K service as I only have 2k miles on it but budgeting for LOF's, tires, and chains is just part of riding. I do my own maintenance and so far the bike has been a real peach to work on. When the sun is out I am riding.
This bike has the best tires you can get. So glad Triumph put a 160mm rear tire on it because it makes the bike turn so much better than a fatter rear. Modern 17 inch sportbike tires are light years better than tires from 20 years ago and the stock ones on this bike are not only VERY good but are sized appropriately.
Buying experience: I had been loitering around the store for a few weeks developing a relationship with the dealer. On the morning I bought it I showed up on my Suzuki DRZ400sm and took it for a test ride with the salesman. I never gave the keys back. I payed full-bore retail for my bike. No haggling. For this I got a Triumph T-shirt, back-pack, pen, planner, and towards the end it felt like the salesman was just grabbing stuff and giving it to me. No regrets. This is a very reasonably priced bike and truth be told if you are trying to save money through ethnic bartering at a premium brand dealer you are in the wrong place.
Annual servicing cost: £249
Recommend = Yes Best: handling, handling and handling, agile, good feel from confidence inspiring brakes, tyres give lots of confidence on corners and in the wet. Comfortable riding at speed. Had a seat upgrade and Dart screen on my T120 and in my view these aren’t needed on this bike. Worst: I weigh 85kg and find the suspension brilliant on at least 95% of roads and bends, but a few poor surfaces make me want better. I’m on the softest preload already and it’s harder, thumpier, than my Street Triple, so there’s nowhere to go. Admittedly, I’m coming to it from the Bonneville side of preference, not the Thruxton. I’ve ordered softer KYB shocks through my dealer and fitted Thruxton Weslake cone cans for the greater sound :)
The bike is great around town on most roads and super on faster roads. Changing direction is soooo easy, as is leaning it over for fun. Both brakes are very good with plenty of feel front and rear. They scrape a score of 5 in my opinion, The suspension manages a 3, hence 4 average. I’ve done a couple of 100 - 150 mile trips (up to 75 mph plus:) ) and the comfort is good - seat firm but OK, riding position excellent, no buffeting, 60 year old wrists and neck have no issues. Controls are easy to use. Reports of slightly snatchy road and race modes worried me a little, but I now use race mode around town with no reason to worry.
Nice noise as standard, with some popping, but a little more volume from the aftermarket options worked for me. Power delivery is linear - determined hand gives really determined acceleration. Fast enough to be exciting and speed limits arrive too soon. Open road overtakes happen perhaps more than they should. More fun than Tiger Sport or T120...
I’ve had four previous Triumphs - Tiger Sport, T120 Black, Street Triple 675, Sprint ST - and done some winter riding on all of them. The finish on this looks to be slightly better. No problem from the last few weeks of rain and slightly salty roads!
Purchase price is at the upper end of what I felt able to pay, I’d give it 5/5 if the suspension was softer and I didn’t feel the need to upgrade it! Can’t complain about the 10,000 mile service interval. Dealer hourly rates are reasonable.
It’s a modern Bonneville - ABS, traction control. The agile handling, low weight and smallish size for a 1200 form my favourite feature. It’s a great package. Handlebar and bar end mirrors are excellent. Mode button and electrics fall easily to hand. I use rain mode in the wet. I’ve used Triumphs own heated grips and their new 2in1 goretex gloves. These have worked much bettter than my two year old ( Ride magazine) winter warmth award winning gloves. I’ve ordered midrange adjustable KYB shocks (about £350) as I prefer a more compliant ride. Weslake cones are good value at under £300 and not too loud with the baffles in or out. I prefer the baffles in. These slipons are under half the price of Vance and Hines and a bit cruder to look at.
Buying experience: My local Triumph dealer gave me a two test rides - the second to try some more rough town roads, so were very helpful. They also did a good deal on accessories, as the brand new Speed Twin launch meant discounts on the bike were hard for them to swallow. I saved a couple of hundred pounds through some small free accessories and some further free fitting of accessories I contributed to.