This is Triumph’s latest and greatest retro, the Speed Twin. It’s a hopped-up, tuned and uprated version of the Bonneville T120 inspired by the original 1937 Speed Twin, the firm’s very first performance parallel twin.
To create it, the Hinckley firm have blended the best bits of their retro range, resulting in a machine with the styling of the new Street Twins but with the performance of the Thruxton R and the comfort of the Bonneville T120.
Can you handle it?
A prime concern when developing the new Speed Twin was nailing its handling. The aim was to give a classic-looking bike the dynamic manners of a modern machine. To achieve that Triumph have give the Speed Twin a new frame based on that of the sporty Thruxton R paired with cartridge forks and pre-load adjustable twin shocks. It also has lightweight, 17in, cast aluminium wheels shod with Pirelli Rosso Corsa 3 tyres and non-radial, twin Brembo four- piston calipers up front.
But unlike the Thruxton, the Speed Twin has a more comfortable, upright riding position with flat bars on a new upper yoke. What’s more, despite its aggressive nose-down, bum-up style, the Speed Twin’s bench seat is only 807mm tall so it should be easy to manage.
To match all that, Triumph have given the Speed Twin an updated version of their 1200cc high power engine, as well. Once again the starting point was the Thruxton R, but Triumph took that powerplant and added a magnesium cam cover, revised clutch and new side cases, resulting in a 2.5kg weight saving over the Thruxton engine. In fact, all of the weight savings over the whole bike make the Speed Twin 10kg lighter than the Thruxton.
Plenty of potency
It’s lost none of its potency though. With 96bhp and 82.6ftlb of torque it’s nearly 50% more powerful than the 900cc Street Twin and, with all the Thruxton’s electronics, three riding modes, switchable traction control and ABS. There’s no word on pricing or availability yet, but we expect it to cost about £10,000.
2019 Speed Twin highlights
- 1200cc parallel twin
- 96bhp / 82.6ftlb
- 807mm seat height
- 196kg (dry)
- Spring launch
- £10k (est)