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Triumph Thruxton RS (2020-on)

Published: 14 January 2020

Updated: 16 January 2020

The Thruxton is now an even cooler customer in its new RS guise

Triumph Thruxton RS front end

The Thruxton is now an even cooler customer in its new RS guise

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Leaner, stronger and a banger in the bends, the range-topping 2020 Triumph Thruxton RS is more than just a Thruxton R with a few fancy bits thrown on. As impressive as it ever was, the Thruxton is now an even cooler customer in its new RS guise.

Its extra grunt and willingness to rev adds extra sparkle to an already fast and formidable machine and its new-found lightness, braking power and extra grip lets you ride the RS harder than any Thruxton before…and it loves it.

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Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

There’s a reason why so many sportsbike riders have peeled themselves off their race replicas and on to Thruxtons. It looks great and you can waft along slowly and enjoy the dark rumblings of the motor.

It doesn’t squash wrists or knees and the seat is comfy enough for extended saddle time (around three or four hours) before you need to shuffle, but it’ll also scratch your speed itch. The Thruxton is still a performance bike, albeit one with turn-ups and a beard. 

There’s nothing the Thruxton RS can’t do. It might be long and low, compared to a sportsbike or fiery naked and it’s still on the heavy side, despite a 6kg weight saving (thanks to lighter engine internals and battery), but it’s balanced and steers with accuracy, with just the right amount of rider input required to make you feel like you’ve worked for your speed. Fast flowing corners are its thing and not hairpins or flip-flops, but it gets through them all with poise.

We’ve long loved Metzeler’s Racetec RR K3 fast road/trackday tyre. Grippy, fast-warming, surprisingly durable and not bad in the wet, there’s little they can’t do.

Cornering on the Triumph Thruxton RS

New Brembos M50 monoblocs have pads with more bite and power, compared to the wooden stoppers of the R, but the ABS will eventually intrude if you’re the last of the late brakers.

Ride quality isn’t the last word in plushness, like a full Öhlins-clad Speed Triple RS, and you can get the suspension to wobble if you push very hard, but you can ride the Thruxton RS with all the fervour of a sportsbike.

And when you’ve finished being a loon you can saunter serenely into the next town for a coffee, looking cool (on your own, it’s a single seat only).

Engine 4 out of 5

To keep the 1200cc parallel twin Euro5-fresh and to boost performance, the Thruxton RS also gets a raft of engine mods, including high compression pistons, cams and a gas flowed head, crank, balance shafts, clutch and generator are all lighter and a magnesium cam cover and thinner engine covers save further weight.

Power is up 7bhp to 103bhp and there’s more shove above 5250rpm. It makes the same 83ftlb of torque, but it’s delivered 700rpm lower in the revs, there’s 20% less inertia and an extra 500rpm to play with up top, so no more banging into the rev limiter so easily when you’re enjoying yourself.

Triumph Thruxton RS engine

Revised mapping has banished on/off throttle glitches and the new torque-assist clutch gives the lever a lighter action. Gears still snick home nicely, not that you need to trouble the 'box that often with so much torque on tap, but a quickshifter and blipper would be nice for the money.  

Rider modes (Rain, Road, Sport) now have their own dedicated traction control settings, so there’s less intrusion when you don’t want it and more when you do. In reality there’s now so much grip you’d be hard pushed to ring the TC’s bell anyway.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Triumph took a huge step forward in quality when the Thruxton first arrived in 2016 and it’s now up there with the best. Owner reviews are all positive, so living with the RS should be a joyful experience.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

Triumph claims 58mpg and a theoretical 185-mile range from its 14.5 litre tank and major service intervals are every 10,000 miles. Insurance premiums will reflect its spicy ticket price.

It’s a lot of cash for a single-seated retro-shaped sportsbike, but the Triumph is a quality object, packed with tastefully hidden tech. For the last word in off the peg café racer-styling, sounds and performance the new Thruxton RS is it.

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

Equipment 5 out of 5

Based on the brilliant R – not a bad place to start an evolution - the RS keeps all its good stuff: the polished top yoke, ali tank strap, Brembos, fully adjustable twin piggyback Öhlins shocks and Showa Big Piston Forks.

Then there’s the old-school analogue clocks, lightweight 32 spoke wheels, sleek exhausts that cleverly hide the cats and carb-shaped throttle bodies…the list goes on. 

Triumph Thruxton RS petrol tank

Like the top spec Street and Speed Triple RS Triumph, the chassis components get a tickle, so the Thruxton RS has higher spec Brembo M50 monoblocs, Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsas make way for stickier Metzeler Racetec RR K3 rubber and there’s a lighter battery. The Öhlins shock springs have been given the blacked-out treatment along with all the engine covers and wheel rims.

On top of all the RS’s standard goodies, there are a plethora of accessories available, from Arrow pipes to tank bags, or a 'Track Racer' inspiration kit including a top fairing, lower clip-ons, a tail tidy and LED indicators, which can all be bought separately.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2020
Year discontinued -
New price £13,000
Used price -
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 103 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 1200cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 12v inline three cylinder
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 14.5 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 197kg
Front suspension 43mm Showa forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Twin Öhlins shocks, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 310mm front discs with four piston Brembo calipers. ABS
Rear brake 220mm disc with Nissin twin piston caliper ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the TRIUMPH THRUXTON 1200 RS (2020-on).

Review your TRIUMPH THRUXTON 1200 RS (2020-on)

Photo Gallery

  • Triumph Thruxton RS front end
  • Triumph Thruxton RS engine
  • triumph Thruxton RS exhaust and rear wheel
  • Triumph Thruxton RS Monza filler cap
  • Triumph Thruxton RS petrol tank
  • Cornering right on the Triumph Thruxton RS
  • Riding the Triumph Thruxton RS
  • A side-on view of the Triumph Thruxton RS
  • Cornering left on the Triumph Thruxton RS
  • The Triumph Thruxton RS features a Euro5 engine
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