MCN Fleet: Can Triumph Thruxton R soak up distance?

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I’m someone who hates getting up early – especially on a Sunday morning, the temple of the sacred lie-in. This one was different. When I opened the blinds at 6.45am I was greeted by bright sunshine, the handsome red Triumph Thruxton R gleaming like a jewel and casting a long crisp shadow up the drive. And this morning it looked even more stunning than normal.

Tank brimmed, fresh rubber on shiny alloy rims, it was all just waiting to be enjoyed. With a round-trip of 280 miles to the Thruxton round of British Superbikes ahead of me, and a real mix of roads, for once I was pleased to be up bright and early on a Sunday – and it’d be rude not to turn up at Thruxton on the track’s namesake when the opportunity is there. The first bit of my journey on the A43 was one of my tried and tested routes, one where I know every ripple in the tarmac, and it provided a great way to settle into the ride.


I had only fitted a pair of Metzeler Roadtec 01 tyres a few days earlier, very reluctantly as I had only covered 2500 miles on the previous Pirelli Angel GT tyres, before a large wood screw punctured the rear and rendered it irreparable. In those 2500 miles I had fallen in love with the Pirellis, thanks to the total confidence they had instilled in me, and I wondered if the new rubber could be as good.

Journey well underway, I found myself over the Angel GT bereavement and developing a new love affair with the Metzelers, which were at least as good as the Angel GTs, if not better. Tyre worries eased, I had something else to enjoy, as this was my first long-distance trip with the baffles out of the Vance and Hines Triumph slip-on cans (£550). It’s one of the things where I can’t help myself – the better the sound, the more I want to hear it. And these sounded gorgeous. Before I knew it I needed a fuel stop, which was a shame as I was really enjoying myself.

Replenished with both fuel and exuberance it was time for the last part of the voyage down to the racetrack, and by this time the roads were filling up with like-minded motorcyclists off to pay homage to their BSB gods. The roads on the approach began to feel a little more like a racetrack as excitement built.

Once at the track it’s great to experience the BSB boys on full-tilt. As I wandered around the paddock I could not but help notice the winners’ podium, and it felt right for me to mount the top step. Not because I had won a race, but because I had the best ride down there! And the best bit? I got to enjoy all that torque and great handling from the Thruxton again on the way back. What joy!

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Simon Relph

By Simon Relph

MCN Senior Designer - loves bikes old and new, from building them to riding them on and off road