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New arrivals of 2016 – Retros (Part 1 of 2)

Published: 08 January 2016

Updated: 08 January 2016

With 2016 heralding the arrival of 68 new bikes, we’re going to have a roundup of some of the most interesting metal that’s coming our way this year. All the bikes featured will be on display at the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show in February so make sure you check out all of the latest and best new bikes in the same place at the same time.  To find out more about the show and for tickets, click here. 

Triumph Street Twin £7300

All new 900cc engine
54bhp 59ftlb 198kg
ABS & Traction control

Triumph could have built anything vaguely retro and watched it fly out of showrooms, but the new Street Twin is so much better than that. It’s well thought-out and immaculately conceived – and pretty cool in the metal, too.

The Street Twin is easy to ride, fun, involving and all-day comfy. You can cruise like Beckham or dash like McQueen. Every twist of the throttle pummels you with nostalgia and those twin upswept exhausts make all the right throbbing Cool Britannia noises. And tucked away out of view, bringing the Bonnie into the modern age, are traction control, ABS, ride-by-wire, a digital dash and a USB power port.

The Street Twin is designed to be a blank canvas for customising, and there are three pre-packaged ‘Inspiration Kits’ available to transform your Street Twin into a scrambler, flat-tracker or urban style bike.

The Street Twin is the only one of the new Bonnie range to be fitted with the new liquid-cooled, 900cc ‘high torque’ 270° parallel-twin engine, which develops a claimed 54bhp – more than enough for mischief on a naked retro. Power is up 22bhp over the out-going air-cooled Bonnie engine between 2750rpm and 4750rpm and the new motor makes 18% more torque. 

Liquid-cooling might upset the purists, but radiator aside it’s win/win. Not only is the new motor more powerful and frugal (Triumph claim an average 75.5mpg), service intervals have been increased from 6000 to 10,000 miles.

With its new chassis, non-adjustable Kayaba fork and preload-adjustable twin Kayaba shock set-up, the Street Twin is agile around town and offers a plush ride that’s all-day comfortable. The Street is low enough to let you get both feet-down at the lights, but not too cramped.

But when you want to turn up the wick, the bike handles brilliantly. Its 198kg (dry) feels light and agile, and it has excellent full-lean stability and acres of ground clearance. The single disc twin-piston Nissin brake set-up has impressive feel and power, too.

Priced at just £7300 the Street Twin offers superb value for money. As well as the styling, performance and all-round friendliness you get those electronic rider aids, Smiths-style white-on-black speedo and an immobiliser. 

Yamaha XSR900 £7849

191kg (ABS, kerb)

The XSR900 sits alongside the XSR700 within Yamaha’s burgeoning Sport Heritage range. Powered by the firm’s CP3 motor from the MT-09, the bigger XSR blends all the latest tech and hardware with attractive retro roadster styling.

The purists will be delighted to learn that there’s plenty of metal bits to poke at, too. The tank covers, fenders, side covers and headlamp stays all eschew plastic in favour of aluminium, while the stitched seat and dinky round rear light continue the bespoke feeling.

The 900 manages to overcome some of the awkward moments on the smaller XSR. The conspicuous radiator is now black, as are the exhaust system and engine, helping to give it a more unified identity, and much cleaner look.

The 847cc inline triple engine comes over in all its raspy and aggressive glory, complete with a slipper clutch that uses Yamaha’s ‘assist’ technology (which enables lighter feel at the lever with no loss in plate pressure), ABS, and 3-mode traction control. Riding modes are also present, allowing a choice of Standard mode for the daily grind, A mode for full-on scratching, and B mode for when the heavens open.

The aluminium die cast frame chassis also comes across unchanged, along with the fork and shock – which have been fettled to suit the XSR’s requirements, and are both adjustable. A dazzling array of accessories will be available to further personalise your XSR900. The bike is expected to arrive at dealers in March.

Triumph Thruxton R £12,000 (est)

220kg (est)

The range-topping Thruxton R ups the ante even further with significant parts upgrades over the standard Thruxton model in order to make it look, perform, handle and stop better. Upgraded Brembo twin floating brake discs are clamped by Brembo radially-mounted monobloc calipers plus there’s a Brembo master cylinder for increased braking power. The suspension uses a high-spec, fully-adjustable Showa big-piston fork up front and fully-adjustable Öhlins twin rear shocks while the rims run Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres for sportier handling characteristics. It’ll be a significant step forward.

Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer


Moto Guzzi have revealed an all-new 853cc V9 Roamer for 2016 – a fairly traditional take on classic retro roadster, and heralded as the modern replacement for the famous Nevada. The Roamer gets a 19in front wheel and 16in rear, combined with a 775mm seat height, long padded seat and rider geometry that’s all about comfort and ease of riding. At 200kg it’s not exactly a featherweight, but its comparable in class, and boasts ABS, switchable traction control and a USB charging port.

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