All-new Triumph Thruxtons revealed

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Triumph have finally unveiled their all-new 1199cc Triumph Thruxton and Thruxton R, the range-topping duo that herald the arrival of a completely new collection of five Bonnevilles. Starting from the entry-level all-new Street Twin, the line-up includes two ‘classic’ Bonnevilles, and the new Thruxton models you see here.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of these bikes to Triumph; they are going to make up around one third of the total sales of all the bikes the UK company sells around the world and have soaked up a huge amount of development work. The Thruxton and Thruxton R sit at the top of the new range, which – with the exception of the Street Twin – uses an all-new water-cooled 1199cc parallel-twin engine.

Triumph have been working on these bikes for the past five years; the whole project was actually signed off three years ago and the firm have been working hard to ensure all of the bikes, accessories and technology blended into the bikes are working perfectly.

The Thruxton

The two-bike Thruxton range shares the same high-power Thruxton-specification engine which will have a performance boost over the more traditional T120, as well as benefitting from a dedicated chassis, and higher-spec suspension and brakes.

This is a bike offering modern performance with a classic flat-on-the-tank riding style. Named after the legendary 500-mile Thruxton endurance race series and the Triumphs that dominated it – and which also recorded the first 100mph lap at the Isle of Man TT – the Bonneville Thruxton racers were an integral part of the café racer scene and Triumph racing success of the 1960s and 70s. This bike is aimed squarely at the likes of the BMW R nineT, Yamaha XJR1300 racer, Moto Guzzi V7 Racer and the Norton Commando 961 – which all offer a blend of classic styling but with more modern design and engineering touches.

Triumph haven’t quoted power figures yet, but have revealed that the 1199cc engine is pushing out 81ftlb of torque at 3500rpm in the Thruxton state of tune and the twin features a low-friction, low-inertia engine with a lighter crankshaft allowing it to rev more quickly and higher than previous Bonneville engines. There are some very clever engineering elements to the Thruxton, too. The exhausts are a prime example, managing to keep the classic twin-swept pipe style which hides a clever twist. A diversion pipe runs from each cylinder downpipe into the underslung catalyser box, then back out into the twin silencers. The downpipes are then covered in a second metal skin to not only lower surface temperatures, but also to stop the discolouration from water spray and exhaust gas heat, and give the illusion of straight-through pipes.

Triumph say the exhaust note has been tuned to deliver a characterful and bassy rumble. The Thruxton models get a host of electronics too, with ABS as standard, a ride-by-wire throttle, switchable traction control, multiple riding modes, LED rear lights and signature LED daytime running lights, and a USB charging socket. The engine also boasts a slipper clutch.

The Thruxton R

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. Although no official prices have been announced yet, MCN expects the standard Thruxton to cost around £10,495, with the R coming in at around £11,995.

2016 Triumph Thruxton R, £11,995 (est)
Engine 1199cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke parallel-twin, DOHC, 12-valve
Claimed power TBC
Claimed torque 81ftlb
Frame Tubular steel

See the light The rear lights are LEDs, as are the Thruxton-specific daytime running lights up front. It’s a great modern element on a classically-styled bike.

Mirror finish A standard fitment on the Thruxton models in order to keep the styling pared back and authentically café racer.

Best of both worlds Two clocks show the speed and rev-counter and look utterly conventional but incorporate a digital menu system showing the ride mode, gear position, two trip settings, range to empty, fuel level, odometer, service indicator, fuel consumption data and a clock.

Water works Triumph have worked hard to try and make the radiator as unobtrusive as possible – even so, it’s hard to miss. But it was an essential part of the engine design and allows the desired performance to be achieved while keeping noise and gas emissions under control.

Top stoppers Standard Thruxton gets basic twin-piston Nissin calipers but the R gets huge twin floating discs with Brembo radially-mounted calipers for extra stopping power. ABS is standard on the entire range.

Mint new motor All-new, water-cooled 12v parallel-twin motor produces 81ftlb of torque; a huge improvement over the old 865cc engine’s 50.89ftlb. The Thruxtons get a skimmed cylinderhead for increased compression.

Nice carbs No, not really. The carburettors are actually clever masks for the modern fuel injection throttle bodies. It’s a long-standing Bonneville trick, but works particularly well on the new range. 

Modify your Thruxton

The original Thruxton racers were a wide variety of stripped-back and hand-built one-offs and Triumph have gone to town on the accessories list. There are 160 available for the Thruxton and Thruxton R models alone. The range includes a top fairing, Vance & Hines exhausts, mudguard removal kit, lower clip-on bars and mini indicators. Triumph have attempted to make it easier for owners to customise the bikes with three packages they refer to as ‘inspiration’ kits, which can be used as styling cues or just fitted as a complete set. The three kits are named Track Race, Café Racer and there is a Thruxton R Performance Race kit’, which has been designed for track use only.

See more on the Triumph website.

Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter