Days ago I was between tours with some spare time on my hands and perfect riding weather. So I decided it was finally time to get me a test ride on the Triumph Thruxton R and see for myself if it’s really such a remarkable machine as everyone likes to rave about.
Since I know about this motorcycle, I was attracted to its looks and specs alike. So I can say from the start, that this review might be a bit biased after all. But after all, I paid for the rent of the bike and I’m in no way related to Triumph or any rider magazine, so I’ll write it exactly as I feel.
I had to go a long way to get this bike and I admit I almost gave up on it, because secretly I was worried that it’s not such a great bike to ride or even worse, that the bike is so great I’ll have buy it.
And (un)fortunately it was the latter.
I got to Austria and picked the bike from a young hipster salesman, who was as excited as me about riding that bike and from the moment we turned it on, I was getting uber excited. Even with the stock exhaust, what a sound! Like a road legal Supermarine Spitfire, that sends all the NineT’s straight back to their homeland.
Off we go!
Usually, it takes me about till the first time I stop for a picture/refreshment to feel good on a bike I’ve never ridden before. Not on the Thruxton. We were one from the first corner. Which made me think that the bike might be a bit too confidence inspiring. Like most Beemers for example, they allow you mistakes, making you think you are such a great rider … Well, not in this case. Yes, the handling is nimble and everything is smooth on this bike. Even the seat is comfortable for a cafe racer. But if you think this bike is good as your first bike, think again …
Finally after a couple of kilometers I start playing with the different riding modes. 2 would be enough on this bike. Sport and rain. Road is quite useless, at least for the way I ride. I don’t like such delayed throttle response and sport didn’t feel too aggressive that it would get me tired IMO. Speaking of riding modes, I didn’t like the fact that it switches automatically to Road whenever you turn off the bike. I hope there is a way to fix this, because before I noticed that it got me in some awkward situations when downshifting and rev matching gone wrong because of the throttle delay.
Back to the good stuff. Riding this bike feels like riding a bomber or some other testosterone pumped war machine. A mix between a Harley and a Ducati. Great sound, pleasant vibrations and great torque. The handling is pure poetry in motion. The bike, I’m trying to avoid sexual comparisons here, so I’ll just say the Thruxton does what you ask from her. But You have to know what you want. Pin her down and hold her through the corner and she’ll take it like a champ. Even on uneven or slippery pavement, the bike handled great. As I said, this is no novice rider bike and if you don’t ride like you should, it suddenly doesn’t feel that great anymore. It’s a bike that needs a master and not just a passenger.
First day we chewed 600 kms and I didn’t feel tired at all. The clip-on bars are raised and it makes the posture quite comfortable. As I already mentioned, the seat is very comfortable with that nice Alcantara feel and grip. The sitting position is comfortable overall.
The Thruxton doesn’t push you to ride at highly illegal speeds (like some Italian bikes) and is perfectly comfortable cruising at 120-130 km/h. She can do about 50 km/h more without complaining, and slightly more, but that’s out of her comfort zone already. As a naked, I don’t think you want to go that fast anyway.
After 3 days I was deeply in love with this bike. I dare to say it is the best bike I rode in my life. Yeah, it’s not a touring bike, not made for racetracks (but capable), not just a posers bike. It’s a bike that has exactly what I want from a motorcycle. Love the design, handling is great, sounds great, lots of engine, gets noticed by the opposite sex, has all the modern safety stuff like ABS and traction control.
There is still room for improvement, but not much to be done. I’d like to be able to keep it in Sport mode even after I turn off the engine.
The engine was shutting down while downshifting when hot, which was not great, but it didn’t happen often, maybe twice in 3 days (riding aprox. 600 kms each day) and as far as I know, this issue is fixed on the 2017. Engine heat was very noticeable while riding in urban areas, but I guess that’s what combustion does, and it’s a pretty small bike so you are very close to the engine.
All in all, I’m in the market for a new Thruxton R. It is not going to be my only bike in the garage, but I’m sure it will be my favorite. If you don’t believe me, take it for a spin and get that pile of money ready, because you’ll want to have one too!