Don’t be taken in by the docile old-school appearance, for the Triumph Speed Twin comes packed with enough ammo to satisfy your need for speed. There’s no denying that the new Triumph Thruxton is the ultimate retro-styled performance bike from the Hinckley factory. Sadly, not everyone has the palate (or physical fitness) for its committed riding geometry.
But then, everyone desires the meaty performance of that 1,200-cc motor and the terrifyingly good exhaust note. The Triumph engineers came up with a groovy idea: mix some good quality Bonneville parts, make most of its relaxed ergonomics, and bolt in that sweet and juicy 1,200-cc parallel-twin. And in doing so, they brought back to life the Speed Twin, the popular British moniker from the late 1930s. Since this is the latest addition to Triumph’s modern classic range in India, we had to take it out for a leisurely weekend spin.
The classic British design can be immediately associated with the Bonneville family, right from the circular headlamps and the brackets that hold it, the teardrop-shaped fuel-tank, and the dual exhaust system. To give the Speed some distinction, Triumph have given the design some minor tweaks. For instance, the wheels and twin-pod instrument cluster are different, and the tank gets new shades and a cool Monza fuel cap.
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The standard model gets black finish twin-pipes but our test bike came with an after-market Vance & Hines exhaust system. And, of course, the bar-end mirrors not just look sensational but surprisingly don’t vibrate too much and do a decent job. However, I found it to be restricting my grip as I sometimes like to hold the handlebar right at its edge. For its price tag of Rs 9.46 lakh, this bike also brings a host of features, including riding modes, traction control, ABS, a torque-assist clutch, apart from dozens of optional accessories.
Unlike the design, the riding experience is very different from the rather tractable Street Twin. After all, this has been curated for British classic motorcycle lovers who want a bit more style over the Street Twin and a lot more power. So, the engine is the focal point here and, going by our experience with the Thruxton, this is quite a solid performer.
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The “High Power” 1,200-cc parallel-twin has been retuned for the Speed Twin and doles out 96 hp and 112 Nm (the Street Twin makes 65 hp and 80 Nm). The engine alone is 2.5 kilograms lighter thanks to the magnesium cam cover and revised clutch assembly. If you are looking for instant gratification, twist the throttle and feel the supersport-like punch combined with a gruff exhaust note. Sheer bliss!