Last friday we were invited to attend the first look of new Triumph Speed Twin at Triumph’s Hinckley Factory but due to various reasons I was unable to attend. So I asked Maja Kenney of Maja’s Motorcycle Adventures she kindly took my place, here’s her initial impression.
Last week I had the pleasure of taking out Triumph’s best-selling modern classic – the Speed Twin that has been updated for 2021.
When I arrived at Triumph I was walked through the controls on the bike. There were no surprises, you’ll be happy to hear. I was then set free to explore some of the quaint Warwickshire villages and lanes.
My first goal was to find a pub. It was lunchtime, I was hungry and I wanted to sit down and look at the bike properly. I have found a lovely pub with parking and outdoor seating. Perfect. I parked up, stopped the engine, and looked for the side stand. I fished with my left foot to kick it out but couldn’t do it. I was sitting on the bike, getting hot as the sun was beaming down on me and by now, the customers in the pub garden started to pay attention. I still couldn’t get the side stand out.
Eventually, I had to lean over and unfold it by hand. But let me explain. I wasn’t exactly wearing the right type of clothing for this beautiful machine. I was in full leathers and racing boots because I had literally gone from Cadwell Park to the Triumph factory. This is not what one might normally choose to wear on a bike like this and therefore the stiffness of the boot meant I had to angle my foot just so, to get the side stand out. Once I figured it out it was as easy as on any other bike.
First things first. The bike is beautiful. I have a huge appreciation for old machines, this includes cars and motorcycles. Thank you, dad! That doesn’t mean I would necessarily choose to run an old classic myself, I don’t know enough about the maintenance. But to have a modern classic where maintenance is easy and the ride feels as effortless as modern bikes do these days, it makes for an interesting proposition.
The setup was perfect for just such a day out. Sunshine, country lanes, big open spaces, and quaint sleepy villages. The seating position is super comfortable, straight back, head up, knees not too bent. The seat height is at 809 mm and the seat itself is quite narrow which means you don’t lose much of the height if your legs are of a shorter disposition.
Big flat bars make the bike super easy to maneuver and a joy to go around the bends. The total (wet) weight of the bike is 216 kg which surprised me as this is almost the same as my Supersport and for some reason I expected the Speed Twin to be lighter.
The Speed Twin is perfectly happy doing 30 mph letting you enjoy the scenery and the gentle ride through the villages. But don’t be fooled, with its 1200cc engine and 98.6 bhp it produces a pretty swift power delivery when you open up the throttle. I got caught out at first, I was wearing waterproofs over my leathers and I slid back on the seat when I came to a clear bit of the road. I had to laugh and I was a bit more steady with the throttle on the next attempt and when overtaking.
Switching between the riding modes is easy. All you have to do is stop the bike and have it in neutral gear, keep the engine running and press one button once for rain mode, again for road mode and again for sport mode. It’s that simple.
The detail and the styling of the Speed Twin have clearly had plenty of attention. The brushed aluminium fuel cap, front and rear mudguards, side panel finishers and heel guards are set off beautifully against the stunning red paint of the fuel tank. Or the Red hopper paint scheme as it is officially called. Two more colour schemes are available, Matt Storm Grey with subtle yellow accents and the Jet Black.
The bar end mirrors finish the look off nicely and the signature LED daylight running light is incorporated into the headlight. The rear light and the indicators are also LED.
It also comes with 50+ accessories according to their marketing department but an engineer I spoke to in the warehouse said the reality is that half of these are a different colour choice of the same thing. So here’s some straight-talking-non-marketing-fact for you.
Overall, a stunning looking motorcycle that is as happy bimbling along at 30 mph or slower when taking in the views and passing picturesque areas as it is enjoying a more spirited ride to really make you feel the wind on your face.
Thanks again to Triumph UK for the invite to try out the new Speed Twin you can find further details here: https://www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/motorcycles/classic/bonneville-speed-twin-2021
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