The Thruxton - Triumph's modern take on a classic Cafe Racer
Of the many motorcycles the iconic British manufacturer Triumph launched in India late last year, the Thruxton was not that widely talked about. While the Bonneville made news, and found its way to the motoring press for reviews, the Thruxton seemed to stay away from the lime light.
Priced at Rs 6.98 lakh ex-showroom, the Thruxton flaunts some cafe racer styling. It looks like the classic British bikes from the 50s and 60s, and in short the Thruxton looks great. Its appearance speaks of a purpose. Unlike the Bonneville, the Thruxton sports low-rise handlebars, which gives rise to an aggressive riding position. The chrome handlebars however are placed above the triple clamps and exert less pressure on the wrists.
The 68bhp, 865cc two-cylinder engine may not make the Thruxton very fast, it is however not a slow couch either. If the carburettor-like structures attached to the finned cylinders give an idea that the Thruxton indeed belongs to the age of cafe racers, though it in fact houses throttle bodies. The Thruxton features fuel injection.
Not disarmingly strong at the top or bottom of the rev range, hitting 68bhp at 7400 rpm, the Thruxton delivers its power in the upper reaches of the mid-range. Get the engine to turn into the upper reaches of the mid-range, and the Thruxton will show that it is a fast motorcycle. Carrying through bends and over a twisty mountain road at good speeds. The 'oversquare' engine makes riding the Thruxton rewarding, not in a manner such that is about clocking a fast lap, but instead it is about enjoying the ride.
Matching the mid-range thrust of he Thruxton's two-cylinder engine is its handling. With a 27 degree rake, and a 90mm wheelbase, the Thruxton is long and not particularly light. Hit a twisty mountain stretch and the motorcycle will feel rock solid in the corners. It behaves predictably. Forgiving rather than responsive, travel through the bends is well accomplished.
Riding uphill, and through the many bends, the handlebars fail to induce a fatigue, though they start to feel when coming down hill. The tyres ensure good grip, aiding enough lean through corners to get the foot pegs to rub against the ground. The 41mm KYB front forks have 120mm travel; the KYB chromed spring twin shocks at the rear are adjustable.
The single 320mm front disc and four-piston Nissin caliper exhibit enough bite to curb speed with high confidence. Braking under a variety of conditions is good, making Thruxton a machine that inspires confidence when riding fast over a twisty mountain road.
Showing off its racing strips, solo seat with a classic cowl, and faux carburetors (that hide throttle bodies), the Thruxton makes for a cafe racer, but is in fact not as fast as the Bonneville. Not as comfortable, the Thruxton incorporates a transmission that is reluctant to shift down at low speeds, especially in city riding conditions.
Triumph Thruxton succeeds at its role as a retro machine that isn't fast by modern sportsbike standards, but is nevertheless predictable and forgiving. For those who are willing to sacrifice on a bit of comfort in comparison to what the Bonneville offers, the Thruxton is rewarding to ride and displays high stability.