The Street Twin is the first of five new bikes from the new Bonneville family that will be heading our way in 2016. We head to Spain to find out if it can carry on the Bonneville’s legacy.
It would be interesting to point out that the new Bonneville Street Twin is now the largest capacity Bonneville available in the world today – it has a brand new 900cc liquid cooled engine with 54bhp. However, it won’t hold that distinction for long, because there are four more models set to make an appearance this year, and all of those will get a much larger 1200cc engine. Yes, that’s right, while the world moves to smaller capacity units, the historic British manufacturer of beautiful motorbikes has decided to go gung-ho and add larger cc engines. The reason being, is because that’s what their customers want.
During the global launch of the bike the engineers from Hinckley told us that there were four main characteristics about the new Street Twin. The first was that the bike shared more DNA with the original that was launched in 1959, which means it looks even more retro. The second was, it was a high quality machine, and the detailing had to be impeccable. The third was that it was modern, so it gets brand new technology and better overall performance. And finally, it was built so that it could be easily customized. So, in a nutshell, the Street Twin is a unique high quality modern classic motorcycle.
When you look at the bike it does have a certain appeal, which can attract all sorts of customers. The bike shares absolutely nothing with the previous model and it gets a completely new chassis, engine, suspension, fuel tank, handlebars, exhaust and wheels. The dimensions have been brought down so the bike gets a shorter wheelbase and sits lower, and it’s also lighter by 10 kilos, despite the fact that it has more components. The bike is compact and will be easily accessible for all riders. It also gets a newly designed classic round headlight, but it has to be modern to, so it gets a fancy LED taillight. The seat is also new and looks good and when you hop on the bike you will also like the way it feels.
The riding position is good, but a little on the aggressive side with the footpegs situated slightly behind the knees. The handlebars are spread apart nicely and you don’t have to put much weight on your arms, and you sit almost upright so its spacious. The fuel tank is also smaller and slimmer so you have more room for your knees. Overall the ergonomics are very good too. There is just a single instrument round clock, but it pulls up all relevant info such as distance to empty, gear indicator, and you can control the traction control.
When you start up the bike you will notice its loud exhaust note, and that’s because the engineers have tweaked the tailpipes to make sure the bike is loud – and loud it is. As you start to ride the bike feels very nice and refined on the road. The engine is very well tuned and engineered to be very torquey. The new 900cc liquid cooled unit has 54bhp, which is less than the previous model, but it’s got much more torque – 18 percent more with 80Nm. The bike picks up speed very fast. It’s not super quick, but it’s fun to play with the throttle and shoot forward. What’s really good about the engine is that the midrange power has been greatly improved. Even though it has less power with only 54bhp, it’s between 2750 and 4750 revs that you get the most power at your disposal. In fact, between that rev range the Street Twin has 22 percent greater power that the previous model did.
The overall ride quality is really good and there are no vibrations anywhere on the bike. The engine is supper smooth and the throttle response is nice, but it does seem like it could have been a bit more responsive for aggressive riders like myself. The gear changes are a clean, crisp click and the clutch is light thanks to the slip-assist. On the highway it’s easy to ride and comfortable for cruising. In the city it’s very nimble and you can easily handle it in heavy traffic. The new suspension setup seems to work very well, and since there is more room for rear wheel travel, you don’t feel the brunt of bumpy roads. The balance of the chassis is also really good, and when we rode it on the mountain roads we could throw the bike around a little. Because it’s light and has a great chassis, it maneuvers very well and the handling is certainly confidence inspiring, but again I did feel the front-end could have been more responsive as it feels a little too light. But overall, this bike took on all kinds of roads and was enjoyable and comfortable all the time.
There is also traction control so you don’t have to worry about grip too much, and the Pirelli tyres also do a good job on the tarmac. The most satisfying assistance mechanism of course is the new ABS system, which works very well. And keeping up with the modern theme, the bike also gets USB accessibility and an AUX charge point.
When it comes down to customization there are 150 accessories to choose from, which means you can build the Street Twin to be your own unique machine. There are also three design packages that you can choose from if you don’t want to build your own. Triumph really are making a massive effort to make the Street Twin accessible and fun for everyone. The bike is a fantastic piece of art and an engineering marvel. As of now we expect the bike to cost around Rs 7.5 lakhs, but it will be launched at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo so you can head down next month and check it out for yourself.
- Triumph Street Twin
Engine: 900cc / liquid-cooled / Parallel Twin / 8 Valves / SOHC
Power: 54bhp @ 5,900rpm
Torque: 80Nm @ 3,230rpm