The Thruxton was always a looker, and it certainly remains so in its latest avatar. And now, with a 1,200cc mill, its prospects look even better than before.
It was one of those rare moments when I wasn’t getting the Monday morning blues, nor was I dreading the start of the work week. On the contrary, I couldn’t be more excited! The reason is simple really – I had a date with the new Triumph Thruxton R. Before I begin I have to admit that I’ve never really been a fan of cafe racers. Sure, I’d give them a second look, but I just wasn’t sure what they were built for. But I’m still an opportunist. So when I was given the opportunity to ride the new Thruxton R, I immediately complied.
This British two-wheeler manufacturer has consistently been churning out products that redefine their class, and I have no doubt that the Thruxton R will be no different. The question is, will it be able to convert me into a believer of cafe racers?
My date started on a good note, as it made quite the first impression. It was love at first sight! The gorgeous gun metal Thruxton R cooling its heels in the shade looked magnificent. As much as I wanted to plonk myself on the saddle, press the start button and ride away, I first had to complete the paperwork. Once I got the green signal, I picked up my helmet and vamoosed my way out of there.
I fired up the brand new 1,200cc water-cooled engine, and the twin brushed stainless exhausts immediately played a heart thumping bass. It felt like the Thruxton R was drumming up for a big bang. As much as I wanted to open the throttle and let it go berserk, the slow moving traffic played its doomsayer’s part to perfection. Even though I ended up inhaling bus fumes and sweating profusely in my riding jacket, I realised how easy it was to ride the Thruxton R at a snail’s pace. Just a feather touch, or two fingers to be precise, was all that was required to use the torque-assisted clutch. This was a boon, as it didn’t add unnecessary stress while riding – and it’s certainly something that I’d like to see more of in other motorcycles.
In terms of practicality, it has a short-ish first gear and the rest of the clogs have tall ratios that don’t force you to change gears constantly. If you thought the sporty sitting position would be torturous, here’s a revelation. The clip-on handles weren’t back breaking either. Therefore, there was no additional pressure on the forearms and shoulders. Believe it or not, it was quite a comfortable stance – albeit not one that I’d recommend for long distance rides.
I was hoping for empty roads, so that I could stretch her limbs. Fortunately, before I knew it, we found our own private piece of tarmac with curves that would make Kim Kardashian envious. I then got introduced to the Thruxton R’s free spirited engine. Compared to the previous generation’s 865cc air-cooled mill, the 1,200cc boasts a 41% boost in power – which translates to 96bhp at 6,750rpm – and a 62% increase in torque (122Nm at 4,950rpm). And, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not all about power at high speeds, it actually packs a punch across the whole rev range – making the Thruxton R an ideal ride within the city limits too.
One of the issues we had with the earlier Thruxton was its weight, which would reveal itself in the corners. Well, I’m happy to report that there are no such worries with this new cafe racer – as Triumph has decided to shorten the Thruxton R’s wheelbase, trim the aluminium swing-arm and reduce its weight. Therefore, it loves to tango through the turns. A lot of credit goes to the 17-inch spoked wheels with tubeless Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres that provide phenomenal grip – especially in wet conditions. So it doesn’t shy away like Jorge Lorenzo, rather it makes its mark by adapting to challenging conditions without a whimper. It also stops on a dime, and with great stability too, thanks to the beefy Brembo front 310mm twin floating discs and 220mm rear disc with ABS. The ride is a little on the stiffer side, but with fully-adjustable Ohlins shocks at the rear, that issue is easily solved.
I purposely haven’t gone into the Thruxton R’s looks because its pictures simply reek of magnificence. Triumph has managed to retain the tireless classic cafe racer design by building the Thruxton R with new and lighter components. It weighs 203kgs – that’s 10 kilograms lighter than the older model. And, in keeping with the times, the Thruxton R’s headlamps come with daytime running lights – while the rear gets LEDs. The goodies don’t end there, as it also gets ride-by-wire tech and three riding modes – Road, Rain and Sport. You can actually switch off the ABS and traction control completely, but, with the slight drizzle, I left the safety nannies activated. The six-speed gearbox is buttery smooth and never spat out a false gear. Also I didn’t have to search for neutral, which is something I feel speaks volumes when it comes to quality. The 1,200cc engine is the same as the Bonneville T120, but the Thruxton R gets a more powerful spec – which certainly makes this a very fast bike. And we don’t mean fast for a café racer, it’s simply a wind talker! And, although it’s still a heavy bike, you just don’t feel the weight when it’s on the move. In terms of handling, the R is certainly one fun hooligan – as it manages to give you increasing confidence the more you ride it.
The ride is a little on the stiffer side, but with fully-adjustable Ohlins shocks at the rear, that issue is easily solved[/caption]
This exquisite motorcycle might burn a hole in your pocket, at Rs. 10.9 lakhs, ex-showroom, Delhi, but it’s worth every penny. After all, the most expensive dinner dates are the best ones. Or, in this case, I suppose I should say cafe dates...
- Triumph Thruxton R
Engine: 1,200cc / Parallel-Twin / Liquid-Cooled
Transmission: 6-speed Manual
Power: 96bhp @ 6,750rpm
Torque: 112Nm @ 4,950rpm
Price: Rs. 10.9 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
X-Factor: If looks could kill, then this hooligan would be a serial killer. And now that it’s packing 96 ponies, you’d certainly be able to make a quick getaway if needed...
Also Read: Triumph Street Twin Review – First Ride