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Triumph Thruxton R | BIKE TESTS

Triumph has taken its own Café Race heritage and turned it on it’s head. Before it was power or nimbleness, now you can have both.

The first time I laid eyes on the 2016 Triumph Thruxton was at the AMCN International Island Classic back in January. When the shiny new 1200cc liquid-cooled beauty (fitted with the optional nose fairing) was unloaded, I felt that tinge of heart flutter generally reserved for YouTube videos of Labradors playing with ducklings. Alan Cathcart’s world launch feature in May revealed the performance of the new Thuxton was something special but dealt mainly with numbers, nuts and bolts. It wasn’t until I threw a leg over the bike at the recent Australian launch that I realised there’s another story to be told here, the story of the pure joy of riding this bike delivers.

The NSW city of Albury played host to the local launch, its geographical location not only providing a seemingly endless supply of winding roads around Hume Weir, but it’s also close to the Murray Valley Driver Training Centre circuit. Nigel Harvey and his team from Triumph Australia used both locations to serve up two days of brilliant riding which highlighted just how versatile the Thruxton is.


But all of that was yet to happen as I stood amongst the assembled throng of Thruxton R models, sipping a cup of tea and studying the details of the new Thruxton R prior to day one. I couldn’t help but admire the effort Triumph has put into the bike as I noted the differences which make the Thruxton a stand-alone model, not simply a Bonneville T120 Bonneville with a single seat.

By nature, Café Racers are meant to be compact bikes, and while the 2016 Thruxton is physically bigger than the model it replaces, it’s still a small bike, and I am still a large man. Fear not, fellow giants, the cockpit of the Thruxton is far from cramped, and room to move is assisted by tank cut outs which are not only perfectly matched to the bike’s styling lines, they are also in the right place and large enough for proper-sized legs.

Read the full review in the current issue of AMCN on sale now