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Triumph Street Twin | Gassit Garage | Long Term

Now the first-date nerves have passed, we spend a bit more time and find what about the Street Twin makes us tick

It turns out that as dogs go, I am an old one, and new tricks are not my thing.

I ride with six fingers; four for the clutch and two for the brake. That has served me well over the years.

But now, it turns out that I need only two. The clutch on the 2019 Triumph Street Twin is so light, and the brakes so efficient, one finger is easily enough to get the best out of each lever.

That is one of the things I have learned riding the black beast around. There are plenty of pluses and not many minuses attached to Triumph’s new model.

It likes traffic. No, it is not darty like a Japanese commuter; its steering feels slower than that, and that suits me just fine. It definitely likes having the power on to get the best out of it, and it does not feel like it will scrape through gaps between cars as would, for instance, a Yamaha MT-09, one of the Streety’s logical competitors.

Or that might just be me, and I admit that these days that I mostly have the luxury of staying away from peak hours. Maybe to be thorough I should venture out just to do battle with the commuter set. But be honest; if you didn’t have to deal with the Cahill Expressway or the Monash on Tuesday mornings, would you do it by choice?

If you have just stepped off a inline-four 600cc or bigger, you might be wondering where the power went. But its smooth delivery is as good as anything in the segment. It’s not track fast, but it’s fast enough, and when it picks up its skirts, it can move quickly enough.

There is no tachometer, and I thought I would miss it more than I do. There is the option to scroll through the menu and dial up a digital rev display on the dash, and I have played with that. But that is a distraction on anything other than a freeway; plus, it turns out I don’t care how many revs it is using.

On the other hand, there are a few things I would like to be different. Sometimes I wish I had followed both my parents by being at the lower end of 170-something centimetres tall. I didn’t, and with 190cm and 100-and-a-bit kilos to move, I wish that there was another 25-30mm of padding on the seat.

And while I am asking Santa for bigger things, the tank could grow past 12 litres. As already implied, I am not a small man, so a little bit of extra steel between the knees would not bother me. The extra range would not be a huge edge in touring – I am well ready for a break after 275km anyway – but less frequent stops at the servo would suit me just fine.

Then again, the local is a decent place to test the bike’s stare factor. And I feel a bit like I am complaining that Katie Perry is not tall enough.

One more thing. Without wanting to sound like an old fogey, I’d like a centrestand. Yep, I know that there is one in the parts catalogue, and that many buyers would prefer to have a separate stand in the garage. But hey, that’s just me.

If those are the only things that grate my gears, the Streety is going just fine by me. I like the look of the bike; as detailed previously, the quality, fit and feel really impresses, and the engine’s soundtrack is brilliant. I can only hope Euro5 does not bring an end to twins that sound like twins.

The future of motorcycling already includes iconic brands, well made in new factories in Asia, and at affordable prices. Some may prefer their British bikes to leak and their Italians to have dodgy electrics but if they turn like the Triumph Street Twin, that suits me just fine.

By Phil Branagan

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