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Review: 2019 Triumph Street Twin

The first time we rode the Street Twin was in Valencia. The roads were wet from rains the previous night and despite this, we came back impressed with the evolution of the Bonneville and the new direction that Triumph was taking the brand in. The Street Twin looked modern, yet retro. And for all its retro-ness, it rode like any other modern motorcycle. It was a milestone in the British brand and its oldest product line.

But then the question has to be asked – why bring a new Street Twin out when the older motorcycle was in no way incompetent? That’s because listening to your customer is as important as anything else when you’re in the business of making motorcycles.

For all the great things that the Street Twin could do, there were some areas that were lacking. First, for all the wonderful mid and low-range performance it offered, when you really started giving it the boot, the engine showed that it lacked top-end power. It would start feeling a bit breathless. Second, the front suspension felt a bit too basic.

These are exactly what this update looks to address. And keeping that in mind, here are the new bits…

Street twin

Cosmetically, the motorcycle remains more or less the same. The changes are subtle. There are new alloy wheels, for example, that features a new deisgn with machined spoke detailing. The instrument cluster has been restyled a bit too and gets a Triumph logo embossed on the crown. The side panels too have been redesigned.

The new Street Twin gets some updated ergos too. The seat is now 10mm higher, making the saddle a bit roomier. The front suspension is a new cartridge type 41mm unit from KYB. The front brakes are all-new too and are from Brembo with a four-pot caliper and a floating disc. The engine gets a new magnesium cam cover as well as lighter crankshafts, deadshafts and balance shafts. The changes to the engine let it rev 500rpm higher and also makes 18 per cent more power and close to 10 horsepower more. The torque doesn’t taper off aftert the midrange any more and stays strong through the rev range. There is upwards of 70Nm between 3500 and 5500rpm at all times with the peak torque of 80Nm arriving at 3800rpm.

Street twin

But what does this mean in real world use? The revised ergos proved a bit more room on the saddle. For taller riders, this can help when spending long hours in the saddle. The suspension too works really well now. Over bad surfaces, which were aplenty this time around, the damping worked well. The new forks damp out all imperfections well at low and high speeds. It feels properly sophisticated now. Overall, the chassis feel just as neutral and joyful to ride with the extra bite from the new brakes and the better confidence from the new front giving it more capability than it had before.

The biggest difference you feel, though, is from the engine. The motor still feels as great and rideable as before. It delivers a whole bunch of torque from the lower reaches of the rev-band that lets you sit in higher gears not require many gearshifts. But the difference can really be felt when you up the pace and start attempting to hit the redline in every gear. The earlier motorcycle used to make the tapering off of power very obvious at higher revs. The new power curve takes care of this and now supplies enough power even when you’re wringing the throttle for all its worth. There is no loss of power here.

Street twin

There is also a small change to the electronics too. The earlier Street Twin got traction control but not riding modes. The new motorcycle now gets switchable riding modes – road and rain. Neither modes alter peak output, but they do alter traction control sensitivity and throttle response. And if you don’t want any intervention, you can turn TC off completely too. The rain mode works really well considering the roads were completely wet during the ride. The system works well and doesn’t step in aggressively.

What Triumph has done here is take all the great bits of the older motorcycle and make it better. Whatever chinks the Street Twin had in its armour has been smoothened out and the motorcycle now presents a more complete package.

Street twin

The new Street Twin will be available in three new colours – a glossy red, a matte copper brown (that you see here) and a glossy jet black. There are also two new inspiration kits called the Café Custom and the Urban Ride.

Aside from this, there is also a new line of gear and accessories that Triumph will make available. This includes luggage and clothing, as well as functional bits like the V&H exhausts, quilted seat, Fox rear suspension, etc.

Globally, the difference in price over the older motorcycle is not more than a few hundred dollars. This makes our estimate for the new Street Twin when it arrives on our shores soon to be around Rs 8 lakh (ex-showroom). For a motorcycle that embodies the spirit of the great British twin, this is a very reasonable price.

900cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin
5-speed gearbox
LxWxH: 2090x785x1114mm
Seat height: 760mm
Dry weight: 198kg
Fuel capacity: 12 litres

 Rating: 8/10
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