The latest special edition Triumph comes courtesy of Breitling
Got a hankering for a Triumph-branded watch and a Breitling-branded Triumph? Right this way
This, in case you’re not of the two-wheels-good disposition, is a Triumph Speed Twin. And just in case that also means three-fifths of bupkis to you, a Speed Twin is a fast, twin-cylinder motorcycle. Have to award Triumph points for accuracy there.
The Speed Twin has had a place in Triumph’s line-up a few times since it first debuted in 1938, but as motorbikes from the 1930s appeal to us about as much as political movements from the 1930s, we’ll just focus on the new one. It’s been a huge success for Triumph since its relaunch a few years back, tapping into the huge ‘I Like Things That Look Old But Also Things That Work’ market. You could almost say the Speed Twin is a... Triumph? Yup. We’ll get our coats.
As of last year, the Speed Twin’s been updated and fettled with a new crankshaft, new pistons, reprofiled camshafts and reshaped ports. It has resulted in a bike that looks broadly the same (if it ain’t broke, etc), yet now delivers more than 80lb ft and just shy of 100bhp from its 1200cc parallel twin.
Riders of bikes that look like angry hornets will laugh at such figures from a 1.2-litre engine, of course, but outputs like these are still in the ‘Most Definitely Enough’ category, especially on a bike with twin-shock rear suspension and no fairing. The Speed Twin also, as one reviewer claimed, shifts gears “with the precision of the mechanical movement of a Swiss watch". Which, as segues go, is not the worst we’ve found.
Yes, as if to celebrate its Swiss-watch-alike gearbox, Triumph has released a Speed Twin that’s had the input and approval of a bona fide Swiss watch company. Breitling, to be specific.
And as befits a no-nonsense, frippery free machine like the Speed Twin, the special edition gets a name that’s as to the point as the motorbike itself. Yes, it’s the Triumph Speed Twin Breitling Limited Edition. So, like the regular Speed Twin, it scores many points for accuracy, but perhaps fewer for lyricism. Or brevity.
That said, it’s hard to mark down hand painted details, billet aluminium and perforated leather, and harder still to scorn a pair of fully adjustable Öhlins shocks. But much easier again when you find the production run is limited run 270 bikes – one for each degree of the crankshaft angle. No, really.
If you’re still interested in points tallies (or indeed overstretched metaphors), Triumph claims a few back with a decent pace of special edition models, ensuring we’re not where Lotus was towards the end of the Elise and Exige production runs. Honestly, as lovely as the cars were, a new ‘special edition’ of the same machine every month does start to dilute the concept a touch.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Breitling, which – as you might have guessed – released yet another special edition of its Top Time chronograph to go with the bike. As of writing (don’t we sound professional), the six Top Time models available are a Top Time Ford Mustang, Top Time Shelby Cobra, Top Time Chevrolet Corvette, Top Time Deus (as in the motorbike/apparel brand by Mambo founder Dare Jennings), the new Top Time Triumph, and finally a Top Time Limited Edition. Which, in a manner of speaking, absolutely is a limited edition, purely by being the only Top Time you can get without a corporate tie-in.
Even so, if you’ve totted things up and found that a limited edition Speed Twin and matching Breitling have scored enough points for you to buy, then your decision-making process varies wildly from ours. But that’s OK. You’ll need about £16,000 for the bike and £4,500 for the watch, and would be best off placing a call to both Triumph and Breitling pretty sharpish. And if £20k seems a touch too much for the privilege of a watch and a motorbike, we’re pretty decent at offering alternatives for that sort of money...
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