Team AutoColumn reviews 2014 Triumph Thruxton
It came as a surprise to me when I found my father excited about the launch of Triumph’s line-up towards the end of the previous year. Not only was I amazed by my father being aware and interested in a British- made motorcycle, it also gave me an idea about the reputation it held in the late 60s. I have always been a fan of the trademark, the simplistic yet beautiful design, the effort put even into the smallest of details and the image. However, all that mostly due to the Rocket series and Tom Cruise flies on the Street Triple, and was unacquainted to the retro avatars until the launch of The Bonneville. The legendary bike instantly grabbed all the attention and appreciation as soon as it arrived in the market.
The bike has proved its mettle through the test of time, yet somehow it was hard for me to associate ‘classic’ with the title ‘Triumph’. So, when I got a chance to stand astride one I decided to go for ‘Thruxton 900’, the younger and sportier sibling of the beloved Bonnie. Named after the Thruxton Circut near Hampshire England, with its retro style, low seat height, low-end handlebars, twin pod instrument cluster and comfortable riding position, the 2014 Triumph Thruxton brings back the Cafe Racer culture with the vengeance of modern internals. Priced at 6.98 lakh Ex-Showroom Delhi, it would be interesting to see how ably equipped the mighty Thruxton is to embark upon the much cheaper competitors like the Harley Davidson Street 750.
Design: It is hard to give a statement on the Triumph Thruxton’s design. A perfect ride of nostalgia of the cafe racing days of the 60’s to the experienced eyes, yet soberly beautiful to the performance hungry age, no one can deny to the beauty of the Thruxton. It is derived from the Bonneville which is clearly evident in cleanly flowing body lines. Sometimes the simplest form is the most evolved one and leaves scope for no improvement, Thruxton’s design is the perfect paradigm to the statement. Racing stripes, chrome chain guard, single seat, followed by a cowl, twin pod instrument cluster, short fenders, low ride handle bars, megaphone mufflers, thin tyres and to top it all, outward hanging mirrors the designers at Triumph have left no stone unturned to achieve the cafe racer. Everything, including the controls and switches have a solid and sturdy feel to it, and not a single notch could be found even on closer inspection. All the wires have been properly hidden under the tank. Little details like adjusters for the clutch and brake levers, triumph logo on the foot pegs and chromed cover for the handle lock narrate the attention paid to the premium biking feel. All over the Thruxton successfully delivers the sporty looks with the essence of classic design.
Ride & Handling: The 865 cc motor comes to life with a quick rumble and rolls off effortlessly with a twist of the throttle. The bike is surprisingly silent for an air cooled parallel twin; however the megaphone mufflers pack a complete opera when revved hard. The engine is same as that of Bonneville, but has been tweaked to match the sporty design. It now delivers a healthy 69-PS power with 69-Nm of torque at its peak of 5,800-rpm. The over-square engine does not overwhelm you with an immediate burst of power at the slightest hint of throttle when in the city traffic, while letting you stretch high on the RPM range once you hit the highway. The engine is fuel injected to meet the modern standards but is disguised as a carburetor to retain the classic look. The low-rise bars put you in an aggressive riding position which, though aids maneuvering at high speeds, but also give you a stinging back in the crawling city traffic.
However, tackling the bike through tight spaces is easy enough and you might not like it if you are habituated to riding upright sitting positionin. Also, gear shifts at slow speed are hard and loud, probably the only problem Triumph needs to look into. Since we got the bike in Gurgaon region, we got a taste of both the wide roads and the buzzing traffic and could truly do justice to the bike only when we hit the highway. Thereafter there was no stopping.
The long revv-range of the engine coupled with the 6 speed transmission transported me to the game of Street Fighter. The highway became the track and overtaking felt like crossing stationary vehicles. The Metzeler Lasertec tires provide an error-free grip, especially considering they were designed for high mileage. It easily allowed one to repeatedly throw Thruxton into long fast corners until it was dragging its pegs. The bike is rock solid in the corners, entry and exits are slow since the bike does not turn quickly but grasps the line firmly while covering up your mistakes in the tightest corners. Not to forget, we are still in Haryana and pot holes are inevitable, but the 41mm KYB forks devour anything you throw at them with ease. Not once did it feel like different being pulled direction in; the forgiving nature of the Thruxton supports it.
Soon the concrete jungle started to fade away and cows jumping onto the roads became a common sight. However, Thruxton was well equipped to tackle every situation, the 320mm front and 255mm rear discs provided sufficient bite to stop the bike aghast, bailing you out of the errors you made.
Verdict: No doubt Triumph Thruxton is a very well engineered motorcycle excelling in every aspect. The design provides the perfect balance between power and practicality. The question that arises is- where does it stand in the price bracket? If you are one of those performance hungry Junkies, there’s a lot more you can get for the same price and it would be unjust to suggest you Thruxton. However, if you are someone who can appreciate the design effort put into the details, who wants a daily commuter with style while capable enough for the weekend trips, Thruxton 900 can be the machine of your dreams.
Author: Sagar Chatterjee