We know that the new Thruxton R looks so beautiful that anyone can fall in love with it but its capabilities are best discovered on the roads, says Kshitij Sharma
A month ago, Triumph launched the flagship offering from its modern classic range of motorcycles, the new Thruxton R in India. It was already proven at the 2016 Auto Expo that the bike is a complete head turner. So, we went to Portugal’s capital Lisbon for the official media ride of the cafe racer and here is our take on the 2016 Triumph Thruxton R.
There can't be any better location to test ride the new Thruxton R than the coastal city Lisbon which is known for its cafe culture and soulful Fado music. Reaching the hotel, our first sight was a Diablo Red Thruxton R standing in the lobby with its golden-finished Ohlins front forks shining in the light. The next afternoon, we were surprised to see that the bike we got to ride was the same scarlet one we completely fell in love with.
Design and features
No matter where you look at it from, the Thruxton R looks absolutely breathtaking. Pictures are just not enough to describe the beauty of this exceptionally well-proportioned machine, which while being modern still manages to keep its illustrious heritage intact. The long sculpted fuel tank of the bike not only looks good but incorporates knee recesses to grip the tank.
Though the recesses do keep your knees closer to the engine head, in the cool Portugal weather, it felt like a blessing. Complementing the classic tank, there is a Monza-style fuel cap along with a brushed aluminium strip scaling the length of the tank.
If we talk about the suspension, the new Triumph Thruxton R gets one of the best set-ups. The rear gets Ohlins gas-charged twin shocks and the front is suspended on fully adjustable Showa USD forks, both finished in a beautiful shade of gold. The Brembo brakes are there to provide immense stopping power with twin 310mm discs up front with 4-piston monobloc calipers. The rear gets a single disc unit and the bike also receives ABS assistance and traction control as standard.
Completing the classic cafe racer appearance of the bike are the typical bar-end mirrors, brushed aluminium engine fins and the reverse megaphone exhaust mufflers. The seat has been designed as comfortable as it can be for a café racer and it gets a retro twin-pod console with modern digital screens and tell-tale lights, similar to one we have seen on the new Bonneville T120. The bike runs on 17-inch wire-spoke wheels and the R version gets the super sticky Pirelli Rosso Corsa rubber -- again best in the business.
Engine and performance
Onboard is the same 1200cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin motor that also powers the T120.
However, the Thruxton-spec version comes with a lighter crank so that it revs faster and even the rev limit has been increased by 500rpm. Moreover, the R comes with a specific ECU map and also gets a ride-by-wire system for better response. The motor produces a maximum power of 97PS at 6,750rpm which is 41 per cent more than the old-gen Thruxton.
The torque output is increased by 62 per cent in comparison to the same and the new model delivers 112Nm at 4,500rpm. Now another interesting fact is that you get almost 90 per cent of the torque i.e. around 100Nm at as low as 2,500rpm.
Though the three riding modes provided -- rain, road and sport -- doesn't restrict the maximum output, but optimises the throttle mapping for your requirement. The Rain mode makes the delivery smooth and a bit lethargic while the Sport mode is completely opposite with instant throttle response and acceleration.
Ride, handling and braking
As the new Triumph Thruxton R is a completely rider-focused bike, a good ride is what we were assured for. Despite the 120mm travel of the rear shocks, one can feel speed breakers and potholes and only minor undulations are handled with ease. Still, the Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, Rosso Corsa rubber and, most importantly, the British racing twin come together to provide a fascinating ride experience. To make the bike compact and nimble the rake angle has been shortened with a reworked headstock and the swingarm is also shortened providing better steering response and feedback.
The stiff chassis of the Thruxton R in combination with the perfectly tuned suspension set-up keeps the bike stable even on bumpy corners. The bike doesn't let your confidence down in any corner even when you are fully leant over and the footpeg is just going to touch the level. We don't have to explain anything about the grip of the Rosso Corsa rubber as they are already tested and proven to be one of the best grip providers on the tarmac.
We know that the new Thruxton R looks so beautiful that anyone can fall in love with it but its capabilities are best discovered on the roads. Despite being a modern classic, the bike can mimic some of the present-day sports motorcycles. The most amazing experience riding this machine comes under the fun department and we guess this is what anyone looks for while buying such motorcycles.