Triumph Street Twin: Reviewed

The new Bonneville reminds us why we love motorcycling

Triumph Street Twin
2016 Triumph Street TwinSteve Franks

My love for motorcycling was born on a scooter, raised on a SOHC CB750, and came of age on my 1977 Triumph Bonneville 750, overbored to 890cc and constantly demanding love and attention. I had heard good things about the new Street Twin. I had heard that it was lightweight and nimble, quick and fun. But the experience on this bike brought back a sort of face-stretching, cheek aching smile that I hadn’t known in years. The brilliant simplicity of a Triumph parallel twin, that lovely character and sound that I had learned to love so much in my earlier days was back. Back with more power, better brakes, better handling, and without the old “ride-wrench-repeat” of the old dame I loved so much.

Triumph Street Twin
2016 Triumph Street Twin stainless exhaust detailSteve Franks

The Street Twin has those sweet, knuckle-biting Bonneville lines that make your Grandpa smile and your girlfriend squirm. People that have never given motorcycles a second glance will suddenly find themselves stopped in front of your bike and just staring at it. Not knowing what questions to ask, but suddenly alit with a new interest they never knew they had. It happened to me more than a few times while taking this beauty around town. The stainless pipes are smooth and clean, without excessive heat shielding, and the sound is that utterly recognizable Triumph gallop. From the moment I started it and heard that perfect thump, I knew this little Bonnie and I would be getting along just fine.

Twenty minutes into my first ride on this bike, I scrapped my afternoon plans and headed to the best canyon I knew.

What I didn’t see coming, was the work that was put into the chassis, suspension and braking on the new platform. Because of the size and the price point, I was approaching this as somewhat of an entry-level to intermediate bike, considering the 1200cc big brother that was released at the same time to be the obvious choice for the more serious rider. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Twenty minutes into my first ride on this bike, I scrapped my afternoon plans and headed to the best canyon I knew. Within the hour I was deep in the turns, dropping knees, as well as the jaws of riders on much more expensive sport bikes as I passed them on the inside. The Street Twin drops comfortably into the turns, holds a solid line, stays stable at high speeds, and has great braking power stock.

Triumph Street Twin
Leticia Cline leaning in on the 2016 Triumph Street TwinSteve Franks

Saying it CAN do all of these things doesn’t mean that it has to. My dad has been talking about getting back into motorcycling after a long hiatus and anything over 500cc is a “big” bike to him. I know that it’s not as much the size of the engine, but the weight and power that intimidate him. Back in his day, anything over 500cc was a BIG bike and may have been a little daunting. Having him throw a leg over this and whip it around the block brought back the same stupid grin it did on me, and when I told him what the price tag was, he got quiet for a little while and started doing some serious thinking.

The Street Twin is an affordable, approachable bike with a beefy, torque-rich engine, stable suspension, strong brakes, and timeless, undeniably attractive styling. A bike that unknowing new enthusiasts may buy because of the look and price point, but one that they can learn on and grow into over the years to come. Unintimidating, but never boring, and tons of fun at any experience level.

Riding Impression-

Jordan Mastagni, Editor-in-Chief, Cruiser

Triumph’s Street Twin reinvigorated my somewhat-jaded motorcycle soul. I was hooked after about 10 minutes of seat time. Its snappy power. Its style. Its comfort. Its agile handling characteristics. Its $8,700 price tag! What was not to love?

The Street Twin is unmistakably classic Triumph, but in a more modern, hip light, and there’s no denying it’s visually compelling. But the Street Twin isn’t all show: it’s functional; it’s aggressive; it’s versatile. And it’s a great bike for the seasoned vet and the newjack alike. Especially because its ergos are very comfortable–mid controls, seating position, and handlebar placement, which can be a make or break for either of the aforementioned consumers.

I tried pushing the Street Twin past its limits in the Ortega Highway canyons, as well as some neighborhood fire roads, but it unapologetically laughed in my face, basically telling me to “go back to riding school, rook!” Which gave me the biggest grin. I like when motorcycles put me in my place. But I love it even more when a bike far exceeds my expectations. And for less than nine-grand, Triumph’s Street Twin is in my opinion the best value in the entry-level cruiser market.

Triumph Street Twin
2016 Triumph Street TwinSteve Franks
ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS
BORE (MM)84.6
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.55:1
COOLING Liquid
DISPLACEMENT IN CC 900
DISPLACEMENT IN CI 54.9
ENGINE TYPE Parallel Twin
STARTER Electric
STROKE 80
VALVE CONFIGURATION SOHC
TRANSMISSION SPECIFICATIONS
NUMER OF SPEEDS 5
PRIMARY DRIVE Chain
TIRES SPECIFICATIONS
FRONT TIRE 100/90 R18
REAR TIRE 150/70 R17
BRAKES SPECIFICATIONS
FRONT BRAKE DIAMETER 310
FRONT BRAKE TYPE Hydraulic Disc
REAR BRAKE DIAMETER 255
REAR BRAKE TYPE Hydraulic Disc
SUSPENSION & STEERING SPECIFICATIONS
FRONT SUSPENSION BRAND NAME Kabaya
FRONT SUSPENSION TYPE Telescopic Fork
REAR ADJUSTABLE SHOCK / SPRING PRE-LOAD Yes
REAR SUSPENSION BRAND NAME Kabaya
REAR SUSPENSION TYPE Twin Sided Swing Arm
SEAT HEIGHT (IN) 29.5
OTHER SPECIFICATIONS
FUEL CAPACITY (GAL) 3.2
MANUFACTURER COUNTRY England
DRY WEIGHT (LBS) 437
WHEELBASE (IN) 56.7

For more information on the Triumph Street Twin, check out their website TriumphMotorcycles.com