The new Speed Twin squares the circle of character, performance and handling in the quest for the Holy Grail of motorcycle development.
Test rider and developer Felipe Lopez says the new addition to the roadster family comes the closest yet to classic authenticity and performance perfection. It means riders can now have the best of all worlds… the aesthetics of the modern classic range with everyday comfort, dynamic handling, practicality and power.
Focus on handling
The result, says Felipe, is a new motorcycle that handles like a truly modern roadster, inspiring confidence and ease of use with the full character of a 1200 twin engine.
“Our ambition was to create a really agile and dynamic roadster with a twin 1200 engine platform. In short, it’s a great handling bike that provides the most confidence when riding for anyone every day,” says the chassis development tester behind Triumph’s latest generation of triple-powered performance street bikes.
Refining to perfection
“We approached this project as we do with all of the roadsters developed in Triumph; using our experience on Speed and Street Triples but taking the Thruxton R, a fabulous cafe racer, as our start point.”
Small tweaks are often beautiful when it comes to making the best even better and for customers seeking the appeal of the current Thruxton but not the cafe-racer vibe, two changes have had a profound effect.
Moving from spokes to cast wheels saved around 2kg on each, creating a hugely positive effect on the behaviour of the motorcycle.
Felipe explains: “Because of the inertia reduction, the gyroscopic effect was massively reduced and made the bike feel much lighter. Added to that we made some slight design changes to shave a total of around 10kg off the whole bike.”
Positioning is pivotal
Then the masterstrokes of moving the rider forward for a new weight distribution, having a shorter tank, a footrest position 40mm forward, Speed Triple bars and a new bench seat, were all crafted to maintain the desirable front-end planted feeling that is the DNA of Triumph’s roadsters.
Felipe adds: “This reduction in mass and new further forward weight redistribution has allowed us to fit a final geometry, which is comparable to the current Speed Triple but with an even shorter wheelbase.
“The result is a new motorcycle that handles like the best roadster. It’s got power when you need it – but the Speed Twin’s real highlight is its exceptionally agility.”