The Triumph Bonneville Speed Twin seems like big bike at first glance but then as you get closer, sit in the saddle and take it off its side stand and feel its narrow, fitting and nimble design. The fuel tank design brings this narrow fit of comfort. For me, it’s the first impression – just like when meeting someone new. Being that I personally like naked bikes, the Speed Twin open design focusses on the rider performance. It was hard to believe this is a 1200cc. But of course, shifting into gear, moving off and then up to top gear – the power train demonstrated that 1200cc power. I smiled, continued through the corner and decided it was the best (street-based) Triumph Bonneville yet.
If you’re not fully acquainted with the Triumph motorcycle brand, you won’t know that in 1938 Triumph motorcycles wrote history with the introduction of the Speed Twin, then the world’s first successful parallel twin. The Speed Twin changed motorcycling – it was the world’s first truly successful parallel twin mounted in this revolutionary chassis. The Speed Twin was the benchmark for the competition and became the first engine that was no longer slotted as a means of transport to ride from A to B, but a real rider’s bike that was especially fun to drive, thanks to its performance and handling. For 2019, Triumph Motorcycles restored the illustrious name – the Speed Twin – adding this new model to their “Classic” family portfolio.
The style, looks and performance of the Speed Twin are Exactly Just Right!
With the torque and technology of the Thruxton, Triumph Speed Twin power is packaged in an even more accessible modern setup. This is combined with the confidence-building comfort of the Bonneville T120, but with an even better ergonomics – a more relaxed model overall. The style, looks and performance of the Speed Twin are exactly just right.
“With the all-new 1200cc Speed Twin, this illustrious Triumph model name for 2019 added to our Modern Classic line up put a new standard in leading handling, and provides a new benchmark for how a modern Roadster would need to feel and drive,” states Triumph Motorcycles.
Six Unbelievable Features of The 2019 Triumph Speed Twin
(1). Uniquely Triumph
Triumph specifically developed a frame chassis just for the Speed Twin no other model compares. They took it further with aluminium wheels and Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3 tires. Its internal processor offers three different driving modes (road, sport, rain) and traction control with multiple modes.
“You might say the Triumph Speed Twin, is a customized style of the Street Twin, but with the addition of even more beautiful premium details.”
(2 ). Powerful
The Speed Twin’s engine with Bonneville-Thruxton-tuning lightweight crank, is a high-performance 6-speed, liquid-cooled, 8 valves, overhead camshaft, and parallel twin. And take that fact that the Speed Twin has a 1200 cc power source with 97 HP and a dry weight of 197 kilograms compared to it’s somewhat closest Classic model, the Bonneville T120 – having 17 HP less and is 20 kilograms heavier.
Compared to the Bonneville T120, the differences are quite large.
(3.) Handling Ease
What struck me is how easy you get used to and feel at home on the Speed Twin. The seat is pleasant and easy to move around on. The steering is nice and wide making the sitting position just enough forward to make comfort of the wind blast from the open front end.
The footrests are sitting farther forward and are for my height perfect. Slightly longer riders may want to have a little further forward. But the seat is long enough to position yourself a little further back if needed.
Additionally, the seat is nicely padded. I’ve ridden hours on the Speed Twin, with pleasure.
The suspension’s is firm and the brakes powerful, the Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3 tires are high performers and ready to take you through the corners at any angle you desire.
(4.) Light Weight
The Speed Twin weighs in 9.97 kilograms (22 pounds) less than the Thruxton and you feel this in every aspect of the Speed Twin’s performance. While you can’t see it, it namely comes from the new aluminium cradle supporting the engine in the new frame. Plus, the Speed Twin’s engine is lighter thanks to the magnesium cam and engine covers. The front wheel and disc assembly is lighter, while the rear wheel lost close to 1.678 kilograms (3.7 pounds). What this did was in fact make turning at slow or high speeds easier. The facts, as I’m told, is that the inertia of the front wheel and disc assembly is reduced by 28%, while the rear wheel lost 43% (due to the weight being removed from the outside of the rim).
(5.) Speed Twin Looks
The more you look over the Speed Twin, the more you appreciate the build quality. Brushed-aluminium everywhere, smoked reservoirs, hand-painted coach lining on the tank and the offset “Monza” fuel cap. The Brembo master cylinder joined to an adjustable brake lever to match the Brembo 4-pot, 4-pad front brakes and additional old school accents bring this iconic Speed Twin its heritage due.
Affordable! Triumph provides the model in three colours:
- Jet Black: $13,300. CAD / $12,100.USD
- Korosi Red & Storm Grey w/ hand painted Graphite Coachline: + $500.
- Silver Ice & Storm Grey w/ hand painted Graphite Coachline: + $500.
My Favourite Five:
- Lightweight easy to manoeuvre
- All Purpose: street, road, touring and sport!
- Ride Modes: Options! And with all the rain this year, I’ve been happily using the the Speed Twin in Rain mode. Then there’s ROAD for most riding situations, SPORT adds extra zing when you open the throttle, and of course RAIN mode which tames the power delivery no matter what you do to the throttle. Superb for wet weather riding.
- Switchable Traction Control and ABS. I leave these enabled.
Speed Twin Wrap Up
The Triumph Bonneville Speed Twin looks serious and fast with it’s tucked in front wheel close to the engine almost like it’s ready to jump. It’s upright and comfortable, and a multi-tasking model that’s easy to ride. Great for street/commuter, touring, track. The turning radius ends a little more abruptly than expected when making extreme right or left tight circles but you get acquainted to that. There’s still plenty room to manoeuvre. I did notice heat from the engine around the knee area when sitting still/ in rush hour traffic.
If you’re not up to fixing panniers or luggage racks on to the Speed Twin, the seat makes it easy to attach a tail bag or tie on cargo bags for trips.
It is not a bike for those unfamiliar with agility and power management – as it is surprisingly rider-friendly –which, without skill – will get away from you. A great bike for advanced novices, returning riders and for all heights.
The Speed Twin is a thrilling ride, affordable and will give you a complete escape from reality. Yes, I would definitely own the Speed Twin – in Jet Black.
Check out my Instagram for day to day riding pics.
- High power 1200cc Bonneville engine with Thruxton tuning
- Low inertia, high performance, six-speed, 8-valve, liquid-cooled SOHC 270° crank angle parallel twin
- Peak power 95HP at 6,750rpm
- High torque across the rev range (peak: 82 FT/lbs @ 4,950rpm)
- High service interval of 10,000 miles (16,000km)
- High spec twin Brembo 4-piston axial calipers with twin floating discs
- Nissin 2 piston floating rear caliper with single disc
- KYB forks with cartridge damping
- Twin KYB rear suspension units with adjustable spring pre-load
- Lightweight 7-spoke aluminium wheels
- High spec Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3 tires
- ABS & switchable traction control
- Three riding modes (Road, Rain and Sport)
- Torque-assist clutch
- LED lighting
- Feature-packed twin clocks
- USB charging
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System accessory fit
- Signature 3.8 gallon tank
- Twin upswept sports silencers
- Bench seat
- Sculpted side panels with aluminium detailing
- Bar end mirrors
- Category-leading finish & detailing
- Brushed aluminium front & rear mudguards
- Brushed aluminium throttle body covers
- Brushed aluminium side panel finishers
- Brushed aluminium heel guards
- Clear anodised forged aluminium headlight bracket
- Monza fuel cap
Visit Triumph Motorcycles to book a test ride!