Sometimes a motorcycle comes along and puts the rider at a loss for words. It’s rare for me, being someone who typically likes to talk more than people like to listen, but the Triumph Speed Twin is one of those bikes. It’s just… well… it’s…
Usually, the reason a bike leaves me speechless is that it’s benign, lost in the purgatory between good and bad. It’s not fast or slow, light or heavy, good or bad looking, and therein lies the problem. A lack of striking features can be the kiss of death. A machine should stand for something. We motorcycle writers struggle if there is too much equilibrium in a bike’s personality. It’s hard enough coming up with new ways to describe why and how brakes are “good.” If everything is in the middle of the road, we simply won’t have anything interesting to say.
Triumph’s 2022 Speed Twin isn’t stuck between good and bad, though. It is better than good, and in some ways that makes sense because the idea was convincing from the beginning. Named after the iconic Speed Twin that Triumph originally introduced in the late 1930s, this reincarnation launched in 2019 with a simple premise: Transplant the high-output version of Triumph’s 1,200 cc “Modern Classic” engine used in the Thruxton R to a chassis reminiscent of the company’s more relaxed Bonneville T120 or Street Twin. This was smart, considering the Thruxton R has never been particularly comfortable and the smaller engine in the Street Twin is fairly tame (as an entry-level offering should be).
Cobbling together the best attributes from two different models seems like a no-brainer. Then again, we all know that Franken-bikes can be fairly monstrous to the eye if practicality is the only goal. Luckily, it doesn’t take much looking at the Speed Twin to get a hint that the people building it know what they’re doing. It pitches forward ever so slightly, projecting a whiff of athleticism without trying too hard, and the other proportions are similarly lovely — the bulbous, retro fuel tank and flat seat are accented nicely by small fenders and a conspicuous exhaust that swoops back purposefully and symmetrically on either side. Nothing is designed to catch the eye that isn’t a primary motorcycling element.
Up close, the individual components are just as satisfying to ogle. Radially mounted Brembo calipers are fed by steel-braided brake lines with an adjustable, and equally Italian, master cylinder mounted to the flat handlebar. The round, bullet blinkers, the sturdy and sleek bar-end mirrors, the 90-degree valve stems and underseat USB plug, it all oozes the little bit of quality that you want, but don’t necessarily expect, from a motorcycle priced below $13,000. Triumph even went through the trouble of making the spark plug cap a deep, oxblood red that mimics electronic fittings of yesteryear. It’s not utterly perfect, but the Speed Twin is a quality piece and the attention to detail is high.
So, it’s pretty. And the thesis behind it makes sense. Whoop-de-doo, Zack, stop the presses. Well, the thing that’s really neat about the Speed Twin, and that keeps me enamored with this motorbike, is that it is particularly sweet to ride. The 2022 model is updated with a non-adjustable, inverted Marzocchi fork, plus some tweaks to the engine that release a few more horsepower and raise the rev limit by 500 rpm. The commonly used 270-degree crank offset in the engine means a lumpy and burly thump from the exhaust, even at idle, and it’s surprisingly loud for a showroom-spec machine. Not noisy, but pronounced enough that it doesn’t seem bottled up, which is more and more rare in this era of ever-constricting regulations.
If you’re about six feet, two inches tall, you might get the same sensation I do when I swing a leg over this bike — the handlebar sits at the right height and my feet fall onto the footpegs like the engineers asked me where I wanted them. It’s a commanding riding position, without being too sporty. Then there are the menus and dash, which ask almost nothing of the rider. Tap the mode button to select Sport, Road, or Rain, and you’ll get a commensurate response from the throttle. Would you like traction control with your tea, sir? No? Very good, sir, simply hold this button for a few seconds, and enjoy. Otherwise, the blinker switch and the speedometer are the only things you’ll care to notice. And, wouldn’t you know it, even the speedometer is unnaturally pleasant to look at, no-nonsense numbers bezeled with glossy metal.
The Speed Twin is fairly compact, but it’s not small. With the candy-red tank holding a full 3.8 gallons of fuel, our test bike tipped the scales at 475 pounds. For context, that’s about 45 pounds heavier than a Yamaha MT-09 and, while we’re at it, almost identical to last year’s weigh-in of the fire-breathing Aprilia Tuono V4. Those 475 pounds are combined with a smooth and polite delivery of 98 claimed crank horsepower and 82 foot-pounds of torque. Point being, the Speed Twin doesn’t “punch above its weight” or “tear a hole in space and time” or otherwise leave you gasping for breath.
If you ask for a feat of strength it will rear up and carry its front wheel, but my favorite part of riding the Speed Twin isn’t the hooligan antics, it’s the feeling of power under the surface. The engine is torque-rich and doesn’t reward high revs, meaning the first 50 feet away from a stop light produces the juiciest squeeze of the big twin’s proverbial fruit. The same goes for exiting a tight turn on a mountain road; it surges forward like a sprinter with long strides, often making me giggle in my helmet, all without feeling maniacal or even aggressive. I preferred the gentle response of Road mode, but even with the snappier Sport mode engaged the fueling is excellent, as usual with a modern Triumph, and it leaves a thick wave of thunder in its wake.
The slightly crouched stance I mentioned before, that sums up the Speed Twin’s sporting prowess pretty well. It’s a boatload of fun to sling through a twisty section of road, even if the heft never disappears completely and it doesn’t look like a sport bike. The updated fork seems to be a little less harsh and offer more feedback than I recall from the previous setup, but it’s not the thing I would point to as the reason the bike works well. There are actually some numbers that help explain that.
Triumph deserves some credit for choosing to fit the Speed Twin with a 160-section rear tire (same as a Suzuki SV650), which is narrower than most bikes this size and it must help the bike dance from side to side. Also, the Speed Twin’s front-end geometry is pretty aggressive, with rake and trail numbers that undercut a KTM RC390, Triumph’s own razor-sharp Daytona 765 sport bike, and frankly any other full-size bike in recent memory. It might not be my first pick for a track day, but this Triumph holds a line and hits an apex well enough to keep all but the elbow-dragging contingent happy.
The whole picture
To that point, at least part of my adoration of the Speed Twin has to do with expectations. It’s not supposed to compete with the performance of a hyper naked like the Tuono V4 or the whizbangery of color screens and adjustable ergonomics like the MT-09. I’m sure this isn’t the case, but it’s almost like Triumph aimed the Speed Twin at that purgatory of banality — not powerful enough to be fast or expensive enough to be exotic, and cursed with a stoic personality that instinctively steps back out of the spotlight in a showroom sparkling with Thruxtons, Scramblers, and Rockets.
All the Speed Twin ever promised, to my eye, was to be a handsome motorcycle with a full-size engine. And it is unambiguous, certainly, but it’s also a beautiful combination of muscle and refinement, exhilaration and stateliness. It’s clean and uncomplicated in a way that is almost always lost in premium motorcycles these days, and for that reason it offers an experience that is somehow more immersive and connected than usual. It is an ungilded lily — hard to explain because it shouldn’t need an explanation. But this bike deserves an attempt.
|2022 Triumph Speed Twin|
|Price (MSRP)||$12,500 ($12,800 for gray or red)|
|Engine||1,200 cc, liquid-cooled, eight-valve, parallel twin|
|Claimed horsepower||98.6 @ 7,250 rpm|
|Claimed torque||82.6 foot-pounds @ 4,250 rpm|
|Frame||Steel tube double cradle|
|Front suspension||Marzocchi 43 mm fork; 4.7 inches of travel|
|Rear suspension||FOX RSU Shocks, adjustable for spring preload; 4.7 inches of travel|
|Front brake||Brembo M50 four-piston calipers, 320 mm discs with ABS|
|Rear brake||Nissin two-piston caliper, 220 mm disc with ABS|
|Rake, trail||22.3 degrees, 3.6 inches|
|Seat height||31.6 inches|
|Fuel capacity||3.8 gallons|
|Tires||Metzeler Racetec RR, 120/70 ZR17 front, 160/60 ZR17 rear|
Is a Triumph Speed Twin Good for long rides? ›
Because the riding position of the Triumph Speed Twin isn't one I'd get comfortable on for long distances, riding around town can be a joy because you're always moving around in the seat. The engine is fun to keep alive in the 3-6,000 rpm range.Are triumphs good for beginners? ›
If you're considering the Triumph Bonneville T100 as your first bike, we think it's a great choice! The T100 is a good size with plenty of power, great handling and a comfortable riding position.Is Speed Twin a good bike? ›
The Speed Twin is like a super Bonneville. It blends classic looks with modern braking and suspension components, not to mention a total sweetheart of a parallel-twin engine. It's a near-perfect everyday motorcycle and one of my favorite bikes I've ridden in the last few years.What is the top speed of a Triumph Speed Twin? ›
|Engine||Liquid cooled 1,200cc parallel twin|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual, chain drive|
Many Triumph motorcycles can outrun their Harley-Davidson counterparts. An exception is Harley-Davidson's 883 Sportster vs a basic Triumph Bonneville. Most people consider the 883 Sportster to be the best one-person bar hopper.Is a Triumph as good as a Harley Davidson? ›
Both are undoubtedly classic, but the Harley has a much more strong and buffed design, meanwhile, the Triumph bike seems more stylish and ellegant. Both motorcycles are probably the most customized bikes ever, and the kits and parts available for that two are closer to innumerable.Which Triumph is best for beginners? ›
For sure, the Street Twin doesn't excel in any of these but it is more than capable at all of them. That's one more reason why the Triumph Street Twin is good for beginners where the owner isn't looking for a specific type of motorcycle.What cc should a beginner ride? ›
For beginner motorcycle riders, the recommended engine is 500cc to 600cc. The lower the cc figure, the easier the bike will handle, and the more forgiving it will be to the inevitable mistakes that new riders make. Just because a bike has a smaller engine doesn't mean you can't still ride fast.How many cc should a beginner bike have? ›
A good standard size for a beginner is 500cc to 700cc, depending on your physical size.Why do people use single speed bikes? ›
A single-speed bicycle is generally cheaper, lighter, and mechanically simpler than its multi-geared equivalent. Without derailleurs or other gearing systems, there are fewer parts on the bicycle that require maintenance, making this type of cycle useful for city commuting in all weather.
Why do people buy single speed bikes? ›
Single speed bikes are a great way to get around for a number of reasons. They're fun, low maintenance and easy to use. They're also robust, simple, and keep riders from getting confused about which gear they should be in.Which is the best speed bike in the world? ›
Kawasaki Ninja H2R
And they are required, because this bike does 0-100 km/h in just 2.5 seconds. The Kawasaki Ninja H2R is by far the fastest bike in the world today.
And added to this is the 59ft (ca. 18 m)/lbs torque which ensures absolute control over the bike at all times. What sets the Triumph Street Twin apart is its ability to serve as the best of both worlds. This is neither a top-rated sports bike nor a go-to highway ride.What is the fastest street bike ever? ›
DODGE TOMAHAWK – TOP SPEED: 350 MPH
The Dodge Tomahawk, which can reach speeds of 420 miles (676 kilometres) per hour while maintaining aerodynamics, resistance, and stability, takes the title of fastest motorcycle in the world. The Dodge Tomahawk has four wheels, and each of them has its own suspension.
- BONNEVILLE T100. Price From ₹ 9,69,000.00.
- BONNEVILLE T120. Price From ₹ 11,09,000.00.
- BONNEVILLE BOBBER. Price From ₹ 12,05,000.00.
- BONNEVILLE SPEEDMASTER. Price From ₹ 12,05,000.00.
- Scrambler 900. (Previously Street Scrambler) ...
- Speed Twin 900. (Previously Street Twin) ...
- SPEED TWIN 1200. Price From ₹ 11,09,000.00.
While Triumph couldn't compete with the Japanese manufacturer's for reliability, they did score higher than Ducati, BMW, and Can-Am. These studies are controversial though, and shouldn't be the main indicator of a manufacturer's overall reliability.Is KTM better than Triumph? ›
A: According to our average user rating, KTM 390 Duke has a score of 4.9/5 while Triumph Street Triple 765 is rated 4.8/5.What is so special about Triumph bikes? ›
Modern Triumph motorcycles are known for their retro style and heritage design while still incorporating modern technologies. Triumph also provides consumers with a collection of performance and adventure / touring motorcycles.How many miles will a Triumph last? ›
Any Triumph motorcycle should be capable of surpassing 100,000 miles in lifespan, but some make it there more easily than others. A new model from the 2016 model year onwards is still quite dependent on maintenance to make it, but has a much better chance of exceeding 100,000 miles in its life than an older model.Is Norton better than Triumph? ›
On top of more power and speed, Popular Mechanics and Petrolicious report the Norton Commando handled better than the Triumph Bonneville. The Commando's engine was tilted forward compared to the Atlas, which improved the center-of-gravity.
Is Triumph owned by China? ›
Triumph Motorcycles (Thailand) Limited is a 100% UK owned company and now employs about 1000 staff.Is 900cc too much for a beginner? ›
A 900cc sports bike is effortlessly fast, enough to get a novice in over their head unless they practice self control.Which bike is easy to ride for beginners? ›
The Bajaj Avenger Street 160 is considered the best bike for beginners in India in the cruiser category.What is the easiest motorcycle to learn on? ›
- Honda Monkey. Motorcycle Type: Standard (Mini) ...
- KTM Corner Rocket (390 Duke) Motorcycle Type: Standard (Naked) ...
- Harley-Davidson Street 500. Motorcycle Type: Standard / Cruiser. ...
- Kawasaki Z125 Pro SE. ...
- Harley-Davidson Superlow. ...
- Honda Grom. ...
- KTM RC 390. ...
- Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS.
For the first few rides, you might aim for half an hour on the bike. If you average around 10 mph, that would be about five miles. If you're riding based on time, you'd just turn around and head back to the starting point after the first 15 minutes or so.Is a 1000cc bike too much for a beginner? ›
If you are brand new to the road with no car driving experience, you should stay away from a 1000cc motorcycle. Learning the skills to ride and learning the road rules simultaneously on a race like engine designed for extreme performance…its simply too much for you to process, and will end in tragedy.How much HP should a beginner motorcycle have? ›
These bikes tend to be extremely popular with first-time riders. They give you plenty of power without weighing you down on the road. Expect to get anywhere from 10 to 15 HP out of these bikes.
There is no limit on how many miles you can bike on a given day. It depends on how to fit you are, what your workout routine is, and how far you ride. For beginners, 10 miles per day is OK. Forty-five miles is a reasonable limit if you're an experienced cyclist who can bike 25-30 miles per day.Is a 600cc bike too much for a beginner? ›
For many people who want to learn to ride a motorcycle or are new riders who have already learned, it is a good idea to start on a 600cc bike. A midsize, 600cc-650cc motorcycle is an excellent choice for beginner riders because it is not too big to handle or small enough to grow out of.Is a 400cc a good starter bike? ›
For most seasoned riders, a 400cc bike is very easy to get used to, but as a beginner, you have a higher hill to climb while starting out. Throttle control, balance, counter steering, and low-speed maneuvers are all-important skills to develop on a motorcycle.
Does riding a single speed make you stronger? ›
It makes you a better/stronger rider.
The most obvious one is that it makes your legs stronger because you have to crank up hills in a much harder gear that you otherwise would. But it also makes you more efficient. Riding a singlespeed means that you need to plan ahead.
You can build leg strength using a single speed by climbing hills. Without the bail-out of easier gears, all you have to get up the climb is your legs. So rather than spinning a bigger sprocket, a single speed forces you to keep turning whatever gear you have with whatever strength there is in your legs.Is it hard to go uphill on single speed bike? ›
So climbing the same steep hill on a single speed bike can actually be harder (and slower) than on an equivalent geared bike. Without the luxury of easier gears to shift into, single speed riders have to put up with less than ideal gearing on non-trivial gradients.Are single speed bikes good for long distance? ›
Due to their lack of gears, fixed-gear and single-speed bicycles are not ideal for long-distance cycling. Nonetheless, single-speed bikes may be used for long distances if you're looking for a great fund workout.Which bike is called Widowmaker? ›
Specifications: Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV, 1972-1975
Engine. 748cc, air-cooled, oil injected, 3-cylinder, two-stroke. Power. 74hp @ 6800rpm. Torque.
Harley-Davidson is the number one motorcycle manufacturer in the United States.Which bike is the king of bikes? ›
Ninja ZX-14R ABS.Is the Triumph Street Twin a beginner bike? ›
The Triumph Street Twin certainly isn't a bad choice for a beginner. Amongst the thing it has going in it's favor are, The riding position is upright, not overly aggressive. It's light and nimble.Is the Speed Twin a sport bike? ›
These days, the modern-classic roadster is sporting a thoroughly modern sportbike front-end propelled by a soulful and bubbly powerplant that amounts to a wickedly fun riding experience. The latest Speed Twin is another fine example of modern tech and classic style from the British brand.Are triumph street twins reliable? ›
|Summary of owners' reviews|
|Ride quality & brakes:||4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)|
|Engine:||4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)|
|Reliability & build quality:||4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)|
|Value vs rivals:||4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)|
What is the fastest 0 to 60 motorcycle? ›
By 0–60 mph, 3.5 seconds or less.
|Make and model||Year (model)||Time (seconds)|
|Yamaha MT-09 (FZ-09)||2013||2.7|
|Manufacturer||Marine Turbine Technologies|
|Also called||Y2K Superbike|
|Engine||320 hp (240 kW) Rolls-Royce 250-C18 turboshaft 420 hp (310 kW) Rolls-Royce 250-C20B turboshaft|
What is the fastest street bike in the world? The MTT 420-RR is street-legal, allowing it to also claim the fastest street bike in the world title with its top speed of 273 mph (439 km/h).Is Triumph good for beginners? ›
The Most Affordable Bonneville & Good Beginner Ride
If you're considering the Triumph Bonneville T100 as your first bike, we think it's a great choice! The T100 is a good size with plenty of power, great handling and a comfortable riding position.
|Manufacturer||Triumph Motorcycles Ltd|
|Engine||1,200 cc (73 cu in) water-cooled single overhead camshaft parallel twin cylinder|
|Bore / stroke||97.6 mm × 80.0 mm (3.84 in × 3.15 in)|
|Summary of owners' reviews|
|Overall rating:||4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)|
|Ride quality & brakes:||4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)|
|Engine:||4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)|
|Reliability & build quality:||4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)|
Adventure bikes are only mildly designed to take off-road conditions, and they are more comfortable for long trips on pavement. Dual sport bikes, on the other hand, have a genetic makeup that thrives off-road and offer very few frills for long distance, paved riding.Is it worth buying Triumph Street Twin? ›
Yes, Triumph Street Twin may be a good option. Triumph Street Twin is priced from 7.45 Lakh (Ex-showroom price, Delhi). Even though it is the gateway into the Bonneville family, the Street Twin is pleasantly powerful.Do triumphs hold their value? ›
Triumphs Have a Higher Resale Value
Triumph motorcycles are in great demand today because of their technology and performance. They may not have as many riders as other brands, but they hold their value well. Their style, feel, and agility haven't changed much since the 60s and 70s.
The Triumph Street Twin is a versatile all-rounder, but its sweet spot is country lanes and town riding rather than long-distance touring. Considering the amount of time I spend touring on a motorcycle, for me, the Street Twin would be a delightful indulgence.
What mileage is too high for a bike? ›
What Is Considered High Mileage For a Motorcycle? Among the majority of riders, anything over 40,000 miles is considered to be high mileage. However, when it comes to sports bikes, anything upwards of 25,000 miles is deemed to be high!How many miles is too much for a dual sport? ›
A dual sport motorcycle could be well-used after only 5,000 kilometers and in desperate need of an overhaul. A sport-touring motorcycle could have a lot of life left after 50,000 miles.Are Triumph engines reliable? ›
They're rock solid, reliable, durable and will serve their owners for many miles and riding years. Like many British motorcycle brands, Triumph was once plagued with all sorts of issues such as oil leaks and poor quality components in the early days and post WWII but thankfully those days are long gone.Where is the Triumph Speed Twin built? ›
Where are Triumph's factories based? Triumph has six-world class factories around the world. Two of these factories are based in Hinckley in the UK, just a stone's throw from the Mallory Park race track. There are also three factories in Chonburi, Thailand, and one in Manaus, Brazil.