2014 Triumph Thruxton
Have I mentioned lately how much I love it when a manufacturer reproduces a classic look while blessing it with contemporary technology? Well, I do, so you can imagine my delight when I laid eyes on the 2014 Thruxton 900 from Triumph. From the bullet front fairing, across the knee-dent fuel tank to the tail fairing, this bike embodies the 1960’s cafe’ racer vibe, and Triumph furthers this historical connection by naming this model after the famed Thruxton Race Track. Best of all, the retro good looks are backed up by subtle improvements, such as the fuel injectors hidden in the ’carburetors’ and disc brakes instead of the old drums, among others that I will touch on later. Overall, the factory designed this bike to serve as a daily commuter/weekend burner with a liberal dose of nostalgia added.
2014 Triumph Thruxton
Engine:Air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 360º firing interval
Horsepower @ RPM:68 @ 7400
Torque @ RPM:51 @ 5800
Energy:Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI
Triumph kept many of the design aspects from the original, Bonneville-based cafe’ racers of the 1960s, at least in spirit. A small bullet fairing protects the headlamp nacelle and the handlebar-mounted gauges, but little else as it is not quite as large as what the ’old boys’ ran back in the day. The fuel tank is the classic design that actually has the knee dents in it, yet it still manages to hold 4.2 gallons of fuel, which puts the capacity just below that of purpose-built tour bikes. I love that they used this tank, because I always feel a bit cheated when I see a ’Trumpet’ out and about, and upon closer inspection discover that the “dents” are actually a painted-on effect. Rear-fairing design is also true to history with the classic, tapered rear over-the-fender design. Personally, I have always preferred the fenderless style, but I have to concede that this design has a more practical function during road use.
The posture dictated by the low-mounted handlebars, 32.3-inch seat height and rear-mount foot controls is rather aggressive. With your feet tucked up right under the seat, it’s easier on you when you want to lean forward and tuck down over the bike to reduce your windage while you get a little bit twisty with the throttle.
Wheel design provided Triumph with another opportunity to blend aesthetics and function. The factory started with aluminum rims to keep the unsprung weight low, and then graced them with chromed wire spokes. I always have liked laced wheels (except when they are on the truing stand!), and these certainly add another touch of class to an already classy bike. Dual-piston Nissin calipers work with the single 320 mm front and 255 mm rear brake discs, and while I can appreciate Triumph wanting to keep the wheels as clean as possible, I think that I would prefer to have dual front brakes. Having said that, with a curb weight of only 507 pounds this brake configuration should be sufficient to provide ample control of the bike. The factory used 41 mm KYB front forks with chrome KYB adjustable shocks in the rear, with over four inches of travel at both ends to soak up the bumps and shocks of the road before your kidneys do. With an overall length of 84.6 inches and a 58.6-inch wheelbase, this bike is kept within the rather compact outer dimensions established by earlier cafe’ racers.
The beating heart of the bike will look familiar to old-school Triumph fans, like a page torn from history. An 865 cc, air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin engine generates 68 horsepower and 51 pound-feet of torque, and does it while maintaining that classic look established by its predecessors and meeting the stringent requirements for the Euro 3 emissions rating. Part of this is due to the electronic fuel-injection system cleverly hidden away within the ’carburetor’ throttle bodies. I think the carburetor camouflage is a nice touch, and I applaud Triumph for spending the money to design function around form to keep the engine/carb/airbox area looking as faithful as possible.
This engine, coupled with the five-speed transmission, delivers a reported mileage of 43 mpg in the city and 57 mpg at 56 mph, or slightly slower than typical U.S. interstate speeds. Good mileage and the 4.2 gallon tank means that you can pass the gas stations with confidence whether you are burning up the roads around town or stretching your legs (figuratively, please note footpeg position!) on the interstate for a weekend jaunt.
Pricing starts at $9,099.00, and Triumph has a host of accessories that will help flesh out the bike as well as the sticker. Both the Phantom Black and Brooklands Green color packages fall under the stock price, so you won’t take a hit on your color choice. The factory sells each new Thruxton 900 with a 12-month, unlimited-mileage warranty on replacement parts.
“Cool as the other side of the pillow! I love the look of the old Trumpets, especially those from the cafe’ racer heyday, and this ride fills the bill nicely. The only concern I have is the position of the footpegs, it makes my knees ache just looking at the pictures, and I am more comfortable with my legs straight out in front of me and with forward controls.”
My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I’m not partial to the cafe’ racer look, but I do appreciate the loyalty to vintage lines. I miss the checkered strip running longitudinally along the fuel tank and rear seat cowl from the original Thruxton bodywork, though. To me, that checkerboard pattern gave a nod to the Thruxton races in 1969 when Triumph took the top three places in the 500-mile endurance race. It was here that the cafe’ racer era was born. That’s really where this bike has its roots. I usually go for black, but the Brooklands Green looks awesome."
|Engine Type:||Air-Cooled, DOHC, Parallel-Twin, 360-Degree Firing Interval|
|Bore/Stroke:||90 X 68 mm|
|Fuel System:||Multipoint Sequential Electronic Fuel Injection With SAI|
|Exhaust:||Stainless Steel Headers, Twin Chromed Upswept Mufflers|
|Final Drive:||X Ring Chain|
|Oil Capacity:||1.2 US Gals|
|Frame:||Tubular Steel Cradle|
|Swingarm:||Twin-Sided, Tubular Steel|
|Wheel Front:||36-Spoke 18 X 2.5 Inch, Aluminum Rim|
|Wheel Rear:||40-Spoke 17 X 3.5 Inch, Aluminum Rim|
|Tire Front:||100/90 R18|
|Tire Rear:||130/80 R17|
|Suspension Front:||KYB 41 mm Forks With Adjustable Preload, 4.72 Inch Travel|
|Suspension Rear:||KYB Chromed Spring Twin Shocks With Adjustable Preload, 4.17 Inch Rear Wheel Travel|
|Brakes Front:||Single 320 mm Floating Disc, Nissin Two-Piston Floating Caliper|
|Brakes Rear:||Single 255 mm Disc, Nissin Two-Piston Floating Caliper|
|Instrument Display/Functions:||Analogue Speedometer And Tachometer With Odometer And Trip Information|
|Width (Handlebars):||32.7 Inches|
|Height Without Mirrors:||43.1 Inches|
|Seat Height:||32.3 Inches|
|Rake/Trail:||27 Degrees/97 mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity / Efficiency:||4.2 Gallons|
|Wet Weight (Ready To Ride):||506 Pounds|
|Maximum Power:||68 Brake Horsepower at 7400rpm|
|Maximum Torque:||51 Pound-Feet at 5800rpm|
|Fuel Efficiency:||43 mpg City / 57 mpg Highway *Estimated From Fuel Economy Tests On A Sample Motorcycle Conducted Under Ideal Laboratory Conditions. Actual Mileage May Vary Based Upon Personal Riding Habits, Weather, Vehicle Condition, And Other Factors.|