Big Update = Even More Fun

Triumph Motorcycles reprises its Street Twin model ahead of MY2019 in a bid to maintain the momentum it garnered in ’18 with updated looks and performance to match. This is Trumpet’s most popular unit within its modern-classic lineup, so the pressure is on to give everyone more of what they want. New, first-in-class technology works under the hood to make your rides safer, and improvements to the engine boost the fun-factor by something in the neighborhood of 18-percent for a difference that will definitely register on the old heinie-dyno. I’m curious to see how it hold up to closer scrutiny as well as how it holds up against a likely opponent, so let’s get to it.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Street Twin.

2019 Triumph Street Twin Design

2019 Triumph Street Twin
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From the short-rise bars to the newly-covered bench seat, the flyline strikes a very familiar chord that fans of the brand will recognize instantly.

“Modern Classic” kind of says it all with this machine. Classic elements such as rwu forks that run with bellow-gaiters, a single round headlight can and classic teardrop fuel tank complete with knee pockets join a water-cooled engine, cast rims and LED lights to create this overall effect. Upswept mufflers lend it a sporty air that fits well with the overall panache and provide plenty of clearance for hard cornering. The only splash of color covers the tank; all else falls under the blackout treatment that makes a not-so-subtle connection to the custom culture except for a small monochromatic slash on the side covers.

Stock, the Street Twin carries itself as a fairly vanilla Standard, but that also serves a purpose; it turns the “ST” into a blank canvas for ambitious home-builder types. The factory even put together a few kits to make it easy to get started. My favorite, of course, is the Café Custom kit that lets you turn it into a pocket racer complete with performance rear suspension components, but there’s also the stripped-down Urban Ride package that rocks a brown quilted bench seat and lets you strip the rear fender for more of a stoplight-burner look. Gotta’ say I’m not a fan of the flange on the 3-gallon fuel tank, but I have to admit that it fits with the dated design elements quite nicely, so I guess I’ll get over it.

Color choices are limited to Jet Black, Korosi Red or Matt Ironstone, all of which rides over liberal blackout that runs from fender-to-fender. All of the instruments are contained in a single housing with an analog face for speed and an LED screen and indicator lights for everything else, including a tire pressure-monitoring system feature as part of the optional equipment. It also comes wired for handwarmers, but like the TPMS, they don’t make it onto the stock machine.

From the short-rise bars to the newly-covered, 29.9-inch tall bench seat, the flyline strikes a very familiar chord that fans of the brand will recognize instantly. A new logo serves as the icing on the cake along with the revamped-and-improved finish.

2019 Triumph Street Twin Chassis

2019 Triumph Street Twin
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It's all about character and riding experience, so the specs don't tell the whole story.

Tubular-steel members make up the double-downtube/double-cradle skeleton that gives the Street Twin its classic profile with a two-side, yoke-style swingarm to articulate the rear wheel, and a 25.1-degree steering head that gives it 4-inches of trail and a very eager demeanor. A pair of KYB shocks dampen and support the rear end with adjustable preload as the only variable in the whole system, front and rear.

Cartridge-style KYB forks float the front end on fixed values with the same 4.7-inch range-of-motion as the rear, so you can count on it absorbing some pretty good jolts from your favorite poorly-maintained local road. Cast rims run with an alternating polish/black finish on the “Y” spokes to add some subtle bling to the overall look, and they mount a 100/90-18 Phantom Sports Comp hoop up front opposite a 150/70-17. New Brembo brakes slow the ST with a four-pot anchor and single, 310 mm disc up front to provide around 70-percent of the stopping power with the balance being handled by the 255 mm disc and twin-piston caliper out back for the first layer of safety gear.

Frame: Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front Suspension/Travel: KYB 41mm forks, non-adjustable with cartridge damping, 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/Rear Wheel Travel: KYB twin RSUs, with adjustable preload, 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rake: 25.1 º
Trail: 4.03 in (102.4 mm)
Front Brakes: Single 310 mm floating disc, Brembo 4-piston fixed caliper, ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 255 mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Front Wheel: Tubular steel cradle
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke, 4.25 x 17 in
Front Tire: Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke, 2.75 x 18 in
Rear Tire: Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke, 4.25 x 17 in

2019 Triumph Street Twin Drivetrain

2019 Triumph Street Twin
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Modern classic, sure, but with plenty of 21st-century electronic systems.

Subsequent layers of protective fandanglery are to be found in the engine-control area. It starts out with a fully ride-by-wire throttle-control system that ultimately controls the electronic throttle body, but there are a few modifiers to that signal. The factory chucked on a pair of riding modes — Road and Rain — a new feature that controls how aggressively the engine wends its way through the powerband. Additionally, you’ve got a stock traction control feature that helps keep you dirty-side down, and it can be switched off in its entirety if you’re feeling a little froggy and want some of that raw-bike feel and feedback in your ride.

Power comes from a souped-up, 900 cc High Torque Bonneville mill. The parallel-twin holds a special place in history for this marque, and it maintains the same general look as its forebears with cooling fins on the jugs in spite of the water-jacket and radiator that actually remove the bulk of the waste heat. Lighter balance- and dead-shafts join a lighter crankshaft for a significant reduction of mass and shorter spool-up times. Spoiler alert; the balancers tame much of the vibration caused by the 270-degree firing interval, so it’s a much smoother engine than the twingles of old. Bore and stroke measure out at 84.6 mm and 80 mm, respectively, with an 11-to-1 compression ratio that’ll call for the finest road champagne in order to prevent pre-ignition/detonation.

What’s all this get us? Well, 64-ponies at 7,500 for start. That comes backed up by 59 pound-feet o’ grunt that tops out at a relatively low 3,800 rpm to push a 436-pound (dry) machine, so yeah, it’ll get out of its own way, for sure. Power flows through a torque-assist clutch that makes for a lighter pull at the lever with a slipper function that reduces backtorque to prevent rear-wheel hop on hard downshifts as the final safety feature. Well, unless you count the immobilizer security system as “safety.” Certainly, it will help to keep others safe. Wink, nudge.

Engine: Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin
Displacement: 900 cc
Bore x Stroke : 84.6 mm x 80 mm
Compression: 11.0:1
Max Power EC: 65 hp (47.8 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque EC: 59 lb-ft (80 Nm) @ 3,800 rpm
System: Ride-by-wire, multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Brushed 2-into-2 exhaust system with twin brushed silencers
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox: 5-speed

2019 Triumph Street Twin Pricing

2019 Triumph Street Twin
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MSRP is TBA as of this writing, but will likely run under $10k.

Triumph is holding the MSRP close to the vest, but the 2018 rolled for $9,100, and I expect the new 2019 Street Twin should land somewhere less than a grand higher. We’ll see soon enough after the scheduled release on November 23rd.

Instrument Display and Functions: LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analog speedometer, engine rpm, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, 2x trip, average & current fuel consumption display, traction control status display, TPMS ready & heated grip ready - controlled by a handlebar mounted scroll button.
Color: Matt Ironstone, Jet Black, Korosi Red
Price: TBA

2019 Triumph Street Twin Competitors

2016 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
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2019 Triumph Street Twin
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There's a slight edge to Triumph on power, but I can guarantee the Bonnie spools up a bit faster than the H-D plant.

When I look at the Street Twin, I see a barhopper that will need to get some luggage before it can even serve as a grocery-getter or a workable commuter bike. In other words, it’s a good match up for a Harley-Davidson Sportster, so I grabbed an Iron 883 because I reckon it’ll appeal to a similar buyer base, so let’s get to it.

The custom vibes from the Sporty are strong, with ample blackout treatment to go with the drilled front fender struts, bobbed rear fender and lightened belt guard for a bit of a performance bent as well. Bellow gaiters are constants across the board, as are cast-aluminum rims and teardrop fuel tanks, but the Sportster alone comes with the wedding-band for bikes — a solo saddle — so you can forget about sharing with a friend, at least until you hit the accessories catalog.

Unlike the ST, ABS is a $795 option on the Iron 883, and the security option is another $395, so keep that in mind when considering the prices. The “color” option rolls for $8,999 with a $9,899 tag on the two-tone paint packages, and the Harley comes with none of the engine-control magic of the Trumpet. That’s right, still no traction control or rider modes from America’s second-oldest manufacturer, and even though there is some testing happening with TC in the trikes, I expect it’ll be a minute before any of that makes it down the foodchain to the Sportsters.

Harley packs in an 883 cc powerplant that falls just a few cubes shy of the Bonneville plant and puts out a claimed 53.8 pound-feet at 3,750 rpm, so there is a slight edge to Triumph on power, but I can guarantee the Bonnie spools up a bit faster than the H-D plant.

He Said

“The power difference isn’t the real killer here for Harley, it’s the lack of rider modes/traction control, and the extra hit for the ABS and security system. If I’m a new buyer with no brand (or national) loyalty, I’m going to be looking at the sticker and the safety electronics more than anything else here. It’s a timeless British standard pocket-cruiser, with all the charms thereof and modern performance/tech to boot.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This is the first major update since Triumph launched the bike as part of the T120 Bonneville line in 2016. It’s got more power, upgraded brakes and ride modes among quite a few other things. The accessory catalog has a wealth of items – well over 100 – available for you to make it your own. Also available are inspiration kits that give you in a neat package of accessories and graphics to give your bike a custom look of your choosing.”

2019 Triumph Street Twin Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin
Displacement: 900 cc
Bore x Stroke : 84.6 mm x 80 mm
Compression: 11.0:1
Max Power EC: 65 hp (47.8 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque EC: 59 lb-ft (80 Nm) @ 3,800 rpm
System: Ride-by-wire, multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Brushed 2-into-2 exhaust system with twin brushed silencers
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox: 5-speed
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front Suspension/Travel: KYB 41mm forks, non-adjustable with cartridge damping, 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/Rear Wheel Travel: KYB twin RSUs, with adjustable preload, 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rake: 25.1 º
Trail: 4.03 in (102.4 mm)
Front Brakes: Single 310 mm floating disc, Brembo 4-piston fixed caliper, ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 255 mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Front Wheel: Tubular steel cradle
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke, 4.25 x 17 in
Front Tire: Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke, 2.75 x 18 in
Rear Tire: Cast aluminum alloy multi-spoke, 4.25 x 17 in
Dimensions & Capacities:
Width Handlebars: 30.9 in (785 mm)
Height Without Mirror: 43.9 in (1,114 mm)
Seat Height: 29.9 in (760 mm)
Wheelbase: 55.7 in (1,415 mm)
Dry Weight: 436.5lbs (198 kg)
Tank Capacity: 3.2 US gal
Details:
Instrument Display and Functions: LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analog speedometer, engine rpm, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, 2x trip, average & current fuel consumption display, traction control status display, TPMS ready & heated grip ready - controlled by a handlebar mounted scroll button.
Color: Matt Ironstone, Jet Black, Korosi Red
Price: TBA

Further Reading

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

2016 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 Wallpaper quality
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See our review of the Harley-Davidson Iron 883.

Triumpn Bonneville T120 / T120 Black

2016 - 2018 Triumph Bonneville T120 / T120 Black
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See our review of the Triumph Bonneville T120 / T120 Black.

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Read more Triumph news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: triumphmotorcycles.com, harley-davidson.com

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