I have just spent a brilliant weekend in Portugal with Triumph Motorcycles for the launch of the new 2021 Speed Twin, the perfect backdrop for a stunning bike.
Having just had a 2019 model on test it was really interesting to see what upgrades / modifications have been made and to compare the differences (if any) to the two bikes.
Let’s start with the techy part so you can see what updates have been made:
The 1200cc High Power Bonneville twin engine has been upgraded with 3PS more peak power giving it more mid-range power and torque with the peak torque now lower down the rev range making it more responsive with a 17% reduction in inertia which is given via a new lightweight crankshaft and alternator meaning the engine can spin up faster and rev harder for longer with the red line now 500 rpm higher than the previous model. With lower emissions the Speed Twin is fully Euro 5 compliant.
The Marzocchi upside down forks with cartridge damping are of a higher spec than the previous gen bike as too are the Brembo M50 radial Monobloc front brake calipers and twin 320mm Brembo discs. At the rear we can see the Nissin 2 piston floating rear caliper with 220 mm disc.
Metzeler Racetec RR tyres come as standard on this bike as do the lightweight cast aluminium 12 spoke 17” cast wheels which give the bike a real retro look about them.
The three riding modes, rain; road and sport have been upgraded and navigating the modes is very simple. ABS is standard as too is the switchable traction control which can be independently turned off and a torque assist clutch.
There is a USB charging socket located under the seat which I think is particularly useful especially if you’re using your phone as a sat nav which, as you know, drains the phone battery.
The gorgeous twin stainless steel silencers are a new feature together with the headlight and mudguard mounts which are now anodised.
The Speed Twin is available in three colour schemes – a new colour for Triumph is the eye popping Red Hopper which shines beautifully in the sunlight, a very smart looking Matt Storm Grey and the cool Jet Black all of which come with simple yet striking tank graphics.
Keeping ownership costs down, the first major service interval is 10,000 miles / 16,000 km.
So having had a walk around the bikes, we donned our bike gear and set off. The new Speed Twin has a seat height of 809mm compared to the previous model which was 803mm. The position of the foot-pegs are 38mm further forward and 4mm lower than the Thruxton and I personally found the seat height and riding position extremely comfortable, kind of a relaxed upright position.
I do love the bar end mirrors, not only do they look stylish but they also provide great visibility and go perfectly with the tapered handlebars.
I immediately noticed the improvements in the brakes, they were far more responsive than the previous model. Both the front brake and clutch levers are very light and responsive – both are adjustable which I think should standard on all bikes as hand sizes do vary significantly!
Riding through the twisty roads to our first coffee stop, I was loving the sound of the engine and how torquey the bike was, it was soaking up the bends effortlessly whilst playing a fantastic tune with the combination of the twin engine and exhausts – I can never tire of that tune 🙂
It was a hot day on our test ride, probably mid twenties and the sun was shining. The Racetec RR tyres were loving the road conditions and I had confidence in the tyres and felt really sturdy on the bike through the sweeping bends and tight corners. I never have, and still don’t like the really tight corners but the tyres gripped the road well and I actually felt okay on those parts!
When we parked up for coffee in Mafra there were a dozen Speed Twins sparkling in the sunshine and not only did they look beautiful all lined up but they sure did garner a lot of attention from people walking by who stopped to have a look and a chat about the bikes.
We carried on our ride to the beautiful Sintra and stopped at Quinta de Santana vineyard for a sumptuous lunch. Unfortunately as we were riding there was no sampling of the wine but it’s definitely on my places to return to list, such a beautiful and interesting place to visit.
I found the Speed Twin easy to ride and incredibly comfortable – we were riding the bikes all day arriving back at the hotel late afternoon but it didn’t feel like we had been out that long at all, it’s not a tiresome bike to ride, it’s responsive to your needs and delivers its power effortlessly and with ease.
There are many (I believe 50 plus) custom accessories which are available for the bike – quilted seats, luggage, engine embellishers, head bolt covers, sump plates, knee pads, multi function LED indicators, heated grips (these are must for me) to name but a few so you can tweak the bike to suit you and your needs as you wish.
If you’re in the market for a retro twin, this is a bike definitely worthy of consideration and worth booking a test ride to see what you think 😉 For me, the hardest decision would be deciding what colour option to order as I am really taken with this …..
Thank you Triumph for a fantastic weekend of riding in a beautiful country on a great bike 🙂
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