I had the pleasure of having a 2020 Speed Twin on loan from Triumph Motorcycles for a couple of weeks and I can tell you now that I was really taken with how light and nimble it was and how well I was thinking it would go in my garage 😉
When the bike arrived it was raining so I waited for it to ease before donning my bike gear and going off for a ride.
The Speed Twin has the 1200cc parallel twin-cylinder engine from the Thruxton giving 96bhp with twin exhausts. When I first started the bike up, the noise of the engine and exhausts combined sent a shiver up my back and I felt a huge grin spread across my face. OMG what a sound!
I never tired of hearing this sound during the time I had the bike and whenever someone came over to look at the bike when parked up, I just had to start the bike up so they could hear it too! You will probably find like me, that when parked up, the bike draws attention to itself and there are a steady stream of droolers.
By the time I got to the bottom of my road, I knew I was going to love this bike. The seat height is 807mm and I found the riding position to be really comfortable, I really like the bar end mirrors – not only do they look stylish and are in keeping with the bike, but they provide good visibility.
As the roads were still wet when I was out for my first ride, I took it easy but was pleasantly surprised with how good I felt the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyres were (which Pirelli describe as ‘A sport tyre for road use, both on dry and wet roads’). The way they felt and the handling of the bike gave me the confidence I crave in a tyre when riding in wet conditions.
The Speed Twin’s frame is the same as the Thruxton’s with aluminium down tubes. The suspension is by KYB with non-adjustable forks at the front and preload-adjustable twin shocks at the rear.
At low speed I was finding the ride-by-wire throttle a little abrupt on and off the throttle but once you’re rolling on the throttle this disappears but I believe that there was a slight issue with this particular bike as a Triumph technician looked at it for me and worked his magic and it was hugely better, when the bike goes back it will be looked at in more detail.
The Speed Twin has three modes – rain, road and sport. Navigating the mode button is very easy to do and you can clearly see on the screen which mode you are in.
I really love the single headlight with the Triumph logo in the middle and the two round retro looking clocks, housing the analogue speedo and rev counter, add to the styling of the bike. The LCD displays on both the clocks show the gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock and trip computer. I did find when glancing down to look at my speed when riding that sometimes there were reflections on the clocks which made them harder to read. Personally I would put a small screen on to hopefully prevent this.
Unusually I did find the side stand tricky to locate with my foot without actually looking at it and I would have to see if I could attach something extra to it to make it less fiddly.
I found riding the Speed Twin really easy and extremely comfortable, the height of the bars were just right and the clutch lever was really light and is adjustable as too is the front brake lever.
The bike felt really sturdy in the corners and stuck to the roads nicely. The power delivery out of the corners was phenomenal and along with the sound of the twin exhausts and note of the engine, I could feel myself grinning inside my helmet 🙂
On one of the days I was out on the bike I rode to Hinckley and back which is nearly a four hour round trip for me and it was pretty much raining all the time but the bike handled really well in the wet conditions and I had no concerns about the stability of the bike, the Speed Twin behaved beautifully in the rain.
During the time I had the bike I was out on it every day either commuting to/from work or just going for a ride. I absolutely loved riding it, I really felt at home on it and it suited my riding style perfectly. I knew I was not going to be happy when the bike had to go back.
My list of first purchases if I were buying the Speed Twin is not what you could call a list, more a personal preference need:
- heated grips;
- a screen;
- tail tidy
You really could just buy the Speed Twin as it is and ride it.
Other than those small changes, I wouldn’t change anything on the bike, I love it as it – in fact I’m wondering that as both my Z900 and the Speed Twin are black, whether Triumph would notice the difference ………
Thank you Triumph for the loan of the Speed Twin, it was a privilege to ride 🙂