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Old 31st December 2018, 12:33   #1
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Default One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review

Who is it for?
One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review-dsc00649.jpg
Café racers are those bikes that are ambiguous in purpose for most of the crowd yet are still the rage over the past few years. And as the name suggests these bikes are meant to be ridden for only shorter distances (like to a café, duh!) with the maximum amount of speed possible while foregoing comfort and fuel efficiency. However, how many of you have seen one around a café these days? Unfortunately, in India the café culture hasn’t picked up much and most would associate a café with a local chai joint and none of the existing cafés have suitable parking for these kind of motorcycles. That’s the reason you don’t see much of them out on our roads and most of the time they are parked in their owners’ garages. A sad state of affairs huh! Anyways, these kind of motorcycles attract a niche market and it’s mostly suited for those who have spare cash of Rs. 15 lakhs and have a primary motorcycle to suit their regular needs (touring/adventure/racing). Now that you understood who this motorcycle caters to, let’s see what attracts you the most when you first see it!

What strikes you first?
If you keep aside that retro classic look for a second, the most obvious thing that grabs your attention is the color. It’s something that I call as perfect red, neither too bright nor too dark. And once you go past the obvious bit, it’s the smooth lines and the proportions that are so well done that you feel like you are in motion even at stand still. Be it the aggressive handle bar or the swept back foot pegs, you feel eager to get it going and when you are done with your ride, you can just keep staring at it for a long, long time. It’s a beauty like nothing out there and you have to appreciate the designers at Triumph for bringing out a truly modern classic, which as a term is paradoxical. For instance, just take a look at the way the front headlight cowl blends in with the fuel tank. It’s fluid yet perfectly aligned with the overall proportions transforming the design to a whole new level. However, it’s a polarising design to an extent and if you are one of those that didn’t like it immediately, then it grows on you slowly.

The good bits
Power & torque
One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review-dsc00654.jpg
The moment you put your leg across the bike and sit on that plush Alcantara like seat fabric, the riding posture transforms to a scene right out of the movie Tron and you beg to get it going. Once the engine rumbles to idle, the rush one feels with each twist of the throttle is so exhilarating that it’s only a matter of time before you disappear into the horizon. The acceleration from 0-100 kmph is so fast that if you are not an experienced rider, you would be clinging to the bike like a gecko that too if you are lucky since this bike has no grab-rails. Owing a Street Twin for the last two and half years, I thought I would be fine handling the 112 nm torque on the Thruxton R as it’s only 32 nm more than the Street Twin. I was thoroughly warned by my friend who loaned me this bike for this review to be careful with the Sport mode, which unleashes the full potential of this bike and I headed his advice assuming I can handle it just fine. But I was proven so wrong that I had to stop for a while to get my heartbeat in order (Check the video and do subscribe if you like it). It was exhilarating and pure fun. I haven’t had a stretch to test out the top speed but it seems my friend had maxed out the speedo. With regards to performance, there is ample lot of power that is available across the rev range and one can cruise easily at high speeds.


Handling
One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review-dsc00652.jpg
When I was touring Ladakh on my Street Twin earlier this year, I came across sign boards by BRO (Border Roads Organisation) that have become a rage over the past few years. One such sign says ‘be gentle on my curves’ guiding you on the challenges ahead and the fun to be had while engaging on this adventure. Street Twin, which in it’s own league has been a fun bike around the corners and flat stretches, has given me great pleasures and joys over the past years but it felt like one from a lost era in comparison to the Thruxton R. Confident inspiring chassis, sporty suspension (showa on the front and Ohlins on the rear) and super sticky Pirelli tyres give you so much confidence that you will be wondering if you riding a modern classic or a track bike. In fact, this is more track focussed than many street nakeds out there. That being said, the front can feel a tad tardy and heavy while swerving through traffic or around corners.

Brakes
When I read the specifications of this bike for the first time, I was so surprised to see brakes that are usually found on a litre class supersports bike like a Yamaha R1. Even though it had similar if not much better torque figures than a Yamaha R1, it had only 96 hp on tap and is much heavier than a supersports bike. But once I rode it and the moment I felt the sheer thrust of the thruxton, I was completely convinced that it definitely needs brakes that work more like a ship anchor than the progressive ones that are usually found on retro classics. The brakes on this motorcycle are just brilliant and one needs to definitely get acclimatised to them since you can easily trip the ones behind you if you are not aware of and comfortable with the braking distances.

The bad bits
One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review-dsc00653.jpg
To gain some, you have to let go of some. Being the sportiest of all retro classics that are available out there and one with exhilarating performance, the Thruxton R has to let go of the ride quality. It is stiff and hard and one can feel every bit of the road. In our Indian conditions, it is not fun touring beyond 250-300 kms as my friend found out on a ride from Hyderabad to Pune. You can adjust both the front and rear to your comfort but to be honest most of us have no knowledge on those bits and ride stock throughout the ownership period. Easy solution is to get an accessory like ride-on-air cushion for your seat if you are forced to tour and keep in mind that you can’t mount luggage in this racy track package. Some other bits to keep in mind while owning this bike are the heat management, availability of spares and maintenance costs. If you are out in city traffic for more than half an hour, this does get hotter than my Street Twin consider the sheer size and capacity of the engine. However, it is not as unbearable as a Harley and you can definitely live with it. Just don’t ride it on shorts and insult us bikers

One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review-dsc00650.jpg
Considering the annual service interval of 16000 kms and an average cost of Rs. 8000-10000 per service, this is a very economical bike to maintain. However, I have excluded usage costs like tyres and brake pads as these vary with your usage. Typically the brake pads go out anywhere between 7000-10000 kms and the sticky pirelli tyres last the same duration. The usage costs are as expected for a bike in this price range. However, the most irritating bits is the availability of spares and accessories. I strongly feel that Indian market is not a huge priority for Triumph and this can be seen clearly in this area. For a simple brake lever, one can wait at least 2-3 weeks across India and I have been to almost all Triumph service centres across India. So good luck with the spares! And with accessories, it’s always a lucky draw what’s available in store. Good luck with that too!

Should you buy one?
Should you buy a Jaguar F-Type, why not if you have the dough and swag to pull it off. But with Thruxton, the motorcycle gives you class and oomph that no other bike in its segment can offer for the near future. Yes! We do have a BMW RNineT but let’s be realistic and take a look at the specs before even riding one to compare. It’s a keeper and buy only if you can.
One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review-dsc00658.jpg
One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review-dsc00661.jpg

Last edited by classic86 : 31st December 2018 at 12:50. Reason: Missing photos
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Old 31st December 2018, 13:09   #2
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Default Re: One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review

Amazing review Classic86 - this is by far my most favorite Triumph motorcycle of the lot. Seriously, if this was priced under 10 lakhs OTR - I would have picked this over my ex-Z800 anytime. It is really a beautiful looking bike - and thanks to Triumph for making it available with the café sytled front fairing (reminds me of the Vincent Godet bikes).

You are right - Café racers did not meet with any success in India - probably because the craze did not catchup. The only café I think which did success a bit was the RE Continental GT - HH did try a café racer (but that was just an excuse - that's it).

Kawasaki could have introduced the Z900RS Café Racer at a very competent price - but they failed to do so. They do have a chance with the W800 Café Racer - but I am sure they will mess up with the price - claiming café racers to be a niche segment and hence a niche pricing.

Enjoy this motorcycle and please please do post some more pics - especially of the tank and speedo console and front quarter ones
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Old 1st January 2019, 10:28   #3
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Default Re: One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review

What a beautiful writeup for a beautiful motorcycle !

The Thruxton, in my books, is possibly the most gorgeous motorcycle on sale currently. The only other motorcycle that looks this beautiful is the BMW R9T. These are a class of motorcycles which signify art, the kind which really appeals to the connoisseur. I won't be surprised if someone picks up either of these motorcycles without a powertrain, just for the looks. Even with so many enchiladas in the platter, this one truly looks apart - specially in red.

The cafe racers haven't tasted success in India but there is no denying the fact that the Thruxton screams attention. Add to that a powerful motor, top-notch Ohlins suspension, fantastic brakes - the Thruxton really makes for a wonderful package. The riding position is a love-it-or-hate-it affair though.

Wishing you many happy miles with this one. Ride safe.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 23:22   #4
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Default Re: One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review

Yippe! Reminds me of my lovely stint riding a brand new Triumph Thruxton for a few days, those 300 kays were pure fun. I did rent it though, but it was a heck a lot fun, slicing it through traffic and those highway pulls were just too satiating. One heavy kiddo, damn those Brembos, V E R Y sharp, misjudge and it's trouble, and the urgency with which she pulls, gosh. This is one bike as you've rightly said "Buy it keep it forever" and I can proudly say, this one even after a gazillion years will still have the charm and sheen it has today.

Such a lovely Brit built Classic.

Keep her a' riding for time to come.

Cheers!
VJ

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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:34   #5
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Default Re: One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review

Nice review buddy. I too am completely smitten by the Thruxton - if money were no object this would be the bike I would add to my primary ADV - this or the BMW R9T. I specially like the silver one with the bronze contrast on the front shocks.

One should be able to get great used deals on this bike given its relatively limited popularity.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:10   #6
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Default Re: One for the ages | Triumph Thruxton R | Short Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by classic86 View Post
Who is it for?
Café racers are those bikes that are ambiguous in purpose for most of the crowd yet are still the rage over the past few years. And as the name suggests these bikes are meant to be ridden for only shorter distances (like to a café, duh!) with the maximum amount of speed possible while foregoing comfort and fuel efficiency. However, how many of you have seen one around a café these days? Unfortunately, in India the café culture hasn’t picked up much and most would associate a café with a local chai joint and none of the existing cafés have suitable parking for these kind of motorcycles. That’s the reason you don’t see much of them out on our roads and most of the time they are parked in their owners’ garages.
On the other hand, after reading this - I feel most Indian superbikes are used as Cafe racers. Yes, its more Cafe Coffee Day or Local Chai Joint, Idli shop or Dhaba in the Indian context - but thats exactly what most owners use it for - just that the Superbike culture is too early in its lifecycle that everyone picks up the biggest and baddest litre class superbike for that purpose these days - and then do exactly what you have written above.

As the market evolves - we may see a brighter future for such committed cafe racers? Perhaps even people upgrading from the likes of GT650 even.

I went drooling over the Z900RS and Cafe when they were introduced. Certainly not in the same league as the Thruxton R in terms of hardcore performance, but I somehow connected well with those machines. Kawasaki had other plans for the Indian market, however!

Beautiful machine you've got there! I've had the pleasure to see this only once, in the Triumph showroom where it was still kept inside the metal cage and under wraps - but the sales guy was just so happy about it being there, that he allowed us a sneak peak of the beauty underneath the covers! Congratulations, and looking forward to regular updates on this thread.
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