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Old 13th April 2020, 15:40   #1
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Default My Triumph Street Twin

My Triumph Street Twin-head.jpg

The Distinguished Hooligan

It's very difficult to stay at home during the lock-down, looking at it everyday while my whole body tempts me to go for a ride. But we got to do what we got to do. Hope everyone's safe and well stocked!

A bit of History:
I had always been a car person growing up. The E92 M3 was my favorite car and I still have pictures of it stuck in my cupboard. Never imagined myself riding a motorcycle, but I did realize the convenience of a motorcycle in the city. I started my motorcycle journey on a Classic 500. I know it’s a lot of machine for someone’s first bike, but I was smitten by the looks and sound mainly. I wanted a Vespa because it had the classic looks I was looking for and also it would have been a convenient way to carry my guitar amplifier to practice sessions. My father who doesn’t know how to ride a motorcycle got me into Royal Enfields and boy am I glad he did!

My Triumph Street Twin-img_2605.jpg

For me, the Classic 500 is a mixed bag of feelings. I still don’t know whether I love the bike or loathe it. During the initial years of riding it, it was the only motorcycle I had ridden. Wasn’t interested in other bikes. I don’t know if I enjoyed the vibrations, the weight and the thousands of issues that used to crop up. But I was such an ignorant fool that even after riding my brother’s CBR250R from Bangalore to Chennai, I still considered the Classic 500 was the better bike for me (it wasn’t). I wasn’t interested in touring until I met someone who introduced me to his RE riding club and that’s exactly when the motorcycling bug bit me. My first ride with them was to Kodaikanal and god, I enjoyed being on the highway. I did a couple more rides with them until my brother met with an accident and my parents became extra cautious. So I did not take my bike out of the city and that’s when I also learnt to drive a car in the city.

As years passed, riding was more of short bursts on the highway and even taking it out in the city was more of a pleasure thing. I primarily used a car to commute in the city. Stuck in traffic I would be dreaming about being on a bike but when I’m on my bike, it was so uncomfortable that I would dream about being in a car. That’s when I realized the problem. Just to mix things up, I used to take my brother’s CBR out in the city and the problems that *I* usually associated with motorcycles, disappeared. The CBR was light and comfortable and was far more enjoyable to ride (and it did not vibrate my soul to shreds). I started to ride more often again and tried to learn as much about motorcycles as I can. Maybe the Classic 500 is not the bike for me. Even though I’ve had so many memorable experiences on that bike I had to come to terms with my brain and other senses. But, I still stuck on with the bike.

As things eased at home, I started going on short trips and was comfortably out on the highway again. Every time I used to reach my destination and remove my gloves my hands would tingle from all the vibrations and my body exhausted. Once I got really tired of that, I started looking for an upgrade.

Last edited by luthfudeen : 10th May 2020 at 18:03.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 17:49   #2
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Default Options Considered

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Options Considered:

I wanted to have a multi-bike garage, a specialized tool for any given circumstance - a Panigale for the track, a GS for globe trotting, a Harley for the city, etc. but the bank said not yet. So I wanted a premium bike that can do a bit of everything. Jack of all trades, but master of none. The Swiss army knife. I started doing my research for about a year starting late 2017. Few of the main criteria were: 1. Reliability. 2. Usability. 3. Flat foot-ability. These were the options I came up with:

Ducati Scrambler Icon: This particular bike has gotten so many positive reviews and accolades for its performance, style and usability. But to me, it always looked like a toy bike. I don’t know if it’s because of the colour options or the handlebars. I can’t exactly point out. When I test rode the bike, I was surprised at how light it was and easy it was to handle. The power was good but I couldn’t make a judgement call because of the short city circuit the dealer let me ride. I was not a fan of the suspension and the ‘feel’ of the bike. It just didn't sit with me.

Harley Davidson Iron 883: The Sportster 48 is still my favourite bike. Just look at it! But the peanut tank is not practical for any type of sensible use. So my second favourite HD - the Iron 883. This beast has incredible power and pull so low, every time going from stand still is an experience in itself! I did not get a test ride from the dealer because my friend has the Superlow and I just love riding it! But this was stroked out off my list because of the ride quality, low ground clearance and heavy weight.

BMW F750GS: This is an oddball among the other options. The F750GS is the first ‘big’ adventure bike I’ve ever ridden. When the dealer brought the bike home for the test ride, I was intimidated by the size. Me being skinny and 170cm, it was too tall and heavy for me. Or so it seemed. I could flat foot the bike with my riding boots on and I was surprised how easy to handle the bike was. It was very intuitional. The power delivery was linear and well optimized for city and highway use. The suspension was compliant and comfortable in any terrain and it was just purely fun to ride. No fuss, no drama. I fell in love with it and also with the offer the dealer was willing to give me for the display model without the TFT display. I had to give it up because it’s just not a practical everyday use bike in a city like Chennai. Parking will be a nightmare and the attention it gets is not something I like. It was hard to pass on this one.

Triumph Bonneville T120: I was never a fan of Triumphs but I kept hearing about them doing great feats. One that got me looking into Triumphs was Aditya Kapoor’s 35,000kms around the world on a Bonneville. That and Ernie Vigil’s Scramble Me videos on Youtube of him thrashing the bike doing crazy stunts and jumps and not a single thing breaking on the bike. It really sold me on the quality and reliability of Triumphs. I’ve scoured countless forums and articles to verify the hardiness of the modern classic range and decided to go for the T120. I asked the dealer for a test ride and they brought the Street Twin and the Bobber home. The test ride was in April 2018, before even knowing there were updated models coming. The Bobber was so much fun to ride. It’s the same engine that's in the T120 with a tune for more torque down low. 1200cc was too much for my needs and even the sales person suggested I go for the Street Twin as it’s more practical. I thought about the T100 but that’s around a lakh more than the Street Twin which was essentially the same bike.

Last edited by luthfudeen : 10th May 2020 at 18:11.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 17:53   #3
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Default Showroom and Delivery Experience

Dealership and Delivery Experience:

Now this is the part that kept me completing this post earlier because it brings back so many sour memories.

When I first stepped into Harbour City Triumph, Chennai, the sales associate was very friendly and was kind enough to arrange a test ride for me and brought the Bobber and a Street Twin to my house so I can check out the bike more comprehensively. I loved how 'easy' the bikes were and I fell in love with the Street Twin. I thought I'll book the Street Twin bike after I returned from a month long trip I went on, but then I heard that there was going to be an updated model coming out next year (2019), so I decided to wait.

I booked the bike in April 2019 and got it delivered in October. The dealership experience was so terrible that it should constitute itís own thread because of letting me go on a wild goose chase. Harbour City Triumph was on the verge of shutting doors when I paid the 1 lakh booking amount and I should have investigated a bit deeper about their situation so I could have made a sensible decision. Month after month, they kept reassuring me that they will get stock Ďnext weekí and asked me to pay the balance amount which I refused to without seeing the bike in person and Iím glad I did. After several trips to the showroom, the sales associate finally accepted that they are not in the capacity of bringing in new bikes. So I wrote a strong worded email to Triumph India that they should help get my money back from them or help me buy a bike from another dealer.

Just a few moments later, they responded and the really wonderful people at Kochi Triumph - Syamadynamic Motors got in touch with me. They had a bike in stock and they sent the bike to the Chennai showroom once the bike was paid for. Now, remember the 1 lakh that I paid as a booking amount to Harbour City Triumph, Chennai? It was still with them and they did agree to use that money to pay for the road tax and registration. But getting them to pay the amount was a heavy task which resulted in further delays and my bike being on the showroom floor for more than 3 weeks.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_7841.jpg

After all the drama, they finally delivered my bike directly to my house. Will I ever buy another Triumph? I highly doubt it because the whole incident scarred me. What really hurt me was they kept me in a state of uncertainty for almost 5 months. If you canít deliver something, just be open about it.

But once my bike was standing in front of my house, everything went away like a bad dream and I could only imagine all the adventures Iím gonna have with it. Though Iíve seen, sat on and rode a Street Twin multiple times before buying, what surprised me when it stood where my Classic 500 used to stand, the Street Twin looked smaller in comparison. Nice and Compact. And oh so beautiful.

My Triumph Street Twin-stnew.jpg

Last edited by luthfudeen : 10th May 2020 at 18:23.
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Old 9th May 2020, 20:53   #4
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Default Likes and Dislikes

What I Love:
  1. The engine is butter smooth and you have more than enough power for our cities and highways.
  2. Sounds amazing right out of the factory.
  3. Brakes are excellent and have a good feel to them.
  4. Attention to detail even on small things is incredible.
  5. Ergonomics is spot on and the seat is very comfortable.
  6. Blends itself in traffic and parking lots, so not many people bother the bike.
  7. Handles great and extremely stable on highways.
  8. ABS and TC not too intrusive and have saved me a couple of times.
  9. Looks so badass man. The colour, the stance. Modern yet classic.

What I Don't:
  1. Easily bottoms out in Indian conditions. Sump guard is a must!
  2. Spares and service availability (at least in Chennai right now).
  3. Engine heat in heavy traffic, especially when the radiator fan kicks in.
  4. Chain maintenance every 300 kms and no centre stand as standard.
  5. People who aren't familiar with the term triumph, call it 'Trump Bike'.

So what is it like to ride?

If I had to describe it in just one word - dynamic. With the new engine producing 65hp a bit higher in the rev range, it's happy to rev up a bit and also stay in the same gear to putter in traffic. It doesn’t have a dual personality of sorts, but just one distinct personality that guarantees smiles in any situation. The first thing that surprised me was how easy it was to get used to the bike. It was instant. I’m not just talking about the engine, but also the seating position, handlebar controls and maneuvering the bike. Nothing about it is similar to the Classic 500 (except maybe the weight) yet I could get used to it easily.

I gave one of my friends to ride it, and even he felt it was easy to ride. It’s easy yet exciting nature of the bike is what I love the most. The weight in city traffic was probably the only thing I had to get used to but it was quick. U-turns were a bit difficult at first because of the huge turning radius and narrow roads, but I got better at it, in just a few days. There are still chicken strips on the wheels which means I haven’t hit the hilly twisties yet but I’m sure it will hold its own on serpentine routes.

On the highway, it’s planted and just grips to the road. The suspension is the perfect balance of plush and stiff, and the well contoured seat adds to the comfort. The seat is a bit hard which helps you get longer between stops. The engine can do 120kmph all day without breaking a sweat, but wind blast will make sure that you don’t stay at such speed for too long. I find myself mostly at 80-100kmph at fourth gear and I really don’t miss the sixth gear much. I love the highway manners this bike’s got. Distinguished indeed.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_4220.jpg

In the city, it’s still very well mannered. The cartridge fork set-up and the ‘conventional’ springs are a bit stiff for city conditions, but have this sophisticated feel which I don’t know how to put it in words. It’s got good feedback and kind of accentuates the kind of terrain you’re riding on. I’ve bottomed out the suspension a lot of times, but never did it feel unpleasant (except for the fear of cracking the rim). Now ground clearance on the other hand is a major problem. Scratching the sump guard is very easy to do. I don’t completely blame Chennai’s speed breakers and potholes. It's also because the bike is so low. If you’re mindful about this issue and pick your lines carefully, you can avoid scraping the belly.

It’s so easy to split lanes or rather, ‘sludge’ through our traffic. In moderate city speeds, you can just stay in the second gear for all your overtaking duties as well as just puttering along. I used to have my bike on ‘Rain’ mode (even though we rarely get any in Chennai) to keep a smooth throttle in city conditions but I don’t think it’s necessary because it isn’t that different from the normal ‘Road’ mode. ABS has saved me from this biker who thought it was a good idea to just spontaneously go from the service lane to the right lane without consulting the rear view mirror. I panic braked and the ABS did let some slip but combined with the Brembo calipers up front, I came to a safe halt. Braking feel is excellent and the bike just stops when you have to. Traction Control also has helped me once when I tried to do a quick overtake on a loose surface and if it hadn't kicked in, I would have been in for an unexpected slide and scratches.

My Triumph Street Twin-street.jpg

Last edited by luthfudeen : 10th May 2020 at 18:32.
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Old 9th May 2020, 22:34   #5
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Default Some Details

A Bit of Details

The engine in all it's glory! Though it's water-cooled, I love how they've made it look like an air-cooled motor. I love the finish of the header pipes, looks so raw.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_7825.jpg

The radiator is not something you can't miss. When riding in the rain, dirt and slush kicks straight onto the radiator which is a pain to clean. A radiator guard comes as stock. Though it helps to protect it, it only gets in the way while cleaning the radiator. I bought a fender extension from Triumph which I hope should minimize the spray. That black atrocity on the header pipe is when I was just dusting the bike while letting the bike idle (I let the bike run for one minute before taking it out) and I accidentally whipped the microfiber cloth on it.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_7799.jpg

The instrument panel has all the information you might need. The analogue speedo is beautiful and the fuel gauge is accurate. Also shows the distance to empty. Fuel consumption is shown in liters/100kms which is not really prevalent way to measure consumption in India. Wish it showed kmpl. That said, it averages around 5 l/100kms in the city which sometimes goes up to 6 in very heavy traffic. On the highway it gives a solid 4.

My Triumph Street Twin-tacho.jpg

One of my major annoyances is the high-beam switch. It's positioned where you find the pass switch usually and you have to double tug every time you want to use it as a pass switch. Also note the adjustable clutch lever. The brake lever is adjustable too which adds a bit more of customization to suit your needs.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_7811.jpg

This probably is the most annoying thing about the bike. The seat is finished in a rough Alcantara like material which loves collecting dust and when it rains it get's worse. You can't just wipe dirt off it, you'll have to scrub really hard to get it clean and it doesn't dry quickly either.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_7802.jpg

Under the seat you have space for your phone, papers and a piece of cloth. That's about it. There's a USB port to charge your electronic devices but the most useful feature is the helmet hook. No more carrying your helmet wherever you go and no need for helmet locks or cable locks.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_7838.jpg

This is why you need a Sump Guard for our roads.

My Triumph Street Twin-741094cae3664a4b834b13e8b0fc2f08.jpg

The headlight is... Ok. It get's the job done. It's always on. I didn't like number plate mounted on what is supposed to be a windscreen mounting kit (which was a pain to remove) above the headlight. So I bought a number plate relocation bracket from Moto Usher. Clearence shouldn't be an issue I hope. I installed it during the lock-down and I haven't ridden my bike yet.

My Triumph Street Twin-img_7807.jpg

Here is the bike in a parking lot. It 'fits' in normal bike parkings and the low seat height makes maneuvering in tight spaces easy, but the huge turning radius poses a bit of inconvenience sometimes.

My Triumph Street Twin-parking.jpg

Here it is, next to the Himalayan. Note the difference in size.

My Triumph Street Twin-himalayan.jpg

Last edited by luthfudeen : 10th May 2020 at 18:37.
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Old 10th May 2020, 17:44   #6
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Default Summing it up!

To Sum Up:

Fantastic bike. 10/10. It can do just about anything. From market runs to highway sprints and it makes you feel so good doing it. I would definitely recommend the Street Twin to anyone who's looking for a premium daily driver. I test rode the Speed Twin too. That machine is on another level and it put me in a dilemma whether I should go for it instead. It's definitely the better bike in every single aspect but I didn't want to buy something that cannot be used to it's full potential, everyday. But I'm glad I made the right decision because the usability of the Street Twin is what I really wanted. One bike to rule them all.

When the dealer was making me wait, I also thought about the Interceptor 650. My closest dealer said they were sold out for at least 4 months. Coming from the host of problems of my Classic 500, I did not want to gamble on another Royal Enfield, but I'm happy that people have been riding the bikes without any major issues. I still think the Interceptor 650 looks so much better than my Street Twin on the road. I rode my friend's Continental GT and it's an amazing bike for the money. But I would still choose the Triumph over the RE.

I honestly think this is a perfect bike. Except for the niggles such as the easily stained seats and ground clearance, which in itself is not a problem that does not bother me all the time. Everything about it is solid and just works. Moving through space on a machine fueled by dinosaurs exploding several thousand times a minute producing the power of 65 horses is a very surreal experience when you think about it. Now i have a trusty steed to go on adventures and not worry about the bike itself and rather focus on the journey.

I honestly can't wait to get back to riding once it's safe out in the world again. Hope everyone's safe and getting by. Cheers!

Last edited by luthfudeen : 10th May 2020 at 18:41.
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Old 11th May 2020, 07:11   #7
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Default re: My Triumph Street Twin

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th May 2020, 08:22   #8
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Default Re: Some Details

Great review and lovely looking bike. Wish you miles of happiness and memories . I had ridden the old Bonneville, 8xx cc twin version and loved how it sounded and behaved. Triumphs are known for smooth engines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luthfudeen View Post
... That black atrocity on the header pipe is when I was just dusting the bike while letting the bike idle ...
Try a metal polish, something like Autosol, and gently rub it. It will need a lot of patience and elbow grease, will come off. I know it is difficult to remove spots from chrome- Harley makes a special cleaner call "Boot Mark" remover. You could try that too (available from HD dealers).

-BJ
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Old 11th May 2020, 09:47   #9
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Default Re: My Triumph Street Twin

Nice review.
I got my Ironstone Street Twin in December 2019. Love the bike. Will write a review once i cover some more kms.

The only negative I have noticed are the Tyres. I have ordered a set of Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 for them.
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Old 11th May 2020, 11:40   #10
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Default Re: Likes and Dislikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by luthfudeen View Post
What I Don't:[list=1][*]Easily bottoms out in Indian conditions. Sump guard is a must!

So what is it like to ride?

I gave one of my friends to ride it, and even he felt it was easy to ride. Itís easy yet exciting nature of the bike is what I love the most. The weight in city traffic was probably the only thing I had to get used to but it was quick.
Congratulations on the Street Twin! Its a subtle bike to look at but with great capabilities. Low end is fun and the sweet spot lies in the mid around 90-100 Kmph where it can let you cruise all day with no effort.

Coming from Bullet 500 did you check out the elder sibling Speed Twin? Also, the Scrambler was an option considering better GC from the Triumph line-ups.

Ride safe and and happy miles ahead!

Cheers,
Amey
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Old 11th May 2020, 12:24   #11
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Default Re: My Triumph Street Twin

Congratulations on your ride. This is my favorite color for the Street Twin. Ride Safe.
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Old 11th May 2020, 13:21   #12
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Default Re: My Triumph Street Twin

Quote:
Originally Posted by bj96 View Post
Try a metal polish, something like Autosol, and gently rub it. It will need a lot of patience and elbow grease, will come off. I know it is difficult to remove spots from chrome- Harley makes a special cleaner call "Boot Mark" remover. You could try that too (available from HD dealers).
Thank you! Harley having a product specifically to remove boot marks is not at all surprise with all the beautifully exposed exhaust! I will surely check it out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3A View Post
Nice review.
The only negative I have noticed are the Tyres. I have ordered a set of Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 for them.
I've read mixed reviews about the tires. Personally for me, it works well. I am planning to change to the Scorpion Trail 2 till the end of the stock tire's life. It's sad that there's not many options to choose for the front wheel! I wanted to ask, does your seat have a small, side to side play near the tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amey Kulkarni View Post
Coming from Bullet 500 did you check out the elder sibling Speed Twin? Also, the Scrambler was an option considering better GC from the Triumph line-ups.
Thank you! I stayed away from the Scramblers because of the exhaust. It's incredibly hot in Chennai and the high set exhaust is a bad mix. I did test ride the Speed Twin, but for my purposes, that would have been too much power unused.
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Old 11th May 2020, 13:22   #13
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Default Re: My Triumph Street Twin

Great bike, congratulations for the new ride ! Why didn't you try the Versys 650?
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Old 11th May 2020, 15:06   #14
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Default Re: My Triumph Street Twin

Amazing color and beautiful bike coupled with a neat crisp review there, buddy!

Trust me it’s so heart wrenching to see our rides stand gathering dust in this lockdown when it’s supposed to do what it is destined to do on roads.

Brilliant color combo! In a world of RE’s, Superbikes, this bike does stand like an RD350 from the 80-90’s!

Didn’t you give a try on W800 from Kawasaki? It does seem similar to Street twin, isn’t it?

Regards

RV
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Old 11th May 2020, 15:18   #15
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Default Re: My Triumph Street Twin

Congratulations on your new bike! Ride hard and ride safe!
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