Triumph Motorcycles has been going into teaser overload in the run-up to the moto show season, promising no less than three new or updated models, not to mention a fourth model that CARB documents suggest is equally close to being unveiled.
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Of course, we’ve known for quite a while that Triumph is planning to unveil a “properly capable” scrambler built around the Bonneville platform. That reveal date is set for 24 October, falling between Intermot and EICMA. Over the past month, the British company has put out two more teaser videos, giving us a sense of the Scrambler 1200’s more off-road-ready adjustable suspension, a (probably) TFT screen that’s less square and ugly than those found other Triumph models, and promising high-quality fit and finish.
Triumph has been very eager to pitch itself as a company with real off-road chops, but has so far missed the mark a teency bit by providing awesome road bikes that simply perform admirably in unchallenging dirt situations. I think its chances of success will be much higher with the Scrambler 1200’s parallel twin engine, though, and look forward to seeing how it is received by folks like Drew Faulkner of Moto Adventurer.
Before that bike comes along, however, we’ll be seeing an updated Street Scrambler and Street Twin launched at Intermot. Expect gentle tweaks, I’d say – improved fit and finish, and maybe a little more power as that seems to be a lot of people’s biggest complaint about the Street series of bikes.
I’ve not yet seen any talk of an updated Street Cup, however, and wouldn’t be surprised to see that model quietly dropped. It’s a fun bike, but I feel the real heat of the cafe racer revival has dissipated. Although there may still be enough market interest in modern classics that can genuinely hustle – a la the Thruxton R, or that mysterious Honda of which there have been a few rumors – I think the time has passed in which a 57hp cafe racer with commuter ergonomics can be a big seller.
The bike that’s piqued my interest, though, is the not-yet-announced 1200cc Speed Twin we learned about last week via documents from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Those documents don’t give us much but a model name and the fact that from an emissions standpoint the Speed Twin is the same as the Thruxton/Thruxton R.
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The Thruxton delivers a claimed 96 hp, compared with the 79 hp of a Bonneville T120. So, what we’re probably looking at here is a fast Bonnie, or an upright Thruxton. I’m honestly having trouble imagining how this bike will stand out from existing models. I remember once seeing a spy shot of a bike that looked like nothing more than a Thruxton with old-school round Speed Triple headlights. If that’s what the Speed Twin ends up being I will feel embarrassed as a Triumph owner.
Triumph has been known to troll spy photogs, though, so it may actually be a pretty cool bike. Certainly you’d hope so, considering the weight of the Speed Twin name. Most people credit the original 500cc Speed Twin 5T with keeping Triumph alive in the post World War II period, as well as spurring British bike makers’ love for the parallel twin engine.
Whatever the case, I’m guessing Triumph will be holding on to the Speed Twin as something to unveil at EICMA. I’ll be at that event, as well as Intermot next week. And this morning I shamelessly sent a pleading email to Triumph asking for an invite to the Scrambler 1200 reveal and they acquiesced – so I’ll be going to that one, too.
Oh, and don’t forget that the new Daytona 765 will probably come out very soon as well. It’s going to be a fun autumn.
Side note: Related to the updated Street Twin and Street Scrambler, does anyone feel Triumph may be refreshing its bikes just a little too frequently? That’s a strange thing to complain about, I know, but it seems at the moment that if you get a new Triumph today on one of those three-year PCP deals, there’s a very good chance that the model will have been phased out of relevance by the time said deal comes to an end. Since Triumph’s PCP deals don’t operate on guaranteed value, I’d think that trend increases the chance of finding yourself in an upside down situation financially.