The Triumph Thruxton is one fine-looking motorcycle, a beautiful café racer with rich heritage and history. In essence, café racers are stripped down, bare basic motorcycles which were actually meant for zipping from one café to other and for other quick, short rides. But that was 50 years ago. The 2016 Thruxton R that we have here is much more than that. We rode this café racer for a decent bit and definitely believe that it is the epitome of cool.
The moment you set your eyes on the Thruxton R, you get this warm feeling inside. Its classic café racer lines and sense of design can immediately take you back to the 60s or 70s. The round LED headlamp, a beautifully sculpted tank with a strap of brushed aluminium and a Monza style filler cap and the high mud guard at the rear are done stylishly. The fit and finish levels are up to the mark as well.
Getting to the modern bits, Triumph has kitted out the Thruxton R with some delicious equipment such as big piston 43mm Showa forks upfront and twin Ohlins shock absorbers, both of them fully adjustable. Next is the 310mm twin floating Brembo discs with 4-piston radial monobloc calipers at the front and a single 220mm floating disc with a 2-piston caliper. It doesn’t end here. The Thruxton R also gets ride-by-wire tech and 3 riding modes to choose from, which are Road, Rain and Sport and then there’s the standard stuff which is the ABS and traction control that can be switched off. The IP is a twin-pod affair with analogue meters for speed and RPMs and two small digital readouts for other information. Readability on a bright, sunny day though, isn’t the best.
It’s a litre-class café racer. Yes! It does take a bit of time to wrap your head around that. There is performance by the bucketful. The Thruxton R has the same 1,200cc parallel twin engine as on the T120. It makes a solid 96bhp and 112Nm of torque. At 5,000rpm or thereabouts, there is a surge of torque that pushes the bike ahead with so much urgency that you almost have to hang on to the handlebars for dear life. The way the Thruxton R accelerates is something I cannot put down in words. Its sheer ecstasy. The reason being the ‘low inertia crank’ which is 45 per cent lighter than the one on the T120, a bigger air box and a different ECU mapping makes this parallel twin a gem of an engine. Topping it all off are the pair of dual megaphone exhausts. They look good and sound, well, amazing.
As is with all café racers, handling is precise and delightful to say the least.The Thruxton R doesn’t shy away from corners at all. It will match all the moves of a proper sportsbike without batting an eyelid. There’s solid grip coming from the sticky Pirelli Diablo Corsa Rubbers as well. A slight twist of the wrist and you will leave all the vehicles on the road in your wake. Should you feel the need to grab a handful of brakes, the Brembo unit takes care of it with utmost ease.
The ride, well, is stiff, but is no torture test. For daily riding, you can always setup the suspension according to your liking. The riding posture is committed and forward biased. One will need strong shoulders and a solid core in case they want to put in long hours on the saddle.
We for one loved the way the new Thruxton turned out to be. What’s also is likeable is that Triumph has put a lot of premium kit on to the Thruxton R. This baby is a hoot to ride and will put a smile on your face every single time you swing a leg over it.