In just about three years since its launch, the Triumph Street Twin is already one of the most important members of the Bonneville family. It has helped the British bike maker catch the attention of younger buyers (as opposed to older ones who are the traditional target customers for the Bonnie) and Triumph claims to have sold over 18,000 units of the Street Twin globally till date. And as I found out during the first ride in Portugal, the midlife update for 2019 only makes the Street Twin more impressive thanks to its improved performance and handling. The bike is now on sale in India, so it’s time to tell you how the 2019 Street Twin feels in our riding conditions.
The updated, 2019 Triumph Street Twin is more powerful and a better handler thanks to a host of changes
I won’t harp too much about the design the 2019 model looks nearly identical to last year’s bike and visual changes are minor, including slightly different detailing for the instrument cluster, revised decals and a different font for the Street Twin name. Needless to say, the classic bits on the bike that make it so good looking remain unchanged, like the brushed metal covers for the injectors, machined finish on cooling fins on the cylinder heads and more. Triumph has focused on updating bits that matter more the powertrain and the dynamics and the results show.
The 900cc, liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine offers 65PS now, up from 55PS, thanks to the rev range being hiked up to 7,500rpm from 7,000rpm and a few other changes like a lighter crank and magnesium cam covers. Peak torque produced remains unchanged at 80Nm, though it is available from just 3,800rpm now. The bike felt quicker when I rode it first in Portugal, and a VBOX test has helped me confirm the same. I’d clocked a 0-100kmph acceleration time of 5.8 seconds on the old Street Twin while the new one achieved the feat in 5.5 seconds. Of course, the changes to the engine also help it rev quicker while feeling more refined, which helps the bike’s acceleration too.
The updated, 900cc parallel-twin cylinder engine powering the Triumph Street Twin offers 65PS now, which is a significant increment over the older bike’s output of 55PS. The engine is also more refined now thanks to several changes
In-gear acceleration has improved too, with the 2019 bike offering a stronger thrust through the gears. The bike thus feels punchier, especially between 3,500rpm to 5,500rpm which come to think of it, is pretty much the rev range we ride our motorcycles in on a daily basis. In fact there were times when 2019 Street Twin surprised me with its acceleration in traffic and every time I shifted up after holding revs in the previous gear, the bike almost jolted ahead to accelerate. Riding through traffic is thus more fun as the eager power delivery makes you want to accelerate harder to enjoy its more playful character better.
Wheelies on the 2019 Triumph Street Twin are more fun now thanks to the bike’s more linear power delivery
In fact the engine sends torque to the rear wheel with so much urgency that every attempt to wheelie had the front come up only after significant amounts of wheel spin at the rear! And once up, carrying wheelies for long distances was a cinch, thanks to the linear power delivery. Not to forget, the exhausts emanate the classic British twin sound which is pleasing to the ears. And should you care, fuel efficiency has improved too! The old Street Twin had returned 18kmpl and 21kmpl in our city and highway tests respectively, while the new one returned 19.36kmpl and 22.51kmpl.
The bike’s highway manners are appreciable too despite using only a five-speed gearbox the 2019 Street Twin is comfortable cruising between 110-120kmph. The engine does not feel stressed at the speeds and overtaking is an easy affair on most occasions too. You don’t even need to downshift unless absolutely needed as the midrange performance ensures there’s enough thrust. The Street Twin feels engaging in as well, though engine heat can be a bit of a concern. It does not get searing hot, but the parallel-twin motor did send blasts of hot air onto my right leg which gets uncomfortable in typical Indian summers with temperatures north of 40 degree Celsius.
The improved power delivery also makes the Triumph Street Twin more fun around corners as the engine now offers more thrust every time you open the throttle
Moving onto the bike’s handling, the Street Twin gets updated suspension in the form of 41mm cartridge-type forks upfront now. These had impressed me in Portugal in terms of handling, as the bike’s stability has improved, but I was concerned the firmness of the setup might be an issue on Indian roads. The 2019 Street Twin though has surprised me with its balance between ride and handling. Of course, the bike feels more accomplished on the handling front, be it in terms of high speed cruising on highways or corner carving.
There’s also a better sense of confidence around corners now thanks to the improved stability which lets you open the throttle earlier. That said, while the Pirelli Sport Comp tyres on the bike offered ample grip in Europe, I was left wanting for some more grip on our roads. Overall the 2019 Street Twin is a sportier, more confident handler though, which coupled with the improved engine performance makes it more fun to ride. But what took me by surprise was the impressive ride quality. The Street Twin’s ability to soak up undulations is commendable and it wasn’t upset by bumps, even mid-corner, while ride quality over broken roads is surprisingly good. This makes for a likeable ride overall and the Street Twin thus feels even better packaged.
The 2019 Triumph Street Twin uses 41mm, cartridge-type forks upfront which have improved the bike’s handling and also offer a surprisingly good ride quality on bad roads
Of course, the talk about packaging is incomplete without mentioning the updated rider aids. The Street Twin was equipped with traction control right from the start but for 2019 Triumph has added two riding modes as well, Rain and Road. I stuck to Road mode throughout, though trying Rain mode had me realise that it will help inexperienced riders on wet roads with its dulled throttle response. All menu options are accessed easily via a single switch on the left-side handlebar which makes it extremely easy to use on the go.
The single pod instrument cluster on the Triumph Street Twin looks cool. Menu options in its digital display are accessed by a single switch on the left end of the handlebar
On the whole, the 2019 Triumph Street Twin is more likeable and offers a more engaging experience than before. The improved performance and handling, updated rider aids and simplistic approach to everything help in making it a likeable everyday motorcycle that’s also up for the odd long ride on a weekend, though I would like a cushier seat for the purpose. The bike’s excellent build quality also helps in making it likeable. The bike is priced at Rs 7.45 lakh ex-showroom, a minor drop from the older bike’s price of Rs 7.83 lakh.
Overall, the 2019 Triumph Street Twin is more likeable as a retro-classic motorcycle with a slightly modern twist and is even better as a package now with its mix of performance, handling, build quality and equipment levels
The pricing is still on the higher side in my opinion though, for what the bike brings to the table. When launched in 2016, the Street Twin was priced at Rs 6.9 lakh ex-showroom and an ex-showroom price of around Rs 7 lakh would make the 2019 Street Twin a more compelling package. Of course, I still cannot deny the fact that the Street Twin is an excellent motorcycle and certainly an option worth considering if in the market for a simple yet fun to ride classic motorcycle with a strong heritage.