Triumph Speed Twin 1200 (2019-current): Review & Buying Guide


Price: £6500-£12,795 | Power: 96bhp | Weight: 216kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4/5


Launched in 2019, the Triumph Speed Twin (it was rebranded the Speed Twin 1200 in 2022 to avoid confusion as the Street Twin became the Speed Twin 900) was billed as a retro roadster with a bit of attitude. Harking back to the 1938 Speed Twin that put Triumph’s parallel twin motor on the map, the all-new Speed Twin borrowed heavily from Triumph’s Thruxton retro racer to blend modern handling and performance with a stylish old-school naked bike look. Something of an over-looked model in the firm’s line-up, those who try the Speed Twin out for size discover a brilliant machine with bags of spirit and character as well as handling that is just about perfect for the UK’s roads. Updated in 2021 through suspension, brakes and small engine upgrades, if you want a naked bike that is huge amounts of fun to ride and looks fantastic, the Speed Twin will certainly deliver.


Pros & Cons

  • Soulful motor with bags of grunt
  • Cool looks and lots of character
  • Great for a pillion as well
  • The updated model doesn’t need its overly-sporty tyres
  • Prices are quite high
  • Side stand is irritatingly tucked away and hard to locate


Triumph Speed Twin 1200 (2019-current) Price

The Speed Twin was launched with a price tag of £10,500 (paint options added an extra £300 to this), which was £500 less than the stock Thruxton model cost. Nowadays these early bikes go for around the £6500 - £8000 mark with £7500 enough to secure you a real beauty from an official Triumph dealership. Generally mileages are low with under 10,000 miles common, which is to be expected on a bike like this. If you want the upgraded 2021 model, which has inverted forks and radial brakes, you need to be paying around the £8500 mark, which isn’t too much of a stretch if you desire the extra bling it offers. Right at the top of the price tree is the limited Breitling Edition, of which only 270 were made. Expect to pay around £15,000 for this exclusive model but in truth it’s not really worth it...



Engine and Performance

Like the Thruxton, the Speed Twin is powered by the HP (High Power) version of the Bonneville 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel twin. Tweaked slightly through a new magnesium cam cover, revised clutch and lighter engine covers, it is 2.5kg lighter than the Thruxton’s engine but makes the same 96bhp peak power with 82.6ftlb of torque.

A really soulful motor, Triumph have done a great job not only visually with this engine but also in how it feels and responds. Stacked full of torque, it pulls merrily in every gear with a sweet throttle response and bags of thumping drive. Although you get three power modes to play with (Sport, Road and Rain), you can leave it in Sport all day long and it never feels like it is too aggressive or demanding and if the road is wet, you have traction control working away in the background to keep you nice and safe. Some may argue it isn’t a fast or engaging as BMW’s R nineT’s boxer but it is more than happy to roll up its sleeves and party if requested and for day-to-day riding it is less aggressive on the throttle than the BMW.

In 2021 the motor became Euro5-complaint and gained 3bhp more peak power alongside a fuller torque curve, new cam profile and pistons and 17% reduction in inertia through a lighter crank and alternator, allowing the engine to spin up faster. Back-to-back the new motor is a bit more sprightly when revving than the old one but you aren’t losing out too much if you get the older one and it is actually stronger in its mid-range.

In the used market the HP engine has a good reputation for reliability. Service intervals are a pleasingly long 10,000 miles and although the 20,000-mile valve clearance check doubles the service bill from roughly £300 to £600, very few bikes are approaching this mark. A couple of owners have experienced reg/rec issues (generally more on the Bobber, which has the same engine) and there are complaints about the bike running quite hot in town but generally they are a safe used buy. Although some owners play with the Speed Twin’s gearing and also alter the fuelling maps, the vast majority are left pretty standard.



Triumph Speed Twin 1200 (2019-current) Handling & Suspension

With a chassis based on, but not identical to, the Thruxton R’s the Speed Twin can certainly handle corners. A blast in bends and feeling lighter than its 216kg suggests (it is actually 7kg lighter than the Thruxton), the Speed Twin certainly doesn’t disappoint. If you want a retro that can be enjoyed with enthusiasm, the Speed Twin is for you. Although it may need a bit of tweaking here and there to suit your requirements...

The original generation’s conventional KYB forks lack adjustment and the twin KYB shocks only get preload to alter, which some owners feel isn’t enough. A fair few take the plunge and upgrade the shock set-up for aftermarket units, which does make a noticeable difference to the ride quality if you like to push on a bit. If. You are happy at a more sedate pace, the original set-up is plush and well damped for most uses.

In the 2021 update the KYB forks were swapped for inverted Marzocchi items, which arguably don’t look as good as they lack the conventional fork’s retro gaiters but they do perform a bit better, something helped by slightly altered geometry. The shocks were also upgraded and so were the wheels, which does result in a better ride quality from the rear. Although it has to be said, the change from the more all-round Pirelli Diablo tyre to the very sporty Metzeler Racetec RR wasn’t entirely welcome – especially if you ride in the wet! It is worth ‘downgrading’ to a more all-round tyre if you buy an updated model and it needs new rubber – RR’s aren’t great in the damp and it does tend to rain here.

Oddly, a lot of owners suffer from brake issues on the first generation of Speed Twin. Stories of warped discs are quite common and so are squeaking calipers and sticky pistons. This is a bit strange as usually the conventionally-mounted Brembos are strong but it is worth giving them a check when buying used and cleaning them regularly when you own the bike. The 2021 bike features radial Brembo M50 monoblock calipers and bigger front discs, which seem to suffer from far less issues. And then there is the finish...

Generally the finish is good on the Speed Twin (the exhaust is stainless steel) but the black finish on the original generation’s exhaust pipes can mark quite easily and owners are a bit disappointed by the updated bike’s paint work, which lacks the hand-painted coach lining of the original model. And then there is the side stand, which has an impossible to locate small flick-out knobble – often driving owners to distraction...



Comfort & Economy

Comfort-wise the Speed Twin is fairly good, although obviously the riding position is quite exposed. You can get a fly screen for one but it doesn’t do many favours for the bike’s looks and generally, this isn’t a machine owners tend to do huge miles on. Enjoy it for shorter blasts (with a pillion) and all is good – especially as the seat is a tad firm.

When it comes to economy, the Speed Twin only has a 14.5-litre tank but it averages around 50mpg and that equates to a range of about 160 miles with the fuel warning light illuminating at about 120-130 miles as it has quite a large reserve range.



Triumph Speed Twin 1200 (2019-current) Equipment

As standard you get three riding modes (Rain, Road and Sport), each of which has its own dedicated throttle map and traction control setting. You also get ABS as well as switchable traction control and a USB charging socket alongside an immobiliser. Should you fit them, both heated grips and tyre pressure monitors connect directly to the dash, which is good.

In terms of accessories, a lot of Speed Twins get the accessory V&H exhaust pipes, which are loud but not excessively so, the quilted seat is popular (and more comfortable...) as are tail tidies, new levers and aftermarket shocks. A few owners go all-out and heavily customise their bike but if you are buying used, these are best avoided. Get a nice, tidy, example with official Triumph accessories only.



Triumph Speed Twin 1200 (2019-current) Rivals

There are a fair few big capacity retros but not all of them have sold that well. Generally the Speed Twin’s biggest rival is the BMW R nineT but Ducati’s air-cooled big Scrambler model and even Harley’s Sportster S could be tempting alternatives.


BMW R nineT (2014-2023) | Approx Price: £6500-£15,000

Power/Torque: 107bhp/85lb-ft | Weight: 221kg


Ducati Scrambler 1100 (2018-2019) | Approx Price: £6000-£8500

Power/Torque: 85bhp/65lb-ft | Weight: 206kg


Harley-Davidson Sportster S (2021-current) | Approx Price: £10,000 - £18,000

Power/Torque: 120bhp/94lb-ft | Weight: 228kg


2019 Triumph Speed Twin 1200 Review Details Used Price Spec_14


Triumph Speed Twin 1200 (2019-current) Verdict

The Speed Twin is a wonderful bike that manages to combine stylish retro looks with thoroughly modern performance – yet do so without ever overstepping the mark. Far more comfortable than the Thruxton it is based around and yet just as eye-catching, the Speed Twin makes for a superb bike that will set your pulse racing if you want it to yet is just as happy taking it easy on a sunny Sunday with a pillion on the back.


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2019 Triumph Speed Twin 1200 Review Details Used Price Spec_16


Triumph Speed Twin 1200 (2019-current) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range




Bore x Stroke

97.6mm x 80mm

Engine layout

Parallel twin

Engine details

Liquid-cooled, 8v, SOHC


96bhp (71.5kW) @ 6750rpm


82.7lb-ft (112Nm) @ 4950rpm

Top speed



6-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

14.5 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

160 miles

Reserve capacity

35 miles

Rider aids

Three power modes, ABS, TC


Tubular steel

Front suspension

41mm conventional forks (inverted after 2021)

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension

Twin shocks

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload only

Front brake

2 x 305mm discs, four-piston calipers. ABS (320mm with radial calipers after 2021)

Rear brake

220mm disc, two-piston caliper. ABS

Front tyre


Rear tyre



22.8°/ 93.5mm (22.3°/ 91.5mm post-2021)

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2099mm x 778mm x 1097mm


1430mm (1413mm post-2021)

Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight



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2019 Triumph Speed Twin 1200 Review Details Used Price Spec_17