Triumph Street Twin (2019) | Review

BikeSocial
By Michael Mann
MannOnABike BikeSocial's Web Editor. Been riding bikes since 1984 and writing about them since 2013. Commuted in Central London for 10 years, fast and smooth road rider, does a reasonable job in a track day quick group. 6 ft and 14 st.

 

They might not look very different but Triumph’s 2019 Street Twin hides substantial performance, electronic and styling upgrades compared to the outgoing version. Significantly, an extra 10bhp up to 64bhp thanks to an increase of peak revs, plus enhancements to the motor, electrics, suspension, brakes, comfort and design. Off we went to the international press riding launch just outside Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon to give it, and its stablemate the Street Scrambler, a whirl.

The Street Twin was launched in 2016 and has become one of Triumph’s most important models, outselling its own nearest modern classic rival by 2:1 thanks to its unintimidating style and accessibility.

Take a look at my first impressions of the two Triumph newbies:

2019 Triumph Street Twin and Street Scrambler - first impressions
First impressions of the 2019 Triumph Street Twin but do the upgrades justify it replacing the best-selling Triumph modern classic? | BikeSocial

Price

With a starting price of £8,100 for the Jet Black colour option plus a further £150 for the other two colour options of Korosi Red or Matt Ironstone, this represents a mere £300 price hike from the outgoing 2016 model. PCP packages have yet to be confirmed but by the time the bikes appear in UK dealerships from the end of January/beginning of February, the Street Twin will be a tasty option for those looking for an easy-to-ride, easy-to-operate slice of motorcycling pie.

Service intervals of 10,000 miles, the typical Triumph build quality and an average mpg north of 60 are other financial-based attractions.

 

Triumph Street Twin

Three colours on offer for the Street Twin

Power and torque

The same liquid-cooled, 900cc, parallel twin engine as the 2016 model has been more-than-just tweaked. An 18% increase in peak power up from 54bhp @ 5,900rpm to 64bhp @ 7,500rpm gives the new entry-level Triumph a heap of extra British beef from 3,750rpm over the old one.

Peak torque is unchanged at 59lb-ft, but arrives higher in the rev range at 3800rpm compared to 3230rpm previously. These improvements come from new camshafts, new balancer shafts and a lighter clutch.

There’s little chance the power and torque figures will be hard thought over when making a buying decision as the Bonneville-oriented Triumph is about style, comfort and convenience rather than pace and top trump statistics. However, the mid-range torque is a decent benefit when it comes to overtaking; twist the throttle and the leisurely twin accepts the challenge and smoothly takes you on your way. It’s all quite relaxed.

A dealer-fitted A2 licence kit which contains APS twist grip and engine tune is available and can be returned to normal once the appropriate licence is obtained.


Power and torque figures vs. the 2016 model

Engine, gearbox and exhaust

New engine internals include a new magnesium cam cover, new lightweight crankshaft, dead shafts and balance shafts and lighter clutch which all make the smooth liquid-cooled motor, harnessed by the crisp ride-by-wire throttle and refined fuelling, that bit better.

The 5-speed gearbox offers short, precise and reassuring clunk with every smooth change with top gear rarely used away from dual carriageways, it acts as an overdrive particularly as the Street Twin is designed and marketed as an urban bike.

There’d be no need for a 6th gear with the torque of the engine and the fact that it’s geared high already. At 30mph in 1st and you’re only pulling 3,000rpm, for example. It’s such an easy bike to ride. Even with the digital rev counter, there’s no red line because it’d so infrequently reached, there’s just no need for a bike that makes its peak amount of torque at 3,800rpm while peak power isn’t until 7,500rpm. In daily use, rarely will anything north of 5,500rpm is required.

The brushed exhaust system is beautifully designed and one of my favourite parts of the Triumph, from the headers to the low yet upswept silencers either side of the rear wheel. Not only does it offer a heritage Bonneville feel but the way in which the engineers have concealed the catalytic converter, like on several other models, is genius. Not only that, but the typical deep and chuggy melody of the twin is seemingly enhanced. It’s almost worth leaving the earplugs out.


Triumph Street Twin

Economy

A 12-litre tank is a piece of spec that shouldn’t be taken at face value. Don’t immediately picture yourself hunting for the fuel station every 80-miles or so. The claims might be a little excitable at 70+mpg but even on a ‘keen’ press, I still eeked out over 60mpg which, in the so-called real world riding conditions, means your search for a top-up should begin after 120-miles. The LCD screen offers a fuel gauge, predicted range plus average and current mpg figures, so there’s no excuse for the bike walk-of-shame.

Handling, suspension, chassis and weight

It’s flat cornering behaviour warrants a more attacking style while the new cast aluminium 18” front and 17” rear wheels, fitted with Pirelli Sports Comp rubber do their job without fuss. The new front KYB 41mm cartridge front forks and rear KYB twin shocks are this good; I didn’t even notice a bump, lump, dive or wallow on the press ride worthy of making any note. And Portugal’s roads aren’t famed for their first class smoothness and tarmac quality!

Triumph Street Twin

Brakes

One of the better upgrades for 2019 is the replacement of the twin-pot Nissin caliper on the front, single, 310mm disc with a four-piston Brembo version. And you can tell the difference with better feel through the lever combined with those new front forks for less dive.

Comfort

The essence of this motorbike is a heritage look and modern day reliability and engineering all in a package that is manageable for every type of rider. Young or old, first bike, tenth or bike, only bike or part of a fleet, city rider or back lane cruiser… anyway you get the jist, the low seat height and narrow waist between fuel tank and saddle plus balanced weight and controllable chassis makes the Street Twin a real yet perhaps understated coup. Not many would think about a 900cc engine for an A2 licence holder.

The seat height has been increased by 10mm to 760mm courtesy of an increase in seat foam thickness to improve the riding position. Which suits me just fine because at 6ft tall I needed that extra space for my legs.



Equipment

For such a simple looking machine with basic dials and instrument, beneath lies a raft of kit. New Road and Rain riding modes adjust throttle map and traction control settings and are easily switchable via the press of one ‘Mode’ button on the left-side of the switchgear. That , which incidentally should be rotated back towards the rider for a little extra comfort and ease to access switches – I found myself having to look down too many times to make sure I was about the indicate rather than hoot anyone or change the riding mode instead. In addition, ABS and traction control can be switched off, not while on the move though, while a new accessory tyre pressure monitoring system adds peace of mind.

An LED rear lights, immobiliser with key fob-based transponder and a handy USB charging socket under the seat are all handy rider-focused tech while the redesigned single dial instrument panel is packed with info all operational via the on ‘i’ button, also located on the left-side of the bars.

Rivals

Royal Enfield’s new-for-2019  Interceptor 650 is 17bhp down on power compared to the Triumph but is an attractive £2,600 cheaper. Also new for the coming model year is Kawasaki’s reborn W800 not much in the way of specs yet but we do know it’s the air-cooled 773cc parallel twin which will be capped at 47bhp to make it A2-licence friendly.

The Yamaha XSR700 XTribute was unveiled at EICMA and houses the familiar 689cc liquid-cooled parallel twin making 74bhp although there’s no word on price yet. And finally, the  Ducati Scrambler Icon that includes some higher tech and is slightly less retro, it makes 72bhp, has a 38mm taller seat but an almost identical price to the Triumph.


Triumph Street Twin

2019 Triumph Street Twin verdict

Retro style mixed with modern tech and engineering substance is a sure-fire winner and we’ve seen Triumph conquer this concoction before. This time, the Street Twin has got to that next step up without any fuss. It’s priced sensibly, comes with a robust chassis and engine combo and provides an elegant and classy if not easy and unthreatening entry point. Impressively simple to get on with, allowing the rider to almost forget they’re riding.

An accessory range of more than 140 dealer-fit options to customise your pride and joy from mudguard removal kits and fly screens to luggage and silencer options, there’s plenty to choose from using the rather clever online configurator. There’s even two inspirations kits, known as Urban Ride and Café Custom if you need some help deciding.

Three things I loved about the 2019 Triumph Street Twin …

* Such an easy bike to get on with – beautifully fuelled and a light clutch

* Low seat height

* Superb attention to detail, e.g. exhaust routing

Three things that I didn’t…

* Steering is a bit weighty

* Left-side instruments and clutch lever need rotating backwards by a few degrees

* Still a little heavy for an “introductory” bike (+30kg over a 790 Duke, for example)

2019 Triumph Street Twin spec

New price

From £8,100 (+£150 for Korosi Red or Ironstone colour options)

Capacity

900cc

Bore x Stroke

84.6 x 80 mm

Engine layout

Parallel twin

Engine details

Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle

Power

64bhp (48kW) @ 7,500rpm

Torque

59lb-ft (80Nm) @ 3,800rpm

Top speed

100mph+

Average fuel consumption

60.2/72.4mpg (tested/claimed)

Tank size

12 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

150miles

Rider aids

LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analogue speedometer, engine rpm, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, 2x trip, average & current fuel consumption display, traction control status display, TPMS ready & heated grip ready - controlled by a handlebar mounted scroll button.

Frame

Tubular steel cradle

Front suspension

41mm KYB cartridge forks with cartridge damping, 120mm travel

Rear suspension

KYB twin shocks, 120mm rear wheel travel

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload

Front brake

Single 310mm disc, Brembo 4-piston caliper, ABS

Rear brake

Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS

Front tyre

100/90 R18 Pirelli Phantom

Rear tyre

150/70 R17 Pirelli Phantom

Rake/Trail

25.1°/102.4mm

Dimensions

2,090mm x 785mm 1,144mm (LxWxH)

Wheelbase

1,415mm

Seat height

760mm

Dry weight

198kg

 

To insure this bike, click here

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