Triumph Street Twin: First Road Test and Review

Michael Mann - Web Editor, Bike Social
By Michael Mann
MannOnABike Web editor of Bike Social. Been riding bikes since he was four-years-old. Fast and smooth road rider, just about hangs on in a track day quick group.

The well-behaved, introduce-it-to-her-mother, Street Twin from Triumph

Triumph's iconic British Boneville makes a return with a brand new engine, chassis, suspension plus a host of technology all wrapped-up with some modern classic styling.

Anyone with a whiff of motorcycling knowledge knows the tradition, the brand and the model but this new member of the completely new Bonneville family for 2016 is both modern and new in every sense apart from its name. Well, that and its silhouette, purposefully designed to appear as a classic but with refined, stylish, minimalist lines.

Triumph’s original Bonneville is the grandfather and inspiration of the current modern classic trend which is threatening to create its own category given its sharp incline in popularity over recent years.

Yamaha and Ducati are both fans with their Faster Sons and Scrambler ranges complete with array of official, dealer-fit customising accessories which don’t end with the bike but acknowledge the rider too. Jackets, lids, t-shirts and satchel bags match soft panniers, bar ends, alternate seats and tail tidies all in a bid to overwhelm the customer with personalisation.

The Street Twin doffs its cap to its ancestry but takes the movement onto the next level with its all-new, liquid-cooled, 900cc parallel twin ‘high torque’ engine which, while only providing 54bhp, delivers a peak torque figure of 80Nm (59 ft lbs) at 3200 rpm, 18% more than the previous model.

900cc brand new engine has plenty of torque down low

In terms of other new bits, the new Street Twin offers Ride-by-Wire throttle, a five-speed gearbox, an all-new chassis and longer travel suspension while ABS, switchable traction control, a slip assist clutch all add to the rideability. The riding position in terms of its set-up has been created for “dynamic handling” – a low (750mm) seat height and slightly adjusted seating position from the outgoing Bonneville encourage a comfortable ride in more control for the younger, shorter or more inexperienced. More on that later.

Black cast wheels and an all-new upswept brushed stainless steel exhaust system offer the familiar tone of a twin while modern design additions and technology in the form of an LED rear light, USB charger and a new instrument display add to the finer detailing and perhaps more contemporary feel of the new Bonneville Street Twin over the other new models.


Triumph’s Street Twin will be in dealerships from February 2016 and faces competition in the form of Ducati’s Scrambler, Yamaha’s XSR700, maybe the XSR900, and Harley-Davidson’s Iron 883 and is priced accordingly, starting from £7300 on the road, with an extra £120 charge for the Silver or Red colour options.

In total 150 official accessories are available ranging from seats and silencers to mirrors and grips are available for owners to personalise as they wish. For example, a Vance & Hines exhaust system plus fitting will set you back approximately £500-600, a leather-look bench seat will be £250 while a set of waxed cotton and leather panniers comes in at £450, all inc. VAT.

Furthermore, if you’re lacking creativity then fear not, Triumph have come up with three ‘inspiration kits’ to help; the Scrambler, Brat Tracker and Urban models.

Triumph Street Twin 'Scrambler' inspiration kitTriumph Street Twin 'Brat Tracker' inspiration kitTriumph Street Twin 'Urban' inspiration kit

Scrambler: features signature Vance & Hines high level exhaust, Mudguard removal kit and a host of parts including: compact rear light, brown ribbed bench seat, brown barrel style grips, compact LED indicators and brushed alloy sump guard. PRICE: £1745

Brat Tracker: features Vance & Hines slip on silencers, mudguard removal kt and a host of parts including black barrel style grips, black ribbed seat, compact LED indicators and a brushed sump guard. PRICE: £1245

Urban: features  single wax cotton & leather pannier, 'Ace' style bars and bigger bore Vance & Hines silencers and a host of parts including: compact LED indicators and a short tinted fly-screen. PRICE: £1110

But what’s it like to ride?

We’ll start with the engine, the bike’s USP. The 900cc parallel twin which fires into life via the one-piece rocker-style ignition switch but only if you have the clutch lever pulled in.

Encourage it with a few revs and your ears are rewarded with that delightful sound of a burbly, pop, pop, pop twin. It sounds even better when it a pack of others Street Twins rolling through towns with the noise reverberating off old buildings as locals watch on and dogs bark. It's liquid-cooled but the sound is very much old-school Bonneville.

The new engine is vibrant and punchy from low-down in the rev range. The lack of an rpm gauge on the new single-clock display means you are left to control the gear changes through your own feel alone, nothing to worry about there because all you want to do is listen to the marvellous sound track although should you be cruising along in a high gear with low revs when going for an overtake there’s not enough pick up to blast by quickly. Drop one, maybe two gears and the pass is quick and sounds great too!

Resplendent in red, one of five colour options

Let the clutch out in second as you accelerate away from standstill and you feel a real pull, the ride-by-wire throttle and torquey motor work hand-in-hand to make real progress. Ok, so it runs out of steam a bit thereon after but there’s still plenty of oomph around town. The engine’s characteristics can be best described as laid-back. It’s a languid, chilled kind of vibe suited to the potential inner-hipster Triumph are targeting.

What you will notice is the warmth emanating from the air-cooling fins either side of the engine, around inner-calf level, which is pleasant on a cooler day but in the middle of summer will have you sweating.

The low-revs and long-gears are a handy combination to reward smooth riding and encourage high economy, something which Triumph claim has been improved by 36%. The claim of 200 miles from the 12 litre tank is probably a little far fetched but Triumph assured us it was tested using a mixture of riding styles. That said, even after the 140 miles of Valencia city roads combined with its surrounding mountain passes and dual carriageways, we managed and indicated 62.5mpg – not too far away from the claimed 76mpg.

Yes, if the throttle is pinned, second gear will take you north of 50mph before the revs run out, but you know when you first swing a leg over the Street Twin, this is not a bike for thrashing. It’s far too suave for that.

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. Even the (adjustable) clutch lever is light and easy, ideally suited to new or lazy riders.

In fact when you do swing a leg over the new Bonneville family member you’ll note its lack of height. The top of the seat is 750mm, the same as the outgoing model though the position of the pegs and handlebars has been adjusted to create a more comfortable riding position. The foot pegs are slightly further back and have been lowered while the bars are further away and again, slightly lowered. The stand-over comfort has been improved by a narrow waist where seat meets fuel tank and while the seat foam thickness is supposed to have increased by 25% it hasn’t increased its comfort by 25%. That’s not to say its uncomfortable, far from it but I wouldn’t fancy a 100-mile journey in one sitting.

Despite the low seat, there's plenty of ground-clearance with only the sportiest riding leading to pegs being scraped.

The Triumph weighs in at 198kg (dry) which is 30kg heavier than Yamaha’s super-light XSR700 although manoeuvrability at low speeds is still easy enough. It’s the higher speed flickability which is affected by the extra weight which in turn isn’t helped by the rear suspension, not quite firm enough for my liking but in fairness, we’re almost splitting hairs here.

More at home in the urban environment but not at all disgraced in the mountains

Pirelli and Triumph collaborated to create the Phantom Sportscomp tyres which not only look good on the new cast wheels thanks to their unique tread pattern but held on to the road well even on the more slippery looking Spanish mountain passes. On a couple of occasions the rear got loose enough for the traction control to keep me in check but only when I was encouraging it do so, all in the name of a thorough test you understand!

The single-disc Nissin callipered front brake was more than adequate on the flatter surfaces though a little more caution was required on some of the downhill section of the mountain roads. Once balanced with a little rear brake too and all was well.

A neat and modern touch is the underseat USB port for some emergency phone charging or sat-nav equipping.

The solo-clock instrument is very user-friendly. The speedo surrounds a small digital display with gear shift indicator and fuel gauge while the ‘i’ button on the left-hand bar allows you to scroll through 2 x trips, current mpg, average mpg, remaining fuel, time and a traction control on/off toggle (only when stationary).

Available in five colours: Cranberry Red, Aluminium Silver then three shades of Black; Matt, Jet, or Phantom (Metallic). The Red or Silver options will add an extra £120 to the price tag though.


Cranberry RedAluminium SilverJet Black

The Street Twin is the epitome of a Gentleman's bike. It has an air of grace about it, a stiff upper lip if you will. It's a machine that will elegantly glide you about your business and not trouble you by being rude or act out of place. Think of it as a butler, by your side to cater for every whim. The Street Twin would never allow you to misbehave or reveal its rebellious streak but it would get all James Bond if you needed; still debonair and retaining its suave exterior while getting you out of trouble with its own armory, that 900cc parallel twin ready to pull from low revs along with its deep howl.

Triumph of course sponsor the annual, global and charitable Distinguished Gentleman's Ride which is where this new Bonneville fits. If only I'd remembered my Kevlar smoking jacket, open face lid and pipe.

Closer to the detail shows the quality of finish by Triumph


Engine and Transmission 


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




84.6 x 80 mm

Compression Ratio


Maximum Power

55 PS / 54 BHP (40.5kW) @ 5900 rpm

Maximum Torque

80Nm / 59 ft-lbs @ 3230 rpm

Fuel system

Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection


Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin brushed silencers

Final drive

O ring chain


Wet, multi-plate assist clutch





Tubular steel cradle


Twin-sided, tubular steel

Front Wheel

Cast aluminium alloy multi-spoke 18 x 2.75in

Rear Wheel

Cast aluminium alloy multi-spoke  17 x 4.25in

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre

150/70 R17

Front Suspension

Kayaba 41mm forks, 120mm travel

Rear Suspension

Kayaba twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120mm rear wheel travel

Front Brake

Single 310mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS

Rear Brake

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

Instrument Display/Functions

LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analogue speedometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, trip computer, scroll button on handlebars, TPMS ready, heated grips ready, fuel consumption display and traction control status display.

Dimensions and Weights 


2090 mm

Width (Handlebars)

785 mm

Height Without Mirrors

1114 mm

Seat Height

750 mm


1439 mm




102.4 mm

Dry Weight

198 Kg

Fuel Tank Capacity

12 L

Fuel consumption

 Constant speed 56 mph: 87.4 MPG

 Constant speed 75 mph: 62.4 MPG

 Mixed Riding*: 76 MPG

* Figures obtained according to the emissions procedure GTR2 of the World Motorcycle Test Cycle (WMTC).


 EUR4 Standard:  CO2 - 87.0 g/km        

Standard equipment 

ABS, Traction Control, Ride-by-wire, Immobiliser, USB socket, LED rear light



Helmet: Arai RX-7V

Jacket: Tucano Urbano Selvaggio

Gloves: Oscar by AlpineStars

Jeans: Resurgence Ultra Lite 

Boots: TCX X-Rap W/P