Reviewed: Triumph Thruxton R Track Racer on test

*Read our 2020 Triumph Thruxton RS review here.

One of my favourite bikes of 2016 has been the Triumph Thruxton R, a sentiment shared by many journalists and customers alike. In fact, it has been one of the key models to Triumph’s recent resurgence and, in terms of sales, is the second most popular in its entire range since launch in late April.

A £12,000 price tag is easily justified by the sumptuous quality of this big sports retro machine. It is fitted with plenty of high specification kit such as twin floating Brembo disks, Brembo monobloc calipers, Showa Big piston forks, Öhlins rear suspension and Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa Tyres. Then there’s the build quality and neat touches, like a polished top yoke and fake air-cooling fins that add to the overall refined look and feel.

Triumph Thruxton R Track Racer

It’s a beautiful bike, reflected in its engineering.

No sooner had Triumph taken the covers off the Thruxton range at the back end of 2015, when they also treated us to a gorgeous pair of bikes fitted with the ‘inspiration kits’, a factory guide as to what one could do with the official accessories. One took my eye immediately, the Track Racer.

For an extra £1650, the modern classic café racer can be furnished with performance and style-enhancing goodies such as an aerodynamic fairing, clip-on bars and Vance & Hines silencers. So, with a nostalgic nod in the direction of some racing past, I headed to the once home of British motorsport, Brooklands. The circuit hasn’t been used since 1939 so while it provided a suitable background for some photos and a bit of video, what remains of the actual circuit is in poor condition. That said, wheeling the bike in between the surrounding museum outbuildings made me feel like I’d been entrusted with the crown jewels. Employees gawped, visitors wanted to ask questions and it made me realise how impressive the Thuxton R looks to the untrained eye. It’s easy to get embroiled in the power figures, how big the brake discs are or even the price tag but when so many automotive enthusiasts investigate the cooling system or want to take photographs of what is essentially a production motorcycle with some factory-inspired bits, it proves that this Triumph has the feel-good factor.

Triumph Thruxton R Track Racer

An already great bike just got even better and in this form has to be one of my favourites of the year. Ok, it’s quite heavy to manoeuvre at low speed and has a rubbish turning circle, even the rear springs are a little soft in the spec straight from the dealer but open the garage, take a look and smile. It’s sometimes all you need to do to justify spending your hard earned money.

BikeSocial motorcyclist Mr. Michael Mann tests with vigour the exciting new Thruxton R by British manufacturer Triumph. The motorcycle is fitted with a number of exciting automotive accessories, neatly packaged together as the Track Racer kit. Filmed by Beach Media.

The throttle action feels heavy – that’s a good thing, from an old-school mechanical point of view -  but the power delivery is soft. Couple that with the exhaust note as the liquid-cooled 1200cc twin howls through the Vance & Hines silencers and you’ve got a belting combination. 96bhp isn’t enough to rip a supersport off the line yet it still feels more powerful that sub-100bhp. The torque gives a deep pulling sensation, again mechanically vibing through the seat and pegs. The bikes revs strongly and quickly towards the 7000rpm red line with optimal power coming around 5000 – 6500rpm, the clutch lever action is light and the gearbox is deliciously smooth, it’s the perfect example of heritage look and feel meets top notch modern tech.

Thanks to:
Triumph for the loan of the bike
Photographer Mark Manning for the pictures
Brooklands for the use of their venue
Rich Beach for filming, editing and voicing the video review

2017 Triumph Thruxton R Track Racer– specifications



1200cc, liquid-cooled, eight valve, parallel twin

Max Power

96 bhp (72 kW) @ 6750 rpm

Max Torque

82.6 ft-lbs (112 Nm) @ 4950 rpm

Frame / Swingarm

Tubular steel cradle / Twin-sided – clear anodized


Front: Showa 43mm USD big piston forks, fully adjustable 120mm travel

Rear: Fully adjustable Ohlins twin shocks with piggy back reservoir, 120mm rear wheel travel


Front: Brembo twin 310mm floating discs, Brembo four-piston radial monobloc calipers, ABS

Rear: Single 220mm disc, Nissin two-piston axial floating caliper, ABS


Aluminium rims with 32 spokes

Front: 17” x 3.5”, Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa, 120/70 ZR17

Rear: 17” x 5”, Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa, 160/60 ZR17


Length: 2105mm

Width: 745mm

Height: 1030mm

Wheelbase: 1415mm

Seat height


Fuel tank capacity

14.5 litres

Weight (Dry)





For £1650, the Track Racer kit includes a sculpted cockpit fairing, lower clip-on handlebars, single painted seat cowl, rear mudguard removal kit with compact light, Vance & Hines slip-on silencers, knurled handlebar grips and an authentic leather tank strap.

Thruxton R