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Review: Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R

Review: New Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R
Every component on the Thruxton R has been improved. Brembo Monobloc floating binders flank the 17-inch spoked front wheel.

Upside-down, adjustable Showa forks are topped with an exquisite polished yoke and well placed clip-ons. A pair of adjustable, piggyback Öhlins units keeps things smooth out back.

Review: New Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R
The riding position is aggressive without being torture, striking a nice balance for street and canyon flogging. And flog it you will.

The headstock is steeper and the rake is reduced for a shorter trail. Combined with the stubbier swingarm, this reduces the wheelbase to 1415mm—or 75mm shorter. So turn-in is sharp and direct, like never before.

Review: New Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires—developed in conjunction with the Thruxton—hold lines better than I do, so I let the faster lot in our crew show me the ropes.

Following their lead, I can easily say the Thruxton R is the cafe racer I’ve been trying to build at home—only with a professional’s fit and finish.

Review: New Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R
Fire up the engine and you immediately know this isn’t a bolt-on Bonnie. The air box is larger, the high compression pistons spin a low inertia crank, and the ECU has been flashed to deliver even more power than the T120.

The Thruxton is more responsive throughout the rev range, and its redline hits higher, too. There are ninety-six angry horses at work here, and 112 Nm of torque peaking at 3,100 rpm. Roll-on wheelies are only a blip and crack away.

Review: New Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R
As we blast along the undulating tarmac towards Mafra, the Thruxton feels built to exploit these roads. Toggling from Rain, to Road and then Sport, throttle response quickens perceptibly and my knees rub the flares on the Manx style tank.

Sliding further back in the seat, my knees are relieved—but pushing corners demands I monkey around. Figure it all out and you can ride the Thruxton R with a level of aggression its predecessor simply wouldn’t allow.

If they weren’t sold out until July (and I didn’t love my 2012 model so much) I’d be tempted to trade up.

Review: New Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R
Both the Thruxton R and Bonneville T120 are a massive step forward for Hinckley. They’ll keep these Triumph icons rolling and relevant for at least another generation.

Best of all, the factory is supporting each with a large catalog of bolt-on parts (over 160 pieces each). That should be more than enough reason to keep shade tree builders happy—and entice the pros to snag a bike and show us what’s truly possible.

We’ll be keeping our eyes open for you.

Triumph Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Action shots: Barbanti, Cavadini, Barshon, Kim.

Review: New Triumph Bonneville T120 and Thruxton R

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