I can only smile… As I type and, shift my biased mind, to critiquing the 2014 Triumph Thruxton…
All I can do is smile. And say that, with little respect… either you can or you can’t. Can you do 500 miles on a bike like this? And not just one day but… for a week? I won’t ask if you can do 500 miles on a big heavy cruiser because we know they are down right comfortable… heated seats cruise control and music…
But I can do 500 miles with impunity! on this bike I can ride. Some of the roads are straight, some are snake-like, but I average high speeds, up, down, right, left , I average close to 80 mph when I ride like this… My habit is to ride the speed limit + 10.
I am running light n fast. Average is a bit under 80 mph/ 140 kph. The pictures don’t work, in fact they suck, but we’ll get it right. But they show us we’re running at high revvs in high gear. Don’t show the magnificent scenery too well but it shows what the bike is doing.
So, the Thruxton…. 70 hp on 420 dry lbs (200 kgs) is not impressive. Many bikes are better specc’d. But it depends on what you want…
Yesterday, first stop of the day, a young guy in a nice Mini, drives up to say “nice bike man, what year is it?”. Nice encounter with smiles all around. My last stop n I had a septuagenarian come up and ask “wad ‘ear iz it?”. He call it beautiful. I could only agree.
Today, once I parked outside the hotel, I had more than one person ask “is that your Triumph, what year is it?”.
So, as an eye-catcher, this bike wins, as the Britts say, in quids when it comes to being drop-dead gorgeous..
I feel stronger each day I ride this bike. It is well, well-balanced. It needs fuel every 100 miles or you get into trouble quickly. I have run it into reserve but it does not like this and the electronic fuel injection can get cranky if you run in reserve for long. I can bank on 125 miles, before reserve, on one tank of gas. I was stuck in traffic an hour today going about 20 mph then got going and after fast and slow travel I got about 125 miles out of a tank before reserve comes on. So speed is not a great factor. Which is nice because I know how far I can run on tank.
I don’t trust reserve.
But I know the bike now. I know I can’t really ride hard for more than 90 minutes so my arse n the gas tank are in tune.
I start it in the early morn n ride through the day. I often refuel without taking my helmet off. At speed I can easily do about 125 miles in an hour and a half. I can sit without pain for less than that. I can go without peeing maybe that long. So the 100 miles or 1.5 hours is a good matra with the Thruxton.
I like the brakes. The Brembos on the front are very dependable. I really don’t use back brakes any more but shall comment that a 2013 Thruxton I owned saw the rear brakes fry themselves. The y picked up road grit and before I knew it I had a minor fire on my hands… Brakes get very hot. If you use your rear brake or run on rougher, maybe even back country roads, I’d suggest you look at the $100.00 kit that repositions your rear brake from the bottom of the disc to about 2 o’clock.
The gearing of the Thruxton is not ideal for the road. But when you get to those back-way good-riding roads that switch you right then left and keeps you on your toes and makse you use your gearbox instead of your brake… then, THEN, the gear box is perfect. I guess all it would take to make it more “long-distance” friendly would be to add a 6th gear.
But I have punch and acceleration up to 5000 revvs/ 85 mph. I had a big Harley come waddling up behind me yesterday. There was a bit of traffic and I am moving faster than most. After we got clear and we settled into constant revvs, that’s when I heard the “thump- thump” of the Harley gaining on me. I stuck it on 85 mph (10 over the limit) and let him come up beside me. An old dude in a gold helmet on a gold Super Glide. We nodded, traffic was in front of us, so I hit the revvs and was at 100 mph very quickly. The Harley could only waddle behind.
So I use the bike: I use the gearbox. The brakes. The engine.
And the bike tales it. And more…
I am impressed with the 900cc plant Triumph has developed. It is a very sweet engine.
But the ride is not for everyone. I like it because it demands that I am strong. The more I ride the stronger I get. My back gets better. My shoulders ached like hell the first day but are a non issue now. My neck is strong, so strong, from holding that 1.5kg helmet into the 80 mph headwind. This bike makes me healthier, younger, happier.
But heated grips and seats n music and all the bells n whistles are nice. I understand. But I traded my full-dressed BMW in for naked R9T. I found that I never rode the big BMW. It was too heavy. Even for long distances, it was too heavy. I like light n fast. I like running naked, exposed to the world, dependant only on you and your equipment.
And I really, really like triumph 2014 Thruxton… But I am biased.
And I smile…