The 2016 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin is a spirited 900CC, 5 speed, parallel twin-cylinder machine that captures the essence of Triumph’s heritage while sharply focusing on the brand’s future. Originally published in the January 2016 issue of SportBikes Inc Magazine.
True to its namesake, the bike is right at home on the asphalt. The riding position and seat height of 29.5 inches allow for simple body transitions while remaining comfortable and confident regardless if you are in a cruising mode or if you are in a more aggressive attack stance. You can take note of the Bonneville Street Twin’s suspension set up that features Kayaba front 41mm forks that are paired with Kayaba twin rear shocks. The Street Twin’s newly designed tubular steel frame is accompanied by a standard steel swingarm. The result is a fluid ride that is less than rigid but very solid. As the aftermarket begins to drop accessories for the Street Twin, the modest factory suspension that serves as a great foundation will only improve and create a greater riding experience.
The rider-friendly approach to the manner in which the Street Twin performs actually starts at the bike’s core which is spotlighted by a freshly engineered liquid cooled engine. With an output of 900CCs, the 8 valve parallel twin-cylinder engine produces 55 horses while muscling out an impressive 59 foot-pounds of torque. Throttle response is a key element to not only experiencing, but also enjoying what the Bonneville Street Twin is bringing to the asphalt. Rolling on the throttle releases a gutsy and motivated engine retort resulting in proper power gratification, as aided by the Street Twin’s ride by wire tech. The bike has “ups”. Considering a wet weight of 445 pounds, the engine reaction is pretty spot on as you make your way up through the gearbox, with a consistent feel of the power band from 3000RPMs upward. Downshifting from the top fifth gear is smooth thanks to a slip assisting clutch.
The ABS enhanced braking system consists of a single, 2 piston, floating caliper in the front and rear. Rolling on 10 spoke cast-aluminum wheels, the Bonneville Street Twin does come equipped with traction control as standard. Both the ABS and Traction Control can be managed by the single, multifunction dash that is centered just about the Triumph badged handlebar riser clamp. The dash displays the expected data such as speed, miles, gear position and fuel, all accessible via the scroll button located on the handlebar switch housing between the horn and the turn signal switch.
And then there is the exhaust. The stock pipes emit a throaty and mature growl that one wouldn’t expect from an OEM system. The 2 into 2 setup is complemented by twin brushed stainless steel reverse cone pipes. They look great and sound meaty, enhancing the overall riding experience.
The Bonneville Street Twin remains true to the classic and simple aesthetic appeal that is synonymous with the Bonneville lineup. Do not be deceived by this simplicity, however. It is simple, but not plain. There is plenty of neoclassical linework and visuals happening with the Street Twin. The bike is clean like a fresh canvas that is eagerly awaiting the first strokes of a paintbrush. As it sits, it is a beautiful bike with amazing details that will be attractive to die-hard Triumph riders and the newbie, like the minimized and very stylish headlight, turn signals and rear brake light. The fuel tank has a sensual contour that is a major draw for your eyes while the seat sweeps upward in the passenger’s area gives the bike a distinct side profile. It indeed possesses that “look back at it” feature as you walk away from it. Understanding the need for today’s riders to make the bike truly their own, Triumph has compiled over 150 accessories, from slip-on exhausts and seats to fly screens and saddlebags and made them available for purchase so owners can create their own “custom” Street Twin.
The 2016 Bonneville Street Twin is a remarkable example of what an introduction to a motorcycle brand should be. It is rider-friendly with an aggressive engine. It looks good. It sounds great. It exudes a sustainable level of believable coolness when you are sitting on it, standing next to it… Most importantly, when you are riding it. The Street Twin may belong in a specific genre of motorcycles, but it is that cool factor that gives it crossover appeal, borrowing from yesterday with its sights on tomorrow.