2016 Triumph Street Twin: Birthday Bonneville

Alan Cathcart rides the new 2016 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin on the roads of Spain.

Triumph

The 2016 Triumph Street Twin ushers in a new water-cooled engine and improved riding experience.

Photo by Alessio Barbanti

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2016 Triumph Street Twin
Engine:
900cc liquid-cooled OHC parallel twin, 84.6mm x 80mm bore and stroke, 10.55:1 compression ratio, 55hp @ 5,900rpm
Top speed:
110mph (est.)
Weight (dry):
435lb (198kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG:
3.2gal (12ltr)/76mpg (claimed)
Price:
$8,700 (Jet Black), $8,950 (all other colors)

In terms of new models, things had been pretty quiet at Triumph of late. Yet Triumph set a new sales record in 2014, with 54,432 motorcycles delivered around the globe, a 4.5-percent increase over the previous year.

That quiet spell just came to an end. A radically revamped Speed Triple is coming out shortly, but reaching showrooms first is what’s arguably the single most important new model introduction made by Triumph since John Bloor breathed new life into the extinct British motorcycle industry with the 1990 launch of the born-again Triumph brand.

Make that models, because at Milan’s EICMA Show in November 2015, Triumph presented five new parallel-twin motorcycles powered by all-new liquid-cooled engines — one 900cc model and four 1,200cc big twins. These represent the next generation of the iconic Bonneville family of retro models, which with more than 140,000 built in the past 15 years since the born-again Bonneville’s 2000 launch represent core products in Triumph’s model lineup, presently responsible for between one-quarter and one-third of Triumph’s annual sales.

Though designed and developed in the U.K. at Triumph’s Hinckley base, these new models will all be manufactured at the company’s three factories south of Bangkok, Thailand. Production has already commenced of the 900cc Street Twin, which rolls into dealer showrooms starting in January 2016. Representing the entry level model to Triumph ownership, it essentially replaces the cast-wheel T100 Bonneville model that’s been built in Thailand for several years. The Bonneville name now denotes the entire family of these models, each different variant having its own moniker — so far T120, Thruxton and Street Twin. Manufacture of the outgoing air-cooled T100-engined models has now ended, apart from the Scrambler, where ongoing demand has dictated one final year of manufacture in 2016. Following that, expect a new version powered by the new 900cc liquid-cooled engine.

The Street Twin

I had the chance to spend a day riding the Street Twin, first through the streets of Valencia on Spain’s sunny Mediterranean coastline, then out through the hills and orange groves inland from the coast.

Order the March/April 2016 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the 2016 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.