Word on the Street: 2019 Triumph Street Twin
Alan Cathcart rides the new 2019 Triumph Street Twin, the latest version of the revived Bonneville.
2019 Street twin
Engine: 900cc liquid-cooled SOHC parallel twin, 84.6mm x 80mm bore and stroke, 11:1 compression ratio, 64hp @ 7,500rpm
Top speed: NA
Fueling: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel ignition
Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: 12v, electronic ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Dual downtube steel cradle frame/55.7in (1,415mm)
Suspension: 41mm telescopic forks front, dual shocks w/adjustable preload rear
Brakes: Single 12.2in (310mm) disc front, single 10in (255mm) disc rear
Tires: 100/90 x 18in front, 150/70 x 17in front
Weight (dry): 436.5lb (198kg)
Seat height: 29.9in (760mm)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 3.17gal (12ltr)/50-60mpg (est.)
Three years ago, Triumph reinvented its entire Bonneville range of twin-cylinder retro-inspired models by presenting five new motorcycles powered by all-new liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engines – the 900cc Street Twin and four 1,200cc big twins. These were joined a year later by a revamped version of the Street Scrambler as the second model in Triumph’s 900cc entry-level lineup.
Now, Triumph has introduced upgraded versions of both the Street Twin and Street Scrambler, which are essentially the entry-level models to its entire range. 17,500 examples of the Street Twin alone have been built and sold in the past three years, making it the British firm’s best-selling model.
The chance to spend a 140-mile day riding both new Triumphs along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean from the resort of Cascais west of Lisbon, Portugal, before diving inland to the hills and valleys of the Portuguese countryside farther north revealed the noticeable step forward the new bikes represent over what was already a pretty good dynamic package.
Triumph likes to use the word “premium” a lot in its sales pitch for these bikes, and that’s actually fairly justified. Though a mass-produced product made in its trio of factories in Thailand, the 2019 Street Twin seemingly has an extra level of refinement in its looks that’s worthy of a more bespoke model, especially when viewed in the test bike’s classy-looking new Matt Ironstone color. The latest design of 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels look like they came from the costlier end of the aftermarket, and the new dual seat is equally high end, with contrasting vinyl that looks like leather. The seat has been reshaped, and its height raised 0.4 inches to 29.9 inches thanks to thicker foam padding aimed at increasing comfort. But because the frame rails are pulled in, it still feels low and accessible for shorter riders.
At 5 feet 10 inches tall, I didn’t feel at all cramped, because there’s lots of room to move around. Sitting on it is a nice place to be, with an easy reach forward to the short, flat, one-piece handlebar, with adjustable brake and clutch levers. The riding position is relatively close-coupled, and the slightly pulled-back handlebar delivers a very relaxed riding stance. You feel very much a part of the Street Twin, and it’s an untiring ride thanks to the complete absence of vibration at any revs from the revamped parallel-twin engine with its 270-degree crankshaft and dual counter balancers, right up to the soft initial rev-limiter on the ride-by-wire throttle now activated at 7,500rpm, 500 revs higher than before. The retro-looking round mirrors give a good view, and don’t vibrate, either.
Order the March/April 2019 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the 2019 Triumph Street Twin. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.
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