Back in 1938 when Triumph of old released the original Speed Twin, it was a bit of a game changer. And for 2021, the Hinkley Massive are telling us that the new Triumph Speed Twin, with its higher performance, better handling and enhanced tech, is going to set the benchmark, once again. Here’s what they’ve done…
Let’s start with the most exciting bit, the engine. The Speed Twin uses a 1200cc ‘High Power’ Bonneville engine that now has higher performance and lower emissions. Nicely done. And that’s not just more power at the top (99hp at 7,250rpm), you get a healthier spread in the mid-range, too. And although you don’t get any extra torque (still 112nm), peak torque does come 500rpm lower; that’s likely to give the motor a slightly more muscular feel over the old Speed Twin. You can thank new high compression pistons, revised ports and a new cam profile for the increased performance. They’ve also reduced the engines inertia with a lighter crankshaft and alternator, which has apparently improved throttle response. A pair of new end cans amplifies the distinctive, deep throaty roar of the new ‘Twin. And they look quite cool, in brushed ally, too.
There’s also been a fair few upgrades in the chassis department. You get new, higher spec 43mm Marzocchi forks to start with. The new forks are adjustable for damping, whilst the twin shocks can only be adjusted for preload. Brembo looks after the braking at the front end with M50 calipers and 320mm Brembo discs. You get a twin piston Nissin floater at the rear, with a 220mm disc.
And because it’s 2021, not 1938, the ‘Twin comes with a ride-by-wire throttle and three rider modes; Rain, Road and Sport. That’s the perfect amount of rider modes, if you ask me. All the modes have been enhanced for 2021, with fresh traction control settings and throttle maps. And handily, you can change riding mode whilst you’re on the move, which is nice. The press release talks about the contemporary clocks; I wouldn’t call them contemporary (there’s an actual needle – two in fact), but they’re fairly smart. It does come with LED lights all round, including DRLs, just to remind you what century you’re in.
Because I imagine you could quite easily forget, on a modern classic like the Speed Twin. It might be packed with modern(ish) tech, but it wouldn’t look out of place parked in a motorcycle museum. The café racer bench seat and the Monza style fuel cap are more than just a nod to bygone days. If I was ordering one, it would be the ‘Jet Black’ option, but some will prefer the ‘Red Hopper’ or the ‘Matt Storm Grey’. You can take your pick. They’re expected to be in dealers from August 2021, and will be priced at £11,000.
Will you be digging out your wax jacket and getting one ordered, or giving the 2021 Triumph Speed Twin a wide berth?