We love this time of the year. Summer kicks in and so is the biking season over here in Germany. A great opportunity to not only bring back your own bike from hibernation, but also to being invited by our favorite motorcycle brands to test their latest lineup and meet like-minded drivers. When Triumph invited us to have a closer look at their 2017 lineup, we did not blink twice before accepting.
Thus we found ourselves in the picturesque Main-Taunus area in southwest Germany to explore all Triumph bikes extensively both on the test track and on country roads. All this not without getting mildly brainwashed by the very friendly Triumph staff before getting on the bikes. (In case you are a Triumph expert already, please skip the rest of this paragraph!) Were you aware that Triumph was initially founded in 1902? Or who used the company’s bikes in their movies? (Elvis, Dylan, McQueen, Cruise, Statham, Beckham… just to name a few.) Today, Triumph builds 60.000 bikes a year being sold worldwide in three major segments: Adventure (with the Tiger models), Performance Street (with the Street and Speed Triple) and (our favorite segment) Icon Classics with the Bonneville models.
Good news for us: we were able to check ’em all out at optimal weather conditions. Hopefully you do not expect any extensive coverage on the Tiger and the Speed / Street Triple since we are focussing more on what Triumph calls Icon Classics, but it is fair to say that we were quite surprised by the Tiger model’s 3-cylinder engines with their super-homogeneous power-output especially at the low-speeds on the handling course were Triumph’s acclaimed anti-hopping clutch came in quite useful as well – all in all a very handy adventure bike. As far as it goes for the Street and Speed Triple models sitting in the still heavily important naked bike / streetfighter segment, we could immediately feel the reason for the success these bikes do have for many years. Both models feel very agile with a superb balance between power (up to 140 hp) and handling. And the sound is not to bad either…
Talking about sound: IMHO, there is no better sound than from a V-twin, so driving the Icon Classic range on country roads was something I was eagerly awaiting. My plan was to work my way up, starting with the 55hp Scrambler, followed by the Street Cup, the larger T120, the Thruxton, and than finally the new Bobber. Since a good friend of mine was about to decide which Triumph to buy, I was convinced the T120 was the obvious choice for him… but once setting on the Scrambler, I was in love immediately: the high-torque 900cc engine in combination with the powerful guttural sound and the slightly higher seating position felt just perfect. Sure, the 1200cc T120 is the true icon and feels more grown up with its double instruments its greater engine smoothness, but honestly: who wants to be grown up? I even preferred the Scrambler over the more modern-looking Street Cup and Street Twin which are based on the same platform / engine.
Again, the Thruxton and Thruxton R felt like nice bikes, but lacked this perfect balance of handling, sound and comfort I felt with the Scrambler. Last bike on the list was the Bobber … and oh my god is this bike cool! The sound from the 1200cc engine putting out 77hp was even rougher and deeper while the handling was as superb as the Scrambler’s and the whole group fell in love with the hot rod-feeling the bike immediately gives you. The bike shines simplicity while keeping an enormous presence which is just superb. A perfect second bike, but the Scrambler is the one who now owns my heart. See you next time, sweety!
More information about Triumph’s lineup can be found here.
Report by Sebastian Schmitz
Photos by Motor Rausch