Triumph Thruxton R – Custom Fit


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On Oct 28th in 2015 the picture and text below was splashed on almost every motorcycle-related website with an invitation to call your dealer to schedule a test ride.

Thruxton Announcement

"Thruxton and Thruxton R
These new Thruxtons are the flagship bikes of the Bonneville line, receiving the most powerful “Modern Classic” engine to date. Both of these bikes will be powered with a “high power” version of the 1200 cc eight-valve engine found in the T120 series. With almost 83 foot-pounds of torque at 4,950 rpm, power is increased over the previous Thruxton by 62 percent."

Within moments of seeing this announcement, I saw the picture below of a red one (it's my thing) and filled out the form to lock in my test ride!


The classic parallel twin, but with all that cafe racer styling along with Brembos, Ohlins, Showa and oh my god, I could never afford it, but sure... I'd love an excuse to ride my fabulous Street Triple the 90 miles on back roads to the dealer and swing a leg over.

The dealer where I bought the Streety, opens at 9am and at 9:02 my phone rang and there they were confirming my reservation. Now... I needed to give them a 'fully refundable' $500 deposit, otherwise the three bikes they were getting would be immediately sold and there'd be nothing for me to test. I had the money in the bank and it wasn't making me any interest so why not? I had no interest (or means) to buy the thing, but I transferred them the deposit and joined a bunch of other folks on the forums in excited discussions and we waited...

Slow forward 6 months. 168 days actually, and my bike was at the dealership being prepped - 'could I come tomorrow and pick it up?' No. Tomorrow is Friday, how about Saturday? Saturday it is. Saturday is the day I will show up, make some gestures that I really am going to buy it and get my test ride and then go home with my deposit back in my pocket while some other guy gets the phone call that he doesn't expect, telling him there actually is a bike available for him right now!

I make my way from Corvallis Oregon to Latus Motors Harley Davidson (and triumph, which they seem to be embarrassed to sell tucked in a corner of their HUGE Harley Davidson showroom) and today it's TRIUMPHs front and center. Actually it's only one Triumph front and center, a red Thruxton R... with a 'SOLD' tag hanging from the throttle and the tag has my name on it, in big block letters.

I had actually seen a Thruxton R in the flesh a month earlier as Triumph USA was taking the new Bonneville line on tour and by invitation-only the public was invited to come and be part of the loud music, flashing lights, rolling preview. I sat on a red Thruxton R. I sat on a red Street Twin. I looked at all the models and came home with a knit had that said 'Bonneville' on it. Actually thought the Street Twin was really good looking and fit me better, but the Thruxton and Thruxton Rs were stunning. The cockpit, the gorgeous gauges the shiny highly-polished yoke were so much bling it was dizzying. But. Who was I kidding - I couldn't afford the Street Twin, let alone the flagship model.

So I'm at the dealer's, I got my test ride and it was a bit bland. Not much get up and go, not much engine braking and not much roar. My Street Triple was a RIPPER in comparison. And with its aftermarket SC Project pipe, it made a nice howl when opened up (not like the big 955cc triples, but that's another blog ; -) But, yeah I did the ride and it sure was gorgeous - the least I could do was humor them and let them try to sell me the bike I could not afford.

He took down all my info and disappeared for about 10 minutes and came back asking if I could put another thousand down. I said five hundred was tops for me and he left. When he came back he said it wasn't working out - I still owed more on the Streety than they could give me in trade (I'd just bought it 10 months earlier) and he asked where did I personally bank. A credit union. He came back in 2 minutes with a deal. If I gave them another $500 and agreed to pay this much a month I could take 'my' Thruxton home. Funny thing is I'd just gotten a raise that was a little more than the monthly payment - in my financially warped mind I suddenly saw myself on a 'free' bike. Done. But wait, what about the weak power and engine braking? The salesman said take it out again, and this time take it out of RAIN mode. Give it some gas. Oh... That's better !!

One more thing. I'm 5'-4. My wife said before I left 'It looks big. If it's too big, you can't have it'. I reassured her I was only going for a test ride, but now I had to punt. I knew I could lower it enough, but before I began that negotiation with her, I sent home a picture of me on the Thruxton, with my leg stretched to almost flat footed, and texted her 'You were right. They MADE me buy it'



Chapter 2 - The Seat >