Twin pod instruments, parallel twin engine and twin exhausts that announce your arrival with a deep throated rumble, and thereby hangs the tale of a classic Brit bike
Words Aninda Sardar
There’s something about a 270-degree crank and those gorgeous twin exhausts that will get your attention even if you’ve missed the rest. Which, frankly is a task when you’re talking about a motorcycle that looks as good as the Triumph Speed Twin. Wait! What? No, Street Twin you mean. No, I really mean Speed Twin, the latest and the largest in Triumph’s range of retro-bikes and with a starting price of Rs 9.46 lakh (ex-showroom), at the very top of the British marque’s retro-bike chain.
Let’s get the irritating numbers that everyone wants to talk about out of the way first. The Speed Twin is powered by a 1200cc liquid cooled twin cylinder engine that puts out a robust 97hp and 112Nm of peak torque. Transmission is via a 6-speed gearbox. The motorcycle tips the scales at 196kg without any fluids at all and has a 14.5-litre petrol tank. There are of course more numbers, many more in fact, but these honestly are the numbers you’d really want to know about in addition to the price.
Like all modern day Triumphs the Speed Twin is absolutely brilliant to ride. Firstly, you don’t feel the weight of the motorcycle when you’re riding, which is great considering that you’re straddling a lot of heavy metal. The bike is beautifully balanced and proves itself as nimble as it is stable. Filtering through traffic at a decent clip is as little a problem as going through a series of switchbacks at speed. The Speed Twin will prove itself every bit the high performance retro bike it’s meant to be. Throttle response is crisp and linear, which means you won’t be scaring yourself white when you’re accelerating even though the speeds this machine picks up can be quite high and they are reached quite quickly. In fact, it actually masks the sense of speed and unless you’ve glanced at the deliciously old school twin pod analogue instrument cluster in front of you it’s difficult to gauge your own velocity. The suspension, like most other bikes of its kind, can get mildly tiresome over bad roads but eventually there’s not much to complain about.
The real lure of the Speed Twin however isn’t the way she rides. It’s in the way she makes you feel. With all that old school charm oozing from every pixel of metal on the machine, you want to be in that black leather jacket and blue denims with old school black boots and leather gloves to round things off. You know all there is to know about the safety of high visibility protective gear but you still want the black leather because a bike with so much swag, demands the same of its rider. Dollops and dollops of style.
Besides, this one is all about balance. Even in the way she looks. Want to slip by quietly? Her looks aren’t so loud and flashy that you’ll be denied the opportunity. At the same time if you want to make an entrance, she has enough spunk to deliver the goods on demand. And if nothing gets you noticed then there’s that uber sexy voice of hers being channeled through those two megaphone exhausts. Nah, there’s no chance you’ll miss that. Plus, as if all that wasn’t enough, everywhere I rode I felt like I had the eyes of every lady on the road on me. Now, I don’t know whether they were actually on me or what but that’s what this bike made me feel like. A happy feeling that makes you believe you’re a king. Even if it’s only till the end of the road.