Certain motorcycles just have something about them that makes them stand out and draw admiration – even from non-bikers.

Let me say straight away that Triumph’s Thruxton R is definitely one of them.

This great-looking bike just oozes class, quality, style – and heritage.

Desirable: Thruxton R is a looker
Desirable: Thruxton R is a looker

Even the name evokes fond, nostalgic memories for many.

It’s taken from the old Thruxton race circuit in Hampshire where, in 1969, Triumph took all three podium places in the Thruxton 500 endurance race.

In many ways, that feat heralded the era of the cafe racer in Britain.

The original Thruxton was based on the Bonneville and only 52 were produced for homologation purposes so the bike could be raced by the Midlands-based firm.

The name became synonymous with Triumph’s racing success around the world, particularly at the Isle of Man TT.

Classy: Fraser on board the Thruxton R
Classy: Fraser on board the Thruxton R

In 2004, the firm revived the Thruxton moniker in the form of a cafe racer-style, Bonneville-derived air-cooled 900.

This latest version now features the 1200cc “high-power” air-cooled, eight-valve, parallel-twin Bonneville engine.

And it’s an absolute beauty, using ride-by-wire fuel injection to deliver plenty of power from lower down right across there range, coupled with oodles of low-down torque.

And the sound from the twin upswept exhausts, with reverse-megaphone end cans is a gorgeous deep, bass rumble.

Deep bass rumble
Deep bass rumble

The engine itself, as well as the throttle bodies and exhaust are all beautifully crafted with nods to the original cafe racers, even down to the fake carbs and oil-filler cap.

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This level of detail is evident throughout the bike, which looks fantastic.

It features gold fully adjustable Showa big-piston forks and matching fully adjustable Ohlins twin shocks on the rear.

Climb on board and you can’t help but be impressed by the brushed aluminium tank strap, the Monza-style fuel cap, the polished top yoke and the retro-style twin chrome clocks.

Superb attention to detail
Superb attention to detail

Not to mention the painted seat cowl and clear anodised swingarm.

The padding on the bullet seat is nothing to shout about, but the clip-on bars, with risers give a comfortable ride position – yet also encourage you to adopt that classic flat-on-the-tank pose.

There are three rider modes – rain, road and sport – which don’t affect maximum power output, instead they noticeably alter the sharpness of the throttle response.

These can be changed while on the move.

Smooth: 1200cc motor is a beauty
Smooth: 1200cc motor is a beauty

Handling, as you might expect given the equipment, is precise and smooth, aided by the excellent Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres.

The same can be said of the braking, which employs twin Brembo 310mm discs and ABS-enabled monoblocs.

The Thruxton R is an absolute gem – a bike that looks fantastic and rides just as well.

Quality: Fraser admires the Thruxton R
Quality: Fraser admires the Thruxton R

The Facts

Engine: 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel twin

Power: 96bhp @ 6,750rpm

Torque: 83ft lbs @ 4,950rpm

Colours: Red; silver; black

Price: £12,400

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Cafe racer: Triumph Thruxton R
Cafe racer: Triumph Thruxton R



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