Classic lines. A go-faster stance. Those distinctive clip on bars and racy rear-set pegs. It’s easy to see why the café racer has made a triumphant return to our roads over the past few years or so.
The Triumph Bonneville, Guzzi V7 and various chop shop jobs from the likes of Deus ex Machina are at the heart and soul of the party. However, a host of new café-inspired models have come to dance recently, including the BMW R nineT, Royal Enfield Continental GT and Norton Commando which is finally being distributed in Australia. Credence, though, has to go to the new original (so to speak), the Triumph Thruxton which undoubtedly helped kick start the return of the Ton-Ups.
Modelled on its Bonneville sister but benefiting from a higher piston compression and a change in the cam profile, the Thruxton’s 865cc parallel twin packs enough punch for most everyday riders on everyday roads. That punch comes courtesy of a wad of torque on offer through the rev range, though 69Nm at 5800rpm is the sweet spot officially listed by Triumph.
My Thruxton is a 2010 Special Edition – one of only 12 reportedly brought to Australia. With its unique paint scheme, it’s a bike that proffers styling cues from the glory days of Brit twins. Think low-rise ace bars and bar end mirrors, a sporty seat cowl (that conveniently hides a pillion seat) and a bikini fairing which helps make it one of the prettiest machines on the road. Judging by the head nods and ‘nice bike’ comments I get every time I rode it, it’s not just me that shares the sentiment, either.
Aesthetics aside, including that teardrop tank that could have only been shaped from the mould of a supermodel’s right buttock, and you’re left with what the Thruxton is really about – a classically styled head-turner that evokes a nostalgic throwback.
Ride this bike and it will take you to a time when speed cameras weren’t yet even an idea in the mind of some finance-driven civil servant, and when social media was when your girlfriend read the morning paper over your shoulder.
Here then we have a bike that pays homage to the sort of motorcycles that Steve McQueen and James Dean rode but with all the mods cons of today. Okay, so it doesn’t have the speed or ability of a superbike, or the comfort of a tourer.
Nor does it have the tech of an adventure bike but what it does do is leave you with the sort of smile had when you rode your first bike, and that is magic.
My Triumph Thruxton Special Edition is completely genuine and only has 4000km on the clock.