New Triumph Thruxton RS: First Ride Review

The range-topping café racer's 1200cc motor cranks enough power and torque to easily surpass any U.S. speed limit—no matter where you are.
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Triumph Thruxton RS  (1)

Those in the know call them "trumpets" for their distinctive sound. In the case of the all new 2020 Triumph Thruxton RS it is an earth shattering rumble at the low end of the rev range where I had the most fun catapulting up and down the Avenues of Manhattan during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Triumph Thruxton RS  (2)

Short shifting just to get the grumble and vibration of Beelzebub as I chased the lights. With an all new 1200cc motor pushing out 103bhp at 7500rpm and 83 ft/lbs of torque at the aforementioned grunty 4,250 rpm, this café racer is good for plenty more than the U.S. speed limit—no matter where you are. Showa big piston forks upfront and Ohlins rears keep you glued to the tarmac through Metzler Racetec RR tyres and big 4 pot Brembos up front and 2 pot Nissin's on the back pull you up sharp in case of need.

Triumph Thruxton RS  (3)

I can honestly say this is the most fun ride I've had around lumpy, potholed, Gotham City in a long time. The motor is throaty enough to zip you around with zest, carving through the traffic and outdragging the taxis. A head turner for sure—more than a few locals commented on how beautiful she was. 

Triumph Thruxton RS  (1)

Lumps and bumps in the FDR which runs along the east side of Manhattan were soaked up with ease, and the ride was comfortable indeed. Whether she would have have stood up to the race specification the Thruxton name originated from—the first Thruxtons were race-prepared for Triumph Bonneville's Thruxton, England track in 1965—is unclear. But you could certainly sprinkle some magical tuning dust on here and make it so.

Triumph Thruxton RS  (4)

As spec'd mine would cost a rather whopping $18,398 in jet black with the 1970's bubble fairing and all the protective bits and pieces on offer, but the 2020 Triumph Thruxton RS starts at $16,200. Knight Rider, eat your heart out.