Why The Triumph Street Twin Is Good For Beginners

Triumph street twin side view

Last Updated on 28/08/2020

The Triumph Street Twin has a lot going for it. Apart from its fantastic retro styling and excellent value for money, the Street Twin is a great all rounder and popular with riders of all ages.

Is the Triumph Street Twin good for beginners? With a seat height of 790mm (under 30 inch), weighing in at under 200kg and available with a dealer fitted A2 licence kit, the Triumph designers have built the Street Twin specifically for the novice rider.

If the retro motorcycle styling is pulling at your heart strings and you plan on having just the one motorcycle in your garage, the Triumph Street Twin should be on your shortlist. Read on for more info.

Street Twin Spec’s

  • Price tag – £8100
  • Engine – Parallel-twin with a 270-degree crank
  • Maximum Power – 65 HP at 7500 RPM
  • Max Torque – 59 ft/lbs at 3800 RPM
  • Fuel – Multipoint sequential EFI
  • Final drive – O-ring chain
  • Clutch – Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
  • Gears – 5-speed
  • Seat Height – 790mm (29.9 inches)
  • Dry Weight – 198kg (437 pounds)
  • Tank Capacity – 12 litres or 2.63 imperial gallons
  • Wheelbase – Cast aluminium alloy
  • Front Tyre – 100/90-18
  • Rear Tyre – 150/70 R17
  • Rear Suspension – Twin spring preload adjustable KYB shocks with 120mm of travel
  • Front Suspension – Non-adjustable 41mm KYB fork with 120mm of travel
  • Brakes Front – 310mm floating disc w/ Brembo 4-piston floating calliper
  • Brakes Rear – 255mm disc w/ Nissin 2-piston floating calliper

Street Twin History

When first released in 2016 the Street Twin was an instant hit and became Triumph’s best selling motorcycle from their modern classic range.

As well as being a favourite with novice riders, it was also (and remains) their best selling model with female riders thanks to that low seat and easy riding position.

Looking back to the launch it’s not hard to see why it became so popular. Triumph set out to design an entry level Bonneville and they nailed it at the first attempt.

The Street Twin is a solid all rounder – at home in the city as a commuter or diving in and out of country lane bends. Throw some saddle bags on it and you have yourself a tourer.

For sure, the Street Twin doesn’t excel in any of these but it is more than capable at all of them. That’s one more reason why the Triumph Street Twin is good for beginners where the owner isn’t looking for a specific type of motorcycle.

For around the price of a Moto Guzzi V7 or a Yamaha Bolt, you get a Bonneville roadster complete with old school looks but with plenty of modern gadgets such as ride by wire, ABS, traction control and 2 riding modes. It even had a USB port under the seat.

Triumph Street Twin 2.0

For 2019 Triumph built on that success by releasing the second generation Street Twin. It got the 900cc HT (high torque) engine that kicks out 65PS, that’s 10PS more than previous. The engine also produces an extra 500rpm.

While this 18% increase definitely improved performance, the Street Twin didn’t lose its easy to ride persona.

If anything, it helped cement its tag as one of the best entry level all rounders available. Doing motorway miles, the Street Twin no longer felt it was slightly lacking and the improvements were all well received by the Moto press.

Revzilla put it best in their 2019 review of the updated engine for the Street Twin and Street Scrambler:

Could you get yourself in trouble on the updated 900? Sure, but no more than you could on the old one. The additional power and broader torque range of the motor are welcome additions to the Street Bonneville lineup for riders at any skill level.

Revzilla

The Street Twin and the Euro A2 Licence

The factory fitted A2 restrictor makes the Triumph Street Twin good for beginners
The A2 restrictor makes the Triumph Street Twin good for the beginner

One of the biggest reasons a Triumph Street Twin is good for beginners is that Triumph can limit the Street Twin to 47bhp so you can ride it on an A2 licence.

Purchasing a motorcycle that has been limited by the factory has big advantages over simply purchasing a bike with less than 47bhp, especially for the younger buyer.

Most motorcycles are purchased over 3 years yet you only have to ride on an A2 licence for 2 years. Assuming you have passed your A2 licence at a qualifying School before purchasing your Street Twin, you will be eligible to ride any motorcycle available before you have paid for your current bike.

Wanting to upgrade to something with a bit more kick is a natural instinct once the 2 years are up. Because the Street Twin is limited by Triumph you can simply take it to your dealer who will return it to you with full power available.

That extra 10bhp should have it feeling like a new ride.

The restrictor kit costs just £137 plus 30 minutes fitting time.

Street Twin Alternatives

If you have yet to finally make up your mind on which retro motorcycle would be best for you as a beginner, here’s a few alternatives to the Street Twin that you may want to take a look at.

Street Scrambler

Triumph Street Scrambler is A2 compliant

The obvious alternative, the Street Scrambler has the same high torque engine as the Street Twin but similarities pretty much end at that.

The seat height is about 30mm higher and the handle bars are wider so it will not suit all novice riders but take a sit on one if you like the style and see what you think.

At £9300 the Street Scrambler is £1200 more than the Street Twin.

Like the Street Twin the Street Scrambler is available with the factory fitted A2 option.

Royal Enfield Interceptor

Royal Enfield Interceptor

A retro motorcycle but without the modern gadgets, the entire Royal Enfield stable are a throw back to when owning a motorcycle was a much simpler love affair.

Push the 650cc air cooled twin cylinder engine over 7000 rpm and it can just about produce 47bhp meaning it is A2 compliant straight out of the box.

At just £5699 these are a popular beginner motorcycle.

To be honest I could have chosen any number of bikes from the Royal Enfield stable. If you like retro motorcycles then you will like most of them.

Kawasaki W800

Kawasaki W800 Street

Another twin cylinder air cooled engine that’s A2 compliant straight out of the showroom.

The W800 Street has a seat height of just 770mm but weighs in more than the Triumph Street Twin at 221kg.

Kawasaki say it has been modernised to deliver a user friendly riding experience.

Prices for the W800 start at £8400

Summary

The Street Twin is a great all rounder which ensured it would be a very popular addition to Triumph’s modern classic range. Perhaps its biggest asset though is that the Triumph Street Twin is good for beginners.

Unlike some of the other motorcycles aimed at the novice rider, being able to remove the A2 factory fitted restrictor after you get your full licence means that you will get plenty of years of enjoyment out of the Street Twin.


About Ancient Hippy 44 Articles
Ancient Hippy has been back in the saddle since 2017, having fallen for the Triumph Bobber. Mounts owned in a previous century include several pre-unit Triumphs, an old school chopper, an Honda CB750 Cafe Racer and an XT500 thumper. Click here for more about Ancient hippy

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