2019 Triumph Street Twin Review
The best-selling model in Triumph’s retro-aware Modern Classic line, the latest Triumph Street Twin gets more power as part of a rethinking of the popular model.
We rode the 2019 Triumph Street Twin on the streets of Lisbon and along the rugged Portuguese coast to find out what this motorcycle is all about.
1. The 2019 Triumph Street Twin remains a compelling definition of the term “standard motorcycle.” There are certain models in motorcycling that could be used as a pictogram to describe what a motorcycle is, and the 2019 Triumph Street Twin fits the bill. It is what motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike think of when asked to describe an example of the form. Yet, despite presenting itself as a no-frills classic motorcycle, it slyly incorporates modern features in its design.
2. For 2019, the Street Twin gets a significant horsepower boost from 4000 rpm up to a new redline of 7500 rpm. Triumph accomplished this with electronics, rather than new valve timing, along with a higher rev ceiling. By sacrificing an undetectable bit of power below 3500 rpm, the 900cc High Torque Bonneville powerplant builds power at a much-improved rate after that. The difference is a significant 10-horsepower improvement at its peak output, 18-percent higher than last year.
3. Peak torque remains unchanged on the 2019 Triumph Street Twin, though the curve is much flatter, allowing the motor to pull strongly across the entire rev range. This is as important as the additional horsepower, as it makes for a much more rideable motorcycle. Low-end power is still strong—peak torque comes at just 3800 rpm—while it continues to pump out most of its maximum cranking power right through to the redline.
4. The broad powerband allows the Street Twin to work well with a five-speed gearbox. One would expect a motorcycle of this type to sport a six-speed tranny, yet Triumph makes it work with five cogs. This results in a simpler, lighter, and presumably less expensive motorcycle. Part of the sleight of hand is long gearing—first gear is quite high on the Street Twin, yet it has the grunt to pull it off. Fifth gear is high enough for any local freeway needs without excessive vibration, and with the ability to accelerate smartly when necessary.
5. The new power delivery takes away a good bit of the cruiser feel of the Triumph Street Twin and replaces it with a livelier character. Triumph made one more group of changes to re-invent the personality of the 900cc High Torque Bonneville powerplant—engineers lightened the crankshaft, balance shaft, dead shafts, and clutch. This allows the motor to spin up more quickly, and dovetails nicely with the focus on additional power from the midrange up. With the V-twin impersonating 270-degree firing order, the 900cc High Torque Bonneville motor is always going to have that cruiser feel. Now, it feels like a nicely modified V-twin ready to flex its muscles in a sinewy manner.
6. The Triumph Street Twin has always been a great urban motorcycle, and the newly tuned motor makes it even more effective. You wouldn’t want more power on top on the Street Twin at the cost of grunt. At its heart, this is a lower speed motorcycle strongly associated with running the gauntlet of traffic. It does this better than ever, with better acceleration. The strong pull down low is retained, along with the pleasingly throaty exhaust tone that encourages twisting the throttle. The motorcycle is compact for a 900, giving it the necessary agility for working through traffic confidently, and the torque-assist clutch (though not slipper) reduces in-town hand fatigue.
7. Rethought ergonomics make the 2019 Triumph Street Twin incrementally sportier and more comfortable. A simple 0.4-inch addition to the seat foam thickness—along with new-formula foam—has the result of giving the relatively diminutive Street Twin a bit more legroom, while also leaning the rider slightly more forward. Fortunately, as a pure upright, the marginally increased forward lean doesn’t have a negative impact on comfort. The extra legroom is welcome, and only those right on the cusp of being tall enough for the still-low Street Twin seat will be put off by the nominal height increase.
8. A new KYB cartridge fork and Brembo caliper help bring the chassis along with the motor improvements. With a faster motorcycle, better braking is essential, and the new Brembo caliper up front does that. It has an excellent feel, with a soft bite and the maximum stopping power needed. The KYB cartridge fork continues to be non-adjustable, yet the setup from the factory will more than satisfy the needs of an expected 2019 Triumph Street Twin customer. The Street Twin is a fun and effective motorcycle—not a high-performance machine.
9. Performance in the twisties is also improved on the 2019 Triumph Street Twin. No, the Street Twin is never going to be a rapier in the canyons with 25 degrees of rake. Plus, with the 18-/17-inch tire combination and the high-mileage focused Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp rubber, there is only so much grip on tap. Still, it’s a fun motorcycle to hustle through the corners, as it is not intimidating and has a predictable nature during acceleration, braking, and cornering. The Street Twin gives plenty of notice when you start pushing too hard, so back off and enjoy the ride. To resort to a well-worn yet descriptive cliché, it’s a gentleman’s backroad motorcycle.
10. Carry-over technology remains and is a big part of what makes the Street Twin such a friendly and functional motorcycle. There are two distinctive self-descriptive power modes—Rain and Road—on the ride-by-wire Street Twin. I rode the Street Twin on wet roads in the city and rural areas, and the Rain mode is a welcome option. When it’s dry, go with the Road mode. ABS is on 24/7, while the traction control can be shut off—I found no need to disable that safety feature. The Street Twin’s motor doesn’t look like a liquid-cooled, EFI design, but it is, with all the advantages provided. Under the seat is a USB charging port—very convenient.
11. Styling has been subtly modernized for the 2019 Triumph Street Twin, giving it a more timeless appearance. These changes include new graphics/logos on the side panels and tank, new aluminum wheels, as well as changes to the headlight. They are all welcome and upgrade the appearance of the Street Twin without abandoning its heritage.
12. Triumph as positioned the 2019 Street Twin as an affordable customizable motorcycle. In addition to over 100 accessories, Triumph has two Inspiration Kits—Urban Ride and Café Custom—to kickstart the imaginations of the less creative owners. The base price for the 2019 Triumph Street Twin is $9300 for the Jet Black version, with a $250 premium if you prefer Matt Ironstone or Korosi Red.
13. The 2019 Triumph Street Twin is one of those smile-inducing motorcycles that appeals to a wide variety of riders. Newer riders will love the friendliness of the Street Twin, while experienced riders can appreciate how few demands the motorcycle puts on the pilot. The styling is understatedly attractive, delivering the look of a classic motorcycle without being self-consciously retro. It is a wonderfully balanced and capable motorcycle that understands its purpose. The best-selling Street Twin just put more demands on the competition.
Photography by Kingdom Creative
- Helmet: HJC IS-17
- Jacket: Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket
- Back protection: Alpinestars Nucleon
- Gloves: Joe Rocket Pro Street
- Jeans: Joe Rocket Accelerator
- Boots: Tour Master Vintage WP 2.0
2019 Triumph Street Twin Specs
- Type: Vertical twin w/ 270-degree firing order
- Displacement: 900cc
- Bore x stroke: 84.6 x 80mm
- Maximum power: 64 horsepower @ 7500 rpm
- Maximum torque: 59 ft/lbs @ 3800 rpm
- Compression ratio: 11:1
- Fueling: EFI
- Valve train: DOHC; 8 valves
- Cooling: Liquid
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Clutch: Wet multiplate torque-assist
- Final drive: O-ring chain
- Frame: Tubular steel cradle
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable KYB 41mm cartridge fork; 4.7 inches
- Rear suspension: Spring-preload adjustable KYB shocks; 4.7 inches
- Wheels: Cast aluminum alloy
- Front wheel: 18 x 2.75
- Rear wheel: 17 x 4.25
- Tires: Pirelli Phantom
- Front tire: 100/90 x 18
- Rear tire: 150/70 x 17
- Front brake: 310mm disc w/ Brembo 4-piston fixed caliper
- Rear brake: 255mm disc w/ Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 55.7 inches
- Rake: 25.1 degrees
- Trail: 4.0 inches
- Seat height: 29.0 inches
- Fuel capacity: 12 liters
- Estimated fuel consumption: 72 mpg
2019 Triumph Street Twin Colors:
- Korosi Red
- Matt Ironstone
- Jet Black
2019 Triumph Street Twin Price:
- From $9300 MSRP
2019 Triumph Street Twin Review | Photo Gallery