Triumph’s Bonneville business is booming, but the top selling Bonnie isn’t the sporty Thruxton, the distinguished T120 or the stripped-bare Bobber. Nope, the best-selling Bonneville of them all is the affordable, accessible, ripe-for-customization Street Twin.

The Street Twin is everything you need and nothing you don’t–it looks like a motorcycle is supposed to without trying too hard, with enough modern performance and technology to remain relevant and fun.

It’s the rare bike that transcends age and gender; according to Triumph, Street Twin buyers represent the widest age range of any of its Bonneville models and many are new riders, plus more than twice the “normal” number are women–no doubt attracted to the Twin’s sub-30-inch seat height.

The year after its 2016 launch, the Street Twin spawned two derivatives powered by the same liquid-cooled 900cc SOHC parallel twin, the Street Cup café racer and the Street Scrambler, each with its own purpose-built chassis and distinct personality.

Read our Ride Review of the original 2017 Street Scrambler here.

2019 Triumph Street Scrambler
Our first ride aboard the new 2019 Street Twin and Street Scrambler took place in beautiful Portugal…where it promptly rained, allowing us a chance to test the new Rain ride mode. Fortunately, the sun came out and we enjoyed this beautiful sunset. Photos by Kingdom Creative.

For 2019, the original Street Twin as well as its Street Scrambler sibling are getting some notable updates, including a bump in power, revised front suspension and brakes, new ride modes and a light style refresh. Street Twin and Street Scrambler version 2.0, here we go!

First let’s talk power, a claimed 18 percent more peak horsepower to be exact, plus a flatter torque curve that delivers in the “real-world” range of 3,500 to 5,500 rpm, achieved via a minor retune and a few lighter bits in the engine–a magnesium cam cover, a lighter crankshaft, new dead shafts and balance shafts that ride on them, a mass-optimized clutch cover and a lighter clutch.

It looks the same from the outside, but lighter components in the engine as well as a retune boost peak horsepower by a claimed 18 percent. (Street Scrambler shown.)

Based on the Jett Tuning dyno results in our Rider Test of the 2016 Street Twin, the increase should translate to 62 peak horsepower arriving close to the higher 7,500-rpm redline, with peak torque unchanged at 56.7 lb-ft at 3,200 rpm. The seat-of-the-pants result is a new sense of urgency and more get up and go in the mid- to high-end; on our first ride in the mountains near Lisbon, Portugal, I felt it most noticeably during 40-mph roll-ons and when accelerating out of corners, reducing the need to downshift.

The engine has a bit of V-twin character infusion thanks to a 270-degree firing interval, but unpleasant vibration is eliminated by dual counterbalancers. A feather-light assist clutch (with adjustable lever, thank you Triumph!) operates the five-speed gearbox. Both bikes are geared fairly tall, and I didn’t find myself missing a sixth gear even cruising at 70 mph on the freeway; I’m guessing most Twin and Scrambler buyers aren’t looking to do much more than tickle the “ton” anyway. The soundtrack is classic Triumph, surprisingly throaty and with a pleasant amount of burble on deceleration.

2019 Triumph Street Twin
Comfortable, accessible, affordable, fun and good looking: the Street Twin likely has a bright future ahead of it.

Harnessing all of this is a smooth throttle-by-wire system with standard 2-channel ABS and switchable traction control, but new this year is the addition of Road and Rain ride modes. Road is the default setting; while Rain softens throttle response and increases traction control intervention, power output is unchanged.

The Street Scrambler is equipped with a third mode, Off-Road, that leaves the throttle map in snappy Road mode and turns ABS and traction control completely off. (ABS cannot be disabled on the Street Twin.) Rain and Road modes are easily selectable on the fly using a large button on the left switchgear; the Street Scrambler must be stationary to select Off-Road mode.

2019 Triumph Street Scrambler
Revised instrument on both bikes includes more indicator lights. LCD shows fuel level, gear indicator, tripmeter/odometer, ride mode and other info like TC/ABS setting and engine RPM.

Performance from the single 310mm-disc front brake on both bikes has been improved, with an opposed 4-piston Brembo caliper replacing the old 2-piston Nissin unit; a floating 2-piston Nissin still squeezes the 255mm rear disc. The difference is noticeable, with more bite up front and better lever feel, increasing confidence when riding aggressively or in the rain.

They also share a new 41mm non-adjustable KYB cartridge fork, and although it has the same 120mm (4.7 inches) of travel as before, it has a wider stance and feels just a tad beefier. Rear suspension, with 4.7 inches of travel and adjustable for preload only, is unchanged.

At 135 pounds, I weigh less than the “average” rider for whom most bikes this size are sprung, but I could still detect an improvement in rebound damping up front that made for a slightly more plush ride. The rear is still rather harsh, so if these bikes were mine, I’d invest in lighter springs up front and a set of Triumph’s accessory Fox shocks for the back.

2019 Triumph Street Scrambler
Despite its heft (compared to the diminutive Street Twin), I felt quicker and more comfortable on the Street Scrambler.

Jenny’s Gear
Helmet: X-lite X803 Ultra Carbon
Jacket: iXS Josy
Jeans: Spidi J&Racing Lady
Boots: Rev’It Royale H2O

Our riding day in Portugal was blessedly sunny, but it had rained for several days prior so we were warned to use caution (and Rain mode) on the shady, twisty mountain roads. We were assigned one model for the morning and one for the afternoon, swapping at lunch as well as the four photo stops, giving us the unique experience of getting to ride these similar yet oh-so-different bikes back-to-back. It quickly became apparent that they are indeed two distinct motorcycles that will likely appeal to different riders, and not just because of their aesthetics.

2019 Triumph Street Twin
The Twin’s slightly dished bench seat and narrow handlebar create compact, comfortable ergos that are attractive to smaller riders.

I started the day on a Street Scrambler, and with its wide handlebar and footpegs mounted below and a bit forward of the 31.1-inch seat to aid in standing, it fit my 5-foot, 9-inch frame well. Though suspension travel is identical to the Street Twin, the Street Scrambler is fitted with longer springs front and rear that, along with the 19-inch front wheel, contribute to its feel as a larger machine. It’s not my imagination–though it shed a few pounds since last year the Scrambler is still about 10 pounds heavier than the Twin, and a glance at the spec sheet shows it’s also longer, taller and wider at the bars.

Settling onto its lower 29.9-inch seat the Street Twin, by contrast, felt much more compact–almost too much so for my 34-inch inseam. As it turns out, Triumph actually added 10mm (0.4-inch) of seat foam to improve rider and passenger comfort, increasing the seat height correspondingly and placing the rider in a slightly sportier position over the handlebar. On the brief photo shoot passes and even during the longer stints on the afternoon ride, the compact riding position never bothered me–in fact I was grinning madly inside my helmet as we chased the curves down to the crashing waves of the Portuguese coast–but if I were to choose one I’d say the Scrambler fit me better.

2019 Triumph Street Scrambler
The Street Scrambler’s wider handlebar and more spread-out ergos fit me better than the more compact Street Twin.

In the morning, when the roads were still quite damp, I kept my Scrambler in Rain mode; because it maintains full engine power, I found the slightly softer throttle response to be easier to modulate as we negotiated the unfamiliar–and often quite bumpy–twists and turns, without feeling too heavily reined-in. As the roads dried out and I swapped back and forth on each bike in Road mode, I found myself appreciating their unique experiences.

The Street Twin felt smaller, lighter and surprisingly sporty. Its tubeless Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp tires (rolling on cast aluminum wheels, 18 inches up front and 17 at the rear) were working better on the dry pavement than they had in the morning, and despite the narrow bar I was able to flick the Twin through corners easily.

2019 Triumph Street Twin
If you’ve ever complained that there are no “proper” bikes for inseam-challenged ladies, take a look at the Street Twin. It pulls off the compact riding position without compromising performance.

Yet despite its expanded dimensions and heavy spoked steel wheels (with that larger 19 up front), I felt quicker on the Street Scrambler. Maybe it was the added leverage from the wider bar, and the Metzeler Tourance ADV-style tires were performing very well regardless of road conditions…but it could just be that I was more comfortable. A quick poll of my fellow journalists seemed to support that theory; smaller folks liked the Twin, taller ones the Scrambler.

Ultimately, however, both are designed to be fun, stylish and accessible to a wide range of riders, and to that end they both succeed. With thoughtful touches like the easy-pull torque-assist clutch, low seat heights, adjustable brake and clutch levers, enough tech to have your back without requiring a small supercomputer, 10,000-mile service intervals (20,000 miles for valve inspections) and reasonable price tags, the Street Twin and Street Scrambler are easy to ride, easy to own and easy on the eyes.

2019 Triumph Street Twin
2019 Triumph Street Twin

2019 Triumph Street Twin

Base Price: $9,300 (Jet Black)
Price as Tested: $9,550 (Matt Ironstone)
Website: triumphmotorcycles.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin, SOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 900cc
Bore x Stroke: 84.6 x 80.0mm
Transmission: 5-speed, torque assist wet multi-plate clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 55.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.1 degrees/4.0 in.
Seat Height: 29.9 in.
Claimed Dry Weight: 437 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gals.
MPG: NA

2019 Triumph Street Scrambler
2019 Triumph Street Scrambler

2019 Triumph Street Scrambler

Base Price: $11,000 (Fusion White)
Website: triumphmotorcycles.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin, SOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 900cc
Bore x Stroke: 84.6 x 80.0mm
Transmission: 5-speed, torque assist wet multi-plate clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 56.9 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.6 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 31.1 in.
Claimed Dry Weight: 448 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gals.
MPG: NA

3 COMMENTS

  1. Nice write-up. I’ll add the Street Twin to the short list of bikes to look at next season, when my girlfriend and I start shopping for her next bike – an “upgrade” from her F4i.

  2. Very thorough report and encouraging me to read your threads more often. Nice to see a gal who understands bikes and not only speaks the language of performance but has the hudspah to explore them. As a retired old guy ,I’m glad Triumph and other marques are recognizing the potential of the market for women in the moto hobby and long overdue in my view. Personally I’d love to run into more ladies with stories to tell at fire pits in campgrounds and roadway cafe’s . I realize the cruiser genre is already embraced many of the “Biker Babes” and that’s cool but those of us who love the Euro bikes and adventure machines could use more company out on the road from the gentler set as well. Ride on and encourage others to discover the life on two wheels is a great place to be .

  3. I enjoyed the comparison between both versions of the Street Twin. I’ve been lusting after this bike since it first came out and your experiences have only fanned the flame, ( thanks for that !!). I’m hoping to add this ride in the garage soon.

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