Triumph Twin Test with Twists And Turns.
Where would you ride this pair?
Jeremy Webb jumped on two very different Triumph motorcycles, travelling on a couple of the best biking roads to put them to the test. He took the Tiger 1200 and the Street Twin to Wales to find out Who Dares Wins.
I decided to take the Triumphs to Wales and give them a real test in an area where the elite special forces are also tested. The beautiful Brecon Beacons. Riding there from the South Coast it gave me a chance to use motorways and A roads which both bikes are comfortable on.
Triumph has an expanding range of models covering every type of riding, so I chose two at opposite ends of the riding spectrum to see what they are like. Just like siblings share the same DNA, different models within a BRAND also share aspects so it was good to explore this on two completely different bikes.
The Tiger 1200 XRT is a large adventure bike and the Street Twin is a naked bike very much in the classic look of the ’50s. Both incorporate the latest technology and Triumph is at the forefront of integrated safety with riding modes available for different conditions and also the latest LCD displays for rider information.
The Tiger 1200 is a shaft driven Adventure bike with a 1200cc engine producing 139 Bhp, the Street Twin gets 64Bhp from its 900cc engine.
Both new models are lighter this year aiding performance when you twist that throttle. Modern technology encompasses the Tiger 1200 with full TFT digital display, up to six riding modes to suit conditions and riders’ mood. Cornering light integrated into the headlight system, back-lit switchgear, Triumph Shift Assist, keyless ignition, new ergonomics and more distinctive styling
The new Tiger range has really focused on improving off-road riding along with road riding, so you get the best on both surfaces. I certainly found this when taking it on some Green lanes and Byways.
Competitors to the Tiger are the BMW GS 1250 Adventure and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure and after testing both of these I found the Tiger 1200 equally as good in all aspects.
I chose two routes through the Beacons taking in all types of sites.
I found the experience of riding the bikes, like the film Twins with Arnie and Devito. Born from the same parents, sharing identities but different. It is also difficult to say which one I preferred as they both have qualities I like and it depends on what type of riding you want to do regularly or occasionally. Ideally, I would have both for different journeys.
The Street Twin is an ideal bike for someone who wants individuality, as Triumph provides over 140 custom accessories to shape the bike to the look you want. Customising bikes it very much on-trend again but people don’t want to distance the work too far from the original unit.
The Street Twin goes up against Yamaha’s XSR700 Tribute, the W800 from Kawasaki and the 650 Interceptor from Royal Enfield. As yet I have not ridden these bikes to directly compare but I can’t think they will be any better than the Triumph. It is such fun to ride, easy to handle, flick around at will, blast when you want to or just cruise which will be most of the time. Just enjoying riding, no rush. This is the perfect bike to get back into motorcycling as it is forgiving and won’t send you off the back of the seat if you twist the throttle aggressively. I found it a delight riding through the beautiful scenery in the Beacons.
The Tiger is a different beast with more power and sharp delivery when the throttle is turned. This does change however when you engage off-road riding mode and take the bike on some of the many trails through the National Park.
The bike is very agile and responsive which you need when negotiating BOATS, Byway Open to All Traffic. Conditions vary on these pathways with surfaces changing meaning traction has to adapt. You can turn off Traction control on the Tiger to put yourself in charge of how the bike handles. The riding position is great and when you need to stand you totally appreciate the good centre of gravity and the reduction in weight.
If you choose a Tiger 1200 you will have the best of both worlds. A great road bike and superb off-road one.
The Brecon Beacons has mountains and moorland, standing stones and castles, lively waterfalls and vibrant communities, the National Park has masses to offer residents and visitors. They have a long and colourful history and a rich and varied mythology and culture. The roads also provide a great proving ground for reviewing bikes, testing handling and performance.
The National Park is around 42 miles wide. In total, it covers approximately 520 square miles of South and Mid Wales, just west of Herefordshire, and includes parts of Powys, Carmarthenshire, Monmouthshire, Rhondda and Merthyr Tydfil.
It gets its name from the Central Beacons, which dominate the skyline south of Brecon. They rise to 886 metres at Pen y Fan, the highest peak in southern Britain.
The night skies are remarkable. They’ve earned us recognition as an International Dark Sky Reserve. The area’s industrial heritage is magnificent: Blaenavon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Park has incredible geology with amazing rock structures tell their own story. They’re so unique that a large part of the Beacons has been designated a European and Global Geopark.
To the east of the Central Beacons is Talybont Reservoir, a Local Nature Reserve. No boating is allowed here, but it’s a wonderful spot for waterside walks, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere of the Caerfanell Valley. An easy access path starts from the large lay-by on the north-west side.
At the southern end of Talybont Reservoir is a bird hide overlooking a protected wetland area that floods in the winter, while not far from the dam at the northern end is the YHA Danywenallt National Park Study Centre, a converted farmhouse that’s just right for bringing a school group to the area.
In the Central Beacons, Pontsticill Reservoir, the largest of the Taff Fechan reservoirs, is surrounded by dramatic, forested hills. There are an attractive car park and a picnic site on the west bank, which can be reached by a minor road from Merthyr to Talybont.
Tiger 1200 XRT Starting from £16,300.00.
New Street Twin Starting from £8,100.00
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