The 2009 Triumph Thruxton is typically classified as a classic motorcycle, while the manufacturer describes the Thruxton model as a ""cafe racer."" What does that mean? Well, if you are looking for a super bike that takes full advantage of Triumph’s reputation for powerful, fast bikes that tend to attract sirens behind you, then the Thruxton is not for you. The Triumph Rocket or Speed Triple may better suit your needs. If you want a bike that takes you on dirt roads to your hunting cabin, the Thruxton is not for you, but the Triumph Tiger is your bike. However, if you are a more casual motorcyclist who gets your bike out on weekends for a relaxing ride down Pacific Coast Highway, or to cruise around reminiscing about the golden age of Mods versus Rockers, then the Thruxton is the perfect motorcycle for you.
Named after a famous motorcycle race track in the 1960s where Triumph bikes once dominated, the Thruxton's name and design evoke a pure retro feel. The 2009 Triumph Thruxton looks like a 1960s era cafe racer, complete with analog instrument dials. With clean, classic lines, the Thruxton pays homage to Triumph’s long tradition of producing high-quality motorcycles with a lot of heritage appeal. Few companies can boast a list of “cool” customers the way Triumph can, as James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Steve McQueen all rode Triumph motorcycles. The 2009 Triumph Thruxton conjures up images of those days of cafe racing lore, but with modern performance components.
The Thruxton's 68 hp and 51 lb-ft of torque might not seem like much, especially when compared to some of Triumph’s other offerings. But compared to other bikes labeled cafe racers, the Thruxton’s 865cc, parallel-twin engine furnishes the rider with plenty of power. With a top speed of 119 mph, the Thruxton can definitely put the race in cafe racer, at least compared to most other bikes in its class.
Even though it looks like an old-fashioned carburetor, Triumph introduced sequential multiport electronic fuel injection (EFI) for the 2009 Thruxton. This grants the Thruxton rider a reliable modern solution, while still maintaining the classic look. The transmission is typical of Triumph, a smooth shifting, five-speed gearbox with a multi-plate wet clutch.
The tubular steel cradle frame supplies a sufficiently retro look for the Thruxton’s sturdy chassis. Performing admirably along both curved roads and highways, the Thruxton rider can expect a stable ride. A 41mm fork suspension with adjustable preload in front and twin spring shocks with adjustable preload in the rear assist the chassis in giving the Thruxton owner a smooth and comfortable ride. The somewhat narrow tires (100/90 x 18 in front and 130/80 x 17 for the rear) keep the Thruxton nimble and maneuverable. If you are concerned about stopping power, modern disc brakes in front and in the rear ensure the Triumph Thruxton can slow and stop more efficiently than a vintage 1960s cafe racing bike.
Cafe racers have usually been customized by their owners, as ""modding"" your cafe racer was part of the 1960s culture. Triumph offers many Thruxton-specific accessories including chrome parts, but there are also many ways a motorcycle tinkerer can modify his Triumph Thruxton, be it for increased performance or individual aesthetics. Whether you are a young motorcyclist looking for a casual, fun ride, or a decades-long rider who remembers the glory days of cafe racers, the 2009 Triumph Thruxton might be just the bike for you.