The Triumph Speed Twin's purity of form announces its intention from every angle. It has the classic lines of a vintage bike, but doesn't simper expectantly at the curb in wait of your affirmation. It's a real performer without being a performance bike. It feels effortlessly cool, but mostly because it's effortless to ride.

2019 Triumph Speed Twin
The 2019 Triumph Speed Twin has an MSRP of $12,100 for jet black and $12,600 for silver or red.Kingdom Creative

Perched atop its flat bench seat, the rider feels immediately in charge—feet tucked just slightly back, torso bent in anticipation of sailing into the wind. It’s the right posture if you have an itchy throttle hand.

Turn the key. Wait for the sweep of the analog tach and speedo needles and the mechanical hiss of the fuel pump priming. Thumb the starter. The Speed Twin comes to life with a pleasing rumble through its twin silencers. It’s not brash or angry sounding; it just sounds “tuned.”

2019 Triumph Speed Twin
The Speed Twin is rife with nice details like a Monza cap and bar-end mirrors.Kingdom Creative

If the Bonneville T120 is The Rolling Stones playing “Route 66” in shirts and ties, the Speed Twin is the Stones playing “Gimme Shelter” in black leather jackets and beat-up denim.

Don’t get me wrong, the Speed Twin is not an aggressive machine. It just begs to be flogged because it’s incredibly easy to ride—an attribute which defines modern Triumphs as much as porous gaskets and fickle Lucas electrics defined the Meriden Triumphs that we all can’t help but love (at least from a distance).

For those of us who’ve never been victimized by faulty electrics and stranded in a rainstorm, riding old Triumphs is easy to romanticize.

2019 Triumph Speed Twin rider point of view
Ride wherever the front wheel carries you… Mallorca, Spain in this case.Kingdom Creative

Fortunately, the Speed Twin’s classic form and genuine goodness are able to infatuate with none of the frustrating romantic entanglements of an actual vintage (but recently restored!) machine.

The Speed Twin produces less than 100 hp, but it’s accessible throughout the rev range, so you can use all those ponies all the time. It’s not like some supersport machine where you only get to experience its best when you’re spinning it up to 12,000 rpm and doing triple digits. You’re paying for horsepower. You may as well be able to use every one, right?

2019 Triumph Speed Twin side panel
All the different surface finishes, including hand-painted coach lines around the tank graphic, bespeak quality.Kingdom Creative

Pitching it into corners, the Speed Twin is composed and agile. There’s nothing fancy about the suspension, but at average-rider speeds and on decent pavement, it’s plush and controlled. Same deal with the brakes and electronics. Everything is thoughtfully paired down. And everything does what it’s supposed to do without any fuss so you can get on with the business of riding.

2019 Triumph Speed Twin
Speed Twin in the wild.Kingdom Creative

The Speed Twin is a bike to stand back and admire in the moonlit glow of a midnight garage. It’s a bike for spontaneous spins when golden rays heat the pavement and seem to part time as though the heavens predicted your itch to ride. There are times for faster bikes and fancier bikes, but there’s no wrong time for a bike that just wants to make you feel good.

2019 Triumph Speed Twin tracking
The original Edward Turner-designed Speed Twin casts a long shadow. The modern iteration does justice to its namesake. It’s a desirable motorcycle that packs a lot of bang for the buck.Kingdom Creative

And feeling is what this bike is all about—the slick, precise gearbox; the light clutch; the mellow vibes of the parallel-twin engine; the slender tank between the knees. It’s all in the service of a good ride.

For the sweetness of spending a day in the wind, the Speed Twin doles out the perfect portion of performance, purity, and simplicity.

Cast aluminum wheels
Cast aluminum wheels are lighter than the Thruxton’s spoked numbers. By reducing unsprung weight and reciprocating mass, overall handling is improved.Kingdom Creative
stainless exhaust
Triumph’s accessory catalog is full of parts to customize the Speed Twin, including this stainless exhaust from Vance & Hines.Kingdom Creative
2019 Triumph Speed Twin
Mallorca was full of these tight hairpin turns. The Speed Twin was easy to maneuver around them, though the engine has a lot of engine braking, so being gentle with the throttle was important.Kingdom Creative
PRICE $12,100 (black); $12,600 (colors)
ENGINE 1,200cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC parallel twin
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 96 hp @ 6,750 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 83 lb.-ft. @ 4,950 rpm
FRAME Tubular steel w/ aluminum cradle
FRONT SUSPENSION 41mm KYB cartridge fork; 4.7-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Twin KYB shocks adjustable for preload; 4.7-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers, 305mm twin discs w/ ABS
REAR BRAKE Nissin 2-piston caliper, 220mm disc w/ ABS
RAKE/TRAIL 22.8°/3.7 in.
WHEELBASE 56.3 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 31.8 in.