All Duels – Duel BMW R nineT Vs Triumph Thruxton R: recreation (c) tives! – Dynamic: unique motorcycles, multiple pleasures!

Duel BMW R nineT Vs Triumph Thruxton R: recreation (c) tives !

All Duels - Duel BMW R nineT Vs Triumph Thruxton R: recreation! - Dynamic: unique motorcycles, multiple pleasures!

Some motorcycles do not need any artifice to seduce, their magic working at first glance. This is the case of the BMW R NineT and the Triumph Thruxton R, two “ retro-chic ” as desirable as they are sensational.. Duel under the sign of pleasure…

Dynamic: unique motorcycles, multiple pleasures !

Thanks to a well thought-out "saddle-handlebar-footrest" triangle, the Thruxton R avoids the trap of radicalism that is typical of many cafe-racers. Admittedly, its ergonomics inevitably generate constraints greater than that of the R nineT, especially at the level of the support on the wrists and the bending of the legs, but its position is surprisingly bearable … if not "comfortable" ", in the strict sense of the term !

The explanation for this relative preservation of comfort lies in the half-handlebars generously raised above the triple tree (we repeat, but this piece is absolutely magnificent!) And its saddle cleverly positioned to contain the flexion of the bust towards the front. ‘before. We are far from the "Cafra" of yesteryear piloted with the buttocks in the air, the nose placed on the dashboard and the wrists square !

In reality, the Thruxton’s position is close to that of a modern sports roadster (type S1000R, for example). Another reason for astonishment: the Triumph leaves an unsuspected space on board in view of its small appearance – almost frail next to the BMW, more imposing and stocky. Even with very large sizes, this "roominess" is an excellent surprise. !

Benjamin, our (big) rider, can’t get over how easily he fits his 1.92 m into the Thruxton, his long legs perfectly wedged in the notches of the tank. As narrow as it is elegant, this tank seems to come from a medium displacement compared to that of the BMW, yet seriously thinned at its base to spare the arcade.

Result: despite its greater saddle height (810 mm against 785 for the NineT), the Triumph is finally barely less accessible and the boots of a pilot of 1.75 m touch the ground on one as on the ‘other, but with more ease and stability on German.

This characteristic benefits the R nineT in the city, as does its shorter turning diameter of a small meter and the greater width of its handlebars, favorable to the lever arm. Another advantage in favor of maneuverability: the flat layout of its cylinders, which lowers its center of gravity and benefits from intuitive setting on the angle.

However, the Thruxton R is far from being dropped in the clutter. Showing substantially the same weight (203 kg dry, ie 225 kg "all wet" against 222 kg for the nineT with 90% of the full), the English is just as well balanced. Its reactivity is dazzling, boosted by its ultra-short wheelbase (1415 mm against 1476 on the BMW) and its very closed caster angle of 22 ° 8. Or 0.1 ° less than … Speed ​​Triple 2016 !

Although a little "braked" at very low speed by its steering damper, the R Nine T nevertheless remains more manageable than the Thruxton, disadvantaged by its typical ergonomics. But the gap is not that high and tends to stabilize as soon as the pace increases, the Triumph turning like a feather thanks to its sharp geometry and its narrow rear tire (160 against 180 mm).

In fact, if the Englishwoman definitively gives up the advantage to the German in town, it is above all for practical questions: her crutch, in particular, is horrifying to unfold because of a pin too short and placed under the selector axis. Its gas cap mounted without hinge is also a cause of annoyance, not totally dissipated by the beauty of the chrome hood – type "Monza" – which covers it..

MNC tip: to avoid losing this sliding tank cap, place it (key down) in the space formed by the Neiman, the triple clamp and the tachometer. Likewise, with the fuel flap off-center to the right, stand to the left of the pumps: this makes the maneuver easier! Especially since it is not always easy to introduce the lance into the filling opening, due to lack of depth…

Other aspects which penalize the Thruxton R: it is "mechanically" less liveable in built-up areas. Its parallel twin, stalled at 270 ° and the crankshaft lightened compared to the Bonneville, does not have the confusing elasticity of the flat-twin, capable of resuming without a hiccup at 1500 rpm on all reports. The threshold of flexibility of the English block is located a few hundred turns higher.

Despite its liquid cooling, the British engine also heats the thighs quickly and abundantly in traffic jams, even when the temperature does not exceed 20 ° C. With an additional 15 ° C at the height of summer, the Thruxton must be a real rotisserie !

Added to this is its slow and noisy selection, more than that of the Boxer which is however not a reference in the matter! The English retorts with its clutch in oil bath smoother and more progressive than the dry single-disc device of its rival. It’s always pleasant, even if the omnipresent couple of these two motorcycles rarefies the changes of reports….

In "Road" mode, the Triumph’s electronic throttle also offers exquisite sensitivity and precision, a step above the BMW "full by cables" device. The acceleration dosage is rougher on the R nineT, largely also because of its gimbal not completely as transparent as a chain … but oh so much less messy !

The engine at the heart of sensations

From the start, the flat-twin announces the color: this unit has a solid temperament, as evidenced by its very present vibrations and its pronounced overturning torque! And what a voice: its characteristic roar is magnified by the "Akra" outputs, perhaps a little too expressive for the taste of the neighbors of the building…

Apart from the click emanating from its double ACT distribution, it is an acoustic faultless: sacred revenge for this engine once criticized for its bland sound evoking the Citroën 2 CV! Rumbling, almost threatening, this soundtrack completely overlaps that of the Thruxton R, much more discreet.

More melodious to the ear, it is less jerky and its sound more "round". Likewise, when the throttle is cut off, the Thruxton R lets out muffled and happy backfiring when the R NineT crackles sharply. The tone is literally set: the BMW plays it bad boy, impatient and borderline aggressive !

But the Triumph hides its game well: under its placid exterior and its less sporty characteristics (simple ACT and compression of 11: 1 against 12: 1 for the BMW), the English twin conceals a solid temperament … and a furious desire to express it !

It is also subject to vibrations at mid-range (but in significantly less quantity), the Thruxton R surprises with its low mechanical inertia: the needle of its tachometer takes off at the slightest opening of the throttle! It’s even more striking in "Sport" mode, more chaotic on the net but even more responsive to acceleration. Less quick to take its turns, the flat also offers more engine braking.

Outclassed at low revs, the English then replied very nicely, even going so far as to gain a little lift on the NineT from 3000 to 5000 rpm during our tests of times, including at 90 km / h in sixth (3250 rpm on the BMW, a little less on the Triumph). The feat is no small feat, as the German block – with its 13 additional hp – is in good health !

The generous torque of the Triumph, available very early (4950 rpm against 6000), explains this ability to stand up to its rival, yet formidable in terms of muscular times. Subsequently, however, it is left behind: the nineT continues to push hard almost up to the 8500 rpm of its breaker when the Thruxton R, more linear past 6000 rpm, stagnates as it approaches its cut-off. ignition at 7750 rpm.

Never stingy in sensations – both dynamic and sonorous – these two engines are real pleasure factories, pushing "hairy" without needing to type in. We take a monstrous foot to wind in 4th in the winding, taking advantage of their punch between 2000 and 5000 rpm to extract powerfully from the curves negotiated between 50 and 90 km / h !

Not to spoil anything, they are both quite sober, with a minimum consumption at the pump of 5.71 l / 100 km for the BMW and 5.55 l / 100 km for the Triumph, which is also Euro 4 approved. unlike the Nine T (see our consumption statements in the right column). Not bad at all for high displacement twins, especially with regard to their performance !

The height of happiness: these exceptional engines benefit from the right cases, in this case the remarkable cycle parts of homogeneity and efficiency. The Thruxton R plunges into curves with astonishing liveliness, well helped by its original riding worthy of a Hypersport: more pointed profile than its opponent.

Glued to the asphalt, it keeps its trajectory without ever having to force, where the nineT requires extra effort when the pace picks up. The finding is amplified when the front brake is maintained or actuated in curves: the fork of the BMW stiffens slightly, limiting for a short time its possibilities of improvisation. Absolutely insensitive phenomenon on the Triumph.

The opportunity to praise the braking efficiency of these two motorcycles, equivalent in power: enormous! But their feeling is different: the bite is much greater on the BMW, while the lever of the Triumph offers too much resistance on its first millimeters of travel. The Thruxton R, on the other hand, is the best off at the rear, because its Nissin caliper is easier to dose..

The exceptional traction of the Englishwoman places her anti-skating technically unemployed in most cases, at least in the dry: on wet roads, MNC appreciated its rapid and fluid release, almost transparent to driving. The same goes for its ABS, as perfectly calibrated and responsive as that of the BMW.

Devoid of any safety net when accelerating, the R Nine T therefore requires skill and experience on slippery roads: being overwhelmed by its generous slices of torque, served piping hot at all times, is quicker. than we believe !

In terms of suspension finally, the two rivals play generally in the same register: a firm calibration, even sporting, from which results a shock absorption sometimes unceremoniously. Experienced bikers – and their potentially strained bones – will need to bite the bullet on bumpy roads !

A few clicks to slow down the trigger on the fork of the Triumph are not superfluous in order to soften its reactions, intervention impossible to achieve on the BMW for lack of adjustments. At the rear, the combined Thruxton have an ounce of additional progressiveness, unfortunately swept away by its saddle discomfort…

The BMW seat, although not really a model of comfort, does much better in this area: after two long days of driving of nearly 300 km each, MNC was able to appreciate the superior qualities of its padding, which is certainly firm, but more constant over time !

Verdict: the essence of motorcycle pleasure !

By compiling our notes and our observations to establish an objective classification, the evidence strikes us: the R Nine T and the Thruxton R are such instruments of pleasure (pleasure of watching them, pleasure of listening to them and pleasure of piloting them) that ‘it almost seems indecent to reduce the outcome of this match to hard and measurable data…

Choosing one or the other ultimately comes down to a very personal, eminently subjective appreciation, fueled by their ability to catch your eye. In other words: those who fall for the BMW will probably have no attraction for the Triumph, and vice versa. Matter of taste, so !

But if we stick strictly to the points marked, the BMW tends to impose itself thanks to its additional versatility, its less demanding ergonomics, its incredibly filling engine and its few practical aspects in addition (better autonomy thanks to its 3, 5 liters more, more comfortable saddle and two-seater as standard, cardan transmission)…

Sensational, in the strict sense, the R Nine T thrills with its visual and technological simplicity, dictated by a desire to offer a return to the sources: a – wide – handlebars, a saddle, full of beautiful parts, a large and torquey engine. roll my hen! A refreshing approach in view of the Bavarian manufacturer’s usual concern for performance and high technology !

So, again, the neo-retro BMW roadster? Not so sure: if we add the "price" component to the equation, the balance tilts inexorably towards the Thruxton R, with its rich and sumptuous endowment of equipment (adjustable fork, Ohlins shock absorbers, anti-skating, mapping, lighting LED daytime running light, etc.). Not to mention its superior finish, a very important aspect in this segment. All for a slightly lower price: 14,900 euros against 15,400…

The opportunity to question, once again, the price positioning of the R Nine T, certainly attractive at all levels but more expensive than its "cousins" R 1200R (€ 13,555) and S 1000R (€ 13,500) ) with yet superior technological content! The Triumph drives the point home with its standard version, available from € 12,900 with its few less elegant peripherals.

In the meantime, it’s not easy to separate these two pleasure machines, eh? For MNC, in any case, the victory of the Triumph is essential, as its class and its refinement seem in perfect adequacy with the image "neo-retro-chic". And as the ramage relates to this magnificent plumage…

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