As for the mechanicals — the engine, chassis and suspension — it took Triumph engineers five years to develop and fine-tune it. In 2011 the project was kicked off and since then the main priority for Triumph was to make the new point-of-entry into the Triumph family a unique prospect for budding riders who like to have fun in the streets rather than munching miles. So, technically speaking, the engine was the first thing that needed to change; after all, the previous Bonnie’s 865-cc lump was 10 years old when work began on the new one. The new 900-cc “high torque motor”, as Triumph call it, may mimic the old pushrod-operated Meridian lump, but it was extensively re-designed to make it a modern unit. Liquid-cooling was introduced, double-overhead cams made way for a single overhead cam, although twin-cam is always better than single cam, but this setup seems to work just fine. A 270º crank angle and eight valves make it smoother and more refined. The bore and stroke were reduced from 90 x 68 mm to 84.6 x 80 mm to make it less oversquare. Ride-by-wire was introduced for better throttle response. All these changes make it a brilliant engine.
These major changes have altered the bike’s character to such an extent that it feels nothing like before, and that too in a good way. It now develops 55 PS at 5,900 revolutions per minute, which may not sound like much but the hallmark here is the bike’s massive 80 Nm of torque, all of which is available from 3,230 RPM. The way this parallel-twin has been tuned, the torque starts to arrive much earlier, giving it a livelier bottom and mid-range grunt. This makes the Street Twin utterly easy to ride in almost any condition — just whack open the throttle and the bike lunges forward with gusto. Overtaking cars and buses in the city goes like a breeze and the way the speed builds up is awesome. The smoothness of the engine is also something that attracted my attention. British bikes were known for their vibrations, but the Street Twin hardly has any, even when you open the throttle. Acceleration is exceptionally good thanks to that epic low-end grunt. Past 5,000 RPM, however, power and torque begin to drop quite rapidly. I never got a chance to spend time at high speeds since my ride was limited to the city, where the engine impressed me immensely.