2022 Triumph Street Twin vs. 2009-2015 Thruxton 900: Should Your Retro Ride Be New or Used?

New Triumph Street Twin vs. used Thruxton comparison highlights:

  • Although their layouts and designs are different, the 2022 Triumph Street Twin and 2009-2015 Thruxton 900 come close in specs
  • As a brand-new retro motorcycle, the Triumph Street Twin benefits from newer tech and a factory warranty, though it’s also more expensive and electronics-heavy
  • It’s heavier and less of an all-arounder, but the Triumph Thruxton 900 café racer is cheaper to buy and arguably simpler to maintain

The current Triumph Thruxton RS might be one of the best retro motorcycles on sale, but it’s also rather expensive. Also, while Triumph previously offered lower-spec versions of its café racer, for now, it’s RS or nothing. However, it does sell another bike that comes close: the 2022 Triumph Street Twin. And that brings up an inevitable motorcycle buying question: new or used? More specifically, should you buy a new Street Twin or go for a used 2009-2015 Triumph Thruxton 900?

2022 Triumph Street Twin2009-2015 Triumph Thruxton 900
Price Range$9900-$10,350New: $8599-$9499 (NADA Guides)
Used: $2845-$6600 (NADA Guides)
Engine900cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin865cc air-cooled parallel-twin
Horsepower64 hp69 hp
Torque59 lb-ft53 lb-ft
TransmissionFive-speed manual with slipper-assist clutchFive-speed manual
Front suspension and travel41mm KYB cartridge forks; 4.7”41mm KYB cartridge forks; 4.7”
Rear suspension and travelTwin preload-adjustable KYB RSU shocks; 4.7”Twin preload-adjustable KYB RSU shocks; 4.2”
Seat height30.1″32.3″
Curb weight476 lbs507 lbs

2022 Triumph Street Twin

A blue-and-black 2022 Triumph Street Twin in a studio
2022 Triumph Street Twin | Triumph
  • Pros: Lighter; lower seat; newer suspension internals; Brembo vs Nissin brakes; more torque and features; improved engine response; brand-new motorcycle with a factory warranty
  • Cons: More expensive and complicated; less powerful; single front disc

The Speed Twin’s less extreme showroom sibling, the Triumph Street Twin is technically part of the Bonneville motorcycle family. And it’s also one of the most affordable modern Triumph bikes, next to the new Trident 660. As a result, it’s one of the brand’s best-selling retro models, RevZilla says.

Like its bigger sibling, the Bonneville, the Triumph Street Twin is a standard motorcycle. So, the riding position is upright and relaxed, the flat seat is great for riding solo or with a passenger, and it’s easy to accessorize and tweak to suit your needs. In short, it’s a solid, all-around bike with plenty of vintage style, Bennetts explains. Plus, while its suspension isn’t fully-adjustable, the Street Twin rides comfortably and handles well.

Also, like the rest of the Bonneville family, Triumph updated it for 2022. So, in addition to some styling changes, its engine responds quicker.

2009-2015 Triumph Thruxton 900

The front 3/4 view of a black-with-gold-stripes 2015 Triumph Thruxton 900 on a runway
2015 Triumph Thruxton 900 front 3/4 view | Triumph
  • Pros: Cheaper today; simpler powertrain; fewer electronics; more powerful; twin front discs
  • Cons: Less torque and rear travel; older suspension internals; fewer safety features

Drawing influence from café racers of old, Triumph introduced the Thruxton 900 in 2004 as a mildly sportier Bonneville variant. But it didn’t get fuel injection until the 2009 model year, hence why this comparison doesn’t include the earlier carbureted models. And in 2016 Triumph replaced the 900 with the Thruxton 1200 and 1200 R.

Although the current Thruxton RS is suitably sporty, the earlier 900 models were more about style than outright performance, Bennetts says. However, they did offer more over the contemporary Bonneville than just looks. Triumph also gave the Thruxton 900 an extra front disc, sportier riding position, longer rear shocks, and different fork internals. So, the café racer handles better than the contemporary Bonneville.

Triumph didn’t significantly update the Thruxton 900 during its production run apart from introducing fuel injection. However, because the bike’s style is a strong selling point, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ask Ryan Reynolds if you don’t believe us. The 2009 models have one-piece bars instead of clip-ons for added comfort, though, RevZilla notes. And being a café racer, its riding position is more laid-out than on the Street Twin.

2022 Triumph Street Twin vs. 2009-2015 Triumph Thruxton 900: Features

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Compared to the 2022 Triumph Street Twin, a 2009-2015 Thruxton 900 is a paragon of simplicity. It has two analog gauges—a speedometer and tachometer—an odometer, some warning lights, and that’s about it. And ABS remained optional throughout the bike’s run.

Being the more modern machine, the 2022 Street Twin packs significantly more tech. It only has one analog gauge—the speedometer—but it’s paired with a multi-function LCD. And not only does it have standard ABS, but it also comes with traction control and two riding modes. Plus, it has an LED taillight and an under-seat USB charging port. Also, while it only has a single front disc, it’s a four-piston Brembo unit, rather than dual two-piston Nissin ones.

Both retro motorcycles, though, have an 18” front wheel and a 17” rear wheel. And owners can find a plethora of accessories and mods for both the new Triumph Street Twin and old Thruxton 900, Motorcyclist notes. Suspension upgrades are a common sight on both bikes, especially with Thruxton race bikes.

2022 Triumph Street Twin vs. 2009-2015 Triumph Thruxton 900: Riding

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Although the 2022 Triumph Street Twin and 2009-2015 Thruxton 900 are both retro motorcycles, they’re different styles of bike. Combine that with different curb weights, riding positions, and steering geometries, and you’re left with similar but distinct experiences.

As standard, the Triumph Thruxton 900 is a solid motorcycle for the city and exploring back roads, RevZilla says. Yet despite its café racer image, it’s actually a fairly relaxed bike, Bennetts reports. It handles light touring without causing undue discomfort yet is still stable when leaned over on a sweeping road. However, the bike’s weight and suspension limit how easily it transitions between corners. And the standard shocks are too soft to offer truly sharp handling.

That’s not to say that the 2022 Triumph Street Twin is a sportbike in comparison. However, it’s even more approachable from a handling perspective. The Street Twin is just as comfortable around the city but turns in and carves corners more easily. It feels light and eager to turn, Motorcyclist says, not to mention well-balanced and neutral. And because it has a standard riding position, long-distance rides are less fatiguing.

Also, while the Thruxton 900 is more powerful on paper, some riders find that the stock tune and exhaust pipes strangle the engine, RevZilla claims. The newer Street Twin, meanwhile, suffers from no such complaints. However, both bikes’ transmissions are slick and easy to shift, with light-pull and forgiving clutches.

2022 Triumph Street Twin advantages

A close-up view of the gauge and LCD screen on a 2022 Triumph Street Twin
2022 Triumph Street Twin gauge closeup | Triumph

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Being the brand-new motorcycle, going with the 2022 Triumph Street Twin offers several benefits. As noted earlier, it has a factory warranty. Plus, it has more safety features, upgraded components, and newer engine software. Not to mention a newer engine, period.

In addition, because it’s a standard motorcycle, the Triumph Street Twin more easily adapts to non-sporty riding than the Thruxton. It’s easier to carry passengers and luggage on the Street Twin than the Thruxton, not to mention the former is less tiring on long rides. Plus, while its riding position is more upright, the Street Twin is no slouch in the handling department.

2009-2015 Triumph Thruxton 900 advantages

A black-with-gold-stripe 2015 Triumph Thruxton 900 parked on a hill overlooking a desert
2015 Triumph Thruxton 900 overhead rear 3/4 view | Triumph

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The 2009-2015 Triumph Thruxton 900 might have fewer features than the Street Twin, but that’s arguably a benefit for used bikes. Less stuff means less stuff that can go wrong. And it’s worth noting that the fuel-injected Thruxtons are fairly stout, especially in the engine department.

Also, a used Thruxton 900 is noticeably cheaper than a new Street Twin. That means more money for potential upgrades, and this bike is “a great ‘blank canvas,’” Bennetts says. So, with a bit of tweaking, you could end up with a used Thruxton that handles just as well or better than the Street Twin for less money. Plus, while both of these motorcycles have retro style, only one is a café racer.

Which retro motorcycle should you ride?

As with any motorcycle, go for a test ride before you make any buying decisions. Although you can change the handlebars, foot controls, and seat, if you aren’t comfortable on the base bike, don’t buy it. And because the Triumph Thruxton 900 and Street Twin are laid out differently, it’s difficult to determine personal comfort without getting on them.

But if you’re equally comfy on either retro motorcycle, which should you choose? If you want to save some cash and like the style, the Thruxton 900 has a lot to offer. However, you might have to upgrade some parts for its handling to live up to its looks. Also, if your regular rides take you far from home, it’s not the best bike for the job. As a better all-around machine, the Street Twin is the better choice here. Plus, as a brand-new motorcycle, you won’t have to worry about part failures or old components.

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