Is this the new Speed Twin?

Just when you thought Triumph couldn't get any more mileage out of the new Bonneville range, another possible model has been spied being road-tested. Obviously based on the Thruxton R, it has a Streetfighter look to it which has always proved popular.

The first thing you notice is the twin, round, headlights that everyone loved from the early Street Triple. These give the machine a unique look and make it stand out from the single-headlamp models. Whether the round lights will be kept or whether they are just there for testing is another matter, expect Triumph to give them a lot more attention.

At this point it has to be said that any final model will be completely styled and polished whereas the picture shows a rough prototype being used for road testing.

The next thing you notice are the mismatched wheels which scream 'prototype' at you. The spoked rear wheel is straight off the Thruxton, but the front cast wheel is almost certainly from a Street Triple. Again this is probably for testing purposes but it would make a lot of sense to have a smaller front wheel than the 18" on the other models. It is expected that the bike will have cast wheels to suit the overall look.

Other things that indicate that it is a work in practice are the lack of themed parts with items from other models being used just for testing purposes. The clocks aren't particularly well mounted, just being there for practical purposes, and the bars have spacers to allow them to be raised and lowered to test out different riding positions. The prototype machine has been registered for about a year so this has definitely been a very considered addition to the range, probably all part of a big scheme.

The engine is pure 1200cc Bonneville. It is difficult to distinguish between the 900cc and 1200cc lumps but there are various clues that give it away. So if this is going to be a 1200cc based machine, we have to consider that they will also be thinking about a 900cc version - Speed Cup anyone?

Triumph already have a UK Trade Mark for the name 'Speed Twin' (registered back in 2000), but they have also recently applied for a Trade Mark for the name 'Speed Twin' internationally - in January 2016 in fact. It's almost certain that this is the name they are considering using for this new parallel-twin model. Given the amount of time it takes to get a new model to market, you almost certainly won't be seeing the Speed Twin until late 2017 - expect it to be debuted at the EICMA show in Milan, and to be in dealerships in March 2018.