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It’s a good time for fans of modern, fuel-injected café racer motorcycles; bikes like the Triumph Thruxton R, RS, Kawasaki Z900RS, and BMW R nineT marry classic styling and updated performance. However, contemporary café bikes are so plentiful that choosing the right ride could be tricky. What’s more, one of the most popular retro cafés on the market is the Triumph Thruxton R 1200 and its replacement, the Thruxton RS. My time with the dapper Brit revealed nothing short of smiles for miles.  

What’s so special about the Triumph Thruxton R?

The classic, retro styling of the Triumph Thruxton R isn’t anything mold-breaking; many café bikes channel the charming look of older models. However, the Thruxton R, unlike the standard Thruxton model, integrates sporty, corner-hungry features like Öhlins shocks and a set of 43mm Showa forks. 

Horsepower97 hp
Torque82 lb-ft
Curb weight448 lbs
Seat height31.9 inches

In my experience, the Thruxton R is an eager step up from a style-over-substance café bike. The 1200cc parallel twin revs happily, the Brembo monoblocs bite well, and the Pirelli rubber grips confidently. However, push the handsome Hinckley bike too far, and some front-end twitchiness lets you know it’s no Panigale.  

Of course, the RS model, the successor to the R, kicks things up a notch. The RS model drops about 11 lbs and adds nine horsepower, for a total of 105. However, the RS ditched the almost painfully pretty Silver Ice paint scheme in favor of a busier three-tone affair with stripes on solid colors. 

How much is a Triumph Thruxton R?

A Silver Ice 2016 Triumph Thruxton R shows off its rear-end café racer styling.
2016 Triumph Thruxton R | Erik Sherman, MotorBiscuit

Depending on the model year, location, mileage, and condition, a used Triumph Thruxton R could cost between $8,000 and $13,000. However, a new RS model has a starting price of $16,995. 

You’ll also want to budget for modifications. In stock form, the Thruxton R’s black rear fender sticks out from under the paint-matched rear cowl. Fortunately, many aftermarket tail tidy options let the shapely rear shine. Still, that’s small potatoes compared to a $5,000 supercharger kit.

Is the Thruxton R discontinued?

Triumph discontinued the Thruxton R in favor of the more muscular RS model. However, that doesn’t mean the road ahead is all clear for the RS; Hinckley will discontinue the Thruxton line after the 2025 “Final Edition,” a Competition Green Metallic café racer.

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