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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody ever compare/contrast these 2? I'm pretty sure that my next bike will be one of them.
I've ridden both for very short times; not enough to really form an opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of each. Wondering what you all think? I know this is a BMW forum so the answers will most likely be skewed. Oh well, try to be objective.
Thanks
 

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If a short ride didn't give you an answer on which one you like better, then you need another ride on each with a couple of specific questions in your mind. The engines are different in many ways: Smoothness, torque, the feeling of how they build power, engine braking. Pay close attention to the engine's power and characteristics, I find them very different. The two bikes are also different in handling. Find some linked corners and feel the balance of each bike: Higher or lower feeling center of gravity, quickness of steering, does this bike dance for me? And how well the bikes fit your body: reach to the bars, position of the footpegs, seat comfort, seat height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If a short ride didn't give you an answer on which one you like better, then you need another ride on each with a couple of specific questions in your mind. The engines are different in many ways: Smoothness, torque, the feeling of how they build power, engine braking. Pay close attention to the engine's power and characteristics, I find them very different. The two bikes are also different in handling. Find some linked corners and feel the balance of each bike: Higher or lower feeling center of gravity, quickness of steering, does this bike dance for me? And how well the bikes fit your body: reach to the bars, position of the footpegs, seat comfort, seat height.
So, it sounds like you've ridden each "moto in Moab".
Could you please give me your thoughts on the differences in handling and power making characteristics?
BTW, I assume you live in Moab. Lucky Dawg. My favorite Mt. Biking destination and just an overall beautiful area of the world.
 

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So, it sounds like you've ridden each "moto in Moab".
Could you please give me your thoughts on the differences in handling and power making characteristics?
BTW, I assume you live in Moab. Lucky Dawg. My favorite Mt. Biking destination and just an overall beautiful area of the world.
I'm not in Moab now, but was lucky enough to live there for 10 years. Where do you live?
I love the way the BMW boxer builds it's power: At low revs it's got tons of torque, and when you get the revs up it will stretch your arms longer. As the tach gets above 5,000 it pulls harder and harder all the way to red line. And lots of engine breaking, and a little vibration. Just the right amount of rattle. The Triumph feels too smooth to me: "Is this thing even running?" Yes the Triumph is fast also. But the engine feels too refined for me. If that makes sense?
The BMW carries it's weight very low, and of course that monster looking engine! The R9T looks like it's all engine. The Triumph Speed Twin is a great looking "standard" motorcycle. Classic styling, predictable handling, very high quality. I want one sitting in my living room just to look at. But the ride doesn't move me. YMMV, so you've got to ride them again and pay attention to your emotions- How do I feel about this bike?
 

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For me all things equal, the choice was made on the basis of the engineering design, examples:
  • shaft vs chain
  • dry, hydraulic actuated clutch
  • similar power output without the complication (and drive loss) of water cooling
Yes, I have owned and ridden Triumphs and other brand water-cooled bikes and yes, this my first boxer twin from Spandau.
Each to his own and in the end what matters is that you enjoy your ride!
Good luck with your choice.

"four wheels good, two wheels better"
 

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I’ve ridden both as well and I’d say Moto in Moab above did a pretty great job of explaining the very different engine characteristics. The Thrux motor they put in the Speed Twin is properly fast and torquey to give the 9T a run for its money, but the boxer sort of grunts and shakes along the way while the Triumph is really creamy smooth. The one thing not mentioned so far is the radically different noises they make. I prefer the raucous and raw engine in the 9T but the sounds of the 270
parallel twin in the Triumph since it sounds very similar to a 90 degree twin. I also found that from the factory the Speed Twin burbles and backfires a surprising amount (something I enjoy). The BMW boxers, to me personally, will never sound as good as those other configurations since they’re farty and drone-y due to the crank angle and firing but they definitely have a very distinct sound that’s signature BMW. Given the engine characteristics I think it’s ironic that the super silky smooth Triumph motors sound so aggressive when uncorked, while the actually raw and coarse boxer sounds less aggressive by comparison IMO. I think the dimensions of the Speed Twin felt smaller and lower and the bike itself is a bit lighter as well.


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This is 3 months old, but I will butt in if nobody minds ;-) . Both are excellent in my opinion. The Triumph is spectacular with a great sound, smooth and refined but with just enough edge. The Triumph has the superior clutch and instrumentation (ie. fuel gauge etc.) . The BMW has loads of character, a much lower center of gravity feel and an old school mechanical personality. The bikes feel so different. You just can't go wrong between these two. Good luck on your decision. Honestly it's hard to find a bad new bike these days. They've gotten so good. These two are among my favorites. I'd probably throw in a Norton Ranger for comparison if I could get my hands on one here in the States. It's drool inducing.
 

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I currently own a '19 Triumph Speed Twin and a '12 Triumph Bonneville SE. I test drove a BMW r-nine-t classic last week and am currently in talks to trade my '12 Bonneville for a r-nine-t/5. It's just a matter of getting the right out-the-door price. I should hopefully be hearing back from the dealer in a few hours and be proud r-nine-t owner.

Both the Speed Twin and r-nine-t keep you similarly upright and have similar reach to the handlebar. For my body, both bikes feel very comfortable in the seated position and no noticeable sore spots. The r-nine-t made me feel like I was slightly more forward seated (similar to adventure bikes), which I attribute more to its engine placement and center of gravity.

The Speed Twin does have a lighter clutch in comparison and shifting is super smooth. I had a small issue with the r-nine-t shifter during my test ride. It was a brand new demo (only 1 mile on it), which would likely need adjusting at the lever by 1-2 splines - nothing major. The r-nine-t feels more nimble at slower parking lot type speeds and very confidence inspiring due the lower center of gravity. It made turning from stop lights and stop signs a breeze and a pleasure. Even though it was a demo, I did not want to wring it out too much and remained respectful of it being a brand new bike. I rode it like I was going to buy that specific bike. The boxer engine vibration at standstill is different and during revving. Not bad in any way, just different. I came away from the demo ride thinking the r-nine-t is different enough from the Speed Twin to justify having both. I would not want to part with my Speed Twin and will likely be a keeper. It is just shy of 600 miles and getting smoother and revving more freely each day. Hopefully, I will get to add the r-nine-t and hope it becomes a keeper too.
 

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I picked up my r-nine-t/5 today and the 25 miles from the dealer to home was wonderful getting to know it. The sun was shining and this was the warmest day this season so far. The /5 felt more comfortable to me than the classic I demoed. The /5 also seems to sit a little lower than the classic, which is welcomed for my 29-30" inseam.
Now with both the /5 and my Triumph Speed Twin to choose from to ride, it will be interesting which one will get saddle time and when. While I feel fortunate to have both of these bikes, I feel even more fortunate that my wife helped to make it happen.
 

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After having the r9t/5 for almost a year now, I can tell you one difference between it and my Triumph Speed Twin - I get more compliments. It's not just thumbs up at traffic lights, people are rolling down their windows and engaging in conversations. The other day while at a stop light, a car ahead of me and one lane to the right, reversed to meet me and rolled down his window. I thought he was going to ask for directions or something, but instead he just wanted to admire the r9t/5 and tell me it was a beautiful bike. I agree with him.
 

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I was in line for a speed twin or so I thought, but then found a year old /5. Instantly fell for it and bought it on the spot. I have no regrets and think that although a more impulsive buy, my intuition seems to bear out that I made the better choice for me overall.
 

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The Speed Twin does have a lighter clutch in comparison and shifting is super smooth. I had a small issue with the r-nine-t shifter during my test ride. It was a brand new demo (only 1 mile on it), which would likely need adjusting at the lever by 1-2 splines - nothing major
do you still feel like the speed twin has a smoother transmission? the tranny in my thruxton r is so clunky in the first 3 gears (up and down), whereas the r nine t is butter smooth for me.
 

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speedm: Both bike transmissions are very smooth to me. My 2012 Triumph Bonneville SE, that I traded in for the r9t/5, was definitely clunky. You could positively feel going into each gear with a firmness that is not there in the Speed Twin or r9t/5.
 

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speedm: Both bike transmissions are very smooth to me. My 2012 Triumph Bonneville SE, that I traded in for the r9t/5, was definitely clunky. You could positively feel going into each gear with a firmness that is not there in the Speed Twin or r9t/5.
that's good to hear. i thought maybe they improved the more recent models but some reviews of the thruxton rs still mention some clunky-ness.
 
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