I’ve had Trixie, my 2010 Triumph Thruxton for almost two years now, and had quickly done most of the cosmetic work on her to get her where I wanted her, looks-wise. Performance was another issue. I have no issues with the power, torque, and for the most part the handling of the machine. I’m more comfortable on her than I was even on the exemplary Street Triple. But hard turning on roads like the challenging Sandia Crest road often left the bike twitching and wallowing, and crap roads felt like you were being kicked in the nads for a few dozen miles.
I’d been considering new shocks and springs for the bike for a long time, but resisted the expense on the notion that I’d had mediocre suspension on every bike I’d ever owned — from the wee Buell Blast (don’t laugh — great bikes!) to the Speed Triple. Instead, I tried a few different types of tires. The OEM Metzler Lasertecs were very predictable and rode well on all surfaces, but were not the best in fast turns. The Avon Roadriders were spectacular in hard, fast turns but were huge failures on that grooved concrete pavement, where I would normally get speed wobble at every velocity. They also felt the high winds we have in New Mexico acutely. The new Shinko 712s I have do just about everything well (save that damned concrete!) But nothing got ride of the chatter and twitchy feeling in turns.
Yesterday, I got Progressive shocks slapped on the bike (along with some Dime City Cycle fork gaiters to replace the awful-looking plastic fork guards that come with the craft) and took the bike out for a quick run on South 14 — a road of long sweepers and hard S-bends that I absolutely wasn’t speeding on. If I were, I might have noted how all the front end chatter was replaced with a firm, steady feeling of control throughout high lean angles (using the clinometer on my iPhone to roll along the tire to where the chicken strips start, it looks like about 50 degrees.) I can say that most of the chop from the road surface is eaten up beautifully, and in a hard stop from 55mph, the front end doesn’t have the deep nose dive and tendency to want to pull sharply to the left. They also made me very aware of how execrable the rear shocks are on the Thruxton.
Really, Triumph — for the extra dough customers shell out for the Thruxton you can’t slap some Hagon 900s (which should be in by the end of the week) on the back and some Progressive springs in the forks?
So — is it worth the $89 for the springs (and whatever the shop hits you for if you don’t replace them yourself)? Yes. Unequivocally. I had thought to do the Race Tech valving originally — a much more expensive upgrade, but the Scots temperament led me to try the cheap fix first. It works, and unless you are planning on doing the Thruxton Cup sometime soon, I’d suggest the cheap fix.