A MODERN TAKE ON AN OLD FAVORITE
By Al Khoury
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Whether on the track or off the road, Oloi has kept things planted on four wheels when it comes to our featured vehicles. This month we are balancing things out with Edgardo Martinez’s 2018 Triumph Street Twin. We’re proud to bring you our first motorcycle, and it comes from across the pond.
The Street Twin was introduced in 2016 but its heritage goes back more than half a century, when the Triumph Bonneville made its debut. The Bonneville T120 was introduced in 1959 with a name borrowed from the famed Bonneville Salt Flats, where Triumph set a number of record runs. The Bonneville went through many iterations over the years, spinning off street and track-based models, with the “Modern Classics” being the latest model line. And that’s where you’ll find the Street Twin.
The 2018 Street Twin is powered by a 900cc eight-valve parallel twin engine. It cranks out 55 horsepower and 59 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed gearbox with a ride-by-wire throttle and slipper clutch. Single disc brakes with Nissin twin-pot calipers and ABS are standard. Up front you’ll find Kayaba forks with adjustable Kayaba preload shocks out back. Dry weight is 437 pounds.
A 29.5-inch seat height, standard riding position, and standard traction control make this an easy entry into the Bonneville family for riders of any experience. The torque-assist clutch system reduces clutch lever effort and makes gear shifts smoother. The 2018 Street Twin starts at $9,100.
Edgardo has a long history with cars but his passion for motorcycles dates back to childhood.
“My father had a few Honda CB motorcycles - the old school cafe racers. I always liked them and I would ride with him. I’d be sitting in front of him holding the tank. It was fun! But when it came to riding, I was hesitant. My friend had a Kawasaki Ninja back in the day and I remember one day driving my car behind him. He went from 55 to like 140 miles per hour so fast and it was scary to see.”
Fast forward to a couple of years ago and Edgardo and his wife decided to get started riding while their motor skills were still strong. They took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course in November 2018.
“I’m glad I finally did it and I’m glad I did it with her,” Edgardo said. “Shout out to my wife for always supporting me on my hobbies, and pushing me to achieve my goals!”
This Aluminium Silver Street Twin is Edgardo’s first bike, which he shares with his wife. He tells us that the bike is technically hers.
“I was looking for something that was beginner-friendly,” Edgardo told Oloi. “I had just finished the motorcycle safety course. I wanted something reliable that wasn’t too scary! A lot of people told me to start with a smaller motorcycle. I did my class with those but it didn’t feel right.”
Edgardo’s interest in Japanese import cars influenced his initial research into Honda motorcycles, but he wasn’t crazy about the style. His wife was actually the one who did the research and recommended a Triumph. Edgardo hadn’t considered it but upon testing one of these British bikes, he was sold. He picked up his Street Twin in February 2019.
“The power line on the Triumph is so smooth,” Edgardo says. “It’s not like a superbike where it can take you to Mars if you gas it too much. It’s super comfy and can go fast when you need it to.”
When riding with his wife, Edgardo takes one of his other bikes, a 1975 Honda CB550 Super Sport and a 2008 Ducati 1098. He got those bikes shortly after taking home the Triumph. The Honda was chosen for its nostalgic feel, connecting Edgardo to his father’s bikes. He purchased the Ducati with plans to take it to the track, as he already does with his cars.
“The 1098 is bright and loud. I think people get annoyed at the sound,” Edgardo laughed. “But when I’m on the Triumph, people stop me to talk. Older people tell me they had a bike just like it. It’s a classic look. My friend bought a 1966 Triumph Tiger and it looks almost the same as mine. People love that style and I do too. It’s got that cafe racer look.”
Edgardo has added some bar end mirrors to his Street Twin, which not only change the look of the bike, but increase safety when riding. They offer a better view of the world behind.
“The stock mirrors weren’t so useful. Every time I looked into them I could only see over my shoulder. I found these small CRG mirrors, which fit like a glove. They were easy to install.”
Edgardo is waiting for some custom parts to come in. He is changing the headlight bracket to mount the light lower on the forks. He’s also switching to smaller turn signals and relocating the rear plate to the shocks. Finally, the addition of small saddlebags will add some useful versatility.
Edgardo’s garage includes a 2001 Honda S2000, which is modified for the track. His daily is a 2000 Honda Civic hatchback. He uses a 2019 Honda Ridgeline for towing purposes.
“I’m more mature now and I have more responsibilities, so I’m not going to do crazy things with the motorcycle,” Edgardo said. “I respect the bike for what it is. Riding a motorcycle like this one is so much fun. I ride every day and choose longer routes home when I can. I want to enjoy riding it for as long as possible.”