Speed Twin 900 Vs. T100 Vs. T120

Discussion in 'Triumph General Discussion' started by JonS-Triumph, Nov 4, 2023.

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  1. triumph900

    triumph900 Active Member

    Dec 24, 2017
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    The brakes on current T120 are more than capable, particularly compared to the older versions. I have an 18 and those brakes are just OK, at best. But, I've ridden the 18 over 13000 miles and have never had an issue with emergency stopping.
    I'm certainly not talking down the Speed, it's a great bike. If it was more comfortable, I'd probably have one. But I'd still have a T120 because, for me, it's a better all-around bike.
     
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  2. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
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    Nov 3, 2023
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    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    I agree and will do that. You pointed out another difference that may be important. The T120 has wire wheels and the ST does not. I do like the aesthetics of the wire wheels but am a bit concerned that they may be more prone flats than the ST. Opinion?
     
  3. triumph900

    triumph900 Active Member

    Dec 24, 2017
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    Wire wheels are a bit of a bummer. I have had one flat. I opted to spring for tubeless spoke wheels for my 18. Made a nice difference weight-wise. I've also had a screw in the rear with the tubeless setup. I'm just lucky I guess.
    Truth be told though, I don't think the tubes are a huge draw back, just a minor nit-pick.
    Some folks go years running tubes with no flats, it's just luck of the draw.
     
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  4. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
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    #24 Pegscraper, Dec 26, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2023
    Tubes are no more prone to punctures than tubeless, they're just more of a faff to fix. In fact you could argue that a tubed tyre with a 4mm HD tube is slightly less prone. I've had a flat rear on the SS and relied on roadside recovery to get me home. I now have HD tubes front and rear with a dose of that green, puncture filling shite in each for what it's worth. I've fixed a couple of tubeless punctures roadside in the past so I agree that is a bonus but not worth the cost of changing wheels for IMO. Out of desperation, I've ridden the dirt bike home, around 15-20 miles in the past with both front and rear flats on separate occasions but that has wheel clamps to keep the tyre on the rim and certainly not recommended. On a road bike with road rims and twice the weight, forget it.
     
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  5. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
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    Nov 3, 2023
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    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Thanks, it sounds like I should not worry too much about the wire wheels - they look more old school anyway which I like. The only other thing related to this is the tires. I have not read/heard good things about the stock T120 tires. If I go with a T120, I bet it will be some time before I even know that they are not good. How about the ones on the ST? I have not heard the same complaints. In the end, I guess if I learn enough to know the T120 tires are not good, I can always swap them for something better.
     
  6. TRIPLE X

    TRIPLE X Senior Member

    Sep 1, 2021
    279
    113
    Downham Market, Norfolk
    I once had a puncture in a tubed tyre and it deflated so fast it could have had me off. I've had more than my fair share of punctures in tubless tyres but so far they have all been slow punctures and got me home, but I do carry a tubeless repair kit just in case. It is not possible to replace a tube at the side of the road without carrying a shed load of tools. Personally I will never ride a road bike unless it is tubeless.
     
  7. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    3,115
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    #27 Pegscraper, Dec 26, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2023
    At some point you will need all the braking power the bike can muster because you will mess up, just as everyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle for any length of time has at one time or another. Heavier bikes need more braking power, simple physics but brake feel is just as important. An over-braked machine with fierce initial bite and the ability to easily lock the front wheel with 1 or 2 fingers can be a liability. Bike handling and rider control is a huge subject but, generally speaking, a large heavy bike with "slow" steering will require more input at the handlebars. Once learnt though, even large overweight tourers can be hustled through bends with relatively little effort.
     
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  8. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
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    Nov 3, 2023
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    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Thanks - everything I read/see says I will mess up. I have a lot of friends I used to ride road bicycles with that have had a wide range of accidents. In general I was pretty lucky - worst was a mess of stitches. I am older now :-(

    The relevant question is: Am I more likely to get into a fix or make a mistake with the T120 or the SS? When I do does either have an advantage. I don't think I will be able to tell this on a test drive. Do people here think the SS brakes are more difficult to modulate than the T120?

    BTW- I appreciate everyone's feedback this helps. I may be overthinking this a bit. If I could get the MSF course done tomorrow and test drive the bikes, I know a lot of my questions would be answered. As it is I will just have to wait another month or so.
     
  9. triumph900

    triumph900 Active Member

    Dec 24, 2017
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    No one can tell you which bike you'll be more likely get in a fix on or get in trouble with. Too many unknowns for even the gleaming brilliance of an internet forum to determine.
    Honestly, I think you're overthinking things. It's easy to do with all of the information and opinions online.
    Motorcycling is a risky hobby. The asphalt is just as unforgiving when riding a 250 as it is a 1200. Yes, the 1200 will get you there faster, but danger lurks regardless of displacement.
    Both the ST and T120 will easily handle all but the top couple of percent riders on public roads. The ST is faster, and maybe that's a point against it when considering safety. But much of that boils down to the right wrist of the operator. Comfort, type of use and style should be large part of a decision. Beyond that, either one will be more than capable of getting in trouble and hopefully bailing you out.
     
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  10. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Sep 25, 2018
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    You really are overthinking it now, at least IMO. Both bikes can get you into trouble, both bikes can get you out of it. Just test them and buy the one that you’re comfortable on and confident in. You really can’t make a mistake with either.
     
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  11. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    3,115
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    Although there are differences between the bikes you mention they are all broadly similar so, IMO, you're no more likely to get into bother on one than the other. Some will say (and have done in this thread) that they are all too big, heavy and powerful for a beginner but I disagree. "The throttle works both ways" is an old and well used cliche but perfectly true. 50 bhp or 200bhp, you ride it accordingly with the required self control. If you don't have any, stick to bicycles. I jumped straight from a lightweight 250cc, 23bhp trail bike to a 300kg, 120bhp super bike with no issues, at least none that were my fault. You just "recalibrate":joy: If I can do it anyone can. The risk from other road users is probably the biggest any cyclist/motorcyclist faces and for a large part at least, beyond your control irrespective of what you're riding.
     
  12. littleade

    littleade The only sane one here
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    Mar 17, 2015
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    Personally I'd consider the 1200 speed twin because as it's got tubeless tyres you'll be able to have more choice on what to fit (sports touring would be my choice as they perform better in poor conditions and warm up quicker). With it's front twin discs it'll stop better than something with just one and the ABS will prevent thd wheels from locking up.
     
  13. Florian320

    Florian320 Member
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    Dec 14, 2023
    55
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    Wiesbaden, Germany
    If I may add my two cents or maybe rather wheels:
    I was in a kind of similar situation: just made my road bike license and now wanting and looking for my first bike.
    I immediately fell in love with the looks of the T120 and I like the gentlemen-attitude that can come with it.
    I do not intend to do races, I just want to enjoy.

    Therefore to me after reading quite a bit I came to the conclusion that if racing is not a priority the T120 is a very good bike.

    In the end I received my driving license, drove from the license department to the dealer immediately after reception, test drove the T120 and ordered it shortly thereafter.

    I also heard I should test at least ten bikes before making a decision. But in the end the bike is able to do more than I am right now and will be for quite a time. And for me the search is not the key element, but the joy.
    And I felt so much joy riding the T120 that I decided not to blow up a search just to have one done - knowing that theoretically there might be a bike out there that might have felt even better. But not knowing it it doesn't bother me.

    Regardless of the experience you have to have respect and decency when riding you bike - probable more of both when being a virgin rider.
    I personally think that this is the advantage when starting to ride with older age - we are (or should be) a tad more mature than us as 20-year-olds and therefore should be capable to handle the power with respect.

    Anyhow: regardless which bike you choose: you'll be happy with it and enjoy it.
     
  14. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
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    Nov 3, 2023
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    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Thanks everyone for the comments. The next step is to do as others suggest: just drive them. :)
     
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  15. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
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    Nov 3, 2023
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    Thanks very much for this. It is a good and helpful perspective.
     
  16. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
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    Nov 3, 2023
    19
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    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    I finished my MSF course a couple weeks ago and tested the T120 and a ST 1200 at the dealer last week. I decided on the ST 1200 and it was delivered today. I took my first ride and everthing was perfect. I found a simple easy route with good roads and little traffic for my first ride. The weather here is likely to keep me off the bike for a week. I hope to expand my ride next time out.
     
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  17. Armando Morales

    Armando Morales Noble Member

    Mar 29, 2021
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    Congratulations !
    Will you share some pictures ?
     
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  18. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
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    Nov 3, 2023
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    Here you go, one in the garage. The other was taken by neighbors that asked me to go around a loop so they could take a picture while I was going down hill.

    ComingDownRoad.jpg

    GarageSmaller.jpg
     
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  19. Armando Morales

    Armando Morales Noble Member

    Mar 29, 2021
    888
    443
    Mexico
    Wonderful bike ! congrats again
     
  20. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

    Apr 27, 2016
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    North West England
    Congratulations…..
     
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