SPIED: 2016 Triumph Street Tracker and Street Tracker R

New Bonnevilles get a boost with bigger engine, higher performance and liquid-cooling.

Triumph Street Tracker action spy photo

Rumors have swirled for the last few years about all-new Triumph Bonnevilles in development, and recent spy photos captured in Spain confirm the existence of a new Bonneville-family model.

The heritage-bike sandbox has gotten crowded lately with the BMW R nineT, Ducati Scrambler, Honda CB1100, Yamaha SR400 all squeezing in. And while the current 865cc twins offer a good balance of performance, style, and value, a larger-displacement model with better performance clearly makes sense.

Enter the Street Tracker and Street Tracker R models shown here. How are we so sure this is the name? A trademark application by Triumph in 2012 states "Street Tracker."

Biggest news here is the plainly visible radiator for liquid-cooling. Expect at least 1,000cc, but we wouldn't be surprised engine displacement was more like 1200cc. If it is a liquid-cooled 1200, power would easily top the air/oil-cooled 1,170cc BMW R nineT's 96.5 rear-wheel horsepower measured on the CW dyno. Imagine if the new bike doubled the 57 or so horses we've been getting out of the current Bonnies!

We expect this parallel-twin to have a 270-degree crankshaft to give it more of a rhythmic Ducati-like sound, versus the flatter drone that comes from a 360-degree unit, although some of us with Britbike heritage actually like that drone.

Triumph Street Tracker R action spy shot

The air-cooled appearance remains, as do similarly styled camshaft covers on the four-valve-per-cylinder heads. The primary cover, however, is restyled to resemble the ones used on unit-construction Triumphs built from 1963 onward, whereas the current 865cc Bonneville’s looks like that of a pre-unit. Same on the timing side, with the new sidecover mimicking Meriden unit bikes down to a small circular “ignition” cover.

But the redesign goes much deeper than just covers, and the parallel-twin engine and transmission look to be a completely new, as you’d expect. Could the gearbox be anything less than a six-speed? Unlikely.

Radiator plumbing is well-hidden to the point that we weren’t sure if the engine was actually liquid-cooled, but the a lower coolant hose can be seen well tucked away in some of the photos.

Fuel-injection throttle bodies are styled to vaguely resemble Amal Concentric carburetors (strangely with a dose of earlier Monoblock carb, too) first used on Meriden Triumphs in 1968.

An exhaust crossover pipe up by the cylinder head, as on Norton Commandos of the ’70s, helps primarily in reducing noise by sending each cylinder’s pulses into both mufflers. Further, there is another crossover/pre-muffler mounted low in front of the engine. Good power while meeting sound regulations depends on having sufficient intake and exhaust system air volumes.

Triumph Street Tracker R spy shot

Triple disc brakes and 17-inch alloy rims speak to the overall performance potential of this bike. The R model is further upgraded with Öhlins suspension front and rear, and radially mounted Brembo monoblock calipers on that fancy fork.

There is some conjecture that all Bonnevilles will be based on this new platform, but wouldn’t it make a nice product/price ladder if the 865cc-based machine continued with a new lower price and this bike slotted in the $10,000-$12,000 range, undercutting the R nineT’s $14,900 and offering more performance than the $11,899 CB1100 Deluxe?

One additional observation that’s a little humorous: The bike’s “Triumph” badges are removed or taped over, yet all the gear the test riders are wearing is clearly branded Triumph. Hey, if you’re going for stealth, don’t wear leather sandwich boards! Not that we wouldn’t know by the very shape and style of the bike.

It looks like an exciting new era for Triumph parallel-twins is coming for 2016. Wax your Belstaff!

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