Austin Vince’s Twin Shock Trail Finder was originally intended for old Brit Bikes, but it has evolved over the last few years and now sees a diverse range of competitors and bikes taking part every year in the Pyrenees.
Designed in the spirit of some of their old Brit bikes, the new Triumph Street Twin is an ideal base bike which comes with a number of add-ons to turn this road going beauty into your own unique scrambler. With that in mind, Motorcycle News’ Peter Baker and two friends head off to see how they perform on the trails of the Spanish Pyrenees.
Two of the riders both take the latest Street Twin fitted with the Scrambler Inspiration kits direct from Triumph, whilst the third rider Ian takes his 1968 T120 Bonneville, which hasn’t been fired up since 1974. All three riders fitted our do-it-all TKC 80 Twinduro tyres to their machines, although clearance on the front mudguard of the new machines was minimal and could have become clogged if they encountered thick mud.
The Street Twin also comes with ABS, which can’t be switched off. So instead they disconnected the sensor on the front wheel and zip-tied it out of the way.
With maps provided in advance, it still becomes clear that the team haven’t done enough forward planning on day one – making 8 checkpoints in a day, whilst some of the better organised teams manage up to 15.
The trails themselves consist of farm tracks and access roads, with some loose and rocky climbs thrown in for good measure – but as Peter reports it’s no problem as “the fat rear TKC80 tyre claws its way through the scree, finding some impressive grip despite the bike’s 60ftlb of torque wanting to do the opposite.”
The Street Twin’s road focused riding position isn’t ideal for off-road, with too much weight over the front of the bike and not enough room to stand up and descents proving tricky as you try to slide back in the seat.
The roads to and from the trails are superb as well, the L-511 from Boixols to Coll de Nargo being one standout stretch of tarmac.
“Here the Street Twin is a perfect fit. Even with off-road rubber fitted the nimble handling and instant torque make short work of this stupendous route. The bike is transformed from an awkward, pondering scrambler into a perfectly focused road tool, honed to demolish such a road.”
“Despite its shortcomings” Peter surmises, “the Street is a hoot down the trails and with the TKC 80 tyres fitted it’s more than capable of light green-laning. I’ll definitely be taking the Street Twin trail riding again this summer.”
Yes they could have picked better bikes for the trails, but the three friends came together and had a fantastic shared experience – and that’s surely what 2-wheel trips like this are all about.
Oh, and avoiding last place and the dreaded wooden spoon….
Get the full story by picking up a copy of this week’s MCN.
Find out more about the Continental TKC 80 here.