2024 Speed Twin review

My initial thoughts. I’ve had my new bike (Gonzales) for just under a fortnight and he’s going in tomorrow for his 600 mile service.

Riding position: after riding Tiger 800s and 900s for 12 years, it’s very different and the foot pegs are further back and a bit higher up. I’m 5’8 with fairly long legs, but once I got used to it, I don’t find it cramped or uncomfortable (and I tend to suffer from tendinitis in my hip). The bars are well positioned with not too much weight on the wrists or forearms.

Seat: I will admit it is not the most comfortable. BUT, as the tank capacity is only 14.5 litres, you’re going to be getting off to fill up before you’ve ridden much over 100 miles, so I can live with it. There’s always the good old sheepskin merkin or gel pad if you want it.

Engine: having ridden a triple for ever, I’m still getting used to the way it delivers power as a twin. But even when limited to 4k revs for running in, there’s plenty of low down power and overtakes are easy. It’s a big engine at 1200cc, but doesn’t feel overwhelming. I’m going to love it when I get used to it!

Gear box: smooth as silk.

Brakes: no complaints about the Brembo twin front calipers.

Clocks: I will admit to being somewhat intimidated by the multi function TfT screen on my Tiger 900 and I never fully got to grips with it. However, on the Speed Twin, you get two clocks, one which has an analogue Speedo and a digital section shows time of day/ miles to empty/mpg current and average/ trips (2). The second clock has an analogue rev counter and petrol gauge. That’s all I need!

Mirrors: I thought bar end mirrors would be worse than useless. They’re actually very good.

Wind blast: it’s a naked bike. I have experimented with a small screen and it just pushed the wind flow to the forehead part of my helmet and hurt my head, so I now have a taller screen to try at the weekend. To be honest, unless you’re planning on doing lots of motorway miles, I don’t think it will be a problem.

Weight: only about 5kg lighter than my Tiger 900, but the weight is much lower down and it feels much easier to handle and live with. It’s a much less intimidating lump than a big adventure bike.

Seat height: both feet flat with a good bend in the knee.

Handling: great fun. You can fling it about.

Luggage capacity: Hubby is fitting a rack at the weekend so I can have a topbox. I’ve really missed having a topbox! I had hard panniers on my Tiger and I’ve bought some Enduristan soft panniers for my forthcoming two week trip. I also have a roll bag and various Kriega tail packs. I’ll report back on what worked.

Extras I have purchased: heated grips, screen and mount, rack (already had the topbox), soft panniers and rack for these, sump protector, dresser bars (engine crash protection), engine case protectors, tail tidy, already had a Scotoiler, so that’s been transferred over. I have a tame engineer, so I haven’t paid for fitting on any of these!

The reason for changing my bike was that I had sort of fallen out of love with riding and I was hoping it would put the grin back on my face. Mission accomplished!

UPDATED AFTER two months and a 1200 mile trip:

Just returned from a 1200 mile trip and have now done 2k+ miles on the bike from new since I collected it mid May.

First the only real downside: tank range. It only has a 14.5 litre tank, so you’re looking at 150 mile absolute maximum range, and that at constant 50mph speeds. Get stuck in traffic and you’re looking at 110 to reserve. That said, unless you’re somewhere really remote, it’s not much of a problem. And you aren’t going to do a round the world trip in darkest middle of nowhere on this bike.

I mentioned the seat comfort and riding position in my initial review . The seat has worn in and is no problem at all and once I got used to the foot peg position (higher and further back than my previous 3 bikes), I found it absolutely fine and stopped noticing. I’m 5’ 8” with 32 inch inside leg. So overall, comfort is good.

Luggage: I bought Enduristan Monsoon 3 soft panniers, which are sold as 100% waterproof. Luckily we saw no rain on our trip, so I haven’t been able to test that claim. But the roll top closure and the materials and construction of the panniers looks as though it will do the job in the wet. I previously used hard panniers and these Enduristans have a similar capacity. I also used Motone pannier rails to support the panniers and this added rigidity and stability, as well as the ability to use security locking straps. Husband reports that these racks were easily fitted within a matter of minutes (he’s an engineer and I know nothing ). We had a couple of stops in our 15 day trip with washing machines, so we packed with that in mind, but add a roll bag on the saddle and you’re good for a really long trip. As usual, I overpacked and came home with loads of unworn clothes. I also have a top box and with judicious use of cable locks, was able to lock my helmet, trousers, jacket and boots to the bike and in the topbox when it was hot and we were sightseeing.

The engine is wonderful, with loads of torque and a lovely power delivery.It’s got all the power you need and is very tractable and easy to live with.

We spent the entirety of our 1200 mile trip on A and B roads, avoiding the motorways. Although I have a small screen fitted by my tame engineer, which helps a bit, you wouldn’t want to do lots of motorway miles. It’s a naked bike and it’s really happy at 50-60 on lovely A roads and country lanes. I’ve done my share of wanging around like a loonie. I’m old. I’m happy bimbling with the odd yeehah!

I can honestly say that the only negative thing about this bike is the tank range, and that’s not really a huge problem; you just need at stop a bit more frequently than on a bike with a larger tank.

Having had 3 big adventure bikes, I was looking for something that was a bit less of a lump, which would put the smile back on my face. And it has done that, in spades.


Excellent review. I agree with you about fitting a screen: I’ve experimented with them on previous bikes and they have always made things worse in some way. And I agree with you about topboxes. They look horrible, but where else would you put your waterproofs, maps, sandwiches, spare jumper, a few basic tools, tyre repair kit…?


Great review; good to hear the bike’s renewed your love of riding!

1 Like

I think that’s a great summary of the Speed Twin 1200. I pretty much concur with everything you said :+1:

1 Like