Over recent years we’ve seen the death of a number of major motorcycle models and their decline was easily explained by a lack of sales or an inability to pass increasingly strict emissions standards. But as Triumph announces that the king of cafe racers, the Triumph Thruxton, is to be no more, there hasn’t been a great deal offered to explain why this is the end of the road for a beloved member of the famed Bonneville lineup. We will of course speculate as to why, but there is no doubt that the Hinckley factory is ensuring one of its most well-known names goes out in style. This is the Thruxton Final Edition and it just might be the most stunning example of the model ever made, as we bid farewell to an industry icon!
The model of course takes its name from the Thruxton Circuit, a race track in Hampshire, UK that continues to play an important role in the British racing landscape to this day. The first examples however were not intended to pave the way for a new showroom model, but rather serve as homologation specials to gain entry into events like the Thruxton 500 endurance race. Based on the 1965 T120, the limited number production-class racers were hand-built in the Triumph Engineering factory race shop at their Meriden HQ. These machines were an instant success and by 1969 the top three steps of the podium at the Thruxton 500 were all claimed by the Triumph machines that sported the circuit name.
It wasn’t long however before the company began to fall into deep financial stress, as the British motorcycle industry collapsed under the pressure of the dominant offerings from the big Japanese manufacturers and for a while there, the Thruxton was just another piece of history. But with the cafe racer boom kicking off in the early naughties and Triumph joining the fray with a line of modern classic machines, a new Thruxton emerged. First, it ruled the roost as the ultimate incarnation of the 2004 and on Bonnies, with their 900cc carburetted engines. And then became the highlight of the new water-cooled range introduced in 2016.
Cashing in on the model’s racing history, the highest spec model ‘R’ sported a serious suspension and brakes package, and along with the later ‘RS’ version that followed, they are arguably the two modern classics of recent years which could truly hold their own, on the road and the race track. So it makes sense that for a model that started on the UK circuits, the 2025 Triumph Thruxton Final Edition is based on the ultra-impressive RS model. The specs of which are brilliant, the 1200cc parallel-twin engine, with its 270° crank pumps out a solid 103bhp and a stump pulling 112nm of torque. The brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system makes all of the right sounds and improved mapping delivers a punchy throttle response.
The suspension and braking are all high-end components, with Showa 43mm big piston forks at the front end and fully adjustable Ohlins at the rear. Grab a handful of brake and you’re stopping in a hurry thanks to those massive M50 Brembo calipers. So, the real changes for the Final Edition are largely cosmetic, and that’s not a bad thing, because Triumph has saved the best for last.
Resplendent in their own version of a British Racing Green which they call “Competition Green”, the metallic finish is beautifully broken up by hand-laid gold details. These include the pinstriping work across the tins and the brilliant use of the vintage Triumph logo on the tank.
You also get a host of Final Edition badges and decals on the side covers, seat and even on the engine. And buyers will also be gifted a unique certificate of authenticity, signed by the Thruxton 1200 design team and Triumph CEO, Nick Bloor. Interestingly enough, the model can also be optioned with over 80 different parts from the company’s accessories list and a race-style cockpit fairing will probably prove to be a popular choice for those who really want to pay tribute to the bike’s track-focused heritage.
Despite being badged as a 2025 model, the Final Edition is expected to hit showroom floors in May 2024, with a price tag of around US$17,995/AUD$28,100, depending on where in the world you live. So, why the end of a legend? Sales figures have flattened off but they haven’t nose-dived and the Thruxton is still a hell of a bike, just look at the pictures! But the company’s own Speed Twin is just as fast for less money, and with more comfort; the clip-on bars and sporty riding position is out of vogue in 2023.
A huge number of buyers are opting for Adventure bikes or Nakeds with an upright riding position and you have to ask are we getting old, lazy or have times simply moved on? Perhaps it’s a little of each, but the Thruxton Final Edition ensures that a legend goes out on top and looks mighty impressive doing it. Vale to the original king of the cafe racer scene.