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Discussion Starter #1
Test rode both as potential replacements for my Ducati Multistrada 1200 ST; looking for a bike with a lower seat height. I preferred the feel of the Speed Twin, which seemed a bit more lively and agile. I also like the lighter weight, tubeless tires, TPMS availability, and additional ride mode as compared to the T120. On the other hand, the T120 looks even better to my eyes, and offers a center stand and factory bag options which are unavailable on the Speed Twin. The power differential between the two did not strike me as significant, and it was difficult for me to tell on my relatively brief test rides if the T120's riding position is roomier - I'm 5'9" tall, with a 30 inch inseam.

For those of you who have compared both, how did you decide between the two? Any speculation around a near-future model year upgrade to the T120 which might result in a lighter weight, availability of TPMS, tubeless tires, or other Speed Twin benefits?
 

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They are both fantastic bikes. I test rode a ST a couple months after buying a used 2017 T120. For my taste, I’d stay with the T120. It has a more comfortable seating position, and I think it would be more tolerable on longer rides.

As for agility, there’s no doubt that you can flick the ST around like it’s nobody’s business. But I just put new tires in my T120 and I can’t get over how nimble it feels now.

Anyway, my 2 cents. You won’t go wrong either way.




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You've got to go with what feels best to you.
I personally would go with the twin because I like the slightly more aggressive look of it.
 

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The speed twin also has access to a lot more rubber. I like the more interpretative look of it too. Though I like the look of the T120 a lot too. At least for me the T120 needs to keep with period looking accessories, which was a disadvantage as I’m not confident in the Triumph bags. You are coming to this at an okay time, as there are finally some third party solutions trickling out on the Speed Twin. Hepco Becker have luggage, though it’s pricy.



https://www.hepco-shop.de/en/meinbike/triumph/speed-twin-2019
 

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Buy whichever one moves you most......they are both excellent rides. Depends on your budget but you can most likely find a gently used T120 for a good price if you shop around and don't mind a little travel, ST's are fairly new yet so probably not much on the resale market yet. I've not had the pleasure to ride the ST yet but I do own a T120 and if you are looking for a jack of all trades master of none bike then it fits the bill. It will do everything competently but nothing spectacularly, which for me is perfect. And you never get tired of looking at it either...................
 

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Own a Speed, never rode a T120.

The Speed is great for around town and some highway riding. It’s not as comfortable as my Street Twin was in terms of seating, and I’m guessing the T120 would have the edge here as well.

Speed has a lively engine. Before I changed sprockets I had some trouble keeping the front wheel on the ground in 1st/2nd/3rd when launching the bike. I don’t think you’ll get that with the T120, but the T120 looks more pillion friendly.

Speed wins on weight and power, possibly the fastest Modern Classic in the lineup.

Looks are completely subjective, so that’s a tossup. For my $$ I prefer the look/potential of the Speed. A few inexpensive mods and your over 100hp (theoretically).

If I rode 2up all the time I would have considered the T120. I’m hoping better seating options will pop up for the Speed in the future.
 

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If the Speed Twin was available in 16 when I bought my T 120, I might have gone that way. I like it a lot. And love the 30 lb lighter that it is.

Now, on the T 120, the d-cat made a significant improvement in the feel of power. I went up 1 tooth on the rear sprocket and that made her more fun on the country roads I like to ride.

The tires! Once you upgrade to a legit tire ( I went with Avon Storm 3-d), Madonne what an improvement!

And I keep the old school look of the T 120 I enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, all. I plan to return to the dealer to ride the T120 by itself; I think it suffered slightly in a back-to-back comparison with the Speed Twin. I also plan to inquire into the possibility of converting the wheels to accept tubeless tires. While I have never yet had a flat, my understanding is that a flat on a tire with tube can be much harder to cope with, both dynamically while riding and simply to repair even temporarily while on the road, than a tubeless tire - any thoughts on that aspect of the T120 experience? The spoked wheels do look nice, though.
 

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You're not somehow getting a lesser bike if you choose the T120 over the Speed Twin, just one that's somewhat different in appearance and philosophy. You still get that marvelous 1200cc motor, and the same precise six speed gearbox. In the end, people buy the bike they like the looks of, hoping that it's adequate to their needs and not too hard to live with. It's not an objective decision.

Looked really hard at the Speed Twin, with the thought of possibly trading into one. For me, the T120 turned out to be the right choice. Yes, it's heavier, has less power, and may not handle quite as well. But, the T120 has plenty of power, handles great in the riding I do, and (IMHO) looks great. Comfort is really good because the seating position is just about perfect. The cruise control, center stand, and low grab bar are nice to have, too. These can't be fitted to the new Speedie.

I've never had a flat, and have never had a problem with tubes. For me, that's the bottom line in the tubes v. tubeless debate.
 

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The Speed Twin wasn't an option when I bought last December but I think I would probably still go with the T120. I have ridden the Speed Twin since and you're right it is a little lighter and more powerful but the riding position on the T120 fits me better and it has accessories I have found , top box and windscreen that make it a great all around bike for me. I guess for me it is also a dream come true because I have always wanted a Bonneville! I am sure I could be happy with the Speed Twin too...it's a great bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've never had a flat, and have never had a problem with tubes. For me, that's the bottom line in the tubes v. tubeless debate.
I'd have to agree that it's moot if you never get a flat! And while I never have yet, I still carry a small compressor and a plug kit, just in case, in the hope of successful self-rescue if the need arises. I can't help but think that would be an advantage to be desired on any bike.
 

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It really depends on a two questions:

1) How will you use the bike?

If it is just for canyon runs, short commutes, riding around the city, and maybe a "classics" track day, then the Speed Twin is the bike. You definitely have access to all of the rear tire with the Speed Twin, whereas the exhaust and center stand limits learn angle significantly on a T120. So, no track days with the T120.

If you don't go to the track, however, the T120 does all those other things well, and provides a more versatile bike that you can also ride long distances. Cruise control and highway pegs can be added for comfort on longer rides. I have both.

2) Which one looks better to you?

Neither of these bikes competes with any sport bike in performance, so clearly looks and comfort are super important when buying them. In this day and age, it is fine to decide on buying a bike based on looks because most of them have adequate performance and handling. I absolutely love the look of my T120 black. I find myself staring at it every morning before getting on and riding to work.

I have a T120, and I thought about trading in for a Speed Twin, but I need more versatility and comfort and the T120 can still provide a very thrilling ride in the canyons-- at least for me. So, I decided to stay with the T120. It really is the best all around bike I have ever ridden.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
These are all helpful observations, many thanks. I think I probably would be better served with a T120, and another test ride may well help reassure me. While the agility of the ST was seductive on a short test ride, as many of you have noted, the T120 seems to offer some real advantages when used as intended. I don't actually ride all that much these days, mostly short rides out for coffee in the morning from time to time, with some longer wandering around more rural areas and the very infrequent overnight or two. My main goal is to find a bike which is much easier to mount and dismount than my current adventure-style ride, and which will be enjoyable when ridden with more brio than a cruiser encourages, but not in the manner pure sportbikes promote, either. I only very rarely exceed 200 miles/day; 30 - 120 mile rides are much more the norm on a combination of secondary roads and freeways, with some twisty backroads thrown in when I can find them.

It's certainly encouraging to see the enthusiasm both ST and T120 riders seem to have for their bikes. That alone bodes well for either one.
 

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Speed Twin!

I'm relatively new here, but as a former Ducati owner, I'd say the Speed Twin. Plus, ABS... going from the Multistrada that might be a nice feature. :wink2:
 

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I'm relatively new here, but as a former Ducati owner, I'd say the Speed Twin. Plus, ABS... going from the Multistrada that might be a nice feature. :wink2:
Both have ABS as do all Modern Classics in the lineup........The ST has more ride modes if you are into that and will for sure out handle the T120 if you are running the tight twisties often. The T120 however has some creature comforts such as optional cruise, center stand which are nice to have if you like that sort of thing.... The ST weighs less obviously and is more high strung but sometimes a little more weight depending on what you use it for isn't always a bad thing. The T120 is rock solid on the highway and doesn't get blown around much and is by no means what I would consider heavy in a bad way. She wears here weight well if you know what I mean. And as stated earlier if outright performance is your aim then you should be looking at Speed Triple anyway. Bottom line is either bike would be great, it all boils down to what you need and prefer. I wish money was of no object for me, because I would own both!!! LOL
 

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I have a T120 and I’ve ridden the Speed Twin. While the ST is quicker, lighter, has better brakes, etc., the pegs are just a bit too high for me. The T120 is a hell of a good machine, it’s plenty fast for my needs, has optional cruise, which I have, and is overall a very good do-it-all bike. I’d love a ST at some point, but it couldn’t be an only bike for me. If needed, the T120 could be an only bike.
 

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Well, today for the second time i sat on all the twins ate the dealer just to confirm what i first thought when i did that a month or 2 ago and sure enough, same result....T120 wins. I wanted to love the speed but it really does feel like a thruxton with a bit higher bars, and i hate that feel. Pefgs are too far back, bars too low, front of the bike is pointing at the pavement and rear is reaching for the sky. If ya like that u r lucky because then you get the HP engine. But i would take the T120 over that engine because i want to enjoy the ride as much as the power. And the T120 has good power anyways.

That said, spoked wheels just might be my most disliked feature on a bike and i'm not sure i could deal with the cleaning, but more then that the inability to pull over and plug a flat a few hundred miles from home or even civilization. Given that i don't know what i'm gonna do. I love my thunderbird more then any bike i have ever owned but i'm approaching 100k and i'm getting to old to deal with the maintenance it requires. But i do love that T120. Even more that sorta neon blue/white T100. Man i'd love to see that tank on the 120 along with some cast wheels. I'd leave a trail of drool all the way home from the dealer. So anyways, the speed is out. If i wanted a thruxton then i'd be all over it but i just don't. Triumph needs to offer cast wheels for the bonnies as accessories at least. Just reading posts at this and other forums it;s obvious a heck of a lot of people want that. Maybe we'll see a cast wheel T120 SE one of these days.
 

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Well, today for the second time i sat on all the twins ate the dealer just to confirm what i first thought when i did that a month or 2 ago and sure enough, same result....T120 wins. I wanted to love the speed but it really does feel like a thruxton with a bit higher bars, and i hate that feel. Pefgs are too far back, bars too low, front of the bike is pointing at the pavement and rear is reaching for the sky. If ya like that u r lucky because then you get the HP engine. But i would take the T120 over that engine because i want to enjoy the ride as much as the power. And the T120 has good power anyways.

That said, spoked wheels just might be my most disliked feature on a bike and i'm not sure i could deal with the cleaning, but more then that the inability to pull over and plug a flat a few hundred miles from home or even civilization. Given that i don't know what i'm gonna do. I love my thunderbird more then any bike i have ever owned but i'm approaching 100k and i'm getting to old to deal with the maintenance it requires. But i do love that T120. Even more that sorta neon blue/white T100. Man i'd love to see that tank on the 120 along with some cast wheels. I'd leave a trail of drool all the way home from the dealer. So anyways, the speed is out. If i wanted a thruxton then i'd be all over it but i just don't. Triumph needs to offer cast wheels for the bonnies as accessories at least. Just reading posts at this and other forums it;s obvious a heck of a lot of people want that. Maybe we'll see a cast wheel T120 SE one of these days.
Decisions, decisions. The reason I don't have a speed twin now is the cast wheels. I have a 06 bonnie and new thruxton and am looking to thin the herd. I thought the speed twin would help me do that but I love the spoked wheels. I need to test ride a t120 to see how I feel about the 18" front.
 
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