I've just traded my 2009 R to a 2020 RS and I was asked to compare the two bikes.
When I bought the R in 2009 it was the best bike I've owned in my 36 years of biking.
Light and nimble with a very wide torque band.
Engine revs quickly
Good suspension and brakes; much better than I was used to.
Relaxed riding position
A design which stood out.
Very big turning radius
Very poor headlight. Especially the low beam. A lot of light, but very unevenly distributed. A set of Cibiť's helped a lot. Today I would have chosen a LED solution.
The seat lock was difficult til access.
2 up and luggage for 2 weeks is difficult and not what the bike was designed for.
When a LowBoy was mounted, the hangers for the passenger pegs looks stupid.
I loved the Pro's and learned to live with the Con's
Seemed impossible to make this bike much better.
Well I was wrong. It was actually possible to make a better bike based on the old R model.
The suspension is a step up with Showa Big Piston and ÷hlins STX40 rear suspension.
Brembo M50 calipers in front with a multi adjustable master
A little Brembo caliper at the rear. Less powerful than the old one, but just as powerful as requested on a bike like this. The old one was too powerful.
The turning radius is fixed.
The seat lock is fixed.
The headlight is much better than the old one. Actually it is as good as my cars. Even if there is only 1 low and 1 high beam.
The lift of the mid range torque and the top end power is a big improvement. You can really fill it.
The riding position is luckily enough not changed
A lot of the accessory needed on the old comes standard on this new. (Flyscreen, bellypan, hugger, coloured radiator cowl, slipper clutch, adjustable levers etc.)
Much sharper design. Now the old one looks outdated.
The price tag is the same as for the 2019 in spite of the improvements. Actually it is nearly the same as what I payed for my 2009 R in 2009.
A good TFT screen with a lot of info, but.......
And there is a but.
Triumph tell us the bike is race breed. It comes with top spec suspension and brakes. It even has a laptimer in the instrument. In the presentation video it is shown on a race track and then IT DOESN'T HAVE A DECENT REV COUNTER!
What it has is something which looks like it is developed by a teenage nerd high on RedBull and coke. He must have seen to many Starwar movies and he must be the son of the topboss, since no one stopped him in time. The so called rev counter is much too difficult to read when doing fast laps on a track.
Four different styles can be selected in the instrument, all with this lousy rev counter. I agree it looks nice, but in real life it doesn't work.
So Triumph please give us a SW update of the instrument with a decent rev counter like the 2019 R model of the new Moto2. Is is only a SW thing.
When they hopefully do the update they could add a cruise control. Alle the HW is there; only a couple SW lines are missing.
I would also have liked an IMU with the possibility of corner ABS, but the the price tag would change. A lot of compatible bikes have it.
In spite of the missing rev counter I'm very pleased with the change of bike, and looks forward to many good rides in the years to come; with or without a rev counter.