2019 Speed Twin: Keeping tradition alive

“My Dad would have been fascinated by the new Speed Twin. He still would have looked for ways to improve it, but I think even he may have struggled.”

This are the words of Mike Wicksteed, eight decades after his father Ivan lapped the Brooklands circuit at 118.02mph on the modern-day bike’s ancestor. And five minutes after his first outing on the 2019 model.

Mike, who also owns a 1956 500cc Triumph Tiger 100, admits the new Speed Twin is a far cry from the Triumphs he grew up around in Ivan’s workshop.

Mike Wicksteed, son of record breaker Ivan, at the launch of the new Speed Twin

A rare breed

“The 500c twin cylinder bike he modified had no front brake, a very ineffectual rear drum brake, no rear suspension, girder front forks with less than two inches travel. According to Dad, the track was as rough as hell, so to hit the kind of speeds he did was incredible,” he says: “He and his like were a very rare breed who were always competitive and always trying to push the boundaries like Triumph still does today.”

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