Mildly revised for 2008 with new wheels and handlebars, TWO puts Triumph's mighty naked through its paces
I was a little surprised when Triumph invited us out to Lanzarote to ride its 2008 Speed Triple. As far as I could tell the bike had only gained a set of flash new wheels and a slightly different rear end in its first update since it went all stubby in 2005. Quite what was the point in Triumph dragging us to an Island just off Africa populated by so many geriatrics it looked like a set from ‘Land of the Dead’ was a mystery. So, during the model presentation I was paying more than my usual cursory amount of attention.
After just a few minutes it became apparent how much the Speed Triple means to Triumph. This bike encapsulates everything that the new Hinckley Triumphs are about. It’s bold, different and instantly recognisable. Just some of the reasons why the Triple is Triumph’s best selling bike ever, shifting 46,239 units in its 14-year life. Not bad for a bike that started out as a designer’s project hack.
Much like Aprilia’s Tuono the Speed Triple was born from someone realising that naked bikes are a really good laugh to ride. Except this particular Brit realised it 10 years earlier than his Italian counterpart. He whipped the fairing off a Trident 900 and hey presto, the Speed Triple was born to instant success. In its first year Triumph sold 1,100 bikes, which represented 16% of its total sales. A few years later (1997) the Triple gained its now iconic twin headlight setup and flat bars before remaining visually fairly similar (barring some vomit-inducing paint schemes) until 2005 when, along with the new 1050 engine, came twin stubby cans and an overall sharper look. But this model was also a very significant step in the Speed Triple’s life, this was the first time the bike was designed in its own right, rather than simply being a naked version of an already existing faired bike. The Speed Triple had come of age, and was a more important model to Triumph than a big capacity sportsbike brother.
So, three years down the line what’s new with the 2008 bike? To be fair not a great deal. Important bits first, the chassis is unchanged and the forks only get a new black look, the 1050 motor is identical to before and still makes 131bhp and 77ft.lb of torque, and the swingarm is untouched. The biggest change, well visually anyway, is the new wheels. With a unique design these are marginally lighter than before but look a million times better with their bendy style, especially the 14-spoke rear. But the most significant changes are much more subtle, and are the result of rider surveys.
The quite frankly ridiculous and virtually suicidal pillion seat has been increased in length by 20mm (to take into account the rapid expansion of the modern female posterior) and, along with the rider’s seat, is flatter. This, with new 50mm lower pillion pegs, should reduce the number of Speed Triple pillions scattered around the countryside in areas of high acceleration. Although a few may soon be found distributed in braking areas because Triumph has uprated the already fairly respectable front set-up on the Speed Triple.
Click here to read the Triumph Speed Triple review page 2 of 2
Just came across this report in my quest for Speed Triple information.
Could use a proof reader. "1098R Specification" "Torque: 77bhp @ 7,500rpm"
Posted: 05/04/2009 at 15:09
UncyHerb wrote (see)
Just came across this report in my quest for Speed Triple information. Short. Could use a proof reader. "1098R Specification" "Torque: 77bhp @ 7,500rpm"
Posted: 09/04/2009 at 13:38
Must admit to quite liking the idea of a Street Triple R. Only problem is that there's no fairing and at my age.......
I would imagine the Speed Triple to be a Street Triple, but more so. Would I be on the right lines?
Posted: 09/04/2009 at 13:41
falcorob wrote (see)
Must admit to quite liking the idea of a Street Triple R. Only problem is that there's no fairing and at my age.......I would imagine the Speed Triple to be a Street Triple, but more so. Would I be on the right lines?
I test rode the Street R and thought it was almost perfect; flick-able, instant wheelies, lightweight, etc etc. When I got back to the showroom thesalegirl said "what colour do you want it in then"(they are that good) to which I replied "whichever colour comes with a bigger engine". Alot of folk would say that the Street trip is actually better at many things than the Speed Triple and in a way they're right. Personally though, I like to be a bit more "intimidated" by my steed. I drive a 370bhp rear wheel drive car and it is highly tuned. It only weighs 1250kg! It has way more power than "needed" but it doesn't mean I'm an idiot behind the wheel, it just means that when I really need that extra bit of power to get out of a situation I have it on tap. In a similar way if I want to "blat" it down the road and have fun(withing the speed limit) I can do that too. It has 325ft lbs of low down torque and so it is very usable on the road; you dont need top rev the tits off it to get anywhere. I like the fact that I have to hold the wheel with a strong grip 'cos otherwise it could break my arm with steering torque. I like the fact that it has to be driven with a firm grip rather than just tootleing aroundwith one finger steering.
So, in a similar way I like my bike to do all the things a good bike does and not be too heavy (189kg dry) but I also want plenty of power and most importantly torque. The speed triple has almost maximum torque from 3500rpm to the redline and with that comes useability on public roads rather being too track biased(lets face it our roads are getting worse.)This low down grunt also allows for easy confident corner exits too. When I rode the new Blade I found the immense power it had but was breaking the national speed limit before I got anywhere near it whereas the Speed Triple has most of it's power in the area where it can be used on a public road without loosing your license(well, apart from wheelies of course).
So, yes it is like a street triple but with much more torque and a fair bit more power. The riding position and bars allow you to get out of trouble in situations where you would lose it on a pure sports bike. Oh yeah group 14 insurance helps too (I think the street is also 14!)
Posted: 09/04/2009 at 15:10
Posted: 09/04/2009 at 15:12
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