Your Top 10 Triumphs revealed

You've blown your own Trumpets in our reviews section. Now, we reveal which Triumph motorcycles struck a chord with you

THIS month, we reveal the ten best Triumph motorcycles ever, according to Visordown users. 

Our Bike Reviews Database, with its 2,600-plus owners' reviews, is an invaluable source of insight. While any motorcycle means different things to different riders, getting a broad consensus out of numerous people who've owned and lived with a particular bike means a verdict you can be confident about.

The base criterion for selection, as with last month's Your Ten Best BMWs, is that a bike has a minimum of five user reviews on our database. We then average out owners' detailed ratings on the Engine, Brakes, Handling, Comfort and Build to arrive at a final score. The higher the score, the more highly rated the bike. 

With an honourable mention of the models that just missed entering the top ten - the Sprint ST 1050 (overall reader score 4.18), Speed Four (4.10) and the Tiger 955i (4.05) - let's move on to the burning question: which are the top-rated Triumph motorcycles?

Scroll down for the definitive list!

10. Daytona 955Fi (2001-2006)

Rating: 4.19

The 955i succeeded the confusingly-named T595 Daytona in 1998 as Triumph's litre-sportsbike, and in 2001, received a major update and facelift. It's this model that kicks off our top ten, and is one of only two Daytona models that Visordown readers ranked as among their best Triumphs. 

The 2001-06 Daytona 955i gained more power, had a few more mph at the top and weighed 4kg less. Though billed at 147 bhp, it punts out around 110bhp on the dyno, so take the claimed figures with a pinch of salt. Though not as refined or as sharp as its Japanese rivals - it was never a contender against a long line of Fireblades and the mighty R1, and used prices reflect this - it has lots of personality and offers good bang for the buck. In 2006, Triumph dropped the 955cc models entirely, choosing to focus their efforts on the 600 class Daytonas.   

Owners laud the big Daytona as a 'real-world sportsbike', praising the engine's usable spread of power, hair-raising rasping bark and 50mpg economy, and the bike's handling and stability. Though the 955i's build quality and finish was significantly improved over the earlier models, it tends to get mixed reviews, with owners praising and deriding it in equal measure. 

The bike does have its share of problems, with electrical glitches being the most common reported issues. It's heavy and a bit crude compared to its Japanese rivals. Other downsides include a stifling stock exhaust, a less-than-slick gearbox and a riding position/comfort that doesn't seem to please everyone. 

Read Triumph Daytona 955Fi owner reviews or add your own.

Read Visordown's Triumph Daytona 955i Buyer's Guide

9. Speed Triple 1050 (2005-2010)

Rating: 4.23

Few bikes have quite captured the British motorcycling public's imagination like Triumph's big, brash Speed Triple. And of all the Speed Triples made in the last 19 years, it was the second- and third-generation bikes, with their tubular frames and twin round headlights, that became icons. 

Visordown readers have given their votes to the third-generation (2005-2010) bike, the Speed Triple 1050. The essential hooligan streetfighter, the Speed Triple backs up its huge power - the loud, rapid 1050cc triple makes 127 bhp and hurls the bike to 155 mph - with in-your-face styling. Journos and punters alike love it, with Visordown terming it 'one of the best bikes ever to leave the Triumph factory'.

Owners talk of being in love with their bikes, sprinkling superlatives across their Speed Triple reviews. The phrase 'best bike I've ever owned' keeps popping up… They love the fact that the motor is one big wave of barking, burbling torque; the brakes are equal to the task of reining in the engine, with plenty of front end feel; the riding position is deemed ideal. On the flip side, the finish, electricals, gearshift and the suspension seem to be not quite up to Japanese standards, and some people wish the bike was not quite so heavy.  

Read Triumph Speed Triple 1050 owner reviews or add your own.

Read Visordown's Triumph Speed Triple Buyer's Guide

=7. Street Triple (2007 - 2011)

Rating: 4.33

Marrying the Speed Triple's butch looks with the Daytona 675's sweet engine became Triumph's winning formula in 2007. Voila, the Street Triple. Though just a couple of letters away from being confused with its bigger brother, it gained its own fiercely enthusiastic following, sending Triumph's sales figures shooting up in the process.  

As good-looking and attitude-filled as the Speed, the Street's smaller engine makes it lighter, more economical and easier around town. But, with 107 bhp on tap, there's absolutely no shortage of poke, it's got real character and it sounds bloody great too. Oh and it has a sensible pricetag. You could justifiably argue that the Striple is the perfect street bike. 

Owners concur, calling it 'cracking', 'great', 'superb', 'fantastic' and more. The Street Triple's good looks, torquey engine, flickable handling and manageable dimensions are roundly appreciated, with the riding position, brakes, build quality and exhaust note also earning kudos. Owners mostly struggle to find fault with the bike, with only a less-than-perfect seat and a rather wide turning circle receiving a few barbs. And, as with most Triumphs, the costs of parts and servicing tend to be on the higher side. 

Read Triumph Street Triple owner reviews or add your own.

=7. Thunderbird 1600 (2009 - present)

Rating: 4.33

Powered by a vast 1,600cc parallel twin, the Thunderbird is an interesting alternative to the numerous big V-twin cruisers from Harley-Davidson and the 'me-too' Japanese offerings. 

It was launched in 2009, confusingly bearing the same name as an earlier retro model which had an 885cc triple, and then complemented by a 1,700cc version, the Thunderbird Storm, in 2011. 

The Thunderbird is all about torque, with a peak of 108 lb-ft coming at just 2,750 rpm, and makes 85 bhp to push you to about 115 mph. Though a big fella at 308kg, it's a refined and comfortable ride, backed up by handsome looks and generous equipment. 

Owners say the T-bird is a real mile muncher, with an effortless engine, a comfortable perch for both rider and pillion, and a good riding position. Its fuel economy is surprisingly good, with a best figure of 56 mpg mentioned. At a standstill, it's a headturner, while on the move, the exhaust note gets owners grinning. 

While build quality is on the whole good, the Thunderbird's finish is seemingly not quite up to the mark, with many owners complaining about corrosion on the wheels. 

Read Triumph Thunderbird 1600 owner reviews or add your own.

6. Tiger 1050 (2006 - 2012) 

Rating: 4.35

The Tiger 1050 was an all-new bike at its launch in 2007, and, as its rather streetbike-like looks hinted at, a clear shift away from the 955's big-trailie legacy. But wide bars and tall suspension kept its essence intact. 

The Tiger's 1050cc engine, also seen in the Speed Triple though with less power (113 bhp), is grunty, precise and, with a taller top gear, more relaxed. A narrower and plusher seat makes the Tiger easier to manage than its predecessor, and handling from its 17-inch wheels and road rubber inspires much more confidence. The overall package was a hit with buyers, and the Tiger 1050 became a success for Triumph. 

Owners' opinions of the Tiger are generally positive, with its performance, handling, build quality and comfort all getting thumbs-ups across the board. Its weather protection is better than expected, though some reviewers preferred the 955's.  However the capacity of the factory panniers, soft rear suspension, notchy gearshift and inadequate headlights earned negative marks.

Read Triumph Tiger 1050 owner reviews or add your own.

5. Speed Triple (2011 - present) 

Rating: 4.38

Coming in at number five is the new-generation Speed Triple, staring at you with its Dali-esque new eyes and cocking an eyebrow as if to say, 'You lookin' at me? No? Well, you'd better!' 

Though many a soul still yearns for the twin round headlights that departed this earthly abode with the 2011 model update, there's no denying that the latest version of this iconic and popular bike is one fine machine.

The engine, still 1050cc, makes more power and torque thanks to improvements including a revised ECU and a freer-flowing exhaust, and the fuelling is spot on. Chassis revisions including more front-end weight, a lighter front wheel and a longer swingarm improve the handling and make the bike more stable. 

The latest Speed Triple retains all the great things owners loved about the older model - aggressive looks, huge torque, that rorty exhaust note, terrific brakes and a good riding position (which puts you a bit more over the front end than the previous model).

The hard rear suspension and clunky gearshift still get some grumbles, not to mention the bike's appetite for fuel and tyres, but safe to say the new Speed Triple is every bit its father's son.

Read Triumph Speed Triple (2011 - ) owner reviews or add your own.

4. Daytona 675 (2006 - 2012) 

Rating: 4.46

With the 2006-onwards Daytona 675, Triumph really took the fight to the Japanese race-rep 600s. Ditching the Daytona 600/650's inline fours for a new 123bhp triple, the all-new bike had little in common with its predecessors, and quickly became hugely popular.

The engine is a strong performer, with a very usable blend of power and torque, and has masses of character and sounds great too. Light weight, compact dimensions and firm suspension make the 675 a precise handler as well.

Owners tend to be a delighted bunch, with the 675's readily immense power delivery ('revs like a four, pulls like a twin'), growling exhaust note, nimble handling and sharp looks coming in for universal praise. 

It's not the most comfortable bike, though: the seat is hard, the riding position puts a lot of weight on the wrists, and the pillion perch is perfunctory. The clutch action is said to be a bit hard, the stock suspension setup can be a bit harsh, and the seat height makes it a handful (legful?) for those on the short side. 

Read Triumph Daytona 675 owner reviews or add your own.

Read Visordown's Triumph Daytona 675 Buyer's Guide

Click 'next' to see what your three top-rated Triumph motorcycles are... 

Triumph Top Three

=2. Tiger 800 (2010 - present)

Rating: 4.50

It's a tie for second place, and one of those slots goes to the Tiger 800.

Launched at the end of 2010, it has quickly become Triumph's best selling bike. Based on a longer-stroke version of the Daytona/Street Triple's 675cc engine, the 'cub' Tiger is a popular alternative to the likes of BMW's F800GS, or indeed, bigger adventure bikes from Triumph as well as its rivals. 

The 800, with its 19-inch front tyre, is the more road-oriented of Triumph's pair of middleweight adventurers (the 800's sibling, the XC, is the one with an off-road bias). The 799cc, 94bhp triple's bulging torque curve and precise fuelling make it a delight to ride, and the 800's comfort and plantedness allow you to rack up mile after twisty mile. 

Owners rate the smooth engine, slick gearbox, handling prowess, strong brakes and comfortable riding position, as well as the value for money, making the Tiger 800 a very appealing overall package.  

While a little more top-end power is always welcome, gripes tend to revolve around the smaller issues - the quality and height of the screen, the lack of a centre stand, the need to fit handlebar risers or rear huggers, and so on. The hardness of the seat was also mentioned more than once.

Read Triumph Tiger 800 owner reviews or add your own.

Read Visordown's Triumph Tiger 800 / 800XC Buyer's Guide

=2. Street Triple R (2009 - 2012)

Rating: 4.50

The other runner up on this list is the hotted-up, or R, version of the popular previous-generation Street Triple. 

This 'hotness' is not so much about gaining extra power as a trick package to make the most of the standard Street Triple's 107 bhp: think of it as lacing your pizza with chilli flakes rather than splashing it with pure capsaicin extract. 

The Street Triple R sports fully-adjustable suspension and radial brakes directly lifted from the Daytona 675, as well as Magura handlebars, making it the ideal weapon for Striple riders who like a bit of track action, or are, erm, overenthusiastic in their road riding. Visually, the only difference is a two-tone seat and a matte paintjob.

Exciting, good-looking, capable, reliable and giving owners that precious something extra - pride of ownership - it's no wonder the Striple R ranks as highly it has. The few negatives are, much like the standard model, the wind blast at speed, a not quite comfy seat, and a wide turning circle.  

Read Triumph Street Triple R owner reviews or add your own.

1. Tiger Explorer 1200 (2012 - present)

Rating: 4.58

Bagging the top spot in this ranking is Triumph's new BMW GS-beater, the Tiger Explorer 1200. Launched in 2012 after a long gestation, the big adventure bike is a ground-up design with an engine that shares no parts at all with the rest of the Hinckley range. 

Built for comfort, reliability and durability, the Explorer features shaft drive, 10K-mile service intervals, and a smooth 1215cc triple that puts out a healthy 135 bhp and nearly 90 lb-ft of torque. It's also loaded up with electronic riding aids, ride-by-wire throttle and an ultra-informative digital dash to challenge its German rival.

From owners' reviews, the Explorer's only major downside seems to be the weight; at 260kg the Explorer is hardly a size-zero. But as they say, that weight disappears once on the move.  And on the move, owners gush about the bike's comfort and handling, its shaft drive and electronic gadgetry, the engine's power delivery, its exhaust note and even its fuel economy.

With all this going in its favour, the Tiger Explorer 1200 deservedly bags the title of Triumph's most highly-rated motorcycle by you, the owners.

Read Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 owner reviews or add your own.

So there you have it: Triumph's best-rated models are the 2005-10 Speed Triple 1050, the Daytona (older 955i and new 675 versions), the Tiger (the 2006-12 generation 1050 model and the latest 800 and 1200 Explorer), the Street Triple (the 2007-11 standard model, and the 2009-12 R version) and, for those lazy Sundays, the Thunderbird 1600!

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