Triumph Speed Triple RS review: first thoughts

Visordown’s on the launch of the Triumph Speed Triple RS in Spain

Triumph Speed Triple RS review: first thoughts

VISORDOWN’S Steve Farrell is in Almeria, Spain, for the press launch of Triumph’s Speed Triple RS.

Here are his first thoughts, straight after riding: ‘Triumph’s Speed Triple has gained some significant equipment upgrades for 2018, with extra rider aids and a colour TFT dash.

‘But don’t let any of that distract you. The most important change is to the engine, which has been tweaked for more power and revs.

‘It makes 150hp instead of 140hp, and at 10,500rpm instead of 9,500rpm. The red line is also higher, at 11,000 instead of 10,000.

‘Seven per cent more power might not sound world-changing, but with the extra revs, it unleashes a whole new, more eager character in the top end of the range. It makes the Speed Triple feel more of a fully-fledged super-naked. I was never quite sure if it qualified before, in a class where 160hp is more typical.

‘The new TFT dash changes lay-out as you switch riding modes. In Sport mode, the rev counter arcs across the width of the display while in Road or Rain it moves to the right-hand side, making more space for the speedometer.

‘There are two versions, the base-model Speed Triple S and the higher spec Speed Triple RS. The RS version  (pictured above) was the only one supplied by Triumph for the launch ride.

‘Both versions have Sport, Road and Rain modes but the RS also has a Track mode, making use of a new inertial measurement unit to deliver traction control optimised to lean angle.

‘Today’s ride consisted of a road test followed by a track session at Almeria circuit, where the rain hammered down from the moment we left the pit lane. 

‘The IMU, which is a feature of the RS version only, also provides cornering-optimised ABS. Riders of the S version will have to make do with conventional traction control and ABS, which can be switched off.

‘The up/down quick-shifter, an option on the RS, was very smooth.

‘With soaked-through leathers on a motorway ride back to the hotel, I took advantage of the cruise control, a new standard feature of both versions. It’s not one-button cruise control, like the system on the recently launched Triumph Bobber Black, but the traditional kind where you can adjust the set speed by pressing a button to accelerate or slow down a fraction.

‘Another update to both versions is in the switch-gear, which is now back-lit. No doubt that will be a welcome convenience when you need to find the high-beam switch on an unlit road. I couldn't tell the difference in daylight, though.

‘The Speed Triple S costs £11,350 in black or an extra £125 in white. The RS is £13,250 in either black or white colour options. The 2017 model started at £10,700 while the high-spec R edition was £12,100.

‘I’ll have a full review for you soon.'