First Impressions: 2011 Triumph Speed Triple

MF reports in with his first impressions of latest Speed Triple from Circuit Ascari

First Impressions: 2011 Triumph Speed Triple
Engine Capacity

First Impressions: 2011 Triumph Speed Triple

Click to read: 2011 Triumph Speed Triple owners reviews2011 Triumph Speed Triple specs and to see the 2011 Triumph Speed Triple image gallery.

JUST COMPLETED three track sessions on the new 2011 Triumph Speed Triple. Circuit Ascari is an amazing place and at over three miles a lap it takes some learning, too.

Thankfully, the new Speed Triple is the perfect tool to learn such a technical, fast and undulating track. It's got masses of torque, sweet fuelling and perfectly predictable manners.

It's a pretty apt circuit to highlight a bike's manners. There's everything here; every camber known to man, flat in fifth gear sweepers, hairpins and some pretty severe gradients. The only thing lacking is a few bumps. Never thought I'd say that. (try the grass - Ed)

My first session out on track was messy - pumped-up forearms, more sweat than a stressed glass blower and massive effort. Now I've begun to learn the track and the lines, I've started to relax and the bike is getting better and better with every mile covered now I've learned how to ride it.

Initial impressions are that the design team of this important new Triumph have built a fantastically rideable, adaptable bike. Boss man John Bloor reportedly said 'don't f@ck it up' which speaks volumes about how important the Speed Triple is to Triumph in terms of sales. They've sold 65,000 of them since its inception in 1994. Big numbers when the factory are still to crack the half million sales mark.

They haven't f@cked it up. Far from it.

It may be the same old 1050cc engine but more power (and importantly more torque) has been squeezed out of it with bigger crankcase vents, revised ECU settings, a much bigger airbox and a freer flowing exhaust system. It's the torque you really notice on track.

But it's the chassis improvements that are most noticeable. Firstly the riding position: the rider is planted much closer to the headstock than the old bike to place more weight over the front end. Adding more front-end weight is a re-positioned engine (tilted through 7 degrees and 3mm further forward), a battery mounted behind the headstock and a longer swingarm. It feels more like the Street Triple to sit on, that's the extent of these changes. All I can say at this stage is that these changes have a positive effect on both steering, stability and grip. Yes this circuit is phenomenally grippy but despite much provocation from me, the Speed Triple hasn't put a foot wrong all morning.

There are other subtle tweaks, not visible to the naked eye. The front wheel is a bag and a half of sugar lighter. Trail is up a fairly substantial 6.9mm, the rake is steepened to 22.8 degrees.

The price? £8,599 or £9,199 with ABS.

Anyway, enough of this writing nonsense I've got to go and do some laps on the one with the fruity sounding, low-slung Arrow pipe on it...I'll check in later

Click here to see the 2011 Triumph Speed Triple onboard video lap and the first ride of the Arrow-kitted Speed Triple.

Sponsored Content