Road Test

Triumph Speed Triple RS (2019) review

We’ve been getting to grips with Triumph’s iconic Speed Triple these last few weeks, here’s what we’ve found out

Details
Manufacturer:
Category:
Naked
Price:
£ 13600
Overall
4

THERE are few bikes that tick the ‘icon’ box quite like Triumph’s Speed Triple, even the recipe for the machine has stayed relatively similar since its launch in 1994.

Take a thumping great engine with fantastic delivery and exhaust note, chuck in some apex carving handling and a big dollop of machismo and, bingo! The Speed Triple is born. In truth, the latest top of the range Trip’ is much more refined than I’d expected it to be, even as a daily driver!

Triumph Speed Triple RS (2019) video review

Price

The bike featured is £13,600 OTR, a representative PCP example can be seen below:

36 Repayments of

£156.00

Cash Price

£13,600.00

Optional Final Repayment of

£6,736.00

Deposit

£3,266.00

Total Amount Payable

£15,618.00

Total Amount of Credit

£10,334.00

Agreement Duration

37 Months

APR

7.9% APR

Annual Mileage

4000 Miles

Engine

The Speed Triple is powered by a 1050cc, 12-valve three-cylinder engine. Putting out a shade under 150bhp and 117Nm, the engine has an unmistakable power delivery that provides almost instant thrust, regardless of where you are in the rev range or what gear you in. The fly-by-wire throttle is seamless and has great feel and response, almost indistinguishable from a cable operated item.

The gearbox on the bike I found to be a little inaccurate, sometimes hooking a false neutral, something that was magnified the more you pushed on. The lever has quite a long throw, which combined with my diminutive boots could have magnified the problem.

The riding experience of the Speed Triple is the engine, it’s the heart of the machine and you really feel that when you ride it. The anywhere-acceleration is addictive, just as much as the baritone wail from the high-level Arrow end cans.

Suspension

The range-topping RS gets a full complement of tricked-up Öhlins suspension, with 43mm NIX30 USD forks up front, and TTX36 shock at the rear. The shock is rebound and compression adjustable and the forks feature pre-load, rebound, and compression damping adjustability.

With the top-spec kit used on the bike, it’s no surprise to read that it’s a phenomenal bike to point up a twisty road, with all the support you’d want and expect from the pinnacle of Triumph’s naked bike offerings. I don’t think I have ever felt so comfortable so quickly on a motorcycle before. The ride back from Triumph’s Hinckley HQ made me feel right at home and able to get on the pace from the word go.

Handling

When not at speed, the ride quality is okay, but can become jarring over rippled or poor road surfaces. You sometimes get that feeling like your eyes are bouncing around your head and the setting isn’t the plushest out there. It’s a trade-off I suppose, and for a bike that is so composed and well handling, I can forgive it!

Brakes

Upfront, we have superbike-spec Brembo radially mounted, 4-pot calipers and 320mm discs, with a 2-piston sliding caliper at the rear. ABS is switchable and unobtrusive, only ever triggering on loose surfaces.

The master cylinder on the Speed Triple is a super-sexy Brembo MCS jobbie, which is span adjustable and a pleasure to use. The brakes are phenomenally powerful, with more bite than most will ever need and good longevity, as even prolonged periods of fast riding and hard braking kept the lever feeling true.

Equipment

To keep you informed on the move, the Speed Triple features the latest generation of Triumph’s 5” TFT dash. It’s a handsome thing and switches modes automatically when riding under trees or in the dark and has selectable themes dependant on the riding mode you’re in. The bike is on the list to be upgraded to Triumph’s dash-mounted, turn-by-turn navigation (like the Scrambler 1200) although the date of this is not confirmed.

There are five riding modes to choose from, Rain, Road, Sport, Track and Rider which is a user-configurable. All the modes are switch by the joystick on the left handlebar and it can be done on the fly by closing the throttle.

In all honesty, Sport and Track are the two modes you’ll find yourself most often, instant acceleration and the most direct throttle map make the Speed Triple a wickedly fast motorcycle from one corner to another.

The Triumph also has cruise control as standard, which requires you to prime and then arm the system with the rocker switch on the handlebar. Once engaged you can increase or decrease your speed accurately through the same switch. The bike also has cornering ABS and traction control as standard, a nice feature which again helps to place the bike at the top of the super-naked class.

We like:

  • Engine character and delivery
  • Handling at speed
  • Superbike-spec braking system

We don’t like:

  • Seat felt fairly unsupportive
  • Jarring ride on poor roads
  • Riding mode resets to Road when the ignition is off

Verdict

Triumph’s Speed Triple continues to set the standard for what makes a good naked roadster, it’s an intoxicating mixture of power, speed and apex-hunting handling that is difficult to match. And now the Speed Triple just turning 25, it’s hard to believe that the machine has been in production for that long, steadily evolving along the way.

With only a couple of gripes, thrashy ride and a seat that became tiresome after an hour, it is very difficult to find anything not to like about the bike, it ticks so many boxes. It’s also well at home in a variety of situations, with town work, B-road scratching or even a trackday are all well within the machine’s capability.

Triumph Speed Triple RS spec

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

Type

Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder

Capacity

1050 cc

Bore

79 mm

Stroke

71.4 mm

Compression

12.92:1

Max Power EC

150 PS / 148 Bhp (110 kW) @ 10,500 rpm

Max Torque EC

117 Nm @ 7,150 rpm

System

Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI

Exhaust

Stainless Steel 3 into 1 into 2 high-level stainless-steel silencers

Final Drive

X ring chain

Clutch

Wet, multi-plate slip assist clutch

Gearbox

6-speed

CHASSIS

Frame

Aluminium beam twin-spar

Swingarm

Single-sided, aluminium alloy with eccentric chain adjuster

Front Wheel

Cast aluminium alloy multi-spoke 17 x 3.5 in

Rear Wheel

Cast aluminium alloy multi-spoke 17 x 6.0 in

Front Tyre

120/70 ZR17

Rear Tyre

190/55 ZR17

Front Suspension

Ohlins 43 mm NIX30 upside down forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping, 120 mm travel

Rear Suspension

Öhlins TTX36 twin tube monoshock with preload, rebound and compression damping, 130 mm rear wheel travel

Front Brakes

Twin 320 mm floating discs, Brembo 4-piston Monobloc radial calipers. Switchable ABS

Rear Brakes

Single 255 mm disc, 2-piston sliding caliper. Switchable ABS

Instrument Display and Functions

Full-colour 5" TFT instruments

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS

Width Handlebars

775 mm

Height Without Mirror

1,070 mm

Seat Height

825 mm

Wheelbase

1,445 mm

Rake

22.9 º

Trail

91.3 mm

Dry Weight

189 kg

Tank Capacity

15.5 L

FUEL CONSUMPTION

Fuel Consumption

5.2 L/100km

CO2 Figures

EURO 4 Standard: 119 g/km **CO2 and fuel consumption are measured according to regulation 168/2013/EC. Figures on fuel consumption are derived from specific test conditions and are for comparative purposes only. They may not reflect real driving results.

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