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Triumph Speed Triple track tested

Having survived its final test during the Bennetts Ultimate trackday at Snetterton 300, it’s time to hand the keys back to Triumph

Every year UK bikers get a chance to win a place on the exclusive Bennetts Ultimate track day, this year it was hosted at the new Snetterton 300 circuit with racing gods Cal Crutchlow, James Toseland, James Whitham and Scott Redding.

I took the Speed Triple long-termer for its final test to see how it would hold up on this fast challenging circuit.

The day started with a chill in the air but with the promise of 27 degrees and unbroken sun spirits were high. After an excellent briefing by the instructors at Focused Events we were fed through sound and tyre checks and sent out on three sighting laps.

The track itself whilst complex is actually easy to learn, the open space and lack of any real camber allowed for excellent lines of sight, helping to keep a track of the 2.2km circuit. With many fast flowing right-handers it takes trust in the front tyre and confidence in the bike's suspension to get the bends right. If you tie them all together smoothly you can really feel how much this track asks of the tyres.

After the first session I checked out my new super-sticky Bridgestone R10s and couldn’t see any bobbling, melting or any real signs of wear, in fact the rubber was almost mocking me! A bit disappointing as I was hoping for the mashed 'been put through their paces' look. Clearly I wasn’t anywhere near their limits and safe in the knowledge I could push harder when we went out again for session two.

Each session that followed the pace increased and by lunchtime the Speed Triple was grinding it’s pegs in the corners.

Focusing on the rubber; the new Bridgestone R10s give a solid feel for grip unlike any other I have used, they felt glued to the track. I took a fast left-hander too shallow at one point and had to employ the trusty mind over matter technique and lean harder into the bend, the pegs and my toe sliders were already scrapping on the ground. The extra lean simply lifted the pegs up, my leg with it and around the corner we went, the tyres didn’t even wriggle, solid as a rock.

It’s something to be able to say that - on the most part - the Speed Triple's level of ground clearance was all that really limited its speed through the corners. Considering the Speed is a naked street bike you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it would be to soft, a tad wallowy or hesitant to turn on track, but actually, Triumph have built a bike with all the components and set up needed to make it a capable track tool.The standard suspension is taught and firm and offers excellent feedback and control through every input you make at the bars. With the instant torque from the 1050 engine means you can easily correct your lines through and out of the corners using the punch to keep up your pace.

I’m no trackday god and sure the Speed Triple won’t hold up against the bigger race bikes into and through the bends, but if you want a bike that can hold its own out on track, then you will have a great time lapping at trackdays.

Many thanks to Bennetts insurance for a fantastical organised track day, get an insurance quote from them here and if you want the chance to win one of three decent bikes then check out their facebook page here

If you want to read more about the new Bridgestone Racing R10s check out my blog and their main site here.

Many thanks to Guy Cope and Alex James for the excellent photography.