After 27 years, Triumph turns the Speed Triple back into a sportsbike
Anyone who's thought Speed Triple riders are nuts riding around on 178-horsepower monsters with zero wind protection can wear a satisfied smirk today. Triumph has revealed its new flagship: a neo-retro, bikini-faired Speed Triple 1200 RR cafe racer.
Born of the current-generation Speed Triple 1200, the new RR thankfully leaves most of the best-looking bits of the naked bike intact. The lovely curved frame has been a highlight of this bike since 2011, the trellis subframe and high, sharp tail on the 1200 look beaut, as do the single-sided swingarm and that murdered-out matt-black motor. These all remain.
Indeed, the main visual change is simply the fairing, and as somebody who's not typically overly fond of fairings I'd say that's been done tastefully here. It's pretty compact, works well with the lines of the bike, it's lined with tasteful carbon bits that extend back around the tank, and it culminates in a classy round LED headlight set in amongst some X-shaped structures at the front which give it a pleasing layered look.
This fairing allows a pair of fold-in sportsbike mirrors, which can flip in neatly to make the bike extremely narrow when parked, out on track or simply when it's time to get real skinny for some lane-splitting in traffic.
The ergonomics have changed too. The footpegs are higher and further back, and the flat handlebar has been replaced with a set of clip-ons that place your hands significantly lower and further forward. Triumph calls the riding position "fully engaged and committed," and speaks of the RR's track day potential, but this is still a streetbike first and foremost, so hopefully it'll retain some of the nakedbike's all-day comfort.
The other substantial upgrade is a set of Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension, which is semi-active, responding to surface conditions, and electronically adjustable.
Otherwise, it sticks fairly closely to the spec of the Speed Triple 1200 RS, with the same 178 horsepower and 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) peaks, the same Continental IMU, which enables cornering ABS, traction control, wheelie control and the like, and the same ride-by-wire system, which gives you four pre-programmed riding modes, one user configurable one and tasty features like cruise control, keyless start, back-lit switchblocks and a bi-directional quickshifter.
The sporty new 1200 RR's extra bits and pieces bump the price up to start at US$20,950 (AU$32,490 in Australia), making it more expensive than the Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory, but less than the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S, which both also rock electronic Ohlins semi-active damping. That's tough competition; the Speed Trip is well and truly in the big boys' league now, so comparo reviews will be very interesting.
As an unabashed Speed Triple fan, I think the new RR looks terrific. I'm glad it's more neo than retro, and maintains a lot of the British bruiser's aggressive good looks, albeit with a sportier twist and a bit of extra class thanks to candy-red and white/gold paint jobs. The formula remains intact and compelling, and the RR opens up the world of Speed Triples to a new type of buyer that might have a bit more track time on their mind. The video below has more.
Source: Triumph Motorcycles