The original Speed Triple released in 1994 was a big part of the successful rebirth of the Triumph brand across the globe. It was distinctly different, big, brawny and proved pretty much bulletproof over time. Some would say it effectively created the big-bore street-fighter style of naked bikes that are now on offer from almost every manufacturer these days.
The Speed Triple steadily grew in capacity across the ensuing generations from the original 885 cc in the T309 series, up to to 995 and then to 1050 cc in 2005 when the fourth generartion Speed Triple launched. Power steadily crept up with those capacity hikes over the years from the 98 horsepower of the original carburetted bikes, through to the 148 horsepower and 117 Nm of the current generation Speed Triple RS.
2021 will usher in a new generation Speed Triple that raises the bar to a new level for Triumph thanks to a completely new 1160 cc engine that pumps out an impressive 178 horsepower. The new engine also revs longer and stronger with its redline now extended to 11,150 rpm. Meet the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS.
Torque remains prodigious right throughout the rev range with almost 110 Nm on tap from 3500 rpm. It also now peaks almost 2000 rpm higher than its predecessor, giving its 125 Nm best at 9000 rpm.
According to the Triumph dyno charts, over 120 Nm is available from 7000 rpm right through to 10,000 rpm. The previous bike reached its 117 Nm vertex at 7150 rpm.
The powerplant is 7 kg lighter despite its 110 cc increase. The engines character is sure to be markedly different from its predecessors thanks to a much shorter stroke. At 60.8 mm the stroke is even shorter than the original 885 powerplant, and a huge 18 mm shorter than the 955/1050 engine generations.
The bore size is up by more than 10 mm to achieve that 1160 cc capacity and obviously a bigger bore allows for much bigger valves, which are now actuated by a finger-follower system. Triumph claims that despite the bigger internals the engine also revs quicker thanks to a 12 per cent reduction of inertia.
There really doesn’t seem to be any downside with the new generation engine still boasting at least as much or more power and torque right from the basement than its predecessors, yet now with a storming top end that punches through 11,000 rpm.
At a claimed 198 kg wet, the power to weight ratio is 26 per cent better than the current Speed Triple RS, and double that of the 1994 original. Triumph also claim the bike is the best sounding Speed Triple ever thanks to extensive work on the intake and exhaust systems.
An all-new chassis has helped contribute to that overall 10 kg saving over the current model and Triumph promises that the new design delivers a much more compact feeling package with the weight distribution push lower and more forward than before. A narrower tank/seat junction along with wider bars and improved ground clearance should help that impression. The new pew is 830 mm from terra firma and Triumph claim that leg-room has not been compromised.
Ohlins supplies both the NIX30 forks and TTX36 shock. Both ends are fully adjustable and offer 120 mm of travel.
The name dropping continues when it comes to the braking hardware with top-shelf Brembo Stylema calipers along with the same company’s MCS span and ratio adjustable brake lever. The brakes are linked via a Continentual MIB-EVO ABS and Traction Control system that sports its own integrated six-axis IMU. Both are user configurable via Riding Modes and a Track Mode is included as standard. Triumph are promising much improved and less obtrusive wheelie control thanks to the new IMU.
An improved two-way quick-shifter is standard along with a revamped slip-assist clutch. A new gearbox lay-out is promised to shift signifanctly smoother than previous Speed Triples.
Instrumentation is all-new via a high-tech five-inch TFT complete with Bluetooth that enables turn-by-turn navigation and phone/music control via the My Triumph Connectivity System. You can even control your GoPro camera from the interface with all functionality switched through via the bars. Cruise control is standard.
New rims are shod with Metzeler Racetec RR rubber and a nice carbon-fibre front mud-guard is standard.
The ignition, fuel cap and steering lock are all keyless and the switchgear illuminated. The battery is a Lithium Ion unit and Triumph will offer an optional dedicated charger for the bike to suit.
Tyre pressure monitoring and heated grips will be optional extras. A tank bag and tail bag will be available via the accessories catalogue along with the regular assortment of bling.
There certainly doesn’t look like there is much to complain about when examining what is on offer with the new 1200 Speed Triple RS. The 15.5-litre fuel tank is the same as its predecessor, but ten-litres less than the 1994 original, and could be a bit limiting for some, but overall this new Speed Triple looks as though it will certainly win plenty of admirers.
First deliveries are expected to hit Australian shores this March when we hope to be ripping skids and wheelies on it. Pricing is yet to be set. but the colour choices will be Sapphire Black or Matt Silver Ice.
2021 Triumph Speed Triple Specifications
Engine & Transmission
Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
180 PS / 177.5 hp (132.4 kW) @ 10,750 rpm
125 Nm (92 lbft) @ 9,000 rpm
Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Stainless steel 3 into 1 header system with underslung primary silencer and side mounted secondary silencer
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