The new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is here – and in the words of Ron Burgundy, “it’s kind of a big deal.” At least, that’s what Triumph wants people to believe as the bike is a ground-up reboot of the Speed Triple series, with considerably improved specs. Triumph is confident enough in its new machine that the press material is filled with phrases like “new benchmark.” So, what’s all the talk about?
Once again, Triumph goes with a liquid-cooled, DOHC three-cylinder engine. This time, it’s bumped displacement to 1160 cc; that’s good for 177.5 hp at 10,750 rpm and 92 lb-ft of torque at 9,000 rpm, both significant boosts over the previous engine. The redline is 650 rpm higher, at 11,50 rpm, and Triumph says the new engine makes a lot more horsepower and torque above 6,500 rpm.
The new engine is 7 kg lighter than the previous triple, and improves its power-to-weight ratio by 26 percent. Triumph says the power-to-weight ratio is now double the original Speed Triple model.
There’s a new quickshifter included from the factory, allowing clutchless upshifts and downshifts. The engine has a new slip/assist clutch made of high-friction material to reduce the number of clutch plates, and provide more control on downshifts. The stacked six-speed gearbox is also new, and Triumph says there’s now 12 percent less powertrain inertia.
Triumph put a new stainless steel 3-1 header on the Speed Triple, with a single underslung silencer. Triumph’s marketing copy makes much ado about the bike’s sound ( “new exhaust valve for a much sportier riding experience,” “visceral intake roar,” “incredible new Speed Triple sound,” etc.). However, the company certainly has reason to be pleased with themselves, as this is the fastest-accelerating, most powerful and highest-torque Speed Triple it’s made.
These days, technology is just as important as horsepower. With that in mind, Triumph overhauled the Speed Triple’s electronics systems. Along with the quickshifter mentioned earlier, the Speed Triple has new 5-inch TFT instruments, and cornering ABS is standard. So is cornering-sensitive traction control; you can adjust the traction control interference, or shut if off, or just select one of the five riding modes (Rain Road, Sport, Track, Rider-Controlled) and have that mode also select your traction control level.
LED lighting is standard, as you’d expect, and there’s a new keyless unlocking system for the ignition and fuel tank. Triumph’s My Connectivity system is also included.
It’s also the lightest Speed Triple that Triumph’s ever made, at 198 kg wet. That’s 10 kg lighter than the previous model, which is remarkable in itself, but even better when you consider the massive power gains.
Triumph says the chassis more narrow now, with “more dominant and purposeful riding position.” The seat’s new and the ergonomics are supposedly more improved. The frame itself is 17 percent lighter, and the new design sees weight distributed further forward, and lower, for better handling. Seat height is 830 mm.
Triumph went with radial-mount Brembo Stylema calipers up front, with linked braking as well as the track-tuned ABS mentioned earlier. There’s also a new set of 320 mm discs up front, and there’s a two-piston brake caliper in back.
For suspension, Triumph used fully-adjustable 43 mm Ohlins NIX30 forks, as well as an Ohlins TTX36 shock. Both front and rear suspension have 120 mm of travel. The ABS system also has a new modulator, courtesy of Continental, with integrated IMU. Fancy-pants stuff, indeed!
The “switch cubes” (read: handlebar switches and buttons) are backlit, the front fender is carbon fibre, there’s a rear seat cowling that switches out for a pillion seat. There’s cast aluminum wheels, and internally-wired heated grips and TPMS are available as options. Your paint choices are Sapphire Black and Matt Silver Ice. Service intervals are 16,000 km, or 12 months, and the new Speed Triple comes with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty, with option to extend.
The Speed Triple 1200 RS is supposed to be in dealers by late March, 2021, at a $19,900 MSRP.