The Triumph Speed Triple is a bike that has a long history of putting big smiles on rider’s faces. With its naked design and massive triple engine, it’s the granddaddy of performance naked bikes. As time has moved on, the Speed Triple hasn’t seen too much change over the last few years. That means competition from Japanese and Italian rivals have left the Triple behind. That is until now. Introducing the 2021 all-new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS.
The Speed Triple has never been shy about its purpose as a street bike first. Many of the bikes it will compete against are essentially stripped-down performance bikes. Being a road bruising machine is the Speed Triple’s ultimate calling.
That means all the design elements for the Speed Triple 1200 RS, the chassis, engine, technology, seating position, and power delivery are all designed to make the bike a well-balanced machine. The increase in power and performance isn’t there simply for bragging rights. That purpose is the best riding experience possible.
The center piece of that experience is an all-new 1160 cc triple powerplant. That means the new engine is 110 cc larger than the outgoing engine. Triumph is still able to shave a solid 15 pounds off the engine’s weight. It also produces more power with 177 horses at 10,750 rpm and has a 650 rpm higher 11,150 rpm redline. Most impressive in our book is the ground churning 92 lb-feet of torque produced at 9,000 rpm.
Triumph has given the new engine stronger pistons and connecting rods and the clutch is beefed up to handle the extra power. There’s a new intake that provides better airflow and enhances the Triple’s sound. The exhaust is moved from underneath the tail to a side-mounted position.
The extra power now pulls less weight, as the Speed Triple weighs an impressive 437 pounds wet. Easily making this the fastest and most powerful Speed Triple ever.
With a focus on technology, the Speed Triple 1200 RS comes equipped with a new 5-inch TFT display that allows for turn-by-turn navigation via the My Triumph app, GoPro control, phone control, and music operation. There’s cornering ABS, four-level cornering traction control, wheelie control, cruise control, an up and down quick shifter, and five ride modes. To make sure owners get the most up to date experience possible, the bike features a completely keyless setup that includes the gas cap. That means you can simply hop on the bike and go, without having to fumble around for your keys.
All of these features sit on a mass centralized chassis that is now narrower and provides a more compact riding experience. The handlebars are wider and control a fully adjustable suspension that includes Ohlins NIX30 forks up front and an Ohlins TTX36 monoshock in the rear. Brembo Stylema calipers gripping 320 mm discs in the front and a 220 mm disc with a dual piston Brembo caliper out back provide braking power. This setup is on par with what you will find from many of the top performance bikes on the market. Metzeler RACETEC RR Tires wrap 17-inch wheels. The Speed keeps its single-sided swingarm design.
The design of the Speed Triple is quickly recognizable as a Triumph and stands apart from the smaller Street Triple. The color options are Grey and Black, in line with Triumph’s tradition of making focused understated art. There’s a carbon fiber front mudguard, a color-matched belly pan, and seat cowl. The full LED headlights have new DRLs, which have a noticeable aggressive squint.
In terms of trim levels, the RS is the lone spec bike for the new Speed Triple. That means, there won’t be an R or S model available. Buying a Speed Triple will now get you all the goodies out of the box.
With only one fully loaded trim level, the price swells to $18,300. Compared to the outgoing models, that’s $4,000 more than the Speed Triple S and $2,000 more than the RS. Premium motorcycle pricing has steadily been climbing towards, and in some cases past, the $20,000 mark over the last few years. As a result, the price tag doesn’t come as a surprise, but it’s still shocking to see.
Overall, the new Speed Triple 1200 RS meets our expectations and should live up to Triumph’s claim that it is the most powerful, dynamic and technologically advanced Speed Triple ever.