The new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS 2021.
Triumph announced the new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS in January 2021. As most people know I get really excited about Triumphs. So you will not be surprised I was eager to test this new model. On to Motorcentrum Rijen, where I was given the opportunity to test out the Speed Triple.
The looks…. let's talk about the looks first. I personally think Triumph is really good at designing and shaping motorcycles. The bike looks very good and they have created an unique design in my opinion! This Speed Triple is a real eye-catcher!
I know the Street / Speed Triple are taste-sensitive bikes. There are people who don't like the dual headlights. I don't fall into that category of people. I am pleased Triumph has equipped the Speed Triple with the updated LED headlights this year, which the Street Triple already had a year earlier. All lighting on the Speed Triple is LED. The standard indicators look classy and the Speed Triple's tail light is a nice subtle design in my opinion.
The paintwork of the Triumph also looks sweet. You can see no cuts have been made on this and the color schemes matches well. I also like Triumph chooses to put their logo on the tank, where many other manufacturers choose to do this with stickers. The overlapping letters look a bit more "Premium" in my opinion. Even the finish of the fuel cap is very nicely processed.
The "Single swingarm" finish looks beautifully compact. A nice detail is the Triumph logo incorporated in the hub of the rim. The latter is an accessory and not standard.
The only thing I miss in terms of design on this bike is a windshield. I now find the dashboard protruding so bare above the low-hanging LED headlights. Fortunately, Triumph has already thought about this and you can order an OEM windshield that fits very nicely to the rest of the bike.
This Speed Triple 1200 RS is also equipped with carbon for the mudguard, which looks very luxurious!
Triumph has not only worked on the performance of the engine, but also on updating some electronics. This Speed Triple 1200 RS is equipped with a brand new TFT display. It seems as if Triumph has learned and listened to the users of the Street Triple last year. This TFT display is much easier to read and it is much easier to navigate through the menu. The speed and rpm counter are easy readable. You can choose from two different themes and set the brightness of the display. It is also possible to connect your phone with this bike. Then you can use your phone as a navigation, operate your Gopro and answer or hang up phone calls. Not bad!
There are five preset riding modes to choose from: Rain, Road, Sport, Track and Rider. Each riding mode has its own preset ABS, TC and throttle settings, with the wheelie control being part of the traction control system. They call this the "Advanced Front Wheel Lift Control". I don't really understand why Triumph has chosen this as it would be more pleasant to make wheelie control a separate option within the riding modes.
Triumph has chosen to equip this bike with Metzeler RACETEC tires. This was the first time for me that I was introduced to the Metzeler tires. I really enjoyed riding the Metzeler semi-slicks. It was a warm and dry day when I tested the Speed Triple. In these circumstances, the tires where perfectly!
I didn’t had an insecure feeling with the Metzeler tires. The tires warmed up quickly and were well matched for the power of the Speed Triple. If I read other reviews about the Metzeler’s, these tires are also doing very well on the track. I am curious how the tires will hold up on cold and wet conditions. I have not been able to test this, but I can imagine that the Metzeler RACETEC are not made for this kind of conditions.
How does the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS ride?
Early in the morning I arrived at Motorcentrum Rijen. The owner Cees rolled out the new Speed Triple. The first thing I thought was, gosh what an awesome bike. You can see the bike has a lot more body than its little brother the Street Triple. Everything about this bike is slightly bigger, despite the fact Triumph has made the Speed Triple a bit more compact than its predecessors.
Much has been said about the new engine of the Speed Triple. Where the engine of the Speed Triple in 1994 was good for 98 HP, 27 years later that has been increased considerably. With a touch of Moto-2 knowledge, the new engine is a liquid-cooled three-cylinder. The new Speed Triple delivers 178 HP and 125 nm of torque and weighs 198 kg! That doesn't sound bad on paper, but how is this on the road?
The first thing I noticed when I started up the bike was the sound the Speed Triple produced. Is this an original exhaust and is this Euro 5 approved? Big respect to Triumph. Despite the stricter rules, they have managed to give this bike a nice, deep and not too soft sound. Just awesome! And, starting this bike you don’t need a key anymore. You can let the key-less key in to your pocket and just start the bike.
I also liked the clear display. All data are easy to read and changing, for example, the riding mode or other options in the display is a piece of cake.
And now it’s time to get on the road! From the moment I rode off I felt that the engine was very smooth. The wonderful three-cylinder sound provided a real experience. I thought the intake sound was better compared to the Street Triple. Sound level on this bike is just great!
You feel the Speed Triple has become a lot slimmer and more compact compared to its predecessors. The saddle is 830mm high, which was fine for my 1.74m. I got my feet on the ground easily. I noticed that the saddle was very comfortable, even after riding a few hours.
The bike feels light and maneuverable. You notice the Speed Triple has lost 10 kg compared to the previous models. I have to say that I find the Street Triple a lot more agile and playful than the Speed Triple. The Speed Triple is of course also a different category motorcycle and has just a little more of everything than the Street Triple.
The riding position of the bike is semi-sporty. You sit very comfortably and a little forward. Despite the fact that you sit a bit forward, this bike is not a wrist breaker. The posture for my knees where good.
The gearbox of the bike was a bit disappointing. I found manual switching a bit stiff. Not quite what I was used to from a Triumph. I must say when using the quickshifter, the shifting went very smoothly and without any stiffness. It will not surprise you this is an up-and-down quickshifter of which I am a big fan !
On the highway, the wind pressure on my body was more then I expected. I think this is because there is no windshield on the bike. So this is the first thing I would mount on this bike if I was buying the Speed Triple. The cruise control was ideal on the highway and very easy to use. Triumph has arranged the buttons well, making activating the cruise control very easy.
I noticed this Speed Triple does its job well on the curvy roads and on the highway. It's a real hooligan machine, especially when hitting the curvy roads. If you open up the throttle from second gear, the front wheel will go up in the air. However, the "Advanced Front Wheel Lift Control" ensures that you never go too far with wheelies.
Triumph has equipped the new Speed Triple with Öhlins suspension. The shocks are fully adjustable and look very nice. The bike rides perfectly with those Öhlins shocks ! I am a sporty rider myself and it seems like Öhlins has tuned the suspension for sporty handling. So that's great!
Powerful braking with this Speed Triple is no problem. The Speed Triple 1200 RS features twin Brembo 320 mm discs with Brembo Stylema calipers and an adjustable Brembo MCS brake pump at the front and a single brake disc with Brembo two-piston caliper at the rear. That some quality!
I was riding in the "Sport" riding mode. I have to say that this is a very nice riding mode for street use. The safety electronics such as the Advanced Front Wheel Lift Control, traction control and ABS did not intervene unnecessarily quickly.
The Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is very successful in my opinion. The looks of the bike are very sweet and the finish of the bike is above average. Triumph has really used high quality products which you will certainly notice. The bike is nice, rides smoothly and the renewed 3-cylinder engine provides a lot of fun. The gearbox a bit stiff in my opinion, but when using the quickshifter I had no problems with this at all. Riding fast speeds will produce some wind pressure on your body. I think this can easily be solved with an OEM windshield. The sound of the bike is wonderful, even with the stock exhaust. I still don't understand how Triumph did this, but well… The brakes and suspension are more than good. The suspension is very sporty, which in my opinion rode very good. Triumph has also used a good choice of tires. The Metzeler did an amazing job on the dry and warm road. The TFT display is easy to read and easy to use. The riding modes are easy to change and are well adjusted as standard from Triumph. The big question people asked me: "Do you want to exchange your current Street Triple for the new Speed Triple? "". My answer to this is simply NO! I am very attached to my Street Triple and find it more playful and agile.
Thanks to Ton Heeren for helping me out with the translation.