Triumph Speed Triple Wholly Renewed as 1200 RS Model

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Words: NZ Autocar
27 Jan 2021

Triumph has undertaken a total makeover of its Speed Triple, launching initially a 1200 RS variant which it says will revolutionise power, performance, handling and technology for the model, and make it “the ultimate performance naked sports ride”. They be streetfightin’ words.

Kicking off then with the new engine, given almost all other supernakeds available have larger mills or higher power figures. Out with the 1050cc triple and in with a higher capacity 1160cc mill, sporting twin-tip spark plugs, amongst a host of new things.

Power is said to be up by 30PS to 180PS which sounds better than 178hp (or 132kW) while peak torque is beefier by 8Nm to a claimed 125Nm at 9000rpm. Helping the cause is a slightly higher redline, raised by 650rpm to 11,150rpm, and 12 per cent lower inertia in the engine. There’s also a freer flowing intake and exhaust system, which is said to make it sound more ornery too. Triumph describes the audible theatrics as “hair raising”.

And as to ultimate performance, the Brit has managed to extract 10kg from the Speed Triple - 7kg of that from the engine - so now with all fluids it weighs in at a stated 198kg. Helping is a standard-fit lithium ion battery, saving 2.3kg. Power to weight is said to increase by one-quarter over the outgoing model (and it’s double that of the original!).

They haven’t stopped there either because the engineers have conjured up a new mass centralised chassis that’s not only narrower and more compact but also has a sportier riding position, along with 13mm wider handlebars for improved control. The test riders claim it feels “as agile and dynamic to ride as a Street Triple RS”. Ride quality also improves with new seat construction. Footpegs are mounted inboard slightly for better ground clearance.

Capping it all off are fully adjustable Öhlins suspension components (NIX30 USD forks, TTX36 twin-tube monoshock) and Metzeler Racetec RR tyres, along with Brembo Stylema brakes. Front and rear stoppers are linked for shorter braking distances and improved stability during emergency braking. If this is to be a track day bike, there’s the option of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC2 tyres. A lap timer is a standard item.

The icing on the cake is a multi-axis IMU meaning the 1200 RS features cornering ABS and TC for ultimate control. The latter settings can be changed on the fly. Expect an improved anti-wheelie function too.

There are also five riding modes, new five-inch TFT instruments, a bidirectional quickshifter, full-LED lighting, keyless ignition (along with steering lock and fuel cap) and a special connectivity system (for nav, phone and music control). Cruise control is standard fit.

It also looks the part, more muscular with cleaner lines, and alluring new light signatures, with full LED elements. Indicators are now self-cancelling.

Finishing things off are a carbon fibre front mudguard, a seat cowl with interchangeable pillion pew, new lightweight wheels and two colour options, black or silver being the primary hues.

And finally, there are 35 accessory items, including an Arrow muffler, various flyscreens, and luggage options. Service intervals are now out to 16,000km.

Expect a sticker figure north of $27k (the price for the outgoing RS) when the first examples of Speed Triple 1200 RS arrive late Feb. 

Vespa Auckland Dec20

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