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Triumph SPEED TRIPLE 1050 Naked Motorbike Review

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Triumph Speed Triple
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

2005 was the last time Triumph updated the Speed Triple by giving it the new 1050cc engine. Five years on and Triumph saw fit to update, overhaul and completely transform its biggest selling bike – 65,000 models sold since 1994. For 2011 the Speed Triple has an all-new chassis package, frame and swingarm included, to turn MCN’s favourite big-bore naked bike into a thoroughly modern big-bore naked bike. Changing the round ‘bug-eyed’ glass and chrome twin headlights for modern plastic items could have gone so badly wrong for Triumph. After all, changing something so iconic can be likened to downgrading the M1 to 45mph maximum speed limit. Thankfully Triumph got the new version spot on and the new Speed Triple is the best yet and arguably the best super naked out there.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The only part of the 2011 Speed Triple to receive the least amount of attention. But who cares? When you’ve got a triple-cylinder 1050cc engine that can pull a castle down with sheer torque alone and yet still run with the sports bike boys, you know this engine just has to be pretty special. The claimed 5bhp increase in peak power doesn’t mean diddly as such. It is the extra 8-10bhp and greater spread of torque from 6-9000rpm that makes a big difference. Overtakes are completed quicker and with a greater safety margin, and the Speed triple will wheelie for ever. A revised ECU, exhaust and airbox are responsible for the power step and also the wonderful, low rpm manners – we like tractable. New gearbox components make shifting more positive.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

The new frame allowed Triumph to shift the engine further forward and angled downward to shift the bike’s front weight bias in order to speed up the steering and make the Speed Triple as agile as the glorious 675 street Triple. Triumph also shifted the battery to behind the headstock, moved the rider closer to the steering head and changed the steering geometry. The upshot is a bike that is so easy to ride in any situation. Fast road riding, town work and track days are now all within the Speed Triple’s remit. The seat is narrower and ride height lower, making the bike accessible to short-legged riders – the slightly smaller turning circle makes life a lot easier,too.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The new dash layout features a service schedule indicator, programmable shift light and a pre-wired Tyre Pressure Monitor System that only needs the £120 accessory sensors fitted to the wheels. The ignition key now has an immobiliser as per the Japanese competition. Special star rating goes to the Brembo radial brakes that have been retained from the old model – these beauties work and work better still now a Brembo front master cylinder is used. An ABS version will be available early 2011. Compare and buy parts for the Speed Triple in the MCN Shop.

Triumph Speed Triple (2011-current)

Detail Value
New price £9,599
Dealer used prices
£6,600 (2011) - £9,360 (2014)
Private used prices
£5,980 (2011) - £8,430 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1050 cc
Power 133 bhp
Top speed mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

It doesn’t take much of a look to see the new frame, swingarm and chassis components are finished perfectly. Triumph has placed greater emphasis on detail finish, which should allay previous comments on water ingress to switchgear. Even though the engine has been tweaked, Triumph claims the engine isn’t stressed even pushed to the max.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

A new bike with three years of development behind it, which also includes upgraded components, would ordinarily worry our wallets. But Triumph has managed to peg the new Speed Triple to £8599, just £400 more than the outgoing model. But while the new Speed Triple’s price tops Honda’s CB1000R and Kawasaki Z1000 by around £100, it’s the Triumph that floats MCN’s boat. Find a Triumph Speed Triple for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

1994: UK introduction of 885cc steel framed café racer Speed Triple
1997: Streetfighter-styled (twin headlight) 885cc Speed Triple Speed Triples) with aluminium frame and fuel injection
1999: UK introduction of 955cc Speed Triple
2005: UK introduction of 1050cc Speed Triple
2011: UK introduction of all new Speed Triple

Other Versions

2004: Triumph Speed Triple Special Edition – all-black paintwork
2009: Triumph Speed Triple Special Edition 15th Anniversary – black paint with red detailing and John Bloor monicker on the fuel tank
2010: Triumph Speed Triple SE – first Speed Triple with two-tone (red/white) paint and uprated suspension.

Specifications

Top speed mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 133 bhp
Max torque 82 ft-lb
Weight 214 kg
Seat height 825 mm
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 1050 cc
Engine specification liquid-cooled 12v DOHC four-stroke in-line triple. Six speed. Fuel injection
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Fully adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Fully adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial calipers
Rear brake 255mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(7 reviews)

  • Let down

    brizi2003

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Current ride is gsxr750 k3. Test rode the speed triple but was very disappointed. Engine is mega but gearbox is a bit clunky. Ergonomics are great and very easy to ride but the suspension gives an extremely hard ride, transmitting every bump or ripple in the road straight to the rider. Even on the smoothest of roads there was a constant jarring. Salesman said I ws too light (11st). Suzuki is armchair in comparison. Triumph brakes are excellent only 1 finger needed but to me they seem too sharp no where near the feel of my Suzuki brakes although much more instant and powerful. Triumph trotted action ws also poor well off the stop before there was any response, my Suzuki on the other hand immediate. Biggest turn off though was the harsh suspension. Can't understand why this bike is getting such great reviews when my 9 year old bike does everything better. Triumph will definately not be getting my money.

    19 March 2012

  • Triple fun

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Fantastic bike, very different from my previous bike the Bandit 1250 which although very good was a bit bland. The Speed Triple is much lighter and sharper handling, more like a sports bike, top spec brakes, supspension and handling. I don't think you could ever get bored winding her up with those blue shift lights. Standar tyres are made of butter the rear is now shot at 1300 miles ;-).

    25 November 2011

  • Shockingly good handler.

    Beer&Darts

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Just put one of these on order after a two-hour test ride during which time the kitchen sink was well and truly thrown at this bike. There are no obvious weaknesses to it other than an oddly splay-legged riding position and a slight lack of legroom, both of which matter not a damn when you're gunning it. There's no doubt about it, you can take absolutely horrendous liberties with these things. They simply will not misbehave in the slightest. Not only do they turn and hold a line on stock settings, but they combine that with supreme stability and front end feedback. Brake trailing? No problem. Ham fisted throttling? Not a concern, the fine control and traction available is astonishing. I tried everything I could do to upset it, and it was having none of it. This bike isn't for top-trumps worshipping spec-sheet anoraks, isn't loaded with bragging-right earning gizmos and isn't premium "exotica" (ie overpriced and underperforming). It's simply a damned fine piece of ingenious mechanical engineering that takes the piss out of anything I have ever ridden on a British road. It makes my existing KTM Superduke's handling look shit, which defies belief.

    05 November 2011

  • Happy bike

    martin2011

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    My current 2012 ABS is a great upgrade from my previous 2007 model. Its got personality like no other modern bike. I get a happy smile evertime I ride it!

    27 October 2011

  • TO UGLY TO BUY

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Having now test driven the new Speed Triple from Triumph I can say that it is quite an amazing bit of kit. The engine and handling are just sublime and it has a decent comfort level as well - compared to the concrete seat and cramped conditions on the new Aprillia Tuono V4 R APRC (hyper loony bike) which I test drove three weeks ago. The engine, gearbox, brakes, handling, riding position, torque, suspension and general road manners all worked perfectly for me and honestly having tried all the rest I really want to buy this bike. But I am afraid Mr Bloor that I cannot and WILL NOT part with the fat end of £9,000 for a bike that has a bug eyed unfinished looking front end as ugly as this!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give us single light option that is as well designed and attractive as the Ducati 1100 EVO Monster. If you do that for me I will buy one without hesitation. In short this bike ticks every box for me except one and I will not buy it until there is a decent well finished good looking headlight on it that points where the front wheel is pointing. I wonder how many other people our there feel the same as me but are to scared of the slagging they might get for voicing their opinions?

    05 August 2011

  • Speed v Street v Sprint St

    glynipig

    Average rating rating is 4

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    For All This in a more readable format with tons of pics go to: www.glyniblog.com A New Beginning With over 30,000 miles on the Street Triple, it was time to find a replacement. I could easily have had another, it’s certainly unbelievably good but where’s the fun in that? Having done the Sprint St and the Street Triple, the Speed Triple was the obvious choice. In fact, I was dead set on a Speed two years ago but one test ride on a Street forced a change of plan. I will try to put together some kind of comparison of the Three Triples – Street, Sprint ST, Speed Three – It’s the Magic Number I still feel a delight in riding a three-cylinder machine. I’m not the only one to have discovered this little secret. I know why most still choose the four cylinder creatures. They look at the spec sheets and allow top end, quarter mile and bhp to play an uneven part in the selection process. Perhaps the old fashioned ‘comes with a free oil leak,’ reputation of Triumph still lingers but those days are gone….well almost…… I do remember that the Sprint ST liked a bit of oil between services, not the Street but now I have the same engine again …note to self: ‘ fortnightly oil check’ I’m not including the track tarts in my dismissal of performance stats; if that’s your buzz, then fractions of a second really do matter and you need to know your R’s from your RR’s and your RRR’s, although they could be a little more creative with the bike names. I would need to change my football season ticket from Premier league to the Osteopaths league though; it’s noticeable how I emit a little grunt with each set of aerobic challenges, like moving for example I mean no harm to my track loving brothers, in fact I must give it a go before it's too late. The performance figures do not tell you how quickly you get to a 94 mph (beyond that point is a court appearance – been there, done that; once was enough and it worked – never again; I kept my license though) or where the powerband is; they do sometimes give you roll on acceleration figures but these figures are often so blunt that they achieve little more that putting machines into some kind of order. Don’t get me wrong, I love Top Trumps but by the time you hit the powerband on a meaty four pot japarama, you have either run out of road or are looking at a three figure number on your speedo. I really, really try to avoid three figure numbers now. I need my license and having spent five days going to work on the bus and train recently, I never want that to become any kind of prolonged reality. I am haunted by the painful memory of waiting at a bus stop for the 05.31 bus. Talking about mad speeds: there is good reason for insurance companies making quick bikes unaffordable for the young and beautiful; with youth and beauty comes rash use of the throttle and a refusal to consider mortality. If anyone gave me GSXR for my 18th, I’m sad to report I would be dead. The three-cylinder machine is perfect for British roads; acceleration on tap from standstill and bags of oomph in every gear. I think 151mph is fast enough, certainly fast enough to put your liberty into serious doubt. Incidentally, the top whack on the Street was 141 mph and I never felt oppressed by my inability to hit 170. The 1050 lump is a road bike engine and they have put it into a road frame; seems like common sense to me. As a footnote, the street red lined at 13,500 revs. Fantastic buzz but difficult to find the time and space on our congested UK roads. Of course, if you want the ultimate only a GSXR type can do that – and the 750 is the toast of the town – I think it looks great too! A thou Japanese racer is fine for a weekend warrior but I really wouldn’t want to live with one day in day out. I would love one in the garage though. The Speed Triple was a bike that I knew everything and nothing about. I had ridden over 40,000 miles with the identical 1050 lump in the Sprint and over 30,000 miles with the riding position of the Street. I had test ridden a 2009 Speed before buying the Street and felt that it was lumpy and top heavy compared to the light and razor sharp little Street. I had also spent so much time with the 1050 the engine that I fancied a change. I felt that I was stepping onto an un-faired Sprint – which basically it is. I actually felt that the 2009 Speed was muscle bound, a victim of its own gym sessions. I was really keen to experience the new Speed, as it has lost a few pounds and gained a riding position more akin to the Street, according to the marketing boys in Triumph. I’m guessing that the massive success of the Street forced Triumph into making the Speed more ‘Streety.’ I found the Street much more comfy to ride than the Sprint, although the saddle was clearly budget. The Speed is like any machine, partly blissful and partly a compromise. The only way to avoid this is either to have a garage bulging with bikes or an Inspector Gadget motorbike, able to morph between, streetfighter, tourer, bumble abouter and racer at will. Given that neither of those are terribly likely, the Speed will do nicely for the next year or two. I simply adored the Street but I did feel vulnerable in the wind and less at home on the motorway than on a city Street (see how Triumph were clever to incorporate this into the title). If I only rode in London or in any city, I would say that the Street is a better weapon but the vibration through the bars on the motorway, the high revs – 85000rpm when cruising and the seemingly endless changing of gear because of the close ratio gearbox, all stand as disadvantages to the little diamond. I do think that the Street feels faster. …although it isn’t it’s a second slower over a quarter mile but to ride the two back to back, you really wouldn’t know. Spec sheets only tell you so much and let’s face it, they are both more than fast enough to please most. Forum Life The only time I ever go near forums is when I have found myself looking for a new bike. Do these guys ever ride? Or are they just virtual fantasists? Indeed can you be a virtual fantasist or is that a paradox? Move on…. Let’s get down to looks. Triumph forums are awash with enthusiasts declaring their polarised views of the new headlights. Oh, if you’re really bored go onto one of the two Forums with a question like: ‘ I’ve been told that the Street is a much better bike than the Speed, I guess you guys are experts so why exactly would I buy one?’ 2 millions posts later and the ratchet jaws still couldn’t let it go! They are both great and the Sprint – Get Over It. I’m guessing it means that the new 2011 Speed is probably better, if the only negative are the bug eyes. Dame Edna Everage is a good description of the new bug eyes and I have gone from disliking…. to neutral and possibly edging towards liking them more than the old round ones. The gearbox is reasonably smooth but in my experience, that will get better over time. I’m happy to have more info on the clocks, the street was a bit Spartan in that department. To quote a forum poster: ‘The Street is built to a budget, the Speed to a specification.’ I think that there is some truth in that but the mirrors, lack of fly screen and cheap brake fluid reservoirs lead you to think that the bike was manufactured with the accessories catalogue in mind. I do miss the gear indicator from the Street; maybe it’s my inadequacy but: I will insist on trying to find seventh gear and quite often one attempt does not convince me. I don’t miss it enough to want to do anything about it but it was handy. I’m also going to have a go at trying to do something more useful with the rev / gear change light. I basically ignored it on the Street and when I finally got round to trying to tweak it, I had no success. Turns out the wiring loom was cooked but it was all fixed under warranty; cue memories of 05.31 bus, me and the station cleaners. Is it worth two grand more than the Street ? The Street is so good that this is a really tough one! The engines are different but both outstanding in their own ways, so you cannot really quantify that. The extra power and torque are noticeable, allied to the longer gearing. It sounds better and it is more comfortable overall. For two up work, usually bigger is better but I took a 6’2’’ friend on the Street and he really found it comfortable and easy to get along with. The street is more flickable and better handling; in town the street is a better bike. Elsewhere the Speed probably wins out. It could be my imagination but I do seem to feel less weary after my daily 120 mile commute on the Speed. I should mention that the Speed has a low centre of gravity and does not feel too heavy in town, especially given that I am only just long enough to ride it. I find the fuelling marginally better on the Speed. The Street could occasionally be a little snatchy and catch you out but not worse than anything else I have ridden. I’m still 300 miles short of running in the Speed, so any comments on performance would be worthless at this stage. It’s a bigger bike and it takes more stopping. The brakes are excellent and I lock up the rear brake as regularly as on every other bike I have ridden, well…apart from the BMW R65, they were really poor. So that’s poor riding, rather than anything else, some twelve year old habits from bicycles tend to stick. At least I don’t lock up the front. Fuel economy is somewhere between the Street and the Sprint but the larger fuel tank is something I really missed on the smaller bike. I used to have to stop for fuel every day, that was a real bind and added time to my journey, even though the credit card into petrol pump system is something I have really grown to love. I reckon you’re good for about 150 miles plus out of a tank and I do love the way the clock will count down how many miles you have left before pushing. The Street has no such luxury and I did run out of petrol for the first time ever on that machine. Clearly it was my own stupid fault but on the plus side, it was really easy to push. Final thoughts Am I happy I changed to a Speed? Yes and No but for my journey, the Speed is a more complete machine. I can tell that already. It is a better mile muncher and overall is more comfy, if only because it’s working so much within itself rather than being thrashed. I’ve got a feeling that I might be happy to raise the bars ever so slightly but we’ll see. Once I have stuck a couple of thousand miles on her, I’ll get some more words down but the best thing about this story, is that: If you’re stuck between the three, you’re going to end up with one hell of a bike.

    01 June 2011

  • Speed Triple glory, hail the new king!

    Bikerlount

    Average rating rating is 5

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    The streetfighter marketplace has become a confusing place to spend your cash, exotic italian, V twin or Jap four, whats the best bang for your bucks? Up until now it was a personal choice with several favourites pushing to the front. However Thursday 18th November 2010, changed all that forever with the advent of the new Speed Triple. Stratstones of Leicester gave me the keys to their demonstraitor after first trusting me with their uterly brilliant Street Triple R. The brutal power of the big triple tried to wrench the bars from my grip as i grabbed a handful of throttle as i had done with the smaller bike earlier in the afternoon. The handeling is absolutly sublime, it was cold, wet and the roads were trecherous, but the Speed Triple's tyres gripped the tarmac like glue. The miles became more and more fun as i ajusted my ham fisted riding, gradually smoothing every input i was making out, which in turn allowed this wonderful bike to show me what it was capable of. However there is no way an average rider such as myself could ever reach the full potential of this bike. This is the toughest, most brutal, yet the smoothest bike available. I hate riding in the rain, i've got a car for that, but it was fun, awsome and scary, but an amazing adrenoline rush. Rain or shine buy one of these and you'll find yourself looking for excuses to get out there and blow away the cobwebs. This bike is without doubt the new King of thr Ring, it is the best naked streetfighter ever, there is'nt even a close second.

    22 November 2010

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mjf65

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mjf65says

Let down?

I think brizi2003 is missing the point here. The Speed Triple has fully adjustable suspension (the clue is in the title). I've backed mine off (it was set up firm probably for the track) and its now great (I'm more than 11 stone), loads of feel on our poor excuse for the roads down here in Gloucestershire. Brakes are sharp but then on a bike like this you often need them ;-). I love it, so much character compared to the Jap stuff I've had.

20 April 2012 13:18

ottouberswengen

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ottouberswengensays

Mantis Look

The Twin headlights are unusual but I think better for this design.  It is fresh and almost certainly the designer(s) had the (Prey) Mantis in mind, especially with the accompanied eyelid fairing.  It does require getting used to, but the overall effect is definitely positive and interesting, as against staid and relatively conservative (boring).  The best part of the package is the low weight, though the other parts are equally impressive, even though the GB might not be Suzuki Slick. Other bits, now that the fuelling is sorted, go to make up a formidable road bike, in all areas, from all accounts.    The Dash layout is just OK, though a nice gear indicator would have been appreciated at this price.  Get used to it, because the "insect" or alternatively "alien" look is definitely IN.  Even the most conservative Honda has bowed to this effect with it's current naked CB1000.    Triumph Speed Triple being somewhat of a mouthful, could very well be Triumph "Mantis"!  Not an altogether unattractive association.

 

02 October 2011 00:41

SentinelGuardian

SentinelGuardiansays

I love it!

I love this bike! I think they did this one right! They made just the right upgrades to take to the next level in very area it needed without loosing the bikes exclusive identity. I will be seeing this bike in person at the Internatinal Motorcycle Show in a few weeks, and I will be taking a test ride on it. If I like the bike as much as I think I will I'll be buying one as sson as they're released for sale. I'm really looking forward to some indepth testing with this one against last years model, and as well in a head to head with some of it's competitors, the Z1000 in partiular.

13 December 2010 01:30

bittertops

bittertopssays

lookalike

i was watching wall-e with my son the other day and it kept reminding me of something ?

12 December 2010 12:37

coxyjm

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coxyjmsays

apologies wobblyhead

that comment was meant for nicolitov

29 October 2010 14:04

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