TRIUMPH SPEED FOUR (2002-2006) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Incredibly capable and beautifully built, its distinctive looks are ideal for those who don't want to go with the flow"

Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Riding

"Incredibly capable and beautifully built, its distinctive looks are ideal for those who don't want to go with the flow"

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  97 bhp
  • 34 mpg  -  135 miles range
  • Medium seat height (810mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

That engine still isn’t perfect but it ain’t half bad. A bit snatchy around town but, out in the open, it’s a dream. Alongside that handling and those brakes, you’re in for one hell of a ride on board the Speed Four. Incredibly capable and beautifully built, its distinctive looks are ideal for those who don’t want to go with the flow. And it sounds amazing...

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The TT600’s handling is legendary and so, therefore, is the Speed Four’s. With the same taut chassis and perfect dimensions, prepare to discover lean angles you never thought yourself capable of. The fully adjustable suspension is brilliant as are the brakes. Incredibly capable and huge fun yet wonderfully confidence-inspiring, too.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Triumph Speed Four runs on the same engine which fired the much-maligned TT600 but only after numerous tweaks which ironed out that bike’s early injection problems. The Triumph Speed Four is still a bit snatchy low down but other than that, it’s fabulous: loads of power in the midrange, fantastic acceleration. You have to use the gears to milk it to the max but that makes for an involved ride.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The Triumph Speed Four is not built to a budget and it shows. It boasts excellent components and finish and is beautifully put together (although the looks are an issue for some… ). One recall is recorded: non-metallic fuel hose connectors were replaced by metallic ones to counter the possibility of fracture. Check it’s been seen to.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The list price of the Triumph Speed Four has always been on the highish side but there was a £650 drop in 2003. Far pricier than Hornets, Bandits and Fazers but it’s way above their league. Compare with a Ducati Monster S2R and the Duke comes out heavier, slower, less powerful and more expensive… Find a Triumph Speed Four for sale

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

With high pegs and a forward riding position, the Triumph Speed Four is sporty. The small cowl is good until around 80mph when the wind gets you. There’s a digital speedo and clock and analogue tacho: all very clear. Braided hoses are standard and colour-matched belly pan and radiator cowls are included. Pillions, however, will hate you.

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH SPEED FOUR (2002-2006) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good Learner?

31 August 2013 by tdesnos

Bought this form my Fiance as her first big bike and myself a CBR600F 2000. Comparatively, the CBR600 feels smaller, lower to the ground and feels much lighter (even though on paper they weigh the same) we are now selling the Triumph as around town... Read more 10-40 mph the fuelling is quite snatchy, as a learner you're trying to be smooth and build confidence and this snatchy throttle just gets in the way too much. The CBR600, is a 2000 so not fuel injected like the Triumph and thus will naturally have a smoother throttle delivery. Other than the weight and fuelling the ride is great, at higher speeds it's fantastic. So i'd say it's a great 600, especially for the money, for probably a slightly more experienced rider who can work around the fuelling. For a first big bike, the CBR (my only basis for comparison) is a much better choice.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Bike

31 July 2008 by speed_four

Fantastic bike, the S4 is my first big bike since passing my test last June and it really is a jack of all trades. In only a year and a half of ownership i have done everything on it from going to Italy and back to commuting to work and college. It... Read more is only let down by a slightly clunky (Triumph) gearbox and iffy fuelling at low speeds which can be a bit of a hassle around town in traffic but otherwise it is a superb handling bike with excellent brakes and above 4000 rpm a great engine that sounds awesome. Some say that it is not for a new rider but I have found it perfect and my only previous experience is on a GPR50 and an old XL125 but it is probably more down to the individual than the bike. All in all the speed four is a great bike for anyone from new riders to experienced track hacks.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Speed 4

19 May 2008 by oily84

Handles like a dream, can even be used for a bit of touring if you're determined, but be warned it makes you want to take the long and twisty way where ever your going cos it's just to good on the twisties. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

2nd one

23 August 2007 by scott grundy

As you can tell by the title its my 2nd one,Killed the first one 2 years ago.Had all sorts of bikes from GS500 to SV1000s 11 in total (wife not to happy!)But this S4 came up 05 plate 2500 miles for £2500 had to have it.Looks wise there is nothing... Read more else like it which makes it cool to start with.Best handling bike so much better than other so called bugget 600 Hornet,SV,Fazer,CBF,Z750,Beats all of them hands down!Will give most sport bike 600 a run for there money.Its not wot you ride but how you ride it!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Not for the faint hearted...

01 August 2007 by Poke

...or short legged (so I had mine lowered as I live on a hill, not a good combination). A superb handling machine with awesome brakes and excellent engine, aside from the flat spot at the 3k rpm mark - easily manageable by just changing... Read more gear/speed. Totally addictive. So a total shame that it's been discontinued and the gap filled by the Street Triple - because I can feel the money burning a hole in my pocket right now. Expect some real bargain S4s around this summer, as owners p-ex them for the new Street Triple.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best handling bike I've owned

13 May 2006 by maskell

Had my speed four now for two months and done over a thousand miles on her. Running in is always a pain but I could feel the true potential of the bike even then. After first service (which I was told to go over its better) at 650... Read more miles I have really bonded with the little black beast. I swopped my SV 1000 for the Triumph and was a little worried I would miss the tourque, overtaking has been interesting until you start remembering to click down. But on the handling "boy" you only have to think of leaning over and it has done it for you. Engine again, horror stories of bad fueling. I have found the fueling to be faultless, guess they had it sorted by 2006 model. Brakes are awesome, back a little wooden (dont use much anyway). Comfort is up compared to the SV at least an hour and a half before numb bum time compared to 30 mins on SV. Strengths: Handling, Handling, Handling, Brakes, Retro style and looks English. Weaknesses: Back end looks dated.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Superb hooligan step up from first bike

12 May 2006 by brindlebobc

Having rode a 2000 faired Bandit for my first year of biking, the Triumph is MILES away from the quality of the Suzuki. As soon as I rode away from the dealers having snapped up a brand new S4 for £3700 (plus alarm) (!!!) I knew instantly I was... Read more totally hooked. The sound of the engine is great, it sounds like a modern, tight engine, one to be proud of compared to the lazy, loose sounding Bandit. Although I'm still officially running it in, the pick up is very quick and responsive. Obviously being a 600, the gears dissappear pretty quickly, nonetheless when comparing to the Bandit, this feels 10 times quicker :) Brakes are superb, handles like a dream, goes around roundabouts lower than I ever imagined I could go, but am using nearly all of the tyre...eek. Sounds too good to be true.......It is. Just a shame you see the big name bikes like Bandit/Fazer/Hornet/Sv650 in the mags every week and the S4 is missed out...why? Probably because it's better :). Strengths: PRICE Quality of components Handling Looks Hooliganism. Weaknesses: Tank range only 100 miles ish.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 7 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2002
Year discontinued 2006
Original price £5,349
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 97 bhp
Max torque 51 ft-lb
Top speed 136 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.48 secs
Average fuel consumption 34 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type 16v inline four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 170kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2002: Triumph launch the Speed Four as a naked version of the TT600. It has twin headlights straight from the Speed Triple and mad-looking air intakes. No changes since.
2006: Fazed out to make way for a 675cc version of the Daytona Triple.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

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  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Front view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Front view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Front view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Front view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Four motorcycle review - Riding