TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 955I (1997-2004) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Essentially a naked, upright, 'streetfightered' Daytona, but it's a surprising winner"

Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding

"Essentially a naked, upright, 'streetfightered' Daytona, but it's a surprising winner"

  • At a glance
  • 955cc  -  120 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  160 miles range
  • Medium seat height (815mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Triumph Speed Triple is one of the second generation of Hinckley Triumphs that, in the late 1990s, really put them back on the map. The Speed Triple is essentially a naked, upright, ‘streetfightered’ Daytona, but it’s a surprising winner that’s not only brimful of bad boy character, but also manages to employ the wonderful and unique 955 triple motor into a exciting and versatile package.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Steadier and less lairy than the new, stumpy 1050 and for many that’s a good thing. The 955 Triple is a big, butch ‘mans’ machine yet with a big enough nod towards sports (decent brakes, suspension etc) to make it fun. Don’t expect to hold onto the shirttails of the latest supersports bikes and you’ll have fun – and have a more comfortable ride, too…

 

Engine 5 out of 5

The second generation Triumph Speed Triple is one of the best. There’s nothing on earth quite like the fruity and fast second generation Triumph triple. As you might hope, this layout is a happy compromise between the easy, flexible torque of a twin and the free revving power of a four. In sportsbike mode the Triumph Speed Triple has always been a little lacking somehow, but as a streetfighter it’s an absolute blast bettered only by the superceding 2005 1050 version.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Hinckley Trumpets are reknown on the whole for being pretty solid but there has been the odd glitch. Thankfully, most owners tend to be pretty scrupulous about dealer servicing and the factory has corrected any faults. Triumphs tend to get cosseted, too, but look out for usual wear and tear…

 

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

If you like the style, you’ll love the Triumph Speed Triple. Engine, handling, practicality and fun factor are all up there with the best, which explains the Triple’s continuing popularity. On the downside, that keeps prices somewhat high, but the Triumph Speed Triple is still good value. Find a Triumph Speed Triple 955i for sale

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The Triumph Speed Triple can be fairly flash – if you stump up for the extras. In stock trim it’s pretty basic, only when owners have lavished their motorcycles – Harley-style – with goodies from the Triumph catalogue does the Triumph Speed Triple start to glitter. Look out for factory flyscreens, belly pans, huggers, noisy cans and assorted carbon or chrome cosmetic nick-knacks, they’re worth the extra…

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 955I (1997-2004) 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 4.9 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 3.7 out of 5
5 out of 5

After 16 years

11 June 2013 by Plym1

I've had my T509 since March 97 and still riding it, still a great bike which is why its still up there with the best of them Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 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
4 out of 5

Great fun

18 September 2011 by sprintst955

Had it just over a year ,it had less than 6000 miles on the clock and is an 04 i have put another 5000 miles on it in just over a year.only warped discs spoil the picture otherwise it has been spot on.fitted a fuel can plus the fly screen and a visor... Read more for from bullster in france,it has made a big difference and to my eye looks a lot better than the laminar version.My third triumph and i have loved them all.ny last being a sprint st that is now embedded in a fiat punto !only problem now is that it has turned me into a hooligan.oh well.

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

2004 speed triple

07 December 2009 by triumphross125

had my speed triple a year now and love it to bits, however the piston rings have gone with only 9000 miles on it, i bought the bike from a triumph dealer (two wheels in edinburgh) the problem with the rings started within my warranty period but i... Read more was basicly fobbed off leaving me with an expensive repair, The attitude of staff at this dealer was appauling. this has not put me off the bike though and it will be fixed for summer, AVOID TWO WHEELS IF YOU ARE IN SCOTLAND, THEY ARE A BUNCH OF COW BOYS!!!.

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

high revin' nimble handlin' tool

06 April 2006 by stuzero

Just picked up a used speed four, it was actually a trade down from an old zxr750 so as the speed is a modern bike, theres not much trade off top end, but the acceleration of the four blows the old kwak out the water. bikes got a lovely mid-range... Read more that just wants to pull all the way to the redline, but is just as good in 6th potterin round. it handles like a dream, you can just throw it down into anything because you know you can trust the chassis and the incredible stopping power of the brakes. look past the looks which you either love or you hate personally i think it looks so unique that you have to love it. It is truely an amazing package, take one out and give one a try I promise blast some b roads and you'll want to hand over the cash!!! Strengths: Chassis, brakes, engine. Weaknesses: Looks bit 'unique' for most middle of the road/fashion following people.

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

Great allrounder, handles well with amazing looks

11 January 2006 by Ridethelightning

If its a 600 mid range bike you're after this should definately be one to look at. With very few around and radical looks (gotta love those air intakes!) and some unusual colours to choose from (get it in GREEN, it goes faster!) its guaranteed to... Read more turn heads. Although I haven't ridden many bikes but I know this one has amazing handling, it gives me that extra confidence going round corners and even though I've spun the wheel out a few times it always gets itself back upright with little effort. With so many speed cameras and the such on the roads these days it can handle any speeds your likely to ever go. It tops at 148 so unless you are going to do track days you dont need any more. The power is there so getting it up to the ton takes very little time, tho you really dont want to stay there too long as the small fairing becomes pretty much useless at anthing over 80-90mph. So far had no problems, apart from the Scottish weather. Strengths: Looks, handling, Noise (not like those Japanese hairdryers), so far no problems. Weaknesses: Little wind protection.

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

The absolute nuts of a naked bike and very overlooked

03 January 2006 by Djpinhead

The Triumph is one of the best looking naked bikes on the road with very distinctive looks to set it apart from the rest. The engine has got a nice bit of power for when you want to be a bit of a hooligan but is let down by the fuel injection that is... Read more a bit notchy at low speeds but don't let that put you off because it is a very well made machine that anyone would love from experienced to novice, so make sure you take a look before deciding on something else as there are some good deals going. Strengths: Power, distinctive looks, good brakes, excellent build quality and a hell of a lot different from the rest of the naked bikes out there. Weaknesses: Fuel injection is notchy at low speeds and wind protection but what do you expect when you buy a naked bike.

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

Not just another mid-range four!

22 June 2004 by lcjohnny

This is a little hooligan! Yet when the adrenalin has got too much and you are going too fast too late into the corner...those excellent brakes and the exquisite handling pull you out of trouble every time. It is civilised when you need it but a... Read more twist of the wrist has the needle bounding towards 13k with a beautiful induction yowl. This is the four stroke LC reborn! Strengths: Handling, eager engine, brakes, style, handling & brakes. Weaknesses: Poor wind protection above 90. poor gearchange below 4,000.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 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 1997
Year discontinued 2004
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 120 bhp
Max torque 78 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Specification
Engine size 955cc
Engine type 12v, in line triple, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium tubular
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1997: Triumph T509 Speed Triple launched.
1998: Now with higher bars. Replaced late in year by 955i engined version.
2001: Numerous engine modifications, restyled seat, new exhaust.
2004: Model discontinued, replaced by new 1050 Speed Triple.

 

Other versions

Speed Triple Special Edition: All black paintwork, 2004 only.

Photo Gallery

  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
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  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle review - Side view