First test: Triumph Speed Four

Published: 18 March 2002

We’ve been riding Triumph’s new Speed Four. And while the firm faces the nightmare of a fire-ravaged factory after Friday night’s blaze, at least bosses can be comforted by the fact that their new bike comes complete with the most sorted 600cc engine the firm has yet put into production.

For the full story, you’ll need to pick up a copy of MCN, out on Wednesday, March 20, this week.

Until then, here are the brief details of what we’ve learned from our test at the circuit at Cartagena and on the road around it, in Spain:

* For insurance reasons in certain markets, the power is pegged at 97bhp

* The engine doesn’t suffer the low-rev stutter experienced on early TT600s. It’s smooth from low down and pulls hard in the mid-range.

* Anywhere above 6000revs is enough to get you going . To make things more exciting keep it spinning above 8000rpm and you’ll be wearing a grin. With the same chassis and suspension as the TT600 you’re getting a high-spec package, and one that was never at fault.

* The riding position is exactly the same as the TT600 and it suits the bike well. With the small fairing, there’s enough protection for you to squeeze behind and get out of the windblast and comfortable enough for long runs.

* The twin 310mm discs and four-piston calipers offer plenty of power, while the fully adjustable forks (running extra compression and rebound for the track) give good feedback.

* With Bridgestone BT010s front and rear, there’s surprisingly fast turn in and plenty of grip – the rubber is well up to track use and Triumph expects buyers to be the sort of people who won’t shy away from the occasional track day.

FIRE EFFECT: Production and distribution of the Speed Four will be delayed by around two months thanks to the blaze at Triumph’s Hinckley HQ on Friday night.