TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1050 R (2012 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Annual servicing cost: £220
Power: 133 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.5 in / 825 mm)
Weight: Medium (487 lbs / 221 kg)

Prices

New £10,999
Used £6,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Based on the Speed Triple launched at the beginning of 2011, this high-spec R version has Ohlins suspension, lightweight wheels, Brembo monobloc brakes, cosmetic changes, a brand new gearbox and a 2kg reduction in weight. It’s added a dynamic new dimension to the hugely popular Speed Triple, turning Triumph’s feisty street-fighter into to a hugely competent trackday tool.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The Speed Triple R has new Ohlins NIX fully-adjustable forks and a TTX rear shock, which gives excellent ride quality and loads of feedback and confidence in the corners. Small changes to the damping settings make a noticeable difference to the ride and handling, which you don’t get on cheaper equipment. New forged aluminium wheels are 20% lighter than cast items, reduce inertia and help the Triumph turn and stop better. New Brembo radial monobloc calipers are race-grade and offer a 5% improvement in braking, according to Triumph.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Speed Triple R has the same 133bhp, 1050cc, inline-three cylinder engine as the standard model, but uses a new-design gearbox, which will feature on the next generation of Triumph’s 1050cc triple engines. 10 of the 12 gears have been redesigned with new shafts, selector drums and selector shafts. There are now five, instead of four dogs on each new gear and the new shape and material offer a claimed increase in strength over the old design. Shaft spines are new and are formed instead of cut, reducing friction. The 6th gear ratio is now 3.4% lower.
The motor has loads of grunt, the power delivery is linear and easy to use and there’s enough oomph to easily see the naughty side of 150mph. On-track, the fuelling mid-corner at low speeds is a little snatchy.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The quality of the new chassis parts is unquestionable and according to reader-feedback in www.motorcyclenews.com’s Bike Review section on the standard Speed Triple of this generation, there are no reported reliability or build quality problems.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If you want a bike that can genuinely put a smile on your face, road and track, it’s worth the extra cash over the standard model. With its designer labels, it’s now as sexy as any piece of Italian exotica and all the ‘R’ parts alone would tot-up to nearly double the £2500 premium, if you bought them separately – that’s before fitting and figuring out how to set-up the suspension.

It’s cheaper than the Ducati Streetfighter, MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR and the Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC with all the electronics, but more than the Super Duke R and the non-APRC Tuono.

But, if you’re only going to ride the Speed Triple on the road, it’s probably not worth it, like, if we’re honest with ourselves, most special-edition R and SP model super nakeds and superbikes from any manufacturer. The Triumph looks the part, handles and stops brilliantly and has better ride quality, but you only really get these benefits flat-out on-track. The rest of the time, the standard version is more than good enough.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

You don’t get any form electronic of rider aids, but the power delivery and chassis is so good, you don’t need them. Triumph offers a switchable ABS version for an extra £600. This R model also has a one-piece handlebar riser cap, carbon fibre radiator cowls and tank cover infil and mudguard pods, made by same company who produce carbon fibre parts for the Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. It also has a red painted subframe and accents on the wheels, brake calipers and side panels and black-painted handlebars with an ‘R’ graphic.

Specs

Engine size 1050cc
Engine type 12v, inline-three-cylinder
Frame type Twin spar tubular aluminium frame and single-sided
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 221kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable Ohlins 43mm upside down forks
Rear suspension Single Ohlins shock, fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo radial calipers
Rear brake 255mm single disc with twin-piston Nissin caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £220
New price £10,999
Used price £6,300
Insurance group 14 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 133 bhp
Max torque 82 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 159 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2012 – model introduced

Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1050 R (2012 - on)

10 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1050 R (2012 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1050 R (2012 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £220
4 out of 5 A Brilliant Used Buy
10 January 2024 by Jorg

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £500

Now discontinued it makes a brilliant used buy. Have just bought my second one.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The chassis has not been changed since 2011 and the handling is not as light and easy as that of some more modern bikes of similar weight and power, but it is stable and predictable. The Ohlins suspension is a tad too hard for my taste even at the softest setting, but it is not uncomfortable. The Brembo brakes are awesome and, unlike many other bikes, even the rear brake provides good feel. Although the footpeg position betrays the Speed Triple's sporty heritage, I can ride all day in comfort (with the optional comfort seat fitted). Not much pillion comfort. The high mounted exhausts normally make carrying luggage difficult, but my bike is fitted with an Arrow "low-boy" exhaust, so no problems here. Fitted the optional Triumph flyscreen mostly for aesthetic reasons; it makes no discernible difference in terms of wind protection. It's a naked bike after all and that's what I wanted.

Engine 4 out of 5

Coming from Japanese four cylinder bikes, the Triple is quite different as it offers much more low down torque but doesn't offer the top-end rush of a four cylinder. It has all the power you'll ever need for road riding and the power is where you need it. In fact, I have been saved by the traction control powering out of bends a few times, because it provides so much more traction at lower revs than what I was used to. Excellent fuel consumption; I get a fairly consistent 59mpg regardless of riding style. A few "good vibrations" to let you know the engine is alive, but nothing bothersome except a sometimes blurry right hand mirror.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

My ST now has 30k miles on the clock of which I covered the last 8k. Looks like new, runs like new, no reliability issues whatsoever. Great finish and paint quality.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

As the Speed Triple 1050 is now a bit long in the tooth, prices for used bikes are fairly reasonable. Service costs, however, are very high: A major service is due every 12,000 miles. My local Triumph dealer used to charge over £ 1,000 but have reduced that to a fixed price of £ 800. It is expensive because it is a 6-7 hour job including valve check as well as re-greasing the suspension linkage and the rear wheel bearing, in particular. The latter is important because of the extra load from the single-sided swing arm. The risk is that owners skip the expensive service on older bikes, so make sure you know what you buy. The interim service is not much more than an oil change. Excellent fuel economy.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Even though this is the upmarket "R" version, Triumph charged extra for some essentials like a comfort seat (why don't they design the standard seat to be comfortable?), heated grips, and a fly screen. A quickshifter (up-shift only, not fitted to my bike) was also available at extra cost. The comfort seat is a necessity and it really is comfortable. I love the Arrow low-boy exhaust (supplied by Triumph), but unfortunately it is not good for the planet as it is a racing exhaust without cat.

Buying experience: Bought privately on a whim when I was chatting to another customer at a dealership and have never looked back! Have just bought a newer Speed Triple 1050 (this time an "S"), also privately, so I have clearly become a fan-boy.

5 out of 5 stephenknight079@gmail.com
20 February 2023 by stephenknight079@gmail.com

Version: Dream of Triumph Moto2 piston

Year: 2012

Annual servicing cost: £5

Triumph Moto2 piston

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Triumph Moto2 piston

Engine 4 out of 5

Just looking now

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Just Looknig

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Triumph Moto2 piston

Equipment 4 out of 5

Triumph Moto2 piston

Buying experience: Looking for a New

5 out of 5 Speed triple, there is no substitute
26 September 2021 by Bryan Goodwin

Year: 2014

Easy to ride, superb handling, did a track at at Silverstone, couldn't stop smiling all day, not the fastest bike on the road, but it's naked street bike, I love it.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Not had a pillion, have a singles seat cowl, and removed rear foot pegs

Engine 5 out of 5

She'd loads of torque in any gear can make you a lazy rider. Don't need to bang up and down the gearbox, if you do hang on tight cos it will pull ya arms off

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Not sure of servicing costs bought year before pandemic so haven't had a dealer service yet, changed oil and filter and brake pads all at usual costs

Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: Bought from dealer got a good deal as they are main sellers of KTM

4 out of 5
17 September 2021 by Steve

Year: 2012

Best - Character and build quality, also feels like it’s in a class of its own. Ohlins, Brembo, nuff said.Worst - I can’t ride it as if I want to keep my licence. Bit of an issue fouling plugs. Pillion pegs are ugly.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Confidence inspiring position, stops in a heartbeat. Epic.

Engine 5 out of 5

A beast. Can’t wait to try the 1200. Should have a quick shifter as standard & a slipper clutch.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Build quality is right up there IMO. Bit of an issue fouling plugs - Appears a common flaw.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Some plugs, oil, filter, cleaning products. Average out the tyres.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Basic instrument panel but it kinda suits the bike. Love the fly screen nose job thing. Identity is King.

5 out of 5
17 April 2020 by Chi

Version: Abs

Year: 2012

Annual servicing cost: £100

Great handling

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far so good

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Depends how hard you ride, tires are expensive

Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: Dealer

5 out of 5 6th Speed Triple in 24 years
15 August 2018 by Keith C

Year: 2017

6th Speedy in 24 years, gets improved every time without ruining the core DNA. Bikes in-between over a 35 year period include - Ducati Multistrada, 916, 998s; Trimph Tiger, Rocket III; Honda Fireblade, CB1300; BMW K1, GS, RS; Yamaha XTZ750, V-Max - Phewwww - but there is a reason I keep going back to the Speed Triple !. Perfect Commuter, Fun Scratcher, Comfortable distance muncher (albeit with limited luggage options).

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

As has been reported elsewhere, the R does have quite a hard ride, but with patience and infinite Ohlins adjustments, you can get it just right for commuting, touring, scratching etc.. Brakes are amongst the best.

Engine 5 out of 5

Torque just gets better and better every model - engine built for us real world bikers. Sounds brilliant. You don't really notice too much difference between the 5 ride modes - apart from between 'Rain' and 'Sport'. I generally leave it in Sport all the time anyway.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

There are indeed more extreme nakeds, but nothing beats the speedy on overall package, quality and reliability. The only issue I have had over the years with my Speed Triples, is that two of them have got stolen soon after purchase - one from home, one from the city!

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Only had this one for 8 mths, with a free 1st service - but never really been a noticeable noose around the Speedies neck whatever the year. It is what it is - you look after your speedy and it will certainly look after you.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Pretty much threw the accessories catalogue at this one and for the better. Fork/ Engine protectors, Comfort Seat (and it really is), Quick shifter (better than BMW's), Alloy reservoirs and bar end mirrors, Passenger grab bar, Arrow Exhaust (of course), Clutch guide (shiny bit), front nose fairing screen extender (makes a big difference from standard. Finally at 6' 1" it was a little cramped, so fitted after market Gilles adjustable foot rests, creating a near perfect triangle.

Buying experience: I am on my 3rd dealer and based on this last experience, could be a keeper. Sean @ Jack Lilleys of Romford. I probably paid a liitlle over the top, given the new 2018 RS model was just around the corner - but no complaints.

5 out of 5 Best company purchase
05 June 2018 by Jason

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £130

Excellent build quality and detail stands out from the norm.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Stops on a penny! Brilliant, super-corsas are great in the summer.

Engine 5 out of 5

Great torque and has the brill Triumph whirl!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Had ceramic coating added which makes it look like new all the time.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Not massively fuel efficient but average for the engine size.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The R comes with all the extras, very smart. I added the wind shield which fits very well and doesn't look out of place gives it a good touch! just helps the buffeting when tucked down.

Buying experience: Bought the bike through my ltd company as it is genuinely classed as equipment with HMRC :) The main dealer was on time and gave a good deal, Laguna Maidstone.

5 out of 5 Perfect all rounder
18 August 2016 by Keith

Year: 2014

Perfect all rounder whether performing or pottering about. Jack of all trades master of some!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Runs with best of Italian exotica, German reliability and British quality/ kudos.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: December 2015 - Dealer £9950 used with 600 miles on clock.

5 out of 5 Triumph speed triple r
21 March 2016 by Hawkslayers

Version: Speed triple r

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £300

awesome fun I waited 4 months from ordering to delivery but it was worth the wait I'm honestly shocked but in a good way about the finish and fit of all the components it's like a high end European bike but better it make you feel as if your riding something truly special, balance is just about perfect filtering through traffic is easy mode I can't see me changing it in the future I think it's going to be a keeper for many years let's hope as its a new model reliability is top notch like the older model.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Perfect but slightly less powerful than the BMW S1000R I owned, ride on firm side, seat very comfy

Engine 5 out of 5

Having had a BMW S1000R, Hyabusa, Ktm 1190 it maybe down on paper slightly but in the real world it's such a pleasure to ride, response and fueling is perfect it's a keeper for sure

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Better finish and fit than any bike I have owned it the last few year

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Quick shifter

Equipment 4 out of 5

Tyres grippy, suspension ohlins firm I need to get them setup correctly

Buying experience: Dealer

5 out of 5 A bike that you want to get old with
12 July 2015 by Danichafa

Version: R

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £300

It´s just an amazing bike!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I don´t use it too much in the city but feels good when i do, i enjoy it much more when we go out on weekends, a trip trough a twisty road 400kms away was perfect, the brakes and specially the suspension it´s amazing! I ride a Street Triple R before and the difference it´s huge.

Engine 5 out of 5

The power delivery is linear, goes up really fast from low range of rpm to the top and feels the power at any gear. Sounds a little bit "fat" in comparison to the Street Triple.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I´ve been riding almost a year ago and the only thing that i need to do is just ride it, the 1050 engine it´s amazing

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

The dealer recommends each service at 5000kms instead of 10000kms according to the manual due the poor quality of our fuel. Each service costs around USD200 that is almost the same with Ducati´s or BMW´s

Equipment 4 out of 5

The bike comes with Pirelli SP but i don´t feel comfortable at all with track tires, so we put it Michelin´s Pilot Road 4 and feels great and lasts a lot. I miss a lot the gear indicator on the dashboard that came with the Street Triple. The carbon fiber parts look amazing, everyone asks if the bike comes that way.

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