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TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1050 RS (2018-on) Review

Published: 20 March 2018

Updated: 18 November 2019

A naked, yes, but also an all-rounder capable of excelling on a daily commute and trackday alike

Triumph Speed Triple RS pulling a massive wheelie

A naked, yes, but also an all-rounder capable of excelling on a daily commute and trackday alike

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

The Triumph Speed Triple 1050 RS’s power and torque have been increased for 2018. The delivery is smooth and effortless, yet it still has enough rush to deliver, even for dedicated sportsbike fans. The handling is predictable, stable and easy going, while the ride is both sporty and comfortable.

The riding aids are now on par with the competition, and welcome touches like cruise control and heated grips have further widened the bike’s appeal. It’s a naked, yes, but also an all-rounder capable of excelling on a daily commute and trackday alike.

Triumph Speed Triple RS video review:

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

On track settings at track speeds, aggressive riding doesn’t faze the Speed Triple; it remains stable and compliant, yet the steering is precise and accurate. That ease-of-use shines through again.

Even at a fast trackday pace ground clearance isn’t an issue, the strong Brembo stoppers are consistent and offer excellent feedback.

It’s  simple to ride briskly without it being manic or too intimidating, just like the old bike.

On the road you’ll love the easy steering and undemanding nature of the chassis, but when you do want to push on the Triple is stable, predictable and confidence-inspiring. The Triple gives great feedback through its plush suspension, you can feel precisely what the Pirelli Supercorsa rubber is doing. This is a bike that flatters your riding – that is so simple and easy to ride, no matter the speed.

Engine 5 out of 5

Triumph have made 105 engine mods, resulting in 7% more peak power from a higher-revving three-cylinder engine. While peak power is up from 138bhp at 9500rpm to 148bhp at 10,500rpm, Triumph haven’t sacrificed driveability; they’ve also managed to increase peak torque by 4% (up from 82.6ftlb at 7850rpm to 86.3ftlb at 7150rpm) and moved that peak 700rpm lower in the rev range while making the torque curve much flatter too.

The new engine bits include a lighter crankshaft with a revised profile, a new cylinder head and pistons, a lighter balancer shaft and a new sump while revised fuelling and a new free-flowing exhaust and lighter high-level Arrow silencers complete the tweaks.

The Triumph’s wonderful spread of torque makes it an effortless ride. Alternatively, you can dance on the gears and exploit those new extra 1000 revs in pursuit of some serious fun

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The Speed Triple is built with impressive attention to detail and top quality parts. The chassis is heavily based on the previous model, which hasn’t uncovered any horror stories. 

In our Triumph Speed Triple owners' reviews the story is very positive, with the average rating approaching five stars across the board.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Priced just above £13,000, the new Speed Triple boasts a lot of technology for your money. There are quality components, like fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension and Brembo radial brakes. But for that price I’d still expect an up-and-down quickshifter with auto-blipper as standard.

Equipment 5 out of 5

For the first time the Speed Triple comes with an IMU, which allows both ABS and traction control to be angle-sensitive. A 5-inch TFT colour dash also makes its debut alongside a choice of five different riding modes.

All-new backlit switchgear featuring a five-way joystick helps you navigate the new technology while other welcome additions include cruise control as standard, three-level heated grips and keyless ignition. Fully adjustable Öhlins suspension and Brembo radial brakes are identical the previous model.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2018
Year discontinued -
New price £13,250
Used price £10,800 to £13,600
Warranty term 2 years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £100
Max power 148 bhp
Max torque 86 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 52 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Engine size 1050cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 12v, in-line three-cylinder
Frame type Twin spar tubular aluminium with single-sided swingarm
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension Öhlins NIX30 43mm fully adjustable fork
Rear suspension Öhlins TTX36 fully adjustable monoshock
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston M4 radial caliper
Rear brake 255mm single disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1994: UK introduction of 885cc steel-framed café racer Speed Triple

1997: Streetfighter-styled (twin headlight) 885cc Speed Triple 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

2012  Speed Triple R

2016  Speed Triple R and S

Other versions

The S model shares the same engine and performance as the RS. It also shares the same chassis dimensions. However, the cheaper S model runs 43mm Showa USD forks and a fully adjustable Showa rear shock. Lower spec finish, and no Arrow exhausts. The base model only gets four riding  modes, missing out on the Track mode. The biggest difference is electronic: the base model has no IMU and so only gets conventional ABS and TC.

Other Triumph Speed Triple reviews on MCN

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1050 RS (2018-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 RS (2018-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

04 December 2019 by Al Smith

Having owned a 2008 Speed Triple since 2012 I love the concept of a straight bar naked triple. The RS (which I purchased in July 19) moves the game on significantly; I have never ridden anything that charges sooo hard in fifth gear..really intoxicating particularly with the induction roar. Every time I open the garage door, I love it’s quality and it’s looks. A great bike. Highly recommended. Worst the RS is the premium model, it should include heated grips and quick shifter as standard.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Controlled firm ride, great feedback, steers and tracks accurately. Brembo M4 powerful and progressive. I am 6’2” and 16 stone so the Ohlins front and rear is firm and pliant. If I was considerably lighter say 12 stone then the ride maybe too firm..
5 out of 5
Grunt, revs, power delivery, induction roar- superb. Great throttle connection.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Well put together, a quality product. No problems thus far other than an indicator with moisture ingress. An email with photos to Triumph dealer Team Roberts and a replacement shipped in the post.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
500 mile service at Edinburgh Triumph.
5 out of 5
A beautiful quality product, well put together. Still on the original Pirelli Supercorsa’s - looking to swap onto Pirelli Angel GT 2’s..the sportier end of sport touring tyres.
Buying experience

Purchased the RS from Doncaster Triumph Team Roberts for £13100 - £13600 was the on the road price. Team Roberts were excellent, great purchase experience and pulled all the stops out to have the RS delivered to my house in Forres North East Scotland.

5 out of 5

Best bike that I've owned in recent years

20 November 2018 by Rick

Fun and easy to handle, great at keeping speed and momentum instead of constant speed revving. Great build quality and finish. Although, we don't get the heated grips in Canada, the bike comes equiped with quickshifter up-down/auto-blipper which works great. Breaks are great and cruise works perfect too. Great sound coming from that engine and Arrow exhaust. Obviously, Wind protection is not to be expected and can be annoying on windy days or when riding at highway speed and over.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I've been using it as a commuter and weekend ride on highways and backroads and the bike feels great. Torque/powerband is available at any RPM. For my daily usage, i could ride it without using the 5th-6th gears. Breaks never feel like fading and are always responsive and the abs too (based on selected program... sports-track-rain-road-personnalised). Ohlins suspensions feels a little bit stiff under such a light bike but, then again, i not good at setting these right. Great all around bike.
5 out of 5
Sounds so awesome and aggressive, torque all over the powerband, lacks a bit of top end rush that we got used too with Japanese bikes... power delivery is linear.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Everything's fine with it and I haven't observed any particular parts, area or mechanical/electrical features that might require particular attention or weakness. Bike comes with a keyless start and electronic lock... Hopefuly, it will be reliable and won't be troublesome if anything should happen with power or battery.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Servicing the Triumph bike at the dealer cost way more than any other that I've owned before. But other than an oil change, as of now, the bike didn't need any other service (the triumph oil service cost like a 150$ at the dealer). In reasonable circumstances of use, fuel consumption is good. But, the tank only holds 15L of fuel.
5 out of 5
Great: TFT screen, Quickshifter up-down/autoblipper, cruise. Dislike: sensible tire pressure monitoring... shouldn't exist on any vehicle. For the price, the bike should come with radiator/oil cooler guards, sliders and paddock stand pins.
4 out of 5

Everything I wanted and more

31 October 2018 by GoTilUBlow

Great power, handling, finish and looks. Heated grips and cruise control are the icing on the cake.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Have not been able to get the feedback I'd like from the front tyre or the brakes yet, so fine tuning of the forks is required. I can sit on the bike for four hours before cramp sets in, there is not massive leg room, considering that you sit on the bike, more than in it. It is a naked so windblast is inevitible, however, it is completely turbulence free.
4 out of 5
Engine is great. Real world overtaking is a breeze, no drama or flashing lights from drivers as when you perform similar manouvers on a sports bike. Bundles of torque and fuelling is better than other bikes I've had.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Build quality is excellent, lots of real carbon fibre and high quality plating everywhere. Only issue so far is an LED indicator that's misted up that I need to speak to seller about. The ohlins suspension and arrow cans add to a quality package.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Fuel consumpion of over 50mpg so far with a combination of routes, so no complaints there.
5 out of 5
Heated Grips and Cruise Control are great. Going to get the quickshifter. The OE tyres are good but I think something that gives more feedback would be good. I'm also going to get a fender extender and oil/rad guards.
Buying experience

Triumph West Yorkshire were very helpful and gave me a great deal when I traded in my Explorer 1215 XRx. Highly recommended.

5 out of 5

Could do with a screen...

29 June 2018 by derek bell

One of the best riding bikes on the market. The only thing I'd say is could do with a bit bigger screen to tuck behind.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Top end.
5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Everything top end.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I think they should do half price services no matter what dealer you got the bike from.
5 out of 5
Buying experience

The dealer was really good and would recommend.

Photo Gallery

  • Triumph Speed Triple RS pulling a massive wheelie
  • Triumph Speed Triple RS side profile
  • Triumph Speed Triple RS rear cornering shot
  • Triumph Street Triple RS ridden on circuit wide pan
  • Triumph Speed Triple RS front wheel
  • Triumph Speed Triple RS rear shock
  • Triumph Speed Triple RS clocks
  • Triumph Speed Triple RS exhaust
  • Triumph Speed Triple RS lighting controls
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