TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1200 RR (2022 - on) Review
- New Speed Triple-based café racer
- Plush semi-active Öhlins suspension
- Halfway between a superbike and super naked
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
You might have given up on your superbike years ago, or are about to now, but where do you go from there? If you still want searing performance without the squashed joints, a super naked is your only option, but what if you want a fairing, too?
- Related: Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS review
A Yamaha R7, Aprilia RS660, Honda CBR650R or Ducati Supersport 950 could fit the bill, but you might miss the power or there’s the MV Agusta Superveloce 800, but that’s more supersport than superbike when you open the throttle. Triumph’s Speed Triple 1200 RR could be the answer.
It might appear to be a just Speed Triple 1200 RS roadster in a frock, but the RR is much more than that. Think of it more as a big-cube, three-cylinder superbike, created in Triumph’s own inimitable style.
The engine, chassis and electronics are all identical to the RS, but as well as its new café racer-style nose fairing and single headlight, the RR has semi-active Öhlins suspension, a smattering of carbon fibre and clip-ons - like the original ‘94 Speed Triple, ironically.
It's stylish, beautifully made, generously equipped and tastefully mixes strong performance and track-ready handling with a relatively sensible riding position. Its electronic suspension is a highlight and delivers a plush ride, compared to its stiffer naked sibling and its fairing will make long distance riding more comfortable.
On the flip side we wish Triumph hadn’t gone quite so sporty with the clip-ons, its Brembos don’t offer the delicious feel you’d expect, it lacks a little character and isn’t cheap. But the RR is still impressive and a mouth-watering middle ground between a full-on superbike and super naked.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
It stops, goes and handles like a superbike and is laid out like one, too, albeit more tolerable to live with. Its clip-ons are a 135mm lower and 50mm further forward than the naked’s straight bars and pegs are 15mm higher and 26mm further back.
It all adds up to a riding position that’s less extreme than something like Triumph’s old Daytona 675 with decent legroom, even for a six-footer, but it’s not the perfect solution. The bars are still low like a race rep’s and we wish they were higher to take more weight off your wrists.
More sophisticated suspension transforms the Speed Triple’s road manners. Where the naked’s mechanically adjustable Öhlins only makes sense on smooth tarmac the RR’s semi-active Öhlins suspension delivers a sumptuous ride.
But being electronic and extremely clever, the forks and shock stiffen-up when it needs to support hard braking and acceleration. You can set the RR as hard or soft as you like, either within the riding modes or fine-tune it via the dash.
Steering isn’t as razor sharp as a superbike’s, which suits the slightly more relaxed nature of the RR, but like all Triumphs it lives for corners and with more of your weight over the front end it’s even more stable, precise and predictable on the road or track than the already fine-handling RS.
Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP (the RS has Metzler Racetec RRs) trackday tyres don’t like very cold tarmac, but never budge once they’re up to temperature.
Brakes are the only real disappointment. Superbike-spec Brembo Stylemas are powerful, consistent and will never let you down, they’re wooden through the lever and can spoil the riding experience, especially on track.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Triumph’s 1160cc 178bhp three-cylinder engine has serious muscle but has lost some of the old Speed Triple’s fabulous low-down grunt, in favour of more revs and power. It takes some of the shine off riding the naked RS, but happily, the new RR makes much more sense as a sports bike, where you’re riding in a brisker manor, further up the revs.
Producing the kind of power an Aprilia RSV4 made when it was first released it goes without saying the Speed Triple 1200 RR is savagely quick, but the meat of the triple’s raspy power lies in its midrange.
— Motor Cycle News (@MCNnews) December 24, 2021
To get the best out of it you need to short-shift through the gears and resist the temptation (if you’ve come from a four-cylinder) to rev its brains out. And of course, thanks to its new fairing it gets to its top speed faster than the naked, not to mention cut down on windblast, although its screen would be even more useful if it was taller.
Lower down in the revs the RR is smooth and easy to manage, but the on/off throttle response can sometimes be choppy.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
It’s still too early to comment on the reliability of Triumph’s latest three-cylinder 1200 motor as it only appeared in the Speed Triple 1200 RS in 2021, but don’t expect any major woes... their triple is bombproof in Moto2, after all. Electronics have proved to be reliable, too and build quality and attention to detail are excellent.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
If you think of the RR in superbike terms it’s a bargain compared to its electronic Öhlins-clad competition. It’s also cheaper than its closest rival on looks: MV Agusta’s £18,550 Superveloce 800 and it’s more powerful. But whichever way you slice it the Triumph is still an expensive indulgence.
Fifty quid off eighteen grand isn’t cheap either, but you can see where your money goes. Build quality and detailing are superb and as well as its fancy brakes, suspension, racy tyres and a stonking engine and chassis, the RR has lean sensitive traction control and ABS, an up/down quickshifter, colour TFT dash (which can be fiddly to use), LEDs all round, carbon panels, a lithium battery, keyless ignition, backlit switches and cruise control.
There are no garish race rep colour schemes, either and the RR comes in white/black or for an extra £250 the red/black you see in the pictures.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 12v, inline triple|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||15.5 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm Öhlins forks, adjustable preload, semi-active damping|
|Rear suspension||Single Öhlins shock, adjustable preload, semi-active damping|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial monobloc Brembo Stylema calipers. Cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||220mm disc with Brembo twin-piston caliper. Cornering ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||190/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||45 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£15,500 - £18,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||178 bhp|
|Max torque||92 ft-lb|
|Top speed||165 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||153 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2022: Triumph Speed Triple 1200 released. Same engine, chassis and electronics as Speed Triple RS with clip-ons, top fairing and electronic Öhlins.
MCN Long term test reports
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Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE 1200 RR (2022 - on)
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