I’m not a speed demon but I’ve found the Triumph Street Triple Rx to be the nippiest middleweight I’ve ridden. My previous fastest speed was just over an indicated 120mph on my Ducati Monster, but my daily commute on the A1 made me realise the Striple would be capable of more. So I headed to the relatively safe (and, more importantly, legal) Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground to test our limits on the two-mile runway.
Rather than simply trust the speedometer, this time I wanted to get an accurate record of my runs so I taped a Racelogic Vbox datalogger to the tail unit and a Drift camera to the tank to record what the speedo displayed. I did a couple of sighting laps to work out the conditions and see where the damp patches were. There seemed nothing to worry unduly about.
With the bike ready for the off I took a few calming deep breaths before tucking in and setting off for the first run. My mouth was dry and my heart pumping 10 to the dozen. Hitting neutral by mistake at 66mph didn’t help matters, as it sounded like the engine was going to explode. I quickly nipped into second gear and despite the initial hiccup I saw more than 120mph on the speedo.
I knew I could do more and with the weather conditions improving and my nerves steadying I tucked in as tight as I could and clocked 147mph. My head was wobbling around and I my chin was catching the tank-mounted camera as I tried to shelter from the wind.
On my next run, minus the camera, I was able to tuck in tighter and make full use of the little bit of wind deflection the tiny flyscreen offers. My brain was struggling to keep up with all the information being thrown at it. Hazards appeared at such a rate and the braking marker I’d set myself seemed to loom large within seconds. I knew I was throttling off sooner than I needed and decided to do one last run.
The bike felt stable as I clocked 152mph on the speedo. I still hadn’t hit the engine’s rev limiter, but I’d definitely hit my personal limiter and it felt as though I’d not drawn breath for the entire two miles. My neck ached, my shoulders were rigid with tension but the minute I removed my lid my mouth went into overdrive and I couldn’t stop rabbiting.
When we downloaded the data I found I’d hit an actual 142.86mph – not as impressive as the indicated 152mph on the speedo, but not bad for an old bird.