New Rider: Why triples rock

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The first ‘modern’ three-cylinder engine was an inline design built by the Triumph/BSA conglomerate back in the 1969 using their existing twin-cylinder motors, as a response to Honda’s revolutionary four-cylinder engine. And it’s Triumph who champion the design today in their Speed Triples and 675s.

The advantages of triples are that they can rev higher than a twin, and have more torque than an inline four design as well as being narrower than a four. They weigh less than the fours, use less moving parts and their three pistons are more easily balanced too. 

As a compromise they work well in a bike chassis and have more character in the way they deliver their power with a great exhaust note too.

- Character
- Torque

- Rarity
- Complexity

- Triumph Street Triple
- Triumph 675
- Triumph Street Triple R

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Chris Dabbs

By Chris Dabbs