'We wanted to create the ultimate Speed Triple'

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Triumph’s imminent new ‘R’ version of its best-selling super naked is much more than a cosmetic update, MCN can now reveal – in fact it’s been conceived to be “the ultimate Speed Triple”!

So, where previous ‘R’ Triumphs, like the Street Triple and 675 Daytona, benefit mostly from uprated suspension and brakes, the new Speed Triple R goes significantly further by also featuring ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, switchable ABS, a revised gearbox, uprated tyres, carbon-fibre body panels and more.

Triumph bosses exclusively revealed to MCN that there is no fixed ‘recipe’ for its ‘R’ bikes and that, because of the significance of the Speed Triple they wanted to go further with its ‘R’ varient.

Simon Warburton is the Hinckley marque’s Product Manager and he said Triumph considers the Speed Triple to be the most important bike in its range which alone represents 12.5% of the Brit firm’s 2011 sales.

Because of this Triumph wanted to go further with its Speed Triple R.

“It’s not something we’ve done, as some people think, because the 675 R [launched last year] did well,” Warburton told MCN. “We decided to do it way before that – back in July 2007 when the new Speed Triple project began.”

The uprated Ohlins suspension, front and rear, was, he said, the result of a “significant collaboration” with the Swedish firm. The brake calipers have been replaced with superbike-spec Brembo radial Monoblocs; the R gets switchable ABS (a first on a Triumph); its carbon fibre radiator and tank covers are made by the people who produce carbon bodywork for Lamborghini; it’s got Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres; tapered, black anodized handlebars, a characteristic R red subframe and a wholly revised gearbox which sees most of its internals redesigned for crisper engagement and will be rolled out across Triumph’s range in due course.

But arguably the biggest and most significant change is the R’s adoption of new, lightweight, forged alloy wheels which are claimed to shave 0.7kg and 1.0kg, front and rear, off the bike’s unsprung mass and thus significantly reduce inertia and thus improve agility.

The curved, five-spoke alloys, beautiful in their own right are forged into a solid, circular blank by automotive specialists Otto Fuchs in Germany, who also supply the likes of Mercedes and AC Schnitzer and then fully machined down to the final shape by PVM.

The R will be available from March next year in white or black and while the price isn’t due to be formally announced until January MCN understands it to be in the region of £12,000