Triumph Speed Triple Review: Three-Cylinder Harmony at its Best
The Speed Triple came into existence in 1994 and was a nod to the classic 1938 Speed Twin. Fast forward to today and the Speed Triple has gone through many updates.
Triumph Speed Triple (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
The number of street-naked motorcycles that automakers have made in the past few years goes on to show why people fall in love with the street-naked design of motorcycles. But that’s not exactly the case with the Triumph Speed Triple as it’s not a new kid on the bloc but instead, it is a veteran that has showed way to a lot of street-naked motorcycles and inspired them to be what they are today. The Speed Triple came into existence in 1994 and was a nod to the classic 1938 Speed Twin. Fast forward to today and the Speed Triple has gone through many updates and is one of the most accessible litre-class motorcycles in India right now at a price tag of Rs 11.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The whole idea of owning a litre-class street-naked motorcycle is to have a bike that has the punch to put a smile on your face whenever you crack open the throttle and makes all the heads turn towards you as you pass them by and yet, it is easy on your body thanks to the not-so-extreme riding posture.
So does this Brit fit the bill? Let’s find out.
Well, yes it looks like a bug, we agree. But it’s one of those bugs that will tell everyone around you that it’s not meant to be messed around with cause it packs a bite.
There are so many elements to look at that it will take a day to just wrap your head around to the subtle attention to details. The twin headlamps, stubby under seat exhausts, chiselled fuel tank and the single-sided swingarm look fantastic. Add all these elements and somehow, Triumph has managed to create a bike that looks in tune to the character of the motorcycle, while being one that would immediately stand out of the crowd.
The instrument cluster tells you everything you need to know and has a large tachometer. It is also easy to read even in bright daylight.
Take a couple of steps back and you will notice just how compact the design is. Everything is cramped up towards the middle of the bike and the whole layout screams functionality over looks.
Powering the Speed Triple is a 1050cc in-line three cylinder liquid-cooled engine that delivers 125 horsepower and 104.8 Nm of torque and comes mated to a 6-speed transmission. When it comes to stopping, you have the twin 320mm floating discs with Brembo callipers at the front and a single 255mm disc with Nissin callipers at the back. There’s also ABS to prevent the tyres from locking under intense braking. Suspension duties are handled by adjustable Showa units.
In-line three cylinder engines are the forte of Triumph Motorcycles and it becomes evident the moment you put the Speed Triple in gear and let go of the clutch. The smoothness and refinement is unlike any other and when you couple that with the wide power band and the weight of the bike at 186 kilos (dry) – you have a machine that glides to the twist of your wrist.
The short wheelbase and the sharp rake angle makes the bike is nimble and agile, a characteristic which comes in very handy when you are riding in city traffic. The suspension will make sure that you are having a comfortable and planted ride even when you are doing speeds that we cannot mention here.
Another great aspect of the Speed Triple is the riding posture. Your back, wrists, shoulders and neck never feel the strain and that’s something you don’t get to say often when it comes to litre-class motorcycles.
What’s Not So Cool?
We weren’t as impressed with the transmission as it feels a bit clunky during upshifts. The meat of the power lies at the top-end of the RPM range, which is over 7500 RPM, and at that stage you can feel some vibrations at the handlebars and the foot pegs.
That comes as a bit of a surprise as we know that Triumph is capable of doing so much better when it comes to the gearbox as they have one of the slickest setup in the Daytona 675R and the vibrations aren’t even remotely there even in big capacity cruisers from Triumph like the Thunderbird Storm.
The Speed Triple is one of the most exciting offerings in its segment and competes with the likes of Suzuki GSX-S1000 and the Kawasaki Z1000, both of which cost more than the Triumph.
We can talk about figures and numbers all day long and discuss and dissect the behaviour of the motorcycle and there’s a very good reason behind that – character.
It has over a decade of tweaks and tuning under its belt and has managed to live through the passage of time. Looks are subjective and whether you love it or hate, you can’t ignore it. It isn’t the fastest in its segment either and that’s completely okay in this scenario.
The bike has a certain ability to connect with the rider and it will instill so much confidence that they will feel like a professional. That’s because it is a rider’s motorcycle. It responds to every input and behaves exactly the way you would want it to, and when you need the bike to prove its ground, it will not disappoint.
If you are looking for bikes in this segment, then the Speed Triple is definitely worth checking out. Ride it once and you’ll forever remember the sweet harmony of the three cylinders and even if it doesn’t make it to your garage back home, it’ll find a sweet parking spot in your heart.
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