The original streetfighter, the Triumph Speed Triple is the OG standard when it comes to the naked sport bikes segment, but the British brand has seen this iconic model soften in recent years when compared to the competition.
In fact, our review of the last generation of the Triumph Speed Triple demoted the three-cylinder machine to the “roadster” category, as its teeth had clearly lost their edge over the years, leading it to become a more subdued ride for the street.
The folks in Hinckley must have taken exception to that kind of comparison because their response for the 2021 model year was to build an all-new Speed Triple with a serious focus on performance.
The British marque insists that the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is built and designed to be a street bike first, track bike second, but a look at the spec sheet shows that they are not messing around with it.
First off, the completely new three-cylinder motor gets an increase to 1,160cc in displacement (as our leaked info teased). That modest increase in engine size though means a 178hp (132 kW) peak power figure, with 92 lbs•ft of torque at 9,000 rpm.
With a redline of 11,150 rpm, the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is clearly going to be a screamer.
More impressively though, the new Speed Triple 1200 RS drops over 20 lbs from its predecessor’s curb weight, for a wet-weight figure of 436 lbs (198 kg).
Of those 20 lbs lost, nearly 15 lbs come from the new low-inertia motor, which is considerably more compact than the previous 1,150cc triple. All-in, the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS has a power-to-weight ratio that’s 25% higher than the outgoing model.
As the “RS” name implies, this is Triumph’s top of the line variant of the Speed Triple 1200, which means Stylema calipers from Brembo and suspension pieces from Öhlins (standard non-electrical units, though).
There is also a beautiful 5″ TFT dash, which features Triumph’s connectivity suite (which has a unique GoPro control capability), and of course there is a six-axis IMU powering the traction control and cornering ABS.
Cruise control will also come as standard, though the wheelie control is not a separate electronic setting, and is instead tied to the traction control level.
Triumph says that there are five riding modes on the Speed Triple 1200 RS and that the up/down quickshifter is a standard item.
Add in the LED lighting, keyless ignition and fuel filler cap, and carbon fiber accents, and the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS shows that stellar British refinement.
Available in Europe at the end of February, and in the United States in late-March, American riders will need to find $18,300 in their wallets to put the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS in their garages.
Source: Triumph Motorcycles