Speed Triple per­fect for ‘hooni­gans’

Geraldton Guardian - - MOTORING - Stu­art Wood­bury

Re­mem­ber the “Orig­i­nal Hooli­gan”? The first Tri­umph Speed Triple re­leased back in 1994 is the hooli­gan I’m talk­ing about.

It was an in­stant favourite with stunt per­form­ers and ba­si­cally, mad peo­ple who would ride … just like a hooli­gan!

Rolling through 24 years since that first Speed Triple re­lease the things worth not­ing were the move to twin round head­lights in 1997, which lasted un­til 2011 and re­ally caused a stir among the Speedy purists when Tri­umph changed to the new styled head­lights.

I can re­mem­ber peo­ple say­ing, “Oh, they won’t sell an­other Speed Triple un­less it’s got round head­lights”… and the huff­ing and puff­ing went on. But, you know what, the Speed Triple has only got bet­ter with each year that’s passed and the new 2018 model is one that I class as be­ing the best of them all.

It looks awe­some, has more power, more fea­tures and han­dles bet­ter — it’s a big bore naked that fits the “hooli­gan” moniker to a tee.

For the launch of the new Speed Triple, I headed to sunny Queens­land for a road ride the first day, then a freez­ing cold start for our track day at Mor­gan Park Race­way on the sec­ond.

Pre­vi­ously, Tri­umph has sold two ver­sions of the Speed Triple — the S and the R.

This is now only go­ing to be one bike — the RS, which as you can gather is the top of the range Speed Triple. Tri­umph has seen a trend to­wards buy­ers want­ing the best of the best and the RS has all of that and more.

The triple cylin­der en­gine has seen 105 new parts for this year. In a nut­shell, it revs harder and spins up faster than ever be­fore and this is some­thing I al­ways thought of with the pre­vi­ous model: you hit the rev lim­iter way too early. To make the en­gine rev faster the crank has been light­ened. New alu­minium Nikasil cylin­der lin­ers are fit­ted, heav­ier valve springs are also in for the higher lift camshafts and big­ger fuel in­jec­tors flow more fuel for a big­ger bang. Com­pres­sion has been raised from 12.25:1 to

12.9:1. As you can imag­ine all of these im­prove­ments help the triple pro­duce more power and more torque than be­fore. Claimed to be

7 per cent more over­all peak power with the specs be­ing 110kW and

4 per cent more torque at 117Nm. If ever there was a hooli­gan tag for a mo­tor­cy­cle, the in­crease in power, torque and the punchy char­ac­ter­is­tics of this triple cylin­der mean the Speed Triple has it.

Mated to the en­gine is an im­proved gear­box. Gone is the slight notch­i­ness of the old model and a pre­cise feel­ing as you snick into each gear is now what you get.

If you’ve ever seen in­side a mo­tor­cy­cle gear­box you will have seen a bit of metal look­ing like a ninja star: this is called a De­tent Wheel and this lit­tle piece of metal con­trib­utes to how well a gear­box will change gears — an im­proved shape and more ninja is the ma­jor im­prove­ment that makes gear chang­ing a lot bet­ter now.

An as­sist and slip­per clutch also con­trib­utes to how the Speed Triple re­acts to the way you ride. All of the bikes on the launch had been fit­ted with the ac­ces­sory bidi­rec­tional quick­shifter ($553.65) and this is a must in my mind.

In to­tal, three ki­los have been shed by the new Speed Triple.

Doesn’t re­ally sound like a lot but re­duc­ing weight means a faster ac­cel­er­at­ing ma­chine and also one that han­dles bet­ter.

The RS ver­sion comes stan­dard with Oh­lins sus­pen­sion. It’s to­tally ad­justable front and rear, but I found on the road I was rather happy with the stan­dard set­tings whereas some of the lighter rid­ers pre­ferred some com­pres­sion taken out of the shock. For the track I had loads more com­pres­sion wound into the shock, along with a cou­ple of clicks of re­bound; on the front I ended up with only half a turn of preload. Any more and I found it would push the front.

There are other pre­mium fea­tures on the new Speedy. Ar­row ex­hausts, TFT dash, car­bon fi­bre pieces through­out and a key­less fob ig­ni­tion. We all found this was a bit of a pain for track rid­ing, es­pe­cially those with­out an in­ter­nal pocket in their leathers. How­ever, it is rather con­ve­nient for road rid­ing and this was no doubt Tri­umph’s in­ten­tion for its in­tro­duc­tion.

The full colour TFT dash is just like the new Tiger’s and is jam­packed with info and set­tings to be ad­justed.

On the road, all of the new elec­tron­ics such as cor­ner­ing ABS, trac­tion con­trol, the five rider modes (Rain, Road, Sport, Track and Rider) and cruise con­trol work seam­lessly.

On the track I did try Track mode in my first ses­sion but found it too re­stric­tive for my rid­ing style.

The bike came alive once I turned it to Rider mode with trac­tion and ABS turned off and the throt­tle map in Road. Don’t take this as some­thing you should do un­less you are quite skilled as the trac­tion con­trol does work well, as does the ABS, es­pe­cially the cor­ner­ing ABS where you can mess it all up and still get around a cor­ner.

It is tech­nol­ogy that re­quires big kahu­nas to ac­ti­vate on pur­pose as it doesn’t feel nat­u­ral to try and lock the front brake while crank­ing over into a cor­ner, but the time you do need it you prob­a­bly won’t even know it has saved your butt from end­ing up on the road.

I pre­ferred Road throt­tle map for both road rid­ing and on the track. I could come off a cor­ner smoother and faster than in Sport which I felt was a lit­tle harder to ride su­per­fast.

Brak­ing is mega pow­er­ful with Brembo M4.34 ra­dial Monobloc calipers. There’s also an ad­justable ra­tio mas­ter cylin­der and 19, 20 and 21mm are what you can choose from. The 19mm means a softer lever and more feel, 21mm ob­vi­ously means a harder lever and less feel. I pre­ferred 21mm as I could get harder on the front brakes whereas with 19 or 20mm the lever would come back too far to­wards the han­dle­bar.

Er­gonomics have also been looked at. A new “com­fort” seat is fit­ted which has 3D net in­serts, med­i­cal grade foam and, for the vis­ual as­pect, nice red stitch­ing.

Seat to peg height is sporty but pretty good for all day rid­ing and the han­dle­bar has you with just weighted wrists.

Ac­ces­sories are ex­ten­sive and will suit all tastes. The bikes we rode dur­ing the launch had the bidi­rec­tional quick­shifter, rub­ber Tri­umph tank pad, frame pro­tec­tor kit and CNC ma­chined fork pro­tec­tors. Sounds like Tri­umph doesn’t trust us or some­thing?

Fit and fin­ish as you look around the Speed Triple is prob­a­bly the best I’ve seen on any Tri­umph be­fore it. It re­ally does have the

class to go with the hooli­gan­ism and the crowds of peo­ple who poured their goo­gly eyes over the hand­ful of bikes we rode dur­ing the launch says it all.

Ev­ery­one was im­pressed and the old thumbs up was given nu­mer­ous times.

So, get to your lo­cal Tri­umph dealer and give one a whirl.

Make sure you’ve washed your hands so your thumbs up is nice and shiny.

Tri­umph has seen a trend to­wards buy­ers want­ing the best of the best and the RS has all of that and more.

If ever there was a hooli­gan tag for a mo­tor­cy­cle, the in­crease in power, torque and the punchy char­ac­ter­is­tics of this triple cylin­der mean the Speed Triple has it. Pic­ture: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.