Triumph Speed Triple RS
‘Would the racer buy an RS? “God no, I value my licence too much. I want a Bobber. Perfect for an easy summer ride”’
AND SO TO the top of the tree. The RS is £1900 more expensive and three kilos lighter than the S. The extra cash pays for Arrow titanium silencers, slightly more sophisticated electronics, carbon fibre trinkets and Öhlins suspension front and rear. It’s also got the track essential quickshifter (£300). Gary’s excited, and having re-checked that the electronics are set the same way as the other bikes (which means ignoring the RS’S track option) he’s keen to get on track. And it’s an absolute joy to watch. He’s smooth and superfast all the way round the lap, from the exit of the hairpin. But when he comes into the hairpin the back wheel is breaking away and twisting towards the outside of the track leaving a tidy black line accompanied by a puff of rubber smoke. ‘That is an absolute weapon,’ he grins when he finally comes in. ‘It doesn’t feel heavy and holds its line. You can flip it sideways into the hairpin and feel really confident on the side of the tyre.’ ‘I reckon that I’m faster everywhere on this,’ continues Gary. ‘I find it easier to ride with the extra power, and it’s really easy power.’ In fact, the datalogger doesn’t quite agree with Gary’s seat of the pants analysis. At 114.5mph it’s exactly the same speed as the Speed Triple S on the shorter back straight, and marginally faster on the longer start/finish straight, but it’s got the same braking strength. More track focused suspension means that it’s faster than the Speed S mid-corner at Gerards, and through the flip-flop at Edwina’s, but it’s still slower than the lightweight Street Triple RS mid-corner at Gerards and through the flip-flop. And it doesn’t brake with as much power as the Street RS either.