Triumph Speed Triple 900
For most, the original Speed Triple is the motorcycle that best represents the moment Hinckley found its mojo.
Despite being effectively an unfaired Daytona 900 with a few styling tweaks, here was a Triumph that for the first time pursued character and charisma more than conventional performance and practicality.
In short, all the best bits about revived Triumph were mixed together to create a new machine – then a whole dollop of style was ladled on for good measure. By being powered by the 900 triple, the ‘Speedie’ had what was already considered the best of Hinckley’s modular motors. By using the Daytona chassis, complete with adjustable fork and floating, four-pot brakes, it had the best cycle parts available. Add to that stylish, twin white-faced clocks, racy clip-on handlebars, a single round headlamp plus a cool-sounding name that was a nod to the original 1938 Speed Twin and Triumph’s newcomer was already well on the way to success.
The finishing touches were a glorious, all-black colourscheme (who’s finish was now much improved due to Triumph’s all-new paint shop); matching black silencers and a natty pillion seat cover. Add marketing campaign that on the one hand had it memorably pictured next to a Rottweiler and, on the other, had it starring in the Triumph Triple Challenge, one of the most successful and entertaining one-make UK race series ever, and the Speed Triple’s success was guaranteed.
Always distinctive, raw, powered by a unique three-cylinder motor and hugely, hooliganistically entertaining, that original was succeeded by the equally iconic and significant T509 Speed Triple in 1997, which in turn evolved into 1050 form in 2005. Today, updated for 2016 once more, it lives on as one of Triumph’s core and most successful models. But it’s the 1994 original, preferably in gleaming black, which is the most collectable of all the early Hinckley bikes.
What we said at the time
“Built around one of the best engine and chassis combinations available, if you’re disappointed with the Speed Triple, you’re disappointed with life.”
T595 DAYTONA £7499 NEW
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 955cc ( 79 x 65mm), DOHC, 12v triple. Power: 130bhp @ 10,200rpm Torque: 74ftlb @ 8300rpm Frame: Tubular aluminium, single-sided cast ali swingarm Suspension: 45mm forks, fully adj; Rising rate monoshock, fully adj Dry weight: 192.6kg Front brake: 2 x 320mm discs, fourpiston calipers Rear: 220mm disc, twin-piston caliper Fuel: 18 litres Seat: 815mm