Speed Triple 1050 still smashes it

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - By Phil West MCN GUEST TESTER

What we said then

“By mov­ing the weight bias to­wards the front, the bike is much more ag­ile than the out­go­ing model. It doesn’t have that long length wheel­base sen­sa­tion any­more.

“As you would ex­pect, the 1050cc en­gine is beau­ti­fully tractable. In­stead, where the new Speed Triple feels dif­fer­ent, in terms of per­for­mance, is it hangs onto its power and torque a lot fur­ther up the rev range. Add to this the stu­pen­dous Brembo front brake sys­tem and Met­zeler Racetec K3 tyres as stan­dard and you’ve a bike that’s ca­pa­ble of giv­ing any­body a smile at a track day.” MCN launch re­port | Oc­to­ber 20, 2010

But what is it like now?

Tri­umph’s Speed Triple has al­ways been a de­pend­able per­former, whether that be the ’94 orig­i­nal, ‘98’s T509 or 2005’s stonk­ing 1050 – and the same is clearly true of this stock 2011 model as I ride away from dealer Wheels of Peter­bor­ough (01733 358555) who have it up for sale at a tempt­ing £5995.

I’ve rid­den and tested them all, right back to that orig­i­nal, but this 2011 ver­sion still sur­prises with its abil­ity, class – and how much of a move on it was from its round-eyed pre­de­ces­sor. Con­tro­ver­sially at the time, Tri­umph switched from the Speedie’s trade­mark cir­cu­lar twin beams in this in­car­na­tion to more an­gu­lar, fu­tur­is­tic-look­ing ones. Com­pletely fa­mil­iar now, at the time it dis­tracted from the sig­nif­i­cant changes else­where – con­sid­er­ably im­proved han­dling, ex­tra power (5bhp) and a more in­te­grated, classy de­sign hoik­ing it straight back to be­ing one of the best su­per nakeds any­where. It’s slim­mer, more man­age­able, the rider feels more ‘in’ the ma­chine, the steer­ing is much more in­tu­itive and en­gag­ing and the per­for­mance thicker and more flex­i­ble than ever. As an en­gag­ing, fun road bike they don’t come much bet­ter and this ex­am­ple, in vir­tu­ally stan­dard trim, com­plete with newish Dun­lop Sports­max tyres, makes a tempt­ing propo­si­tion de­spite be­ing suc­ceeded by the all-new 2016 ver­sion.

Com­mon faults ex­plored

Not much goes wrong with Speed­ies and qual­ity was much im­proved from 2011, too, so there’s lit­tle to fear here. This ex­am­ple had only just come in and hadn’t yet been through Wheels’ work­shop, but apart from the clutch be­ing a lit­tle out of ad­just­ment and it do­ing with a de­cent pol­ish, you’d hardly tell. It has 9000+ miles on its clocks but could eas­ily pass for half that: the en­gine, discs and wheels are amaz­ingly clean; there’s no scuffs, scratches or dam­age and just a lit­tle bit of road grime around the shock and head­ers. Apart from that, it’s ex­cel­lent.

Ju­di­cious ad­di­tions

Sur­pris­ingly, for a five-year-old Speedie, this ex­am­ple’s vir­tu­ally com­pletely stan­dard. The big Tri­umph is usu­ally a mag­net for both of­fi­cial and af­ter­mar­ket ac­ces­sories, some of which are more ap­peal­ing than oth­ers de­pend­ing on your taste, so it’s a se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion when buy­ing used. This ex­am­ple, though, has just the of­fi­cial Tri­umph fly­screen and belly pan mak­ing it a tempt­ing ‘blank can­vas’, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing its price, if buy­ing used.

Af­fec­tion rekin­dled

The 2011 Speedie may no longer be the fastest, most pow­er­ful or so­phis­ti­cated of su­per nakeds, those man­tles have passed to bikes like BMW’S S1000R and Aprilia’s Tuono V4, but it re­mains one of the best for its blend of style, real world per­for­mance, char­ac­ter and value. And now, su­per­seded by it­self in 2016 to sat­isfy Euro4, it’s a more af­ford­able used buy than ever. A slick, stylish su­per naked for un­der six grand? Sorted.

The Speed Triple is a great value su­per naked Ac­ces­sories Speed­ies are rarely so stan­dard – stock ex­cept for fly­screen and bel­ly­pan En­gine De­vel­op­ment of 2005 1050 triple got 5bhp ex­tra and is solid and durable

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