‘More real road performance than anything,’ froths Armitage. Quicker than Suzuki’s GSXR1000? Apparently so, agrees the datalogger…
Speed Triple RS speed testing, workshops, nuts and more.
AFTER YET ANOTHER WHOOPING, wide-eyed, libertytaking blast to work, I strut manfully into the Bike underground lair (or as manfully as I can muster) and announce that the RS version of the Speed Trip’ has more real-road performance than anything. ‘Ooh, the way it romps out of turns and the blistering roll-on urgency,’ I froth. Most of my colleagues roll their eyes and pretend to answer the phone; Ben appears to have been listening, however, as he delves into his desk and retrieves our VBOX Sport datalogger. Ah. Time to put money where my flappy mouth is. Obviously there are more powerful engines and much faster bikes. I’m not interested in double-ton output and Autobahn top speed, however. Every time I ride a 1000cc sportsbike I’m as frustrated as I am stimulated. Unless you’re a gibbering lunatic it’s simply impossible to explore the potential. No, what matters on the road are torque, response and acceleration; the ability to react and excite whenever and wherever the twistgrip is tweaked. And the 1050cc three-cylinder RS has bulging bags of all three. After a fruitful half hour scurrying up and down the proving ground, the results are impressive. In a test of traffic light prowess, the RS nips from standstill to 60mph in just 3.24 seconds – that’s a quarter of a second quicker than KTM’S 1290 Super Adventure S manages with similar power, and a third of a second quicker than a Honda Fireblade. Replicating leaving a 30mph limit or firing out a lazy overtake, the Triumph dashes from 40 to 80mph in top gear in just 3.99 seconds – the quickest time we’ve ever datalogged, and almost a full second quicker than a bulging Suzuki GSX-R1000 with variablevalve cunning. No wonder you can knock
the RS into top and ride it like a massive rev ‘n’ rip. The Triumph rounds it off by going from 70mph to stopped in just 51.4 metres – a shorter distance than any sportsbike you care to select. It also sheds its speed in 3.66s, which is quicker than it takes to accelerate from 0-70mph – the brakes are more powerful than the engine… Yet the most outrageous thing is that performance would be even better if the RS wasn’t overwhelmed. Its rapid acceleration is despite my being unable to use full throttle because its swollen midrange and road-friendly gearing try to deliver enormous wheelies (60mph also arrives at the same point as the rev limiter in first gear, meaning that 3.24s time includes a gear shift). Pile on the tarmac-bunching front brakes and there’s so much bite and power that the over-cautious ABS jumps in. Or the rear lifts. Or both. Scything past traffic in top gear, the big triple has a hint of H2-esque immediacy in the way it responds and leaps forward on part throttle; you can’t capture it with a datalogger, because it’s all about feel and sensation. And it feels utterly glorious. This is what really matters, of course. Yeah, the Speed Trip’s performance figures are really strong but it wouldn’t matter if the numbers were atrocious, because the riding experience is so ruddy excellent.
Metzeler’s amazing Roadtec 01 allows full performance use in a slippery autumnAdjuster on the end alters span, numbered dial alters lever ratio. It’s all very Motogp
VBOX Sport logger is the all-seeing eye. Staggering data gathering. £310 to you if you fancy a go The bite and power to remind you what a waste of cash that gym membership really was