BIKE LIFE

‘More real road per­for­mance than any­thing,’ froths Ar­mitage. Quicker than Suzuki’s GSXR1000? Ap­par­ently so, agrees the dat­a­log­ger…

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS -

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

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