New Speed Triple RS vs Yamaha MT-10SP

PB wheels out Yamaha’s MT-10SP, the clos­est ri­val on spec and price, for a world first head-to-head with the new Tri­umph

Performance Bikes (UK) - - Contents -

TWO DAYS be­fore the of­fi­cial Tri­umph press launch at Cir­cuito de Alme­ria, PB hitched a ride on a Fo­cused Events track­day at the Span­ish cir­cuit, to thrash a posh naked of sim­i­lar claimed power and price against the Speed Triple. En­ter the Yamaha MT-10SP, with iden­ti­cal Pirelli Su­per­corsa SP tyres to the Tri­umph, sus­pen­sion set­tings from our Rut­ter Test last year, and a full tank of fuel.

PB be­ing PB, we weren’t go­ing to sit about with our thumbs up our ar­ses, so we took a dat­a­log­ger along and strapped it to both bikes, so we can re­veal ex­actly how much bet­ter the Tri­umph is. Yes, you read that right.

Road bikes, track man­ners

The Yamaha is great fun on track, and the stars of the show are un­de­ni­ably its cross­plane en­gine and elec­tron­ics pack­age. How­ever, the na­ture of Alme­ria’s race track is that the bike is only up­right for 13% of the lap, so the Yamaha’s road-bi­ased rid­ing po­si­tion, specif­i­cally its low foot­pegs, means ground clear­ance is a con­stant prob­lem. None­the­less, the MT-10SP be­haves it­self, and does all it can with what it has. Some rearsets would un­doubt­edly lib­er­ate a good chunk of lap time, but the Yamaha is also lim­ited by its weight dis­tri­bu­tion thanks to its high han­dle­bars and low seat. Put in sim­ple terms, it wants to wheelie ev­ery time you open the throttle, which is great fun on the road and track, but no good if you are chas­ing a lap time with the PB dat­a­log­ger judg­ing you from the pil­lion seat.

Bet­ter bred

The next day, and with sus­pen­sion set­tings rec­om­mended by Tri­umph’s lead test rider, the Speed Triple RS rocks up to re­peat the process. The RS is much more at home on track than the MT-10SP, partly due to its more ag­gres­sive rid­ing po­si­tion, its greater ground clear­ance, and its smoother power de­liv­ery. Its ex­tra 1000rpm makes a big dif­fer­ence on track, too – up the hill be­tween turns one and two, I can hang on to third gear, where I know on the short-geared MT-10SP

Ground clear­ance is the biggest ob­sta­cle to a lap time on the MT Alme­ria’s bak­ing tar­mac was per­fect prov­ing ground

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