Triumph Speed Triple 1050: Expert Review
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The pros: Aggressive design, big, soft, comfortable seat. 3-cylinder powerful engine delivers high pulling power. Brembo brakes ensures your safety.
The cons: Heavy clutch operation, at high speed, hot air makes you quite uncomfortable
The crux: If you love alone joyous mountain ride or out on a highway run with your mates on sportbikes, then this machine triples your joy.
The Triumph Speed Triple is the most popular motorcycle made by the British brand, and the original initiator of the current street fighter category in the motorcycling industry. The Speed Triple followed in the footsteps of its grandfather, the 1938 Speed Twin.
Since then it gained another cylinder and the displacement grew from the Twin’s 498cc to the current power monger’s Triple 1050cc heart. Triumph kept making it faster and agile through the years. Since entire idea of the Speed Triple implies usable power, I got high on the roaring grunt of this amazing machine mashing the throttle for three days straight.
The angry bug-eyed headlamps and fat muscular bulges define the aggressive design of the Speed Triple. This motorcycle seriously gains a huge number of eyeballs on the road. Everybody gets mesmerised by the powerful street aura of this naked street fighter.
I agree the earlier circular headlamps added more character, and you will see a lot of customers swapping these bug-eyed lamps for aftermarket circular ones, however the flyscreen and bellypan gel so well with the overall design that I would rather suggest it looks better now.
The changes have made the Speed Triple more sport class superbike added to the muscular aggressive backstreet barnstormer appeal. The rear tail lamp is LED and has clear glass that looks nice, but the law mandatory saree-guard is absolutely hideous which unanimously everybody will agree.
One of the nicest features of the Speed Triple is its ease of ride ability across multiple road conditions. The seat, at least the rider’s seat, is big, soft and comfortable. You can rack up some serious kilometres on the Speed Triple as apart from the comfortable saddle, the riding position is the perfect combination between sport and street riding.
You sit fairly high on this machine though. Riders taller than 5 feet 9 inches would be able to handle the 214kg mass much easier. The no nonsense instrument cluster is very crisp in information and legible in the brightest on sunlight to darkest of the nights. The gauge has a bright programmable shift light which is very effective during the day but a bit annoying in the night. The blue haze from the shift light flashes up your helmet’s visor.
The Speed Triple is so easy in traffic that you might use it very often in the week indeed. There are just two hindrances that I noticed. First is the heavy clutch which tends to give you excruciating pain in your left hand on frequent use in traffic. The second is the noticeable stream of hot air that gets directed to your right heel. However, I faced both these problems wading through traffic rich streets of Delhi. I recommend planning your journeys in advance so that you avoid facing heavy traffic.
Engine and Performance
Speed Triple has an absolute gem of an engine. It is a growling three cylinder as opposed to screaming in-line fours and thrumming V-twins. The major advantage you get from a triple cylinder is high-rpm power delivery of an in-line four cylinder engine and the low and mid rpm torque for more tractability. The Speed Triple has a 1050cc 3-cylinder in-line engine that develops 125bhp at 9,301rpm and a massive torque rating of 105Nm at 7,797rpm.
The engine has more than enough puling power across the rev range, but absolutely goes mad after 7,000rpm. The sprint to 100kmph from a standstill takes just under 3.5 seconds, followed by the front wheel aiming for the sky. The top whack achieved was 230kmph on the speedometer, but the strong winds make it quiet uncomfortable. In fact this is a common problem with naked motorcycles with massive engines; unless you are in full leathers they become uncomfortable above 150kmph.
The transmission is slick and accurate for normal or track use, but does get clunky in traffic. One of the sweetest things about this engine is the growly exhaust note that perfectly suits its character. The standard exhaust is a 3-1-2 setup exiting out a twin under seat system. And joy of joy, it pops and spits on the overrun when you let go off the throttle. Triumph India offers a 3-1-1 setup from Arrow for interested customers, which sounds even better and is louder.
Ride and Handling
This is where the Speed Triple surprises yet again. This motorcycle will perform brilliantly anywhere you fancy. Whether riding through tight swift turns, wading through traffic or on long straights, the Speed Triple is at home everywhere. The adjustable rear monoshock can be setup soft (or rather less stiff) for normal riding or can be adjusted to super stiff for those spirited track days.
The handling is absolutely precise and motorcycle does as told to do by the rider. The engine weight leans further towards the front than the predecessor thus giving more balance and the reworked chassis adds to the quick directional agility of the Speed Triple. Triumph has equipped this beast with all high quality components.
The Brembo brakes combined with super-sticky Metzeller rubber is a near perfect recipe for both street and track use. The braking is immediate and the anti-lock braking system ensures you stop on various surfaces safely.
The Triumph Speed Triple is an absolutely joyous motorcycle. Whether you fancy a lone mountainous joy ride or are out on a highway run with your mates on sportbikes, the Speed Triple will continue to bring an evil grin on your fizzog. The power it has is intoxicating, the handling is flawless and it has quite a comfortable ride.
Atop this the engine sounds blissful with pops and bangs on the overrun as the cherry on top. Triumph India has also priced Speed Triple brilliantly and has an expanding sales and service network. The Triumph Speed Triple becomes my new favourite with usable performance and subtle attitude wrapped in the tinsel of British engineering!