Kilometer Magazine: 2011 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 — Return of the King

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Triumph Speed Triple 1050

km. First Ride

2011 Speed Triple 1050 Return of the King


March 9 2011

It’s to be the king. Or at least it would be if and contenders weren’t always to steal your spot at the First launched in 1995, the Speed Triple was the first of its a sportbike, stripped of unnecessary and clip-ons in favor of a wide and exposed mechanicals. Its starring in the film Mission: Impossible 2 the Speed Triple become the of the … sportbikes.

With its twin headlamps and fuel-injected triple, it was like nothing had seen before. It backed looks up, too, borrowing chassis, and suspension components the award-winning Daytona 955 that was the year before.

Through the decade, the Triumph’s reign was by opponents from not only and Europe, but America as well. 1125CR and the Yamaha FZ-1 offered serious bang for the and Ducati’s 1198 Superbike-based certainly has pedigree. Despite the it always stood tall the challengers, typically winning both journalists and consumers by the best combination of usable and overall good looks.

The redesign, with 128 horsepower on tap the bigger 1050 cc engine, sure no one dared to go toe-to-toe the King.

Ironically, it was a coup that began in 2007 the release of the Daytona 675-derived Triple that presented the threat to the Speed Triple’s By mimicking the big Speed’s styling, the Street’s power and ease-of-use buyers the choice between the equivalents of a muscle car and a sports In the end, lightweight and nimble won out raw power and size.

Ultimately overshadowed by its “little in magazines and on the sales floor, the Triple once representing a 10 percent of Triumph’s North sales began to fade the background. A mid-generation facelift in didn’t do much to steer back to the big-bore 1050; the Triple was just too long in the

It was deemed too heavy at 417 pounds to the Street’s 368-pound dry weight, too at 32.7 inches of seat and just too dated. The chrome round headlamps, while a Triumph styling cue, fit with the modern styling and Moreover, the frame was essentially the as it had been since 1997, the Street Triple’s chassis was from the significantly more design of the Daytona 675.

to allow the empire to fall, has given the king a much-needed On paper, the changes don’t very impressive. Still a 1050cc engine that is a stroked variant of the original ’97 955-cc engine, the performance from 128 horsepower to 133 is only less underwhelming than the weight loss of just pounds.

Heck, that’s just heavier than a single of gas. But what the spec doesn’t say is how much lighter and the new Speed Triple feels. And at the end of the that’s where it counts.

Our day with a brisk ride the Yavapai Nation in central Mounting the new Triple, the changes are evident. The seat height is a tenth of an inch lower, but the profile where it meets the tank makes it easier to the ground.

Turn the key to the right, and the new flickers and whirrs to life. the same revised cluster the Daytona 675, the new Speed instrument layout has been to maximize visibility where needed most. The shift are brighter and more prominent but the Triple also receives a gauge and optional TPMS

The system uses sensors the wheel rims which the standard valve stem sending a real-time readout of pressure on both wheels can be viewed at the touch of a button.

The tank and air box are now separated front-to-back than the fuel cell above the intakes. With the air now much closer to the rider, the howl of the three-cylinder engine is more pronounced, and all the more as we rev the big Triple to its 10,000-rpm redline. And we initially scoffed at the gain of five horsepower, that with the additional six lb-ft of make this Triple the of them all.

The gains are across almost the rev-range, making the new engine like the entire power and curves have simply raised.

This new tank sits atop an all-new chassis that’s both and narrower, allowing the big Triple to be like a sportbike. Tucking behind an imaginary windscreen is easier than on previous because of the less acute on the rear of the fuel cell. The has been elongated for comfort and is further forward as well, for a shorter reach to the handlebars.

the liquid-cooled 1050-cc powerplant three millimeters and tilting it seven degrees helped the bike’s weight distribution 48.6/51.4 to 50.9/49.1 front-to-rear. that the front wheel three pounds and the bike thinner front brake this more forward is all the more necessary.

Steering typically plays the biggest in making a big bike feel and Triumph kept that in with the completely revised end. Rake and trail both been optimized by from 23.5 degrees and 84 to 22.8 degrees and 91 millimeters, while new fully-adjustable 43-mm forks are held in place new forged aluminum (pronounced Triumph will have you upper and lower triple

With those aggressive up front, stability and keeping the tire planted might become a problem. So the 18.5-mm (yet two-pound lighter) helped make sure our were tight without the quicker steering. We also how the new Triple feels lighter the new, larger ten-spoke wheel wrapped in a wider tire.

We think the engineers in must’ve been schooled at since all of these changes made the big Triumph turn in and like a middleweight.

Triumph Speed Triple 1050

With the new every bump and turn the sweeping twisties of Arizona’s roads feels easy. we’re not admitting to any hooligan (at least in writing) the front and new rear shock with linkage allows either end of the to lift with ease, on how aggressively one applies the throttle or brake. Unlike many streetfighters, the Speed Triple has no electronic nanny to shut the tire-smoking and wheelies.

And contrary to belief, we’ve learned anti-lock brakes don’t stoppies, either.

Fit and finish has been a strong suit of and the new Speed Triple resets the The textured powdercoating on the hand-welded has a metallic flake to it. Our test was in a new pearlescent color called White” that replaces the white color from model years while the few plastic trim pieces are of a thick stock that claims will resist over the years.

Even the new aluminum sidestand and footpegs are Triumph-exclusive and of a higher than even the Italian The Speed Triple is also the Triumph to feature coded that tie to an immobilizer unit for All this can be yours for $11,799 or with ABS.

Alas, a few we’d really like to seen on the bike are not an option. A indicator would’ve been as it’s now standard on every new triple since 2006. tells us that because the engine cases are basically of the original ’97 design, there is to mount the sensor.

Since the is based on the same hardware, have loved to see the very new reverse-lit LCD display found on the Daytonas. We are also left why there are two versions available—with and ABS—when the ABS models have a switch.

Then, of course, the styling. Obviously, the new Speed had to retain some of its forefather’s DNA the single-sided swingarm and unique Opting for a more contemporary the telltale twin headlamps evolved into more modern units.

The new ten-spoke wheels are over pounds slimmer for the pair, but more delicately crafted the beefy three-spokes from the models. The dual high-mount also got re-shaped from into trapezoids and lost 2.2 in the process. Though it may seem some of the styling changes merely for the sake of change, fans of the update.

Overall, the Speed Triple still like it should: two lights up single-arm out back, and a whole lot of in the middle. No one can argue against weight, and more power the new Triple performs like it

The Speed Triple rules again. Attempted usurpers of its namely the Ducati Streetfighter and redesigned MV Agusta Brutale and Tuono, will now need new of … to unseat the mighty The only question remains: the Street Triple coming due for its own could the throne be in peril more?

We’ll just to wait until 2013 to

see what others are saying this story.

Triumph Speed Triple 1050


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