Triumph has a long and distinguished history with motorcycle racing, and this experience is passed on to their production machines. A prime example of this is the glorious Speed Triple 1200 RR.
When I first got into motorcycles, Japanese bikes dominated the racing scene, and Triumph was not competing. The British brand had had its glory days in the previous decades, but now they are back, and their heritage is coming through into their road bikes. One of these is the incredible Speed Triple 1200 RR that produces 177 BHP.
Just looking at the Speed Triple 1200 RR, you know it is meant for track riding. The streamlined shape and Cafe Racer windshield give you a buzz, and the excitement builds when you turn her on. A throbbing comes from the exhaust, but it is not raw; it is smooth until you push the revs higher and increase your speed.
The Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR always wants to be unleashed and feels like a racehorse waiting to be galloped. At slow speeds, your body position is cramped and awkward, and the bike, although smooth enough, is itching to be wound up. When you get onto faster roads and open her up, your riding position naturally changes, and it’s much more comfortable and easier to ride.
The handling is spot on; you think a move, and it happens; it is so precise. Combine this with the outstanding engine performance you can see why this will be a fantastic track machine. Get into the third, wind the throttle and go, the revs climb, but you don’t get close to redlining. Even at a closed airfield, I ran out of tarmac at high speed and only at about 7500 rpm. Insane.
As expected on all new bikes, technology is packed on, and you interact with this via the lovely full-colour 12.5 cm TFT instruments, which have the My Triumph connectivity system. You control these using the backlit switch cubes, ideally displayed on the TFT screen, guaranteeing minimal reflections for excellent image clarity. IOS, and Android compatible, enabling music operation, phone calls, sat-Nav and even control of your GoPro.
Triumph wants you to use the bike as it is designed, so they have given you plenty of options to turn safety features off or customize the level of safety intervention you want. When you ride with safety aids, the enjoyment doesn’t diminish; it means you can focus on the riding. The Speed Triple 1200 RR has Five riding modes Road, Rain, Sport, Track and Rider-configurable, Full-LED lighting, including a recognizable single round headlight with DRL, Optimized cornering ABS and switchable optimized cornering traction control (with IMU), Triumph Shift Assist up and down quick-shifter and Advanced front wheel lift control.
Non-safety technology includes a complete keyless system, illuminated switch cubes and fully adjustable cruise control.
Let’s talk about the Speed Triple RR’s 1160cc triple engine, the same high-performing, lightweight, efficient engine that powers the RS model. Triumph has engineered the triple for optimized power, torque and response; the powertrain delivers an impressive 180PS peak power at 10,750rpm and 125Nm peak torque at 9,000 rpm. The torque curve is smooth and robust from low down, right through the mid-range up to peak revs for incredible punch and acceleration. The low-inertia engine has outstanding responsiveness with a beautifully refined and precise feel.
The Speed Triple 1200 RR has a slipper clutch allowing more power transfer from the engine to the gearbox. To maintain maximum rear wheel traction when downshifting, the slipper controls the amount of clutch slip.
A brushed stainless-steel single silencer with a black end cap is side-mounted and gives the Speed Triple 1200 RR its visceral and adrenaline-producing sound.
The Speed Triple 1200 RR shows its track-focused design with the equipment quality bolted onto the machine. Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 electronically adjustable, semi-active front and rear suspension features on the bike. The most advanced system available from Öhlins. Using the TFT, you can choose your comfort level for regular riding and the optimum setup for track use.
With all the power available from the Speed Triple 1200 RR, you want to know it can stop on a dime so that you will love the performance from the lightweight track-spec twin Brembo Stylema® monobloc front calipers and lightweight 320mm floating front discs. Equally, the rear brakes have superb stopping power provided by a Brembo twin-piston caliper and 220mm single disc. The Brembo front brake lever has an adjustable multi-click system for span and ratio.
Two gorgeous paint schemes are available for the Speed Triple 1200 RR, Red Hopper and Storm Grey, a rich and lustrous colour combination, or the simplistic beauty of Crystal White and Storm Grey option with premium gold detailing. The options have a colour-coded belly pan and colour-coded seat cowl, supplied alongside the pillion seat and easily interchangeable.
There are other ideal track bikes on the market such as the the MV Agusta Superveloce 800, Aprilia RS660 , and the Yamaha R7. So selection does come down to personal choice and that can be down to brand loyalty which is high amongst bikers.
Triumph has 30 genuine accessories to customize your RR and has all been developed alongside the Speed Triple 1200 for perfect integration. You can choose scrolling indicators, machined front and rear brake reservoirs, and heated grips. You can purchase specific Speed Triple 1200 RR luggage, with a water-resistant tail pack and tank bag, with quick-release mounting – all of which are available on the online configurator. Triumph’s two-year unlimited mileage warranty applies to all add-on parts.
You will be blown away by the performance and handling of the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR. The bike gets lots of attention, so if you buy one, be prepared to talk to many admirers. Bikers like to do that, and part of the enjoyment of owning such a lovely machine. I would love to have one for the weekends and track days.
Prices start from $28,800.00
The Speed Triple 1200 RR has high service intervals of 10,000 16,000 kilometres or 12 months, showcasing Triumph’s excellent standards of quality and reliability. You also get Triumph’s two-year unlimited mileage warranty, which you can extend by one or two years for additional peace of mind