British manufacturer Triumph has unveiled two new versions of one of its most popular and enduring models, the Speed Triple.
Originally launched in 1994 as something of a parts bin special based on Triumph’s old modular concept, the Speed Triple has evolved into one of the company’s flagship models. Two versions of the 2018 incarnation are available, the S and RS, each using the same 148bhp engine but with the RS featuring better suspension and a few extra gadgets.
The Hinckley company has coaxed 10bhp more out of the venerable 1050cc triple, which can trace its lineage back over 20 years, but with 105 new components in the 2018 edition, this latest unit is pretty much a new engine. Triumph is also making a big deal of the soulful sound of the new motor, no mean feat considering that the old one was always considered to be one of the best sounding bikes out there, and much of the work appears to have gone into creating a freer flowing exhaust to unleash some horses while complying with the latest emissions regulations. The RS version also gets a silencer from Italian aftermarket specialists Arrow, giving it a fruitier sound than the standard S version.
Triumph also says that the new motor is quicker revving, with 1000rpm more than the outgoing model, and has a slicker gear change and improved slip assist clutch.
Visually, there’s not a big change between the 2018 Speed Triple and the previous generation bike. The frame and swingarm remain the same the 10-spoke wheels are new, and shod with top notch Pirelli Supercorsa tyres. The suspension has been upgraded and the base S model comes with good quality, fully adjustable, Showa suspension front and rear, while the RS wears Öhlins NIX30 upside down forks upfront and a TTX36 twin tube shock at the rear, although unlike many rivals, there is still no electronic damping. Both bikes feature Brembo M4.34 radial monobloc caliper brakes.
There’s plenty of new tech on the 2018 models, most notably the 5” TFT dashboard that’s a common feature with other modern Triumphs. New switchcubes control the rider modes and traction control, while the RS version also has keyless ignition. Also unique to the RS is some more premium detailing, such as carbon fibre mudguard, passenger seat cowl and red trim.
No prices are available yet, but are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.