2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS Revealed

Speed Triple RS - RHS Crystal White

After several teasers involving racing gods and terrible flat-track riders, Carl Fogarty and Gary Johnson, Triumph has finally officially unveiled a heavily revised Speed Triple. The iconic naked thumper comes in S and RS flavours for 2018 and feature a number of significant updates including more power and an improved electronics suite.        

As with most of Triumph’s range this season, the Speed Triple is evolution over revolution. The 1050cc triple engine for both models has been treated to (over) 105 new components and now makes a claimed 148bhp (up by 7%), with Triumph reckoning she now spins faster and revs harder to a redline that’s been extended by 1,000rpm – sounds very similar to the new Tiger’s workings. Lighter crank gear, new pistons that slide by Nikasil-plated liners, and a reworked cylinder head are partly responsible for the additional power, and those sexy Arrow cans are standard on the RS. There’s also mention of an improved gearbox and slipper clutch, whatever that means.

Hinckley’s engineers have also worked on something that’s so often overlooked, which is rerouting the oil system. It now runs the oil internally through the cylinder head and does away with messy external pipes.

0O6A8407_GRD_RT

The Street Triple’s 5-inch TFT dash and 5-axis joystick/snazzy switchgear now adorns the S and RS, complemented by Triumph’s latest ride-by-wire trickery and features such as cruise control and a USB charging point. ‘Optimised’ cornering ABS and multi-level TC is controlled by a Continental IMU, and the RS comes with keyless ignition as standard.

Finer details are scant regarding the chassis. The 2018 Speed Triple retains the twin-spar aluminium frame and single-sided swinger’ of the previous model – optimised for stiffness and rigidity – but gains new 5-spoke rims that look fiiiiiiya. The Speed Triple S comes with Showa suspension at either end, while the RS is fitted with Öhlins NIX30 forks and a TTX36 shock. The RS also weighs 3kg less than the S.

The Speed Triple has always been one step behind its true supernaked adversaries, lacking outright performance but offering big, bullish behaviour and a triple treat to offset its sporting deficiencies. I rode the last incarnation at the launch at Calafat, which was a big improvement in almost every area (except wheelies, which was a bit guff), so it’ll be interesting to sample Hinckley’s latest workings.

Assuming the SRAD and Ninja actually make it to southern Spain without spontaneously combusting, we’ll be riding the new Speed Triple RS at the launch in Almeria in a few weeks.

 

  14 comments for “2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS Revealed

  1. PatrickD
    February 5, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I can sort of work out why they have designed in a short seat unit. but given the legal requirement of a rear mudguard hanging beyond the rear wheel, it’s just an eyesore.
    The designers need a good kicking. Why not design these things with the requirements in mind, rather than them looking like such an afterthought? As if they are saying – ‘well, I designed a great looking seat unit, but then these regulations came along and ruined it’.
    This is a road bike above all else, so they can’t say that these things are optional. It would make them think a bit more and might even give us a pillion seat that’s useful.

    • Kirk Hinrich
      February 5, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      If you want a functional pillion seat, don’t buy a roadster/supersport.

    • FiX
      February 6, 2018 at 2:49 am

      I still don’t get why everyone complains about the fender. It’s an after thought because everyone and their mother gets rid of it the week the get the bike. Why spend money trying to develop some solution when it’s going to get replaced anyways.

      This reminds me of what Suzuki did with the exhaust on the 1000. More companies should do that too. Just cram it in one ugly can that’s easy to replace and upgrade.

      If you want a useful pillion seat go buy a cruiser and sport tourer. Most people remove the passenger pegs and slap on a seat cowl anyways.

  2. Victor Ekroth
    February 5, 2018 at 11:56 am

    What´s the quickshifter situation? I´ve not found anything mentioning a quickshifter. I´m hoping it has a Bi-directional unit but considering they have not said anything it would not suprise me if they just offer an optional single-way quickshifter.

    • Tim S
      February 5, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      it’s still a one-way QSS. They are really falling behind on the electronics side vs the rivals here. At least this has cornering ABS in the RS model. Looks lovely but really I will be looking at the 790 Duke or a second hand Superduke rather than this for my naked fun.

    • Juz
      February 8, 2018 at 12:58 am

      The QS from all accounts is both ways for the RS

  3. Chris Pope
    February 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    I was seriously considering a triumph, just need to know the price!

    • Alastair Fagan
      February 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      All we’ve got is “TBA” ! Guessing it’ll be announced at the launch in a few weeks

      • Victor Ekroth
        February 6, 2018 at 8:17 pm

        Triumphs website says that prices will be revealed on the 26:th of February.

  4. Brent
    February 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Triumph need to get their crap together and include a full faring on these bikes. Ducati, Aprillia, MV Augusta and a raft of Japanese manufacturers all fit proper fairings to their large CC sports bikes. The riding experience on the Speed Triple is massively compromised by the full on wind force to the rider and at high speeds 200kmh+ stability is compromised by the air flow interacting with the rider’s bulk. I own two older style T595 955cc Daytonas and a 1050 Tiger. I’ve riden the Speed Triple and would buy one tomorrow if Triumph got their crap together. These are expensive and state of the art machines but scrimping on the fairing addition is both cheap and potentially dangerous. Imagine if some manufacturer fronted up at the IOMTT with a 300kmh bike with a stupid little bit of plastic like this new Triumph? Probably wouldn’t pass muster. Sort it out Triumph it’s a joke that needs to stop.

    • Adam
      February 6, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Not everyone needs to keep the wind out of their vagina

  5. Aidan
    February 6, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Why do my pants feel so tight all of a sudden…

  6. Phil
    February 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    A fantastic new model means fantastic deals to be had on the current version. I’ve just picked up a brand new Speedy R for a substantial amount less than the dealer list price. There’s still a few knocking about. Ok I could have waited and gone for the latest model but hey, if the rumours of a 13.5k list price for the new RS are about right I’ve saved a packet and sacrificed little. Truth is in reality the changes are subtle and on the road most of us would never notice. I can live without the TFT, had one on my 1200 Monster and to be honest couldn’t see it half the time due to sunlight glare plus a mysterious crack appeared on it after a ride out. I had no idea why! Great to look at but I spend most of my time looking at where I’m going and who hasn’t seen me coming to care less.

    So let’s talk numberplate hangers!! It seems to be the default comment now from people who can’t think of anything better to say about a bike. I’m a designer so would like to think my visual awareness is more acute than most and have to say the speed triple’s hanger looks OK, it looks more balanced with it. The problem is, what’s the alternative. I’ve seen tail tidies fitted to these right slap bang between the two pipes and it looks all wrong, too crowded. If you opt for a low boy pipe then they look OK.

    I still think the Speedy is one of the nicest looking street naked’s on the market, it has plenty enough power for most of us, the handling is superb, it’s balanced, easy to ride, butter smooth yet still raucous and exciting. It sits perfectly between an aggressive L twin and a linear inline 4. Best of both worlds IMO.

    Regards a fairing, What?? Its a sport naked, the whole point is there is no fairing. If you want a fairing there’s lots of other options out there. It’s all about usable torque not top speed for the road at least but then I wouldn’t but this if I wanted a track day bike.

    I considered a few other sport naked’s, road tested and watched various reviews before hand.

    Ducati 1200R – Stonking bike but owned a 1200s so wanted a change.

    BWW s1000R – Looks ugly. Just didn’t make me feel like I ‘needed’ it. Quick though, very quick.

    MT10 – Great bike but again, no desire for it, looks like bumble bee from Transformers but with both eyes open unlike the BMW that looks like something went wrong half way through transforming.

    The only other bike that did pull at my heart strings after riding it was the Aprillia, Looks amazing, goes like stink.

    My decision in the end was based on a mix of both head and heart.

    Roll on spring.

  7. Phil
    February 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    A fantastic new model means fantastic deals to be had on the current version. I’ve just picked up a brand new Speedy R for a substantial amount less than the dealer list price. There’s still a few knocking about. Ok I could have waited and gone for the latest model but hey, if the rumours of a 13.5k list price for the new RS are about right I’ve saved a packet and sacrificed little. Truth is in reality the changes are subtle and on the road most of us would never notice. I can live without the TFT, had one on my 1200 Monster and to be honest couldn’t see it half the time due to sunlight glare plus a mysterious crack appeared on it after a ride out. I had no idea why! Great to look at but I spend most of my time looking at where I’m going and who hasn’t seen me coming to care less.

    So let’s talk numberplate hangers!! It seems to be the default comment now from people who can’t think of anything better to say about a bike. I’m a designer so would like to think my visual awareness is more acute than most and have to say the speed triple’s hanger looks OK, it looks more balanced with it. The problem is, what’s the alternative. I’ve seen tail tidies fitted to these right slap bang between the two pipes and it looks all wrong, too crowded. If you opt for a low boy pipe then they look OK.

    I still think the Speedy is one of the nicest looking street naked’s on the market, it has plenty enough power for most of us, the handling is superb, it’s balanced, easy to ride, butter smooth yet still raucous and exciting. It sits perfectly between an aggressive L twin and a linear inline 4. Best of both worlds IMO.

    Regards a fairing, What?? Its a sport naked, the whole point is there is no fairing. If you want a fairing there’s lots of other options out there. It’s all about usable torque not top speed for the road at least but then I wouldn’t but this if I wanted a track day bike.

    I considered a few other sport naked’s, road tested and watched various reviews before hand.

    Ducati 1200R – Stonking bike but owned a 1200s so wanted a change.

    BMW s1000R – Looks ugly. Just didn’t make me feel like I ‘needed’ it. Quick though, very quick.

    MT10 – Great bike but again, no desire for it, looks like bumble bee from Transformers but with both eyes open unlike the BMW that looks like something went wrong half way through transforming.

    The only other bike that did pull at my heart strings after riding it was the Aprillia, Looks amazing, goes like stink.

    My decision in the end was based on a mix of both head and heart.

    Roll on spring.

Leave a Reply to PatrickD Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *