The new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR came out of the blue from the Hinckley factory. Just 6 months after releasing the naked Speed Triple 1200 RS, Triumph gave no indications that a cafe superbike was on the cards, let alone had been conceived alongside the RS.
The RS itself, Triumph’s new super-naked, came with a host of upgrades and add-ons from the outgoing Speed Triple 1050 that have also been featured on the new RR.
With 30 bhp more power from its new 1160 cc triple-engine, a new chassis, suspension package, colour TFT display, plenty of rider aids and 10 kg less than the outgoing RS, Triumph are throwing their lot in to compete with Aprilia, Ducati, MV and BMW.
The Speed Triple RR has taken all the basics of the naked bike version and turned it up to 11.
It’s single round headlight with ‘that’ throwback cockpit fairing, clip-on handlebars, more aggressively positioned footpegs, semi active Öhlins suspension, and a set of Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres creating what Triumph themselves call “the ultimate sport bike for the road”.
Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR Specifications
- Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
- Cubic Capacity: 1160
- Power: 177.6 bhp / 132.4 kW @ 10,750 rpm
- Torque: 125 Nm @ 9,000 rpm
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Front Suspension: Öhlins 43mm fully adjustable USD forks.
- Rear Suspension: Öhlins monoshock RSU with linkage.
- Front brake: Twin 320mm discs. Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers
- Rear brake: Single 220mm disc, Brembo twin piston caliper
- Seat Height: 830 mm / 32.7 inches
- Tank Capacity: 15.5 L / 4.09 US Gal
- Wet Weight: 199 kg / 439 lbs
- Top speed: 165 mph / 265 kph
- Full LED lighting system
- Switchable corning traction control systems
- Optimized cornering ABS
- Switchable front wheel lift control
- Five riding modes – road, rain, sport, track and rider configurable modes
- Full keyless system
- Turn by turn navigation
- GoPro control
- Lap timer
- Electronic throttle control
- Cruise control
Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR Review
The Speed Triple RR is the most premium bike Triumph has produced to date. With its full aluminum twin spar frame and single sided cast aluminum swingarm, high end electronic Öhlins semi active suspension, Brembo brakes front and rear and the attention to detail on the bodywork, Triumph really has thrown everything at the Speed Triple RR.
Due to some clever design work, the three-cylinder 1160 cc engine is not as bulky as previous generations. Creating a narrow stacked gearbox has allowed Triumph to squeeze the now slimmer and lighter engine into the RR’s aluminium twin spar frame giving the feel of a lower capacity supersport machine.
The engine itself puts out a huge 178 bhp and has a nicely stretched power band from 6,000 rpm carrying on all the way to 10,000 rpm for you to make your quick getaway from all the caravans holding up the B road traffic.
The Speed Triple RR’s controversial crafted cockpit fairing and single headlight transforms the look of the bike up and away from those of the twin-headlight naked RS. Its nod to the 1970s bin-lid cafe racers of old have received mixed reviews in equal measure with those who love its looks, to those who don’t.
The low screen and fairing won’t do too much in terms of wind protection on longer rides, but still offers less buffering than that of the naked Triumph Speed Triple RS.
The Speed Triple RR riding position, despite being more aggressive than the naked RS with the clip-on handlebars and higher placed foot pegs is not as bad as it looks. They don’t force you belly down onto the tank but sit you more like a mid-capacity sports-tourer, think CBR600F, so more chest leaning forward as opposed to head down.
The knee position doesn’t feel too cramped either but please remember I’m 170 cm (5 feet 7 inches for those in old money) so those taller may feel differently here.
The electronically adjustable, Öhlins semi active suspension provides an almost self-sufficient system that manages compression and rebound damping while riding.
This means the system is constantly calculating over every bump, turn and change of speed to make micro adjustments to optimise the ride for acceleration, cornering and braking. So a smoother ride for when things get a little rough and bumpy and more planted feeling when you decide to play a little harder on the twisties.
Pre-set suspension settings are built into the different rider modes which are accessed and manually adjusted through the dashboard. But if tweaking suspension settings isn’t for you, just set a mode and let the system do the work to give you the smoothest ride possible.
The premium carbon fiber detailing, general build quality and attention to detail are as high as the team at Triumph have ever pushed out.
As well as the excellent finish the RR also comes with lean-sensitive traction control, optimised cornering ABS, quick-shifter, colour TFT dash, cruise control, a lithium battery, full keyless system, back-lit switches and full LED lighting.
Have Triumph shot themselves in the foot with the RR? Not really. They’ve definitely pushed themselves out of their normal comfort zone but if you compare the RR to Triumph’s other big offering, the Thruxton RS, the RR is a completely different beast.
The extra cylinder gives the Speed Triple RR 73 more ponies to unleash, 13 Nm of extra torque and many, many more revs.
Alongside the power, a lightweight chassis, premium suspension and brakes and the up-to-date digital dash place the RR as a serious contender to the higher priced exotica hailing from Italy rather than the Thruxton 1200 which is more of an updated modern classic.
The Speed Triple RR and RS for that matter are highly unlikely to steal sales away from Triumph’s original Thruxton Cafe Racer.
Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR Price
The Speed Triple RR costs $20,950 which is $2,450 more than the naked Speed Triple RS.
In the UK the RR starts at £17,950 – again £2,450 more than the RS which is £15,500
Triumph really hasn’t held back or cut corners with the Speed Triple RR. A highly revised engine, cast aluminum frame, high spec suspension, Brembo twin piston caliper brakes, track spec Pirelli tires and electrics package that are usually reserved for the premium superbikes with all the track-derived technologies.
As a result Triumph have created a fantastic machine, at a fantastically high price.
If you compare the RR against the high-end super naked, it looks like a bargain, and it is, however it’s still not in the same league as a full-spec Ducati Streetfighter V4 S.
Comparing it to bikes a bit closer to the RR and things start to look a little different. MV Agusta’s Superveloce 800 is £600 more expensive and has less power. The RR is off to a good start.
However, now compare it to the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR (non-factory). The Tuono is similar in power to the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR but 10 kg heavier. So the RR will have it beat off the line but the Speed Triple is £2,450 more, that’s £245 per kg! An expensive diet plan.
Shoehorning its way in somewhere between a superbike and supernaked, you’d be hard pressed to think what the Speed Triple RR is. A super-retro? Or super cafe-racer?
However, Triumph’s new premium bike is very much relevant. It’s not just an updated cafe-racer with a half fairing, but a brand new machine with a purpose.
If you’re a track day fan the Speed Triple RR will give you plenty of fun on even the most demanding race circuits but an out-and-out track weapon it certainly isn’t nor is it a bumbling Sunday village distinguished gentleman’s machine.
Where it finds its home is on twisty mountain B roads on a warm summer day, smoothly stringing together apex after apex as you blast along with a massive grin inside your helmet.
And whatever side of the fence you sit on regarding its looks, there’s no denying that it’ll be a talking point for years to come.
The Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR is an absolutely wonderful machine, one which I’ve been lucky to throw my leg over recently.
I’m a huge fan of that headlight and fairing and even bigger of its exhilarating real world performance. But, and it’s an enormous but; it’s $21 grand for a bike that you wouldn’t want to use every day.
Make no mistake, you could use it every day but you wouldn’t want to through fear of marking or damaging such an exquisite machine. So a weekend play bike it is, but again, $21k for a plaything?
If you can afford to drop $21k on a weekend toy then go for it, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
For those of us that can’t, I’d personally love to see a more affordable Street Triple 765 RR around the $12k mark which could offer 95 percent of the thrills the Speed Triple 1200 RR offers but at a more affordable price.