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Triumph 1050 Speed Triple R | Bike Tests | Latest Tests | Top Sellers in Australia

The Speed Triple is a modern classic which, in comparison to the other nakeds on test, seems almost timeless in its styling. This is a clever move in a sector where many bikes polarise opinions with their looks, and date quickly as a consequence. I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t appreciate the classy finish and styling which draws heavily on the Speed Triple family lineage. If there is a bike that unites opinions, it seems to be the Triumph.

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This universal appeal extends to the ride experience, too. It would be easy to simply take the modest maximum numbers achieved on the dyno and consider the Triumph out-gunned, but take a careful look at the strong and near horizontal torque curve and you can see why the Speed Triple is the easiest bike to ride for the majority of riders. The fact is, while the high power ponies are bucking like broncos and giving cause to close the throttle, the Trumpy lets you keep it wide open without hesitation or deviation from your intended line. Further helping the rider stay in control is an excellent throttle connection – highly commendable in this age of tighter emission regulations.

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Chassis performance on the Speed Triple R is remarkable for a bike that has not simply inherited the steering characteristics of a donor superbike like some of its competitors. The integrity with which it holds an unfeasibly tight line is thanks to a combination of short, sporty geometry, even weight distribution, and a suspension package that is neither too firm for road compliance, nor too soft for maintaining wheel control and chassis balance.

Because of this last point, some riders will consider the Triumph tauter than necessary, but the sense and reasoning behind the base settings become obvious as soon as you put your head down and light the wick – dive under braking is minimal and each corner is finished off neatly, even under hard acceleration. If cruising is more your style, then the fully adjustable Öhlins fork and shock do allow for considerable softening off.

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As well as Swedish gold suspenders, the R model Speed Triple gets Brembo brakes up front. These proved mightily powerful and fade free, although their initial bite is sharper than is desirable at sedentary road speeds. The feel of the Nissin rear caliper was wooden in comparison.

Triumph’s ABS and TC systems are well sorted nowadays, and the Speed Triple R offers one of its most polished electronic packages. Its intervention is subtly metered, mostly to control wheelies, since the chassis and power delivery give such an abundance of front and rear grip.

With the 1050 R, Triumph has honoured the Speed Triple name in the best way possible – by creating a brilliant and timelessly classic streetfighter with genuine giant-killing potential.

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Second Ops

Craig Coxhell- It has a lot of character, and makes me want to head for the hills. The most placid of the seven bikes tested with a nice riding position, smooth power delivery and good throttle response. But I found it to be a tad harsh over bumps, with an old-school clunky gearbox.

Steve Martin –It relies on old-school technology meeting modern electronics and suspension in a refined package that actually gives you a unique retro streetfighter feel. Not the most powerful bike on test, but when you get rolling it can hold its own in good company. It’s got a great power spread that lets you get every cavalli onto the tarmac.

Paul McCann – The finish and styling of the 1050 Speed Triple R are big drawcards. The in-line three-cylinder donk was certainly unique and appealing. Every bit of power in this bike is useable thanks to its predictable and confidence-inspiring handling. Overall, the words classic, roadster, and tasteful all come to mind with the Triple R.