THE Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR is a modern take on the café racer, with real-world sports bike dynamics optimised for road use, with more than enough ability to hustle on a race track.
While the bike is not a ground-up redesign (its underpinnings are roughly the same as the latest generation Speed Triple 1200 RS) although there is much more at work here than simply slapping a bikini fairing on the much-loved naked.
Stuart Wood Interview | How the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR was created
For starters, the riding position of the bike is completely bespoke, with a more focused and sporty rider triangle aimed at improving the road and track ability of the machine. The lower, narrower bars give the bike a nose-down attitude, while the new rearsets are higher, further back, and wider than before. The handlebar position is aimed at weighting the front more and allowing the rider to get into an optimum sports riding position. Thanks to the wider footpeg location, the rider can now weight the pegs more effectively, boosting on track cornering performance.
The really big news with the new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR though is in the stuff that is harder to spot. The forks are adorned with the name of the best motorcycle suspension manufacturer in the business, and Öhlins brought its best kit to the table in the form of the Smart EC 2.0 semi-active system.
It’s undoubtedly the best kit on the market for performance motorcycles and works hand in hand with the bike’s ECU and IMU to help optimise the set-up of the bike all the way through a corner. For those not wanting all of that electronic assistance, the system can be set to a manual mode. Here the semi-active element is removed, and the hardware responds to the road in exactly the same way as a conventional manually adjusted suspension system would. In this setting, the system can still be adjusted via the bike’s stunning looking TFT dash and it’s probably going to be the setting of choice for hardcore track-focused riding.
Finally, we can’t talk about the Speed Triple 1200 RR without talking about the styling. The global motorcycle riding public have been crying out for big-bore Triumph-powered sports bike – and now we have one, nearly. Triumph has been tight-lipped about calling the RR a sports bike, preferring instead to refer to it as a modern-day café racer. It does look every inch the café racer and in truth, the images don’t do the thing justice. Could it have been a sports bike complete with a full fairing in another dimension? You bet. And I’m pretty sure at one point or another the team at Triumph were mulling over two versions of the bike, one fully faired and one café racer version.
For a more full and thorough run down of the new model including a full spec sheet for the new bike, head to: www.visordown.com.