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Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Unleashes More (and less) Triple Goodness

Since 1994 Triumph Motorcycles have led the pack with the Speed Triple line, and now for 2021 the King of the Streetfighters is back and bringing more to the table than ever before as the Speed Triple 1200 RS.

Making its global debut today, the Speed Triple 1200 RS has been a ground-up redesign of Triumph's hero bike for the street, with a larger capacity engine and completely new chassis just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the updates for 2021.

Visually, Triumph has kept the resemblance to the outgoing 1050 model strong however there is one big change that will undoubtedly cause controversy among Speed Triple fans and that is the decision to walk away from the under-seat twin exhausts. Instead, the 1200 RS now breathes through a conventional pipe which has been specifically tuned to offer the most performance possible. As a result, at the time of launch Triumph is not offering an accessory pipe to replace the standard exhaust as they believe the stock exhaust is as good as it gets.

Speaking of power, the new 1160cc triple-cylinder engine pumps out a full 30PS more than previously, now up to a claimed 180PS (132.4kW) backed by 125Nm of torque. Interestingly, despite the jump in cubic capacity, peak torque is only 8Nm higher than the outgoing 1050cc model.

The 1050cc triple has been part of the Speed Triple lineup since 2005, so it comes as no surprise that Triumph felt its time had come.

Part of the recipe for more performance for the Speed Triple came in the form of weight savings with the new 1200 RS weighing in at 198kg wet. That's a full 10kg lighter than the Speed Triple 1050 with 7kg of that weight saving being made in the revised engine. When Triumph says they have done a ground-up redesign, they really mean it!

Peak power is achieved at 10,750rpm, with the new 1200 triple making significant power gains over the 1050 from 6500rpm all the way up to the 11,150rpm redline. Oh, and remember that Speed Triple from 1994? That bike had roughly half the power of the 2021 model...

The chassis has also had a complete refresh with the cast alloy frame now 17% lighter than the old unit, but a key few traits remain the same. Suspension in both the front and rear is supplied by the wizards at Öhlins, with a 43mm NIX30 USD fork and a TTX36 twin tube monoshock offering more than just the Swedish suspension firm's bling. Preload, compression and rebound dampening are all fully adjustable, while both ends offer 120mm of suspension travel.

Braking, naturally, comes in the form of a pair of Brembo's top-shelf Stylema four-piston calipers on large 320mm discs up front, while in the rear is a twin-piston Brembo caliper.

The result, according to Triumph, has been to make the Speed Triple 1200 RS feel as nimble as the Street Triple 765 RS, yet with the obvious benefits of a big bore engine to drive it forward.

Interestingly, Triumph says unlike the Street Triple family, the Speed Triple will now only be available in full RS trim. That means there will be no "lesser" variants of Triumph's halo bike going forward.

As with any halo bike, Triumph has thrown everything in terms of technology at the Speed Triple 1200 RS.

Included in the technology package are all-new 5” TFT instruments, Triumph's latest Shift Assist up-and-down quickshifter, Optimised Cornering ABS, switchable Optimised Cornering Traction Control (with IMU), 5 riding modes – including Track mode, new distinctive full LED lighting, full keyless system and the My Triumph Connectivity System fitted as standard.

The TFT is the latest in a long line of Triumph pushing the boundaries with the technology, with the new unit offering control of the multiple rider modes, phone functions and even navigation on top of the usual basic functions. As has been the case for the previous generation, the rider can customise the display to show what they want at any given time.

Currently, we don't have a firm date on when the new Speed Triple 1200 RS will land on Kiwi shores or what the price point will likely be for our market, but globally the bike starts hitting the wild from late February 2021.

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