The Triumph Speed Triple has a 25-year history in the United States and has seen a couple boosts in displacement since then to the 1,050cc in-line three-cylinder standard/naked bike we see today. Within this quarter century it has claimed not one, but two awards in Cycle World’s annual Ten Best for its rational, everyday riding personality with sportbike shredability. If you are looking for a bike with an upright riding position, gobs of torque across the rev range, and a stripped-down appearance, then keep your eyes on the Speed Triple. Regardless of whether you buy new or used you will surely have a bike that will bring years of exhilarating riding whether that be with weekly commuting or a multitude of daylong rides or trackdays.
In 2018, we traveled to Spain to ride the Speed Triple RS (the last major update), finding that, “The naked-bike sector—and the Speed Triple, in particular—offers a look that you either love or hate. The Speed’s styling is true to Triumph’s original design, while being different than the other bikes in the class. To me, bikes like Ducati’s Monster 1200 R or KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R are a little more muscular, sporty, and edgy. The Speed Triple is a little tamer in looks, and arguably more genteel. It lives up to those looks by being comfortable and efficient.… Overall, this machine is a refined, stately, and brawny motorcycle that lives up to the hallowed Speed Triple name. Problem is, the bar has moved a lot since 2005.”
Which brings us to the competition, in addition to the two bikes listed above, the Speed Triple also sees competition with the Honda CB1100R, Suzuki GSX-S1000, Kawasaki Z900, Aprilia Tuono, and Yamaha MT-10.
No major updates for 2020. While the Street Triple S is a sporty ride, the RS is fitted with premium features like carbon fiber bodywork, Öhlins suspension, cornering ABS and traction control, IMU, keyless ignition, and the additional “Track” riding mode (only Road, Rain, Sport, and Rider modes are seen on the S). The S model is available at a $14,350 starting MSRP and comes in Jet Black or Crystal White. The RS’s MSRP is $16,500 in Matte Black with yellow accents or Crystal White with red details.