After a bit of teasing and a bit of leaking, Triumph have finally let us know exactly what the new Speed Triple 1200 RR is all about. Much to the disappointment of many, it’s not a Superbike. I know we’re all desperate for Triumph to build a big-bore Daytona, but that’s not what this is. Think of a premium spec super-naked in café racer clothing, and you won’t be far off.
When I say premium spec, I’m talking about Öhlins smart EC2.0 suspension, carbon fibre bodywork and a plethora of electronic rider aids. There’s no denying the fact that this is a bling Speed Triple. But it still is a Speed Triple; the RR engine makes the same 177bhp (@10,750rpm) and the same 125Nm (@9,000rpm) as the RS and has the same cast ally frame.
So what’s so special about it? Well Triumph are calling this ‘The most focused and exhilarating Speed Triple ever’. ‘A new statement in beauty, sophistication and attitude’ they say. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? If you think café racer style bodywork looks great, and you’re into old-fashioned-looking round headlights, then you’ll love the Speed Triple 1200 RR. I’m not sure if I’m keen, if the truth’s known, but who cares what I think?
Tech-wise, the RR comes with all the stuff the RS comes with, plus a few saucy extras. So that’s five riding modes (Rain, Road, Sport, Track and Rider-configurable), up-and-down shifter, ABS, TC, LED lights, keyless ignition, cruise control and electronic suspension. And the same dash as the RS allows you to control your phone calls, satnav and GoPro, should you wish to.
Whilst the keyless ignition can go and take a running jump, the electronic suspension is a pretty good system. It’s Öhlins EC2.0, which is the trickest stuff on the market, and dead easy to use. We’ve obviously not used it on a Speed Triple 1200 RR, but it’s the same kit on top spec Fireblades, R1Ms, Panigales etc. and it works.
To give the RR a more ‘focused and exhilarating’ (Triumph’s words, not mine) feel, they’ve faffed with the riding position a bit. It’s got new clip-on handlebars which are 135mm lower and 50mm further forward, and a new footpeg position. Apparently it’ll deliver ‘maximum comfort and control’. I’m not convinced the new long-and-low riding position will deliver maximum comfort, but we’ll see.
When Triumph released the all-new Speed Triple 1200 RS at the beginning of 2021 it was pretty exciting. I was excited because they told us that they’ve built the best Speed Triple they could, without worrying about conforming to tradition; that’s why they binned the under-seat cans, for example. This thing though, with its café racer cockpit fairing and it’s retro round headlight is quite clearly an attempt to tug on the heartstrings of traditionalists.
But let’s be fair, that’s what Triumph are good at. They’ve got a pretty good hold on the modern classic market (and it’s a big market), so why not make a modern classic version of their flagship road bike? They’re bound to sell a few.
A Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR will be £17,950 when they’re available in January 2021. That’s nearly £3k more than the RS, but don’t forget you get electronic suspension on the RR; that’ll account for the majority of that £3k. The RR will certainly be a good bike; you’d struggle to make a bad bike with the RS as a starting point. But whether it will be worth the thick end of £18-grand… I’m not so sure. I think, if pushed, I’d sooner have the RS.