Triumph is regarded as the leader of the British motorbike industry all around the world and for good reason. The brand’s motorbikes have maintained their classic appeal & top-notch quality to this date that has allowed it to establish a strong fanbase in many regions. Speaking of Triumph’s fanbase, it would be injustice not to discuss my detailed encounter with the legendary Speed Triple 1200 RS that is every bit as fun on the road as it is on the track.
At first glance, the latest Speed Triple 1200 RS looks quite contemporary but at the same time, it manages to remain loyal to its predecessor that too had earmarked its territory in the motorbike industry during its entire reign. The front fascia is almost the same, but the main difference comes in the form of pronounced cuts & creases on the tank and the overall athletic styling that has given the 1200 RS a much-needed uplift. Everything looks perfect in its place thanks to the styling that perfectly complements the overall character and does not try hard at convincing you that it’s the latest iteration of the 1200 RS.
Great styling often comes at the expense of compromised ergonomics, but that is certainly not the case with Triumph’s Speed Triple 1200 RS. The controls are all well within the range and thus do not require any extra effort whether you’re on the road or the track. In fact, you can perfectly toggle around the driving modes & other settings on the go which for me is a deal-breaker. The display might not be the biggest or brightest when compared with the competitors, but it does a decent job at delivering the necessary metrics. Since this is a naked motorbike, therefore, the handlebars are slightly raised and wider, therefore, the turning circle and maneuvering capabilities are a bit compromised.
Riding style and ergonomics are quite closely linked, so let’s talk a bit about the riding style. The 1200 RS is primarily a track-focused machine but at the same, it isn’t a supersport motorbike, therefore, the riding posture is a hybrid in between that of a supersport motorbike and a traditional naked motorbike. The seat height is a bit high, which is great for a tall person like me but people with average height may struggle to get their feet on the asphalt. On the whole, the riding posture is perfect for someone looking for a naked motorbike that is fused with the attributes of a supersport bike.
Undoubtedly, the most prominent feature of the 1200 RS is its high-revving in-line 4-pot engine that delivers almost 180 hp, up by 30 hp from the outgoing generation. The chunky engine loves to rev at high ends and is quick to respond after 3000 RPM. The brilliant high-end pulling power makes it a great track machine, but it in no way means that you will be disappointed with its on-road capabilities. Despite being a Euro-5 compliant engine, its roar is a sheer joy to the ears and I, for one, don’t think that any rider would need to make a switch to an aftermarket exhaust.
The 6-speed gearbox accompanying the 1160cc engine is as smooth as it gets. The quickshifter works like a charm and lets you sweep past each gear effortlessly & swiftly. Apart from its rev-happy powerplant and the butter smooth gearbox, the Triumph 1200 RS has several other aids to offer that make it an excellent road & track machine. The cornering ABS takes micro-seconds to activate, and the riding modes aren’t just there as a formality, each one of them alters the driving dynamics according to your input which provides you with the confidence that the 1200cc monster of a bike can handle any situation, apart from, of course, off-roading tracks.
The riding comfort of naked motorbikes is always tuned to suit urban road conditions; however, bigger displacement naked bikes are somewhat an exception. It’s the same case for Speed 1200 RS, the riding comfort has been delicately calibrated to match the thrilling output of the engine and therefore you would feel some bumps when riding on rough patches. This tradeoff allows superb cornering ability that is also in part to lighter & improved chassis and better weight distribution. The Öhlins dampers are manually adjustable which is kind of a letdown since the rival Ducati has fully electronically adjustable dampers. Nevertheless, the dampers have enough adjustability to match the road conditions which came in handy during my hour-long ride on country roads.
Overall Triumph’s latest iteration of 1200 RS has got everything under its belt to provide you with the thrill you expect from a 1200cc naked behemoth. The impeccable build quality and that too at a reasonable price tag further make this motorbike an enticing option for riders who want the best of both worlds. Not to forget the fact that the bike is also aesthetically attractive which makes it quite a head-turner out on the city streets.
For more specific details from a previous post https://superbike-news.co.uk/all-new-triumph-speed-triple-1200-rs/
Also many thanks to:
Helmet worn in test kindly supplied by Bell Helmets UK
Jacket, Armoured Jeans, Gloves and Boots worn in test kindly supplied by rst-moto.com/
Bluetooth Alarmed Disc Lock used while storing bike kindly supplied by Xena Security
Motorcycle iPhone Mount with Vibration Damper Supplied by Quad Lock
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