ROAD focused and track inspired, the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS packs the ultimate punch. Rebuilt from the ground up to deliver the fastest, lightest, and most technologically advanced Speed Triple to date, it’s a sports naked game changer.
Modern technology includes full LED lighting with self-cancelling indicators, a daytime running light, ride-by-wire throttle with switchable riding modes, cruise control, a keyless fob, electronic steering lock, and multi-function TFT display.
The most powerful Speed Triple RS ever, the 1200 features an 1160cc liquid cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder with peak power reaching an exhilarating 132kW of power and 125Nm of torque.
Power comes on strong from around 7000rpm and it takes some effort to keep the front wheel on the ground. Gear changes are a breeze with the 6-speed gearbox, with an up and down quick-shift also fitted.
You only need the clutch when stopped, which means the noise the quick-shifter makes at full throttle via the clutch-less up shifts is the stuff dreams are made of. We did have trouble finding neutral on most occasions though, and there’s a real trick to it.
Phenomenal stopping power comes from the race spec Brembo brakes. Up front twin 320mm disc and twin Brembo Stylema monobloc callipers will bring you to a halt, while the rear gets a single 220mm disc and Brembo twin piston calliper.
Both feature OC-ABS, Triumph’s optimised cornering ABS, which uses an inertial measurement unit to track roll, pitch and yaw acceleration rates. The system then calculates lean angle and precisely controls the ABS and traction control.
Race worthy suspension comes standard too, with Ohlins 43mm NIX30 upside down forks with 120mm travel. The rear has an Ohlins TTX36 twin tube mono-shock also with 120mm of travel.
Both front and rear are fully adjustable with preload, rebound and compression damping. Up front, a full colour 5.0-inch TFT screen is easy to read, and displays a raft of information at a glance, including fuel usage, trip distance and lap timing.
Smart connectivity gives you the ability to use Google turn-by-turn navigation, GoPro control, phone and music controls What the screen displays is also customisable, with two different themes and many display options.
Changing between the five available riding modes (Rain, Road, Sport, Track and Rider) is quick and easy. We hit up some of the best riding roads Sydney has to offer to test them all out, and Speed Triple RS left us with a grin from ear to ear.
Pheromonal power is on tap at any speed, in any gear. You simply twist the throttle and your adrenaline will struggle to keep up with the explosive speed produced by the bike. The engine revs quick and sounds awesome.
You do however need to treat it with respect because this motorcycle is very fast and you will quickly find yourself in trouble if not careful. That said, riding at normal road speeds has not been compromised for the sake of outright performance.
Despite all its power, it will still happily cruise at 60km/h smoothly. The brakes are easy to apply too, and braking performance is excellent. The engine braking is very strong as well, and we found ourselves barely using the brakes from corner to corner on twisty roads.
We also like the addition of the cool sounding auto-blip when down shifting. The handling is precise and agile, making transitions from corner to corner at speed a breeze, especially when combined with the excellent grip provided by the Metzeler Racetec RR K3 tyres.
The OC-ABS is a great addition for riders who find themselves on this type of performance bike for the first time, as it controls throttle response, which in turn enhances rider safety. Experienced riders can simply switch to Track to unleash the full unrestricted monster.
Overall, the ride was firm but still rode the bumps without being harsh, and having dropped 10kg over the previous generation to now tip the scales at 198kg, the bike feels more responsive and much lighter than it is.
The seating position has you leaning forward but it’s not super aggressive and is comfortable, even after extended periods. The actual seat itself is good and we had no complaints there either. Seat height at 830mm might be an issue for shorter riders.
This motorcycle certainly turns heads in Matt Silver with Lime accents and looks smart with its aggressive ergonomics and single-side swing arm. We especially liked the tubular frame design and carbon front fender, and new LED headlights with integrated DRLs.
The combination makes for a real premium naked sports bike vibe. The handlebar mounted buttons feel good, and the electronic push button steering lock is cool. The addition of cruise control on what’s basically a race bike also adds to the versatility of the Speed Triple.
We think the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is the perfect bike. You can ride with your buddies one day and rip it around a race track the next, and the real potential of this motorcycle is difficult to reach on any public roads.
The fuel tank capacity is a decent 15.5-litres and the fuel economy was very good considering the power of this beast. We averaged 5.6-litres/100km on country roads with some full throttle runs.
The rear cowling is removeable too, revealing a pillion seat and pillion foot pegs come standard. Triumph has a comprehensive range of genuine accessories, including a frame protection kit, fork protectors and tank pad.
Service intervals are at a 16,000km or every 12 months and it comes with a full 2-year warranty. Priced from $27,900 ride away, it’s available in two colour schemes, Sapphire Black, and Matt Silver Ice (as tested).
All prices quoted are in Australian dollars unless stated otherwise. This review was written by Matthew Probert and first published on Exhaust Notes Australia.
Our test bike was supplied by Triumph Motorcycles Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Speed Triple 1200 RS, contact your local Triumph Motorcycles dealer.