Forget what you know about any previous Triumph Speed Triple. The 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is an all-new naked upright sportbike ready to do battle at the top of its class.Triumph proudly boasts that it’s the only brand with a purpose-built open-class streetfighter not based on a superbike. With that in mind, let’s see what this new streetfighting beast is.1. The all-new 1160cc triple puts out a claimed 176 horsepower. According to Triumph, that’s a staggering 29 horsepower boost over the previous versions. According to the dyno, the big difference between the old motor and the new one is from 6250 rpm up—in both torque and horsepower production. From there, the new Street Triple 1200 has significant horsepower gains until it signs off at 11,150 rpm—650 rpm higher than before.
2. Triumph got there by going to a dramatically oversquare configuration—the stroke is shortened over 11mm while the displacement increased 110cc. You have to wait until the motor is spinning 10,750 rpm to hit the horsepower peak, with the torque maxing out at a lofty 9000 rpm when it produces 92 ft-lbs of muscle.3. In addition to putting out more power, the new motor also spins up more quickly.Triumph claims the 1200 has 12 percent less inertia than the 1050. Also, the DOHC motor breaths more freely at both the intake and exhaust. This makes it much easier to spin the rev count up to five figures and get all the power you paid for. Twin-tip spark plugs and a new ignition system add to the motor’s efficiency.4. Part of the powertrain inertia reduction comes from a lighter clutch assembly. It’s an assist-or-slipper design with fewer, grippier clutch plates. The 6-speed transmission is also a new design, with a focus on compactness and slicker shifting. There’s a quickshifter, of course, and it monitors how fast you’re going for smoother shifts.5. The chassis is also new, with a 17 percent weight loss in the cast aluminum frame. In total, the 2021 Triumph Street Triple 1200 RS is 22 pounds lighter than last year’s 1050. Triumph is finally starting to quote curb weights on its motorcycles and tells us the 1200 tips the scales at 437 pounds with the 4.1-gallon tank filled with high test.6. The loss of 22 pounds and the gain of 29 horsepower results in a Speed Triple with nearly double the power-to-weight ratio of the Speed Triple that debuted in 1994. The power-to-weight ratio is up 25-percent compared to last year.7. With less weight aiding in agility, the 1200 has more stable geometry. The rake is stretched out one full degree from last year, and the trail increased by a half-inch. Keep in mind that the rake is still an aggressive 23.9 degrees.8. The fully adjustable high-end, track-ready Öhlins NIX30 fork and TTX36 shock are carried over from the previous RS. However, rear-wheel travel is reduced by a half-inch, and the suspension settings are completely different due to the 1200’s lighter weight and additional power.9. The 2021 Speed Triple 1200 RS gets a handlebar that is a half-inch wider. The footpegs have been moved inward to give the RS more cornering clearance while retaining legroom. The seat height is 0.3 inches higher than before.10. Metzeler Racetec RR tires get the nod. These tires are optimized for street performance. For the track, Triumph recommends Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC2 rubber. The tires are mounted on new cast aluminum V-spoke wheels.11. Brembo braking systems do the slowing at both ends. The front gets monobloc Stylema calipers, along with a radially mounted master cylinder. The brake lever can be adjusted for position and actuation ratio. The new rear disc has a 35mm smaller diameter, and is worked on by a two-piston Brembo caliper.12. ABS is provided by a Continental MIB-EVO ABS unit working with a six-axis IMU. There are two levels of ABS intervention—Road and Track—that are adjustable independent of the ride modes. According to Triumph, the ABS is “virtually imperceptible during fast track riding” in the Track mode.13. Four levels of traction control are available, and each takes advantage of IMU information. The four levels—Track, Sport, Road, and Rain—are individually selectable, as well as being tied into the overall riding modes. Wheelie control is integrated into traction control and not independently adjustable.14. There are four preset riding modes, all fine-tunable, along with a rider-configured mode. The riding modes are Track, Sport, Road, and Rain. In addition to adjusting the ABS, traction control, and wheelie control, the riding modes tailor the throttle response. Each parameter within the four modes can be changed on-the-fly. The Rider mode gives the pilot a blank canvas to tailor a mode from scratch. Full power is available in all modes, except Rain. Rain knocks the peak power down to 98 horsepower.15. A new five-inch TFT screen is employed to make it easier for the rider to work the adjustments. The interface software is new, as is the backlit switchgear to control it. There are two display themes, and modifications are available within the themes. Triumph’s proprietary My Triumph app allows your smartphone to communicate with the 2021 Triumph Street Triple 1200 RS. Music, telephone, and GoPro operation are included in the package, as well as turn-by-turn navigation.16. Keyless ignition and cruise control are two convenience-oriented standard features.17. The bodywork is new, and there are two color packages to choose from. You get to choose between Sapphire Black with red and silver graphics, and Matt Silver Ice with black, silver, and yellow graphics. Lighting is all LED.18. A wide range of factory accessories will be available. They range from luggage to machined brake reservoirs.19. The 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is the only flavor of Speed Triple this year. The MSRP is $18,300—an increase of $1800 over last year’s RS. There is no base model, as in past years. You’ll be able to see the new 1200 RS in person at your local Triumph dealer in late March.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!