The 2018 Triumph Speed Triple – Review

Speed Triple 2018 Triumph

The motorcycle world currently is in a mad dash towards more horsepower.

Sounds great, right?

If engineered poorly it can lead to motorcycles that do not have a linear power delivery which can make riding them feel a bit underwhelming. This becomes more pronounced at lower and mid revs which is how you would ride it in the real world.

With past designs, the engineers at Triumph and it have made the Speed Triple a truly refreshing motorcycle that is more exciting in the real world than its more horsepower-oriented competitors. The 2018 Triumph Speed Triple carries on that tradition proudly.

Today I’ve giving you an in-depth look at all the improvements and a review to help decide if it is a better motorcycle compared to its predecessors and competitors.

The Engine

The engine does a get a major overhaul this time around. The 1050cc engine gets a lot of tweaking which makes it produce 10 more horsepower while the revs are now upped by a 1,000 which means that it now redlines at 11,000 RPM.

All this might not seem like much from a purely technical standpoint but it improves things vastly in the grand scheme of things. The one thing lacking in previous iterations of the Speed Triple was the top-end grunt. This has been addressed now and that finally makes it a fully-fledged motorcycle in the super-naked category.

There is a tonne of other changes as well. Changes to the cylinder liners and the crank gear have made the engine lighter and more efficient. The starter motor, alternator, and battery have all become smaller. The profile of the pistons have been modified as well and that is where the increase in power output comes from. It also comes with the added advantage of slightly increasing the torque as well.

The overall positioning of the engine components also lowers the center of gravity quite considerably making it a lot better at handling, more on that later. Triumph wasn’t lying when they said that the 2018 Speed Triple was the most complete Speed Triple so far and the engine definitely backs up that claim.

The Handling

2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS

2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS

The essence of a super-naked is that it handles really well and is comfortable to ride for long periods of time. The 2018 Triumph Speed Triple ticks both these boxes quite well. It is a few kilograms lighter and the overall weight distribution has changed making the motorcycle a lot easier to maneuver. I spent a couple of hours riding it as hard as I could and it still felt effortless.

It changes directions so effortlessly that all you have to do is think and the motorcycle reacts. The ride was so enjoyable that it was hard to keep a track of time. That brings us to the ‘comfort’ aspect of this motorcycle. The riding position is one of the most natural you will come across in a modern motorcycle. This means that your neck, wrists, and back do not get strained even after hours of spirited riding.

The padded seats make life a lot easier without sacrificing on the feedback too much. The traction control works like a charm at different lean angles and the ABS makes cornering a breeze.

This is a great motorcycle that will thrill in equal measures both on the track as well as on the road.

The brakes and the suspension remain unchanged but they were pretty good to start with so no complaints there. You can also do a lot of tweaking with the suspension and the brakes to set the motorcycle just the way you want it.

The Equipment

This is perhaps the area that has received the most obvious upgrades. The TFT multicolor dash is great for those who love eye-candy and is very functional as well.

All the necessary information is relayed to you in a clutter-free manner. It too can be optimized for daylight or night depending on when you are riding. Another catchy and functional visual treat is the backlighting in the handlebar switches. It makes the motorcycle look a lot cooler, especially at night while also improving the usability. The biggest upgrade is, however, the introduction of a cruise control.

It makes this motorcycle the perfect all-rounder as it is now a serious contender if you are looking for a motorcycle that can tackle long tours while also being a great everyday solution.

The Verdict

It is quite normal to be skeptical when a manufacturer promises something huge. In this case, Triumph promised the world “the best Speed Triple ever made” and boy did they deliver! The 2018 Speed Triple is an awesome machine that is highly refined and one of the most versatile motorcycles around.

It is the best-sounding Speed Triple by a huge margin. The lighter weight, improved high-end performance, and sweet handling characteristics make it a formidable track machine. The high-levels of comfort and a good collection of onboard equipment make it a worthy long distance motorcycle while the low-end grunt and great riding posture make it an exceptionally great motorcycle in everyday road conditions.

The reason people love super-naked motorcycles is that fact that they can be very versatile and the 2018 Speed Triple does not disappoint. It comes in two variants and even the base version delivers on all of Triumph’s promises while the RS version is even lighter and more performance-oriented making it the most complete Speed Triple ever launched.

A motorcycle is all about the feeling you get when riding it and somehow the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple felt just right.

Cheers and thanks for reading!


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