As Triumph’s big bruiser of a naked sports bike, the Triumph Speed Triple 1050 has reached the end of its engineering development cycle. The latest iteration of the Speed Triple, the 1050 R and RS, now produces 150 PS and 117 Nm of torque, outstanding numbers for an engine that came out in 1994 when 120 PS was race bike territory.
But time marches on, and it is about time the Speed Triple is replaced, but with what? The super naked field is crowded, with all the mainstream manufacturers having a litre-class sports naked in the stable. KTM has the all-conquering Super Duke R with 171 hp, BMW has the S1000R, Suzuki has the GSX-S1000, Aprilia has the Tuono 1100, Yamaha has the MT-10 and Ducati now has the Streetfighter V4.
So where does that leave Triumph with the Speed Triple? Logic dictates the inline-triple layout will be preserved, being a Hinckley trademark more than anything else, with the balance between power delivery and weight of a triple giving it an advantage over a V-twin or inline-four.
But with Euro 5 emissions coming to fore, a bump in displacement will be necessary, perhaps to between 1,200 and 1,300 cc. This isn’t out of the question as the Super Duke R comes in at 1,301 cc and Ducati’s Monsters are above 1,200 cc.
Technology will probably feature prominently in the new Speed Triple, which we think, based on previous experience with Triumph model cycles, come out in 2021 as a 2022 model. Look for electronic semi-active suspension, something that is already available in the Streetfighter V4, long with riding aids and ride modes.
Connectivity to the rider’s smartphone is a must, something which Triumph has been lagging behind despite announcing it with the Street Triple 765 RS and both Ducati and KTM have taken to new levels in terms of rider convenience. Expect to see the new Speed Triple going on a weight loss regime, the previous generation model being something slightly heavy in the sling it around the corner arena.
But more of the same relentless rush of torque of the triple will be there, along with a bump in horsepower to… 180 hp? We are rather hesitant to make this guess, but based on our experience with Triumph Triples and motorcycle engineering in general, this number would not be out of the question, considering the Kawasaki Z2 H2 makes close to 200 hp with forced induction.
While the world continues to suffer the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, many are hunkering down, deferring major purchase decision till things regain a semblance of normality. In the meantime, we wait and see what the future holds in terms of new motorcycle models.
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