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2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR

The Triumph Speed Triple has always been known for its street-fighting prowess, but throw on a fairing and the 1200 RR transforms into one hell of a well-rounded, street-focused sportbike.

The Triumph Speed Triple has always been known for its street-fighting prowess, but throw on a fairing and the 1200 RR transforms into one hell of a well-rounded, street-focused sportbike. (Triumph/)

Ups

  • If bug eyes aren’t your thing, this sleek single headlight is for you
  • Smooth and tractable engine is fun and easy to ride
  • Riding position is a nice balance between a hypersport and a naked

Downs

  • Track mode resets every time you stop
  • Front-brake feel could be more aggressive
  • A Speed Triple with a fairing. You want naked? Buy an RS

Verdict

Triumph set out to build a sportbike that was better for most of the riding that we actually do, which means the 1200 RR’s focus is more on fantastic street manners than all-out racetrack performance. A super-tractable engine; slightly relaxed ergos compared to, say, a Daytona Moto2 765; better wind protection than a naked; and yet more sporting on the track than its sibling, the Speed Triple RS. This is the Everyman’s sportbike.

Triumph is well known for finding a balanced, well-tuned setting for its sportbikes, and that continues to be the case with the Speed Triple 1200 RR, which feels nicely composed on the road.

Triumph is well known for finding a balanced, well-tuned setting for its sportbikes, and that continues to be the case with the Speed Triple 1200 RR, which feels nicely composed on the road. (Triumph/)

Overview

Change is funny. In the same way that some middleweight sportbikes have pushed all the way into what was commonly agreed to be open class territory, the Speed Triple—the very bike that set fire to the streetfighter class in the first place—now has a fairing. Has the world gone mad? Uh…madder?

Triumph sportbike fans have been wishing for a new open-class Daytona since the last of the old ones became extinct. But in some ways, it seems Triumph has gone one better. Why not simply build a sportbike that’s comfortable, tractable, extremely attractive, and doesn’t play by the rules of the other hypersport bikes on the market?

That’s just what Triumph did. The new Speed Triple 1200 RS had big changes in 2021, and now gets back on par with the class-leading nakeds from Ducati, KTM, and Aprilia. But by taking the same basic package, altering the riding position, adding wind protection and Öhlins’ Smart EC 2.0 electronically adjustable semi-active suspension, Triumph has created a bike that is likely what those nostalgic Daytona 955i owners are really looking for in a modern Triumph. And unless you’ve been hit upside the head one too many times, you’ll find the Speed Triple 1200 RR is absolutely one of the prettiest bikes the British company has ever created. If the Red Hopper/Storm Grey color scheme is the Kool-Aid, we’re definitely drinking it.

Clip-on handlebars tucked behind a bikini fairing add sporting character to the Speed Triple 1200 RR over the RS.

Clip-on handlebars tucked behind a bikini fairing add sporting character to the Speed Triple 1200 RR over the RS. (Triumph/)

Updates for 2022

Everything about the Speed Triple 1200 RR is brand-new from the ground up for 2022, from the engine to the chassis to the Öhlins suspension, to the very concept of the bike. This is fresh territory for Triumph, and we’re very glad it took the leap.

Pricing and Variants

Two color schemes are available: Crystal White Storm Grey (polite applause) is the standard color for $20,950; for an extra $325 riders can opt for Red Hopper Storm Grey (frenzied standing ovation and calls for encore). The bike comes pretty loaded with most of what you’d want, but the Tire Pressure Monitoring System ($250) and heated grips ($230) are available options.

The Speed Triple 1200 gets Öhlins’ Smart EC 2.0 electronically adjustable semi-active suspension, front and rear.

The Speed Triple 1200 gets Öhlins’ Smart EC 2.0 electronically adjustable semi-active suspension, front and rear. (Triumph/)

Competition

As the 1200 RR falls somewhere in between hardcore sportbikes, sport-touring bikes, and nakeds, its competion is an interesting mix. The first bike that comes to mind is the MV Agusta Superveloce, which leads to a mix of bikes from all over the spectrum. The closest Japanese contenders are the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX, Kawasaki’s Z H2, Yamaha’s MT-10 SP/MT-10, or Suzuki’s Katana and GSX-S1000F. Moving to Europe brings to mind the Ducati Streetfighter V2 or Streetfighter V4, Aprilia’s Tuono V4 1100 or spicer Tuono V4 Factory 1100, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo or midsize KTM 890 Duke GP, and BMW’s R 1250 RS or S 1000 R. Can’t decide between streaking or wearing clothes? Keep Triumph’s own Speed Triple 1200 RS in mind.

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

When the Speed Triple 1200 RS got its big 2021 redesign, many wondered what that uprated inline-triple engine would be like in a Daytona-esque sportbike. Compared to the previous-generation Speed Triple, displacement has grown from 1,050cc to 1,160, but bore and stroke dimensions have changed to an even more short-stroke design; bore has increased from 79 to 90mm, while stroke has decreased from 71.4 to 60.8mm. The outcome is a big jump in power from a claimed 147.9 hp at 10,500 rpm on the old Speed Triple to 177 hp at 10,750 rpm on the new RS and RR. Torque jumps from 86.3 pound-feet at 7,150 rpm to 92 pound-feet of peak torque at 9,000 rpm.

Another big change was stacking the gearbox, which made the engine more compact and allowed Triumph to include a two-way quickshifter. The fueling is ride-by-wire, with the rider able to choose between five riding modes. A stainless steel 3-into-1 header sends exhaust gases to an underslung primary silencer and then into a nicely styled final silencer.

The engine has a huge spread of available power, letting you ride the wave in third gear through corners that would have you up and down the box on other bikes. There’s enough horsepower for serious progress, but never so much that the chassis (or your brain) feels overwhelmed.

It’s hard to argue with the lines of the Speed Triple RR. You’ll enjoy looking at the bike just as much as you enjoy riding it.

It’s hard to argue with the lines of the Speed Triple RR. You’ll enjoy looking at the bike just as much as you enjoy riding it. (Triumph/)

Handling

The biggest technological change over the RS is the inclusion of Öhlins’ Smart EC 2.0 electronically adjustable semi-active suspension package. The semi-active aspect of this system refers to electronic control of compression and rebound damping adjustment in the fork and shock while riding. This works within a number of preset modes offering more comfort or more dynamic performance, continuously adjusting and optimizing damper settings as the bike is ridden.

The system also offers a degree of customization which lets you select changes to aspects of the bike’s handling, e.g., corner entry, braking, corner exit, and then modifies the damper settings and programming to suit. Switching between the riding modes gives a noticeable difference in both comfort and how much the bike pitches under braking or acceleration.

Carving along a winding section of road, claims of ‘ultimate sportbike for the road’ don’t seem too far-fetched. Almost every element of the Speed Triple feels finely balanced; the chassis is nimble enough to hustle the tight sections of the road without feeling twitchy or overaggressive.

The Speed Triple 1200 RR is available in Crystal White Storm Grey for $20,950 and Red Hopper Storm Grey, which costs an additional $325.

The Speed Triple 1200 RR is available in Crystal White Storm Grey for $20,950 and Red Hopper Storm Grey, which costs an additional $325. (Triumph/)

Brakes

Despite the use of Brembo’s awesome Stylema Monoblock four-piston calipers and twin 320mm disc setup, the brakes aren’t quite perfect. There’s tons of power from the front brake, and there’s never a problem getting the bike stopped, but lever feel is a little too soft and a little too heavy, even after a fiddle with the adjustable rate lever.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

We’ve yet to test the bike on our own roads, so we’ll have to wait for real-world numbers, but Triumph claims 37 mpg.

The riding position is sporty without being uncomfortable and the electronics package offers enough support to keep you safe without stepping too hard on the toes of fun.

The riding position is sporty without being uncomfortable and the electronics package offers enough support to keep you safe without stepping too hard on the toes of fun. (Kingdom Creative/)

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

The riding position is a big departure from the Speed Triple 1200 RS. The most significant change to the riding position comes from the clip-on handlebars, which are just over 5 inches lower and 2 inches further forward than the bars on the naked model. Combined with the footpegs, which have been moved up half an inch and back 1 inch, this allows a far more forward stance on the bike. It’s not full-on sportbike extreme, but more a halfway measure, somewhere between the regular Speed Triple and a Daytona 675.

On the road this definitely feels more natural once you’re acclimated; it’s easier to hang off through the turns and easier to brace through the pegs with the throttle cranked wide open. When speed limits or traffic impose a period of calm cruising, the position is nicely balanced enough to let you spread weight between your feet, hands, and backside and not feel as if all your weight is bearing down through your wrists.

Electronics

Like any modern sportbike, the Speed Triple 1200 RR has a whole ton of rider aids to optimize the riding experience. Its five riding modes include Rain, Road, Sport, Track, and Rider (custom). An inertial measurement unit (IMU) provides optimized lean-sensitive ABS and traction control; the bike also has Front Wheel Lift Control (that’s wheelie control to you and me). Cruise control and a standard Triumph Shift Assist up-and-down quickshifter are also included.

All info, modes, and controls are accessed through a 5-inch full-color TFT display with GoPro and bluetooth connectivity, turn-by-turn navigation, and a lap timer. All lights and signals are LED.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Triumph offers a 24-month, unlimited-mileage warranty.

Quality

The Speed Triple 1200 RR is a stunningly finished, exquisite-looking bike that makes everything smooth, enjoyable, and easy.

The Speed Triple 1200 RR is not a full-on superbike, but rather a sportbike you can live with longer than a trackday session at a time.

The Speed Triple 1200 RR is not a full-on superbike, but rather a sportbike you can live with longer than a trackday session at a time. (Triumph/)

2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR Claimed Specifications

MSRP: $20,950–$21,275
Engine: 1,160cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC inline-three, 12 valves
Bore x Stroke: 90.0 x 60.8mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Claimed Horsepower: 178 hp @ 10,750 rpm
Claimed Torque: 92 lb.-ft. @ 9,000 rpm
Fuel Delivery: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection w/ electronic throttle control
Clutch: Wet, multiplate, slipper/assist function
Engine Management/Ignition: Electronic
Frame: Aluminum twin spar; bolt-on aluminum rear subframe
Front Suspension: Öhlins 43mm fully adjustable USD fork, S-EC 2.0 OBTi system electronic compression and rebound damping; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Öhlins monoshock RSU w/ linkage, S-EC 2.0 OBTi system electronic compression and rebound damping; 4.7 in. travel
Front Brake: Brembo Stylema Monoblock 4-piston calipers, dual 320mm floating discs w/ OC-ABS
Rear Brake: Brembo 2-piston caliper, 220mm disc w/ OC-ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5 in. / 17 x 6.0 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70ZR-17 / 190/55ZR-17
Rake/Trail: 23.9º/4.1 in.
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Seat Height: 32.7 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight: 438 lb.
Contact: triumphmotorcycles.com

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