Bikes 8 Feb 2018

Bike: 2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS

Updated new street-fighter model officially announced by Triumph.

Triumph has taken the covers off its 2018 model Speed Triple RS. Aggressive, agile and purposeful, the legendary Triumph Speed Triple created the performance naked category back in 1994 and coined the phrase ‘factory street-fighter’.

The latest generation of Triumph’s modern motorcycle icon builds on the Speed Triple’s perfect balance of power, handling and capability, making it the most advanced and powerful Speed Triple ever built. The new RS model having the highest ever level of specification to reflect its new name and pedigree.

This Speed Triple RS incorporates a major engine development and advanced engineering for performance enhancement and a weight saving. All 105 new engine components play a role to offer more power and torque throughout the rev range and a smoother, more linear power delivery. Peak power is now seven percent higher than the previous generation at 148hp and peak torque is up four percent at 117Nm.

To enhance performance, engine updates include new lighter crank gear, lighter Nikasil-plated aluminium cylinder liners, a smaller starter motor, and lighter battery and alternator. New profile pistons and a new cylinder head with optimised exhaust ports improve gas flow and deliver an even higher compression ratio to achieve the increased power output.

A new sump lowers the oil level in the engine, reducing drag and improving weight distribution. The re-routed oil system now runs the oil internally through the head gasket to the cylinder head, allowing for the removal of external oil pipes, improved styling and reduced mass.

Image: Supplied.

A new freer-flowing exhaust, larger catalyst and lighter header system improves gas flow and performance. The lightweight sports silencers on the RS bring a significant improvement to the roar of the Triple engine, making the latest model the best sounding Speed Triple sound ever. An improved gearbox and slip assist clutch combine to improve rider comfort and help to deliver that perfect Speed Triple ride.

The Speed Triple RS features an angle adjustable full-colour five-inch TFT instruments to ensure optimum visibility. A new dedicated Speed Triple logo animation is integrated into the start-up sequence of both models, while the different themes and styles available alter the layout of the information, linked to the riding modes. The new ergonomic switchcubes incorporate illuminated buttons to enhance rider interaction in all lighting conditions.

Advanced ride-by-wire system enables the configuration of the bike’s character to suit riding preferences using variable throttle maps, linked to up to five selectable riding modes. The new cruise control feature improves long distance rideability, while Daytime Running Lights incorporated into the headlights enhance visibility. This is in addition to the Speed Triple’s core technology package including switchable ABS, switchable traction control and a USB charging point.

The new Speed Triple RS takes the model’s technology to a whole new level with optimised cornering ABS and traction control ensuring the optimum distribution of brake force, slip rate and torque control, improving both straight line riding and cornering. This is delivered through its advanced inertial measurement unit (IMU), developed in partnership with Continental, which takes constant measurements of roll, pitch, yaw, lean angle and acceleration rates, and responds with appropriate active safety features.

The Speed Triple RS also features a new keyless steering lock and ignition system, electronically activated by the lock button on the switchcube, with an option to disable the keyless function for even greater security.

Image: Supplied.

For 2018 the Speed Triple RS now delivers the most agile and focussed ride ever, through new advanced rider aids and Triumph’s trademark neutral and precise handling. It also comes fitted as standard with an adjustable Brembo brake lever and matching clutch lever, plus a new comfort seat. This is further enhanced on the RS with a weight saving of three kilograms.

The new model retains the distinctive single-sided swinging arm and twin-spar aluminium frame of the previous generation, optimised for stiffness for the perfect blend of rigidity and feel. The new model also retains the high level of specification across the bike, with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres and twin front brake discs with Brembo four-piston two-pad M4.34 radial Monobloc calipers.

The RS features a high specification fully adjustable suspension which can be set up for road-focussed riding and track use. It boasts 43mm Ohlins NIX30 upside-down forks and Ohlins TTX36 twin-tube rear monoshock, both fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.

The new model now features all-new high-gloss 10-spoke wheels for a more premium and contemporary look, while retaining the instantly recognisable aggressive, nose-down, focussed attitude that the Speed Triple is loved for.

The high-level Arrow Sports Silencers on the RS have been re-styled to be more angular and sporty with a brushed titanium finish, a carbon fibre heat shield and end cap, and reduced weight over the base silencers.

The Speed Triple RS also has a higher level of finish and premium detailing with lightweight carbon fibre bodywork on the front mudguard and radiator cowls, and new RS decals. A new colour-coded belly pan and key-release pillion seat cowl are fitted as standard, in addition to a new matt aluminium rear subframe, in keeping with the Street Triple RS theme.

Image: Supplied.

The new model retains the signature Speed Triple features and detailing, like a billet machined rear wheel finisher, signature headlight profile and fly screen with integrated air intake, aluminium bar end mirrors, sleek fuel tank, narrow radiator and slim two-piece seat design with embossed Triumph logo.

The RS is available in two different colour combinations, being Crystal White or Matt Jet Black – both with a matt aluminium rear subframe, red wheel pinstripes, red seat stitching and more premium RS decals.

The Speed Triple RS features all-new, angle-adjustable full colour five-inch TFT instruments for riders to access the new on-board computer. There are three different screen display styles to choose from, pre-set to the riding modes and easily changeable on the move. To ensure that the screen is readable in all weather and riding conditions, each of the three styles can be selected with ‘High’ or ‘Auto’ contrast. The Speed Triple RS comes with three screen display styles and a lap timer.

A new on-board computer presents speedometer, rev counter, riding mode symbol, gear position display, fuel level, clock and ambient temperature on permanent display. Additional information is available via the selectable ‘tray’ at the bottom of the screen, including two trip displays, average and instantaneous fuel consumption, range to empty, riding mode selection, display style, contrast settings, service information, coolant temperature, and warning symbol information, plus lap timer.

To navigate the new instruments there are all-new switchcubes with an intuitive five-way joystick control to improve ease of use. Innovative new back-lit buttons enhance rider interaction and improve control in all riding conditions.

Image: Supplied.

Ride-by-wire is utilised for a crisper and more precise throttle response, with improved on/off throttle transition. Enabling different throttle maps, which, combined with the ABS and traction control settings, give up to five riding modes.

Linked to the ride-by-wire system, Road, Rain, Sport, Track and Rider configurable riding modes are selectable on both new models via the new switch gear, for maximum control and safety in different riding conditions. The Speed Triple RS Track mode, offers advanced ABS and traction control settings.

Optimised cornering ABS and traction control ensure the optimum distribution of brake force, slip rate and torque control, improving both straight line riding and cornering. Maximising rider safety and control, the riding modes feature the appropriate ABS and traction control settings, which can be turned off completely via the Rider configurable mode.

The new keyless ignition system recognises the proximity of the key fob, enabling a push button start. The steering lock is also keyless and electronically activated by the lock button on the switchcube, with an option to disable the keyless function for even greater security.

In addition, an easy-to-use cruise control function is now fitted as standard to both new models for the first time ever on a Speed Triple, improving long distance rideability by reducing rider fatigue, while Daytime Running Lights (DRL) incorporated into the headlight bring excellent visibility and a distinctive light profile.

Further information on Triumph in Australia can be sourced via the official website at Availability and pricing of the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS is yet to be announced.