The Triumph Speed Triple launched at the Auto Expo 2012 is a wolf in a well, wolf's clothing. It along with its little brother the Street Triple both sport great 'street fighter' looks combined with serious performance. The elder of the two Triples was launched in 1994 and was called the Speed Triple T300. It was a tribute to 1938 'speed twin' that was dubbed as a performance bike.
The original bikes had single steel down tubes and used the engine as a stressed member with fully adjustable suspension front and rear and to showcase its ‘performance’ tag Triumph also started a one-make racing series with the bike in 1994.
In 1997 the Speed Triple received a refresh with a larger engine and notably twin 'bug eye' headlamps. The frame changed to external ‘twin-tube’ aluminium frame and single sided swing arm and the clip-on handlebars from the 1994 bike were also replaced with regular handlebars. This lent an aggressive look to the bike and has been a design trait of the Speed Triple ever since.
In 2005 the engine grew to 1050cc and since then the Speed Triple has remained essentially the same with regular updates giving it fuel injection, inverted forks and radial mounted disc brakes.
The Speed Triple sports a liquid cooled 12-valve in-line three-cylinder engine that puts out 135PS of power at 9400rpm and 11Nm of torque at 7700rpm and comes with fully adjustable suspension at both ends. There is an ‘R’ version, which has better suspension and brakes but no word yet on if it will make the trip to India. Triumph claims a city fuel efficiency figure of 14.4kmpl for the Speed Triple (expect that to drop further if you are ham fisted).
The Triumph Speed Triple will be priced at Rs 8 lakh ex-showroom Delhi and will face off against Ducati's M1100 (Rs 11.65 lakh) and Streetfighter (Rs 15.40 lakh), Honda's CB1000R (Rs 9.50 lakh) Suzuki's Bandit (Rs 8.8 lakh) and Yamaha's FZ1 (Rs 8.70 lakh) and MT-01 (Rs 10.50).
The Speed Triple is not for posers and combines serious performance with very agile handling that is rumoured to chew up and spit out beginners on a regular basis so we'd say - handle with care. For those experienced folk out there, showing off your new piece of Hinckley metal should be easily accomplished either on two wheels or erm, just one.