IT might not be able to rival the latest 180hp-plus superbike-derived naked bikes from the likes of Aprilia, BMW and KTM but Triumph’s Speed Triple virtually defined the class two decades ago and it’s getting heavily revamped for 2016.
It’s perhaps prescient that Triumph killed the big Daytona that originally spawned the Speed Triple years ago, and yet the naked bike that was originally merely a spin-off from that machine has gone from strength to strength. And while it no longer competes to be among the most powerful unfaired machines on the market, it can still make a good case for itself as one of the best.
The changes to the 2016 model are largely intended to ensure the Speed Triple’s lifespan is extended, with Triumph updating its engine both in terms of emissions – the exhaust system and catalytic converter are visibly changed – and technology. While we can’t see it here, surveys sent out to Speed Triple owners earlier this year suggested that the new bike’s tech will include traction control, multiple engine ‘modes’ and electronic throttles. Triumph made similar changes to the Tiger 800 this year.
Any power increase is likely to be moderate; the survey sent out last year suggested 140bhp.
The frame, which was new for the 2011 model, is unaltered, as is the suspension. That means buyers of the normal version get Showa forks while those who spend a little extra get Ohlins on their R-badged machines. The higher-spec Brembo brakes of the current R model are going to become standard on both versions from 2016. Buyers of the R model are expected to get a few extra goodies, though, including five riding modes where the base version will get three.
It's the second time we've seen spy shots of the 2016 Speed Triple. In February it was spotted in Spain.