Triumph has whipped the covers off the 2018 Speed Triple 1050 range revealing that an ‘RS’ derivative supersedes the old Speed Triple R and all versions have a big power increase.
While there are still two models in the 2018 Speed Triple range, the previous line up of ‘S’ and ‘R’ is gone. Now it’s a choice of Speed Triple S or Speed Triple RS. But the essential difference remains that the higher-spec bike has Ohlins suspension compared to the Showas of the S.
So, what’s new? The headline news is that the engine has had a thorough going-over. New pistons, a new cylinder head, new liners, a lighter crank assembly and a new sump. It all adds up to 150PS at 10,500rpm, compared to 140PS at 9500rpm on last year’s machine. Torque is also up, from 112Nm to 117Nm, while the torque peak is now lower in the rev range, revealing a brawnier delivery.
The lighter crank, allied to a lighter alternator and improved gas-flow, means the engine can rev higher. The red line has moved up by 1000rpm. But it also spins up more quickly than before, for a sportier response.
It breathes through a new exhaust with lighter headers, a bigger catalytic converter and redesigned silencers. The new RS model gets lightweight Arrow end cans as standard.
While Triumph hasn’t altered the chassis, both Speed Triples benefit from improved electronics. A colour, five-inch TFT dash and new, illuminated bar controls bring a high-tech feel. Unseen are the rider modes – four for the S and five for the RS – and the RS’s new IMU-governed cornering ABS and stability control. The RS also gets a keyless ignition and steering lock, while both models have cruise control as standard.
Visually, it’s not easy to pick out the new bike. The five-spoke wheels are new and the exhausts look slightly different, but that’s about it. The RS uses carbon fibre for its front muguard and radiator cowls. It’s part of a weight-saving regime that cuts 3kg from its mass, which drops to 189kg dry. The S is 192kg.
Triumph hasn’t announced prices, but with a riding launch scheduled for later this month the 2018 Speed Triple should be in dealers soon.