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The RS is the most powerful Triumph Speed Triple yet

Packing 176hp from a larger 1,160cc three-cylinder engine

The Speed Triple RS's extra oomph is best left to skilled riders. PHOTO FROM TRIUMPH

With a nameplate spanning several generations since the very first and carbureted model in 1994, the Triumph Speed Triple has been one of the most sought-after, naked sports bikes in the world. With its love-it-or-hate-it styling, superlative handling, and distinctive triple-cylinder engine note, owning a Speed Triple sets one apart from the usual coterie of Japanese or European bikes.

In a sea of Japanese bikes, this British brute will stand out for the right reasons. PHOTOS FROM TRIUMPH

The latest model revealed, the RS, is the most powerful Speed Triple yet, and it packs an all-new engine and frame while retaining the familiar styling. Displacement has gone up from the previous generation’s 1,050cc to 1,160cc. It obviously gets a significant power bump from the previous generation’s 147hp to an even more substantial 176hp at 10,750rpm, with torque peaking at 125Nm at 9,000rpm. It has gone on a bit of diet, too, with a curb (wet) weight of 198kg—or what the outgoing model weighed dry. The Euro 5-compliant three-cylinder breathes through a stainless-steel three-into-one header system with an underslung primary silencer and side-mounted secondary silencers that look acceptably racy for a stock setup.

Triumph claims that its experience racing in Moto2 has influenced the design of the new bike, which is intended to marry sublime handling with an abundance of power. That’s definitely a good thing, because the horsepower arms race has heated up with the Ducati Streetfighter pushing 208hp, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R having 180hp, and the Kawasaki Z H2 making do with 197hp.

The 'angry fly' light signature does indeed look mad. PHOTO FROM TRIUMPH

The engine’s moving bits have lower inertia to enable it to spin up faster and higher than before, and it’s housed in a more compact body as well. The aluminum twin-spar chassis and subframe is an all-new design with a focus on a more dynamic and natural riding position. The handlebars are wider for increased leverage, and the foot pegs are moved inboard for better ground clearance without compromising legroom.

The RS is ready for track days with fully adjustable Öhlins suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers, and Metzeler Racetec RR tires. A full suite of riders help keep the Speed Triple shiny side up such as Optimized Cornering Traction Control and ABS, Front Wheel Lift Control, up-and-down quickshifter, and no fewer than five riding modes accessible via a new five-inch TFT screen.

The lighter weight is good for the bike's cornering manners. PHOTO FROM TRIUMPH

A full-keyless system also integrates the fuel-lid release. Also standard for the first time on the Speed Triple model is the My Triumph Connectivity module, allowing smartphone integration for turn-by-turn navigation, remote accessibility for devices such as phones and GoPro cameras, and music.

New LED lighting all around, along with redesigned twin LED headlights, highlights the Speed Triple’s distinctive profile. The famous “angry fly” look is a little bit sleeker but no less aggressive, and, if anything, will let everyone know exactly what bike you’re on. Triumph’s attention to detail is evident in exceptionally clean routing of cables and houses so everyone can admire the engine. The carbon-fiber front fender and the aluminum belly pan are functional and eye-catching at the same time (not to mention expensive).

This bike's GoPro connectivity should benefit motorcycle vloggers. PHOTO FROM TRIUMPH

All this English goodness will set you back P1,195,000, with units targeted for release by end of February. The local distributor, Triumph Motorcycles Philippines, is already taking orders (in fact, a customer just placed a down payment on one as of this writing).

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our Motorcycle Editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.