Triumph Speed ​​Triple – The youngtimer put to the test

Triumph Speed ​​Triple - The youngtimer put to the test

Youngtimer test: Triumph Speed ​​Triple

The English youngtimer from Triumph

Hardly any other motorcycle face has burned itself into the collective memory of the fans like the two googly eyes of the Triumph Street Triple.

E.Driving a street fighter initially meant making a virtue out of a necessity – namely a destroyed sports motorcycle – and operating the accident vehicle without a fairing, the necessary lighting was somehow screwed on.

Triumph explains this type of emergency solution with the 1997 Street Triple as a concept: A sporty, powerful three-cylinder in-line engine with 885 cm³ is housed in a compact chassis. As with some superbikes, the rear wheel has a single-sided swing arm, and the two free-standing round headlights look as if the fairing has been lost.

Result: a naked sports motorcycle. The seating position is a little closer to the naked bike idea. The wide tubular handlebar steers the vehicle with little force, the stiff chassis and resilient brakes are fully up to the promised top speed of 231 km / h. Above all, the 190 rear tire has visual qualities. Initially, the coordination of the electronic ignition / injection system is a source of annoyance: misfires, high fuel consumption, performance drops and the engine suddenly stalling while coasting are not uncommon. Triumph reacted quickly and revised the programming several times, but only the thorough model update in 1999 combined with the increase in displacement to 956 cm³ cleared the world.


Powerful engine
Roaring sound
Sporty chassis
Low steering forces
Great freedom of inclination
Unique design concept
Chic single-sided swing arm

Extra wide rear tire
Inharmonious engine tuning
Hardly suitable for a passenger
Sparse equipment

Model history / The competition


The extravagant Speed ​​Triple is a real feast for the eyes with its intricate frame and single-sided swing arm.

Model history

The original Speed ​​Triple with round headlights and steering stubs felt more like a cafe racer

As part of the facelift, the Speedy got an exhaust made of polished stainless steel

The new, angular motor housing with the many visible screws met with little approval from the fans

Radical redesign: double exhaust under the rear, beefier stature, 1050 cm³ displacement

The current stage of evolution can be recognized by the pentagonal headlights – free-standing, of course

The competition

Buell S1 Lightning

Very special concept with a Harley Sportster engine in the ultra-compact sports suspension and natural power delivery. Price: 10 223 euros

Ducati M 900 Monster

Like the Speed ​​Triple, the Monster series is still very popular today. Sporty V2 in the Italian chassis. Price: 9914 euros

Kawasaki ZRX 1100 R.

Based on US superbikes, Kawasaki brought the fat four-cylinder with a grumpy sound and everyday use on the market. Price: 8431 euros

Driving behavior / final rating


In a classic, sporty way, three white scales provide information on speed, engine speed and engine temperature.

Driving behavior

In the city
No question about it, the Speed ​​Triple – regardless of the year of construction – is a stylish appearance on the promenade. The tuning problems of the first engine electronics are not a recommendation for everyday use, but you can come to terms with them. Luggage transport? Best in a backpack.

On the country road
Yes, yes, seguro, oui! It cannot be said often enough: Sporty nakeds belong here above all. Anyone who knows little-used but well-paved curve routes should definitely take them under the wheels with a Speed ​​Triple. This is motorcycling in its purest form.

On the highway
Most of the Speed ​​Triple models wear a small, stylish lamp mask. Very few drivers expect any form of wind protection from it. So: Autobahn is of course feasible, but in the wind behind the wide handlebars it costs a lot of stamina. There is no shortage of top speed.

Final scoring

The three-cylinder has a slight starting weakness, but persistently increases in performance from 3000 rpm. The short translation is a guarantee of fun.

landing gear
The fork, which is fully adjustable in terms of spring base and damping, documents the Triumph’s sporty streak. Overall very tight and direct.


Formidable. One can forgive the fact that a sporty naked bike did not have ABS in 1997. It is optionally available for 2011 models.

Practical to Spartan. The cockpit leaves no questions unanswered, and in return it doesn’t annoy you with an overabundance of information.


The arrangement of handlebars, bench and rests is still reasonably comfortable. Everything else pays homage to the sporting spirit, which requires body tension.

Suitable for beginners
The engine is surprisingly good-natured when needed; the wide rear tire and the snappy brakes are intended more for experienced pilots.

Technical specifications


Sports genes: The one-armed rear wheel is above all an eye-catcher, technical advantages: in short supply.

Technical specifications

engine: Three-cylinder four-stroke / in-line
Displacement: 885 cc
Power transmission: Six-speed gearbox / chain
power: 79 kW (108 PS) at 9100 rpm
Max. Torque: 85 Nm at 7500 rpm
Front brake double disc: (Ø 320 mm)
Rear brake disc: (Ø 220 mm)
Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear tire: 190/50 ZR 17
Front / rear suspension travel: 120/140 mm
Tank capacity: 18 liters, great
Colours: Black, green, red
Maintenance intervals: 10,000 km
New price: (1997) 9710 euros with additional costs

Top speed*: 231 km / h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 3.4 sec
Pulling speed 60-140 km / h: 10.0 sec
Weight with a full tank: 219 kg
Payload: 186 kg
Consumption highway: 5.5 l / 100 k

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