New Triumph Speed Triple is an RS

Ben Purvis_BikeSocial
By Ben Purvis

Writing about bikes for 20 years. Published in dozens of titles on five continents. Mildly obsessed with discovering how things work.


The new Triumph Speed Triple that the firm has started to tease will be an additional ‘RS’ model rather than a replacement for the existing ‘S’ or ‘R’ derivatives.

A second teaser video shows the new bike fairly clearly, including its ‘RS’ badging and the new TFT flat-screen dashboard display. Other changes, at least on the bikes used in the video, include an Arrow exhaust, five-spoke wheels instead of the ten-spokes of the stock ‘S’ and ‘R’ models and black-finished Ohlins forks.


2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS Teaser


Simultaneously a filing with the California Air Resources Board in America confirmed the RS model’s existence.

Interestingly, it reveals that the ‘R’ and ‘RS’ versions will share the same engine, which has different emissions performance to the 2016-2017 version of the Speed Triple. That appears to confirm that there are notable mechanical changes inside the bike. A prototype spotted on test last year featured a revised cylinder head.

The emissions changes include reduced hydrocarbon and NOx output, but a slight increase in carbon monoxide – although still way below the maximum allowed. Unfortunately, CARB information doesn’t include carbon dioxide levels, which would give a hint as to performance changes.

The fact that the ‘S’ model isn’t included on the CARB document could mean that the base model Speed Triple is retaining the previous, 138hp engine, while the ‘R’ and new ‘RS’ versions get a more powerful derivative. Alternatively it could indicate a decision to no longer offer the ‘S’ model, at least in the American market.

Having ‘S’, ‘R’ and ‘RS’ versions of the Speed Triple, however, neatly brings the range into alignment with the smaller Street Triple 765 line-up. Triumph has done the same with the Tiger 1200 and Tiger 800 ranges for 2018, making its model range less confusing than before.

All the details of the new bike will be revealed next Monday, 5th February, and we’ll be bringing you a test of the new bike the following month.


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