This is the most powerful Speed Triple to date with more cubes, grunt, and power

LISTEN 10:48

Triumph subjected its Speed Triple 1200 to a ground-up reimagination to turn out the 2021 RS variant. This is it folks, the most powerful Speed Triple to date with more cubes, grunt, and power than ever before. It’s also lighter and narrower to get the most out of that extra juice, and comes complete with a well-rounded, performance- and convenience-driven electronics suite. Tuned up lines and an all-new look finish out the package in style.

  • 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Displacement:
    1160 cc
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    18300
  • Price:

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Design

  • All new five-inch TFT display
  • Dynamic headlight
  • Full LED lighting
  • My Triumph Connectivity System standard equipped
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986677
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986679
In keeping with Speed Triple tradition, this newest addition freely shifts between track and street.

The new Speed Triple 1200 RS sports genetic markers established with the 1994 original to make the crucial connection to the established family design, but it also carries a host of features all its own this time around. A molded front fender leads the way in lightweight carbon fiber material to limit the unsprung weight at the front axle for extra supple suspension responses. Agility was a front-burner topic for the design team, and to that end, it dropped some weight from the chassis and made the rider’s triangle more purposeful to add a healthy dose of control to the mix as well.

Head-on, the angry-bird LED headlights, DRL brows, and compact housing fit well with the overall look, but I gotta’ say I’m not a fan of how it looks in profile; almost like an insect-like afterthought that simply does not look like it belongs. Oh well, if you’re riding it, you don’t have to look at it, yeah?

An all-new, five-inch TFT display delivers the critical metrics, in color, and it networks with your smartphone to field calls while under way and provides navigational support. Ride-quality and ride-control electronics are also bundled with the rest in one display for ease of operation and a simplicity that keeps the top-front looking sharp and uncluttered.

A wider, 31.2-inch handlebar and new seat profile reshape the control triangle to put the pilot in a more commanding position than ever before, and since this is also the lightest Speed Triple ever to roll, it’s also the most nimble to date. Plus, the bar-end mirrors add some swagger to the package.

The seat rides at 32.7 inches off the deck, which is fairly standard for sportbikes but will definitely be tiptoe country for anyone around 5-foot-9 or shorter. It is what it is, folks. A compact tail section supports an interchangeable P-pad, and recessed in the tip of the stinger, a stylized LED taillight ensures good visibility from the rear. A bolt-up mudguard carries the LED back blinkers along with the license plate holder for easy removal ahead of race days, because in keeping with Speed Triple tradition, this newest addition freely shifts between track and street.

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Chassis

  • The most agile dynamic handling
  • Front and rear adjustable suspension
  • All-new mass centralized chassis
  • Optimzed cornering ABS
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986717
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986672
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986678
This is the lightest Speed Triple ever to roll, it's also the most nimble to date.

Aluminum tubing on the Speed Triple 1200 RS makes up the exposed aluminum twin-spar frame with a bolt-on subframe, also in lightweight aluminum, to finish the main structure. A single-side aluminum swingarm mounts the rear wheel and leaves an unimpeded view of the rear hub from the exhaust-side of the bike, but it’s more about the weight savings than any sort of vanity concerns.

Speaking of weight, the reduction efforts paid off with a loss of 22 pounds to make the total dry weight a low 437 pounds. All-around Öhlins suspension components take care of business with a TTX36, twin-tube monoshock out back opposite a set of inverted 43 mm, usd forks. The full trinity of tweaks are available at both ends as part of the stock package, as is the 4.72-inch suspension stroke that’s fairly standard for the genre. Rake and trail measure out at 23.9 degrees from the vertical and 4.1 inches long over a 56.9 inch wheelbase to land deep in agile territory. The steering geometry works with the lower overall heft, weight centralization, and pilot-machine integration to make this the most nimble Speed Triple thus far.

Cast-aluminum rims round out the rolling chassis with a 17-inch diameter front and back and Metzeler Racetec RR K3 rubber in a 120/70 and 190/55, front to back. The hoops come with a “Z” rating, so they’ll take everything you and the new Speed Triple 1200 RS can dish out and more. If that ain’t enough in your estimation, you can get the factory-option Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC2 tires installed before you roll it off the lot.

Serious go requires some serious stop, and Triumph obliges with all-around Brembo calipers that bite dual 320 mm discs up front and a 220 mm rear disc, all under the protection of the stock Optimized Cornering C-ABS feature. At the front-brake master cylinder, the brake lever comes adjustable for span and ratio, so if you’ve got small hamburger shovels you can set up the hand control to suit.

Frame: Aluminum twin spar frame, bolt-on aluminum rear subframe
Swingarm: Aluminum, single-sided
Front Suspension/ Travel: Öhlins 43 mm NIX30 upside down forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping/ 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/Travel: Öhlins TTX36 twin tube monoshock with preload, rebound and compression damping/ 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rake: 23.9 °
Trail: 4.1 in (104.7 mm)
Front Wheel: Cast aluminum, 17 x 3.50 in
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum, 17 x 6.00 in
Front Tire: Metzeler Racetec RR K3 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: Metzeler Racetec RR K3 190/55 ZR17
Front Brakes: Dual 320 mm floating discs. Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers, OC-ABS, radial master cylinder with separate reservoir, span & ratio adjustable.
Rear Brakes: Single 220 mm disc. Brembo twin piston caliper, OC-ABS. Rear master cylinder with separate reservoir.

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Drivetrain

  • Liquid-cooled 1,160 cc inline triple engine
  • 177 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque
  • Five ride modes
  • Switchable cornering traction control
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986711
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986675
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986696
Torque maxes out at 9 grand, but much of it is available fairly early in the rev range to give this mill a very deep torque well.

Naturally, the real star of the show on the Speed Triple 1200 RS is the revamped three-banger engine that contributes to its name. Even the engine was subject to the weight-loss effort, it rolls 15 and a half pounds lighter with lower rotational inertia for snappier spool-ups and throttle responses. It’s water-cooled with a beefy concave radiator mounted up front to eliminate the waste heat and help the mill meet its emissions obligations.

Triumph has dubbed the triple’s power deliver as the “wall of torque,” a name that might sound pretentious if the factory didn’t back it up with 92 pound-feet of torque, six pounds o’ grunt over the previous version. Torque maxes out at 9 grand, but much of it is available fairly early in the rev range to give this mill a very deep torque well indeed. It also picked up almost 30 horsepower, so max power clocks in at 177.5-ponies at 10,750 rpm to make this machine come alive at the top end.

Dual over-head cams time four poppets per head for a total of 12 valves to provide efficient aspiration and exhaust. Each bore mics out at 90 mm with a short 60.8-inch stroke to give the plant its 1,160 cc total displacement. Seriously spicy 13.2-to-1 compression ratio will demand the highest octane you can find, but higher operating costs is one of the things you should expect when you start dealing with bikes this radical.

A six-speed gearbox helps you keep the revs in the useful power range with a slipper-type clutch that prevents excessive backtorque from developing in the drivetrain that could disrupt the rear contact patch during heavy engine-braking and hard downshifts. Plus, Triumph’s Shift-Assist quickshifter lets you work both up and down the range with nary a pull of the clutch lever or a reduction in throttle. That’s not all.

A switchable traction control system comes optimized for cornering with a quartet of intervention levels that will let you dial in for the prevalent conditions or get set up for track days. A set of five Riding Modes also come stock and boasts an enhanced Track-Mode to further its racing chops. An enhanced front wheel-lift feature adds another layer of safety. It allows you to get the most out of the potential for acceleration with no risk of an uncontrolled moonshot or loss of acceleration. Top speed is somewhere in the neighborhood of 155 mph.

Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
Displacement: 1,160 cc
Bore x Stroke: 90.0 mm x 60.8 mm
Compression: 13.2:1
Maximum Power: 177.5 hp (132.4 kW) @ 10,750 rpm
Maximum Torque: 92 lb-ft (125 Nm) @ 9,000 rpm
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Exhaust: Stainless steel 3-into-1 header system with underslung primary silencer and side mounted secondary silencer
Final Drive: X-ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, slip & assist
Gearbox: 6 speed

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Price

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986718
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986671
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986683
MSRP is $18.3k no matter which color you choose.

You can choose between the glossy Sapphire Black package and Matte Silver Ice finish, both of which roll for $18,300. These are new paint packages to mark the new variant in the long-running Speed Triple line, and are intentionally understated so as not to detract from the mechanical marvel they cover.

Instruments: Full-color 5-inch TFT instruments
Color: Sapphire Black, Matte Silver Ice
Price: $18,300

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Competitors

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
- image 986720
2017 - 2020 Ducati Monster 1200 / 1200 S
- image 832355

No doubt about it, the new Speed Triple 1200 RS is a tough act to follow within the naked-sport segment, but I think I have a worthy competitor right out of Europe’s Boot in the Ducati Monster 1200.

Ducati Monster 1200

2017 - 2020 Ducati Monster 1200 / 1200 S
- image 861992

Rippling with muscles, the Monster cuts a singular figure with its high-and-tight bodywork, well-integrated headlight can, and beefy front end. Like its counterpart, the Monster can be quickly switched between solo and two-up riding, street and track alike. Also in common is the external frame structure and single-side swingarm.

Ducati hits many of the ride-control high points with ride-by-wire control, wheelie control, traction control, riding modes, power modes and cornering ABS. It packs 1,198 cubes in its L-Twin configuration and generates 147 ponies with 91 pounds o’ grunt to fall a skosh short of the 177.5/92 the Trumpet brings to the table.

Fully adjustable stems support the Duc that comes stock with an adjustable seat that can be set plus-or-minus a whole inch for a difference that you can feel. As the Ducati falls short on power output, surprisingly, so it also commands a lower sticker price with a starting MSRP of $14,995 to leave quite a bit of cheddar on the table. Is it worth it for the extra power the Brit provides? Depends on the rider I suppose.

Read our full review of the Ducati Monster 1200.

He Said

Compact, agile, and powerful, the newest Speed Triple 1200 RS brings racetrack performance to the everyrider, but you better know what you’re about when you throw a leg over this aluminum steed because ride-quality electronics are no substitute for skill. It’s my opinion that it is worth the extra cheese, but honestly, you’ll never do it justice on public roads. Better not, anyway.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says “In a from-the-ground-up redesign for 2021, Triumph brings us a new Speed Triple to contend in the naked sportbike market. Handling is improved, performance is more dynamic, it has more power, and electronics are improved to bring the “RS” into contention for top spot.

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
Displacement: 1,160 cc
Bore x Stroke: 90.0 mm x 60.8 mm
Compression: 13.2:1
Maximum Power: 177.5 hp (132.4 kW) @ 10,750 rpm
Maximum Torque: 92 lb-ft (125 Nm) @ 9,000 rpm
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Exhaust: Stainless steel 3-into-1 header system with underslung primary silencer and side mounted secondary silencer
Final Drive: X-ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, slip & assist
Gearbox: 6 speed
Chassis:
Frame: Aluminum twin spar frame, bolt-on aluminum rear subframe
Swingarm: Aluminum, single-sided
Front Suspension/ Travel: Öhlins 43 mm NIX30 upside down forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping/ 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/Travel: Öhlins TTX36 twin tube monoshock with preload, rebound and compression damping/ 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rake: 23.9 °
Trail: 4.1 in (104.7 mm)
Front Wheel: Cast aluminum, 17 x 3.50 in
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum, 17 x 6.00 in
Front Tire: Metzeler Racetec RR K3 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: Metzeler Racetec RR K3 190/55 ZR17
Front Brakes: Dual 320 mm floating discs. Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers, OC-ABS, radial master cylinder with separate reservoir, span & ratio adjustable.
Rear Brakes: Single 220 mm disc. Brembo twin piston caliper, OC-ABS. Rear master cylinder with separate reservoir.
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 82.3 in(2,090 mm)
Width (Handlebars): 31.2 in (792 mm)
Height Without Mirrors: 42.9 in (1,089 mm)
Seat Height: 32.7 in (830 mm)
Wheelbase: 56.9 in (1,445 mm)
Wet weight: 437 lb (198kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.1 gal (15.5 liters)
Fuel Consumption: 50.2 mpg (5.6 l/100km)
Details:
Instruments: Full-color 5-inch TFT instruments
Color: Sapphire Black, Matte Silver Ice
Price: $18,300

Further Reading

Triumph

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 791470

Read more Triumph news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: triumphmotorcycles.com, ducati.com

Press release

Related Articles

Triumph launches a new SOS system for your Smartphone

2021 Honda CB1000R Black

2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE

2018 - 2020 Triumph Speed Triple S / RS

2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: