In the last couple of weeks, MO has covered hints surrounding the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple S and RS no less than three times. While we were able to pull a few smidgens of information about the new models from CARB filings and teaser videos, the time is finally at hand. Triumph has officially released the specifications for the new Speed Triples – and they should make the bikes’ fans happy.

2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS Confirmed In CARB Filings

New Triumph Speed Triple Teased For Jan. 29

Fogarty VS Johnson On The New Triumph Speed Triple RS

First, the engine has been revamped. While the displacement remains at 1050 cc, this “major redevelopment” of the Triple accounts for no less than 105 new engine parts. With an emphasis on increased performance and lighter weight, the engine received a new, lighter crank gear. The Nikasil-plated aluminum cylinder liners are also lighter and contain new profile pistons that squeeze the fuel charge into higher compression ratio combustion chambers. The head itself has seen its exhaust ports optimized for improved gas flow. Additionally, a new freer-flowing exhaust, larger catalyst and lighter header system also aim to improve gas flow and thus bump performance in both the S and RS models. Finally – and significantly – the engine’s rev-limit has been increased by 1,000 rpm, yes!

2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS

The Speed Triple RS gets sporty Arrow exhaust canisters.

According to Triumph, horsepower increased 7% to 148 hp (at the crank). Torque increased by 4% to a claimed 86 lb-ft. (Based on our previous dyno testing of the Speed Triple, we expect these numbers to translate to roughly 132 hp and 79 lb-ft at the rear wheel.)

Outside of the combustion chambers, other changes are aimed at increasing efficiency and redistributing weight. For example, a new sump places the oil lower in the engine for a lower CG while also reducing the lubricant’s parasitic drag by moving it further away from the spinning parts. The oil-flow through the cylinder head has been rerouted, which enabled the removal of external oil pipes for a cleaner look and reduced mass.

The transmission has been improved as has the slip-assist clutch for easier operation and to help avoid chatter during high-rpm downshifts. On the other end of the crankshaft from the clutch, a lighter alternator has taken up residence as one of the weight-saving features. More grams were shaved through the use of a smaller starter motor and lighter battery.

2018 Triumph Speed Triple

TFT instrumentation makes its way to the Speed Triple with a different layout for each ride mode.

Electronics were also massaged for 2018. While the Ride Modes aren’t new, the angle adjustable full-color 5-inch TFT screen you set them on is. Naturally, each ride mode receives its own on-screen information layout. Controlling all this informational technology is all-new switchgear which is LED backlit for ease-of-use in both daylight and darkness. The RS also gains keyless ignition and a special lock/unlock button on the switchgear, enabling the rider to keep the electronic “fob” in their pocket at all times. In a move that’s sure to tickle and delight our inner John Burns, both models receive standard cruise control for 2018.

However, the real electronic wizardry takes place on the RS model. Thanks to an inertial measurement unit (IMU) that was developed in conjunction with Continental, cornering ABS and traction control make their way to the Street Triple. By tracking the constant changes of roll, pitch, yaw, lean angle and acceleration rates, the system can deliver the appropriate safety response when necessary. Also, as standard fitment on the RS in the US market only, Triumph Shift Assist allows for clutch-free up- and down-shifts “while maintaining the accelerator position.” Color us excited!

2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS

The Öhlins fork points to this being an RS model, but all Speed Triples receive Brembo 4-piston 2-pad M4.34 radial Monobloc calipers. Note the slick shoulders on the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa front tire…. ya think Triumph is trying to tell us something?

When it comes time to apply some whoa to the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires both Speed Triples utilize 320mm rotors and Brembo four-piston two-pad M4.34 radial Monobloc calipers. The RS also sports matching Brembo adjustable brake and clutch levers. The RS’ premium trim also gains a carbon fiber front fender and radiator cowls. A color-matched belly pan and passenger seat cover are also standard on the RS, as is the matte aluminum subframe.

Suspension-wise, the Speed Triple S utilizes a fully-adjustable 43mm Showa upside-down fork and a monoshock rear suspension also by Showa. Fans of the Speed Triple RS probably already have a good idea what keeps its tires in contact with the road: a 43mm Öhlins NIX30 upside-down fork and an Öhlins TTX36 twin tube rear shock – both fully adjustable.

According to Triumph, all of these details combine to make the new 2018 S and RS the lightest, most powerful, and best handling Speed Triples to ever wear the name. The rest of us mere mortals will have to wait until they are available. Prices have not been set as of press time, but the color options have. The Speed Triple S will be either Jet Black or Crystal White, both with a titanium rear subframe, graphite wheel pinstripes, silver seat stitching and graphite decals. The Speed Triple RS will sport Crystal White or Matte Jet Black, both with a matte aluminum rear subframe, red wheel pinstripes, red seat stitching, and more premium RS decals.

  • Gabriel Owens

    My inner John Burns approves.

    • Alaskan18724

      Probably shouldn’t use that particular metaphor. It leads to mental images other than the one you presumably intended….

      Or maybe not. Cheers!

      “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

  • Alaskan18724

    You can ring my belllllllllllllll….

  • jeff benson

    Sounds good except for lighter alternator and battery. The 1050 Triple isn’t exactly stellar in the electrical department. However it is British after all. Using HID and LED bulbs helps though.

    • Alaskan18724

      Ah. Lucas, prince of darkness….

      • Born to Ride

        Warm beer, brought to you by the Lucas Electric Refrigerator.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Warm Shiner better than no shiner

  • Gary

    I would not hit my dog in the butt with something that ugly.

    • Alaskan18724

      Strange–to my eye, Triumph has accomplished something the Japanese manufacturers haven’t, looks-wise. Transformer styling that doesn’t splat against my eyes. I’d wish for a return to the original round headlights, but otherwise the styling seems to work for me. I probably can’t have one, because I doubt my legs will bend that way, but I like it!

      • Born to Ride

        Lots of legroom on a Speed Triple. Unless you’re used to riding a GS1200 or something.

        • Alaskan18724

          Pegs looked high in the photos. I’d give one a whirl! Oh–GS1200s fit me pretty well.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Agree on all acounts. Look closely at the pics, fit and finish seems impeccable

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Huh? People still buy these?

    • Alaskan18724

      Yep. There’s just something irresistible-ish about ’em.

      • Krylov

        That is true. Whenever I was thinking about buying a bike from another brand I ended up again with a Speed Triple… The triple engine, the gear box and suspension got better with each iteration. Big fun for spirited backroad riding. The white RS model, now with less weight, better looks than the 2016 matte-gray model and even a cornering ABS appears to tick all the right boxes with me again…

        • Alaskan18724

          Crystal White…red stitching…ooh, la la….

        • Born to Ride

          Funny, the matte grey 2016 speedie is by far my favorite. Though it would have looked less busy with the blacked out fork this bike has.

          • Krylov

            I had the matte-gray-red-gold 2016 1050R model for about half a year before I sold it again; while entertaining to ride, I finally found myself loathing the red parts, but also could not get myself to black out these parts on a newly bought motorcycle. But with the new white RS coming up selling this previous model seemed to have been a good decision: the new color scheme with the blacked out Öhlins, cornering ABS, less weight, especiall unsprung rotating mass with the new rims, and higher torque figures – it is all there.

          • Born to Ride

            Yeah, either ditch the red subframe and keep the gold forks and shock spring/reservoir. OR black out the fork, get a red shock spring, and put more red accents like striping and logos.

  • Max Wellian

    Everytime I read about these engine updates, they replace 100+ engine parts and the bike loses 5 lbs and gains 5 hp. I just wonder how much reliability and durability has been lost in these engines over the years? Guess it doesn’t really matter as few of them will likely ever see 10k miles, but it’d still be interesting.
    In engineering as in life, everything is a trade off…

    • Sayyed Bashir

      It is called optimization. Using finite element analysis, you can design lighter and stronger parts. Reliability and durability is not lost. Today’s bikes are the most reliable ever made. If in doubt, try a older bike. I must be off my rocker since I seem to be praising Triumph (although they are doing a excellent job) but my comment is more directed toward KTM. They keep making their bikes lighter, stronger, more powerful and more reliable. My new KTM 500 EXC is a powerhouse but weighs only 240 lbs. In the recent two week 5,600 mile Dakar Rally in South America which KTM won for the 17th consecutive time, none of the six KTM 450 Rally factory riders had any bike problems. Only 85 of 139 bikes finished the rally. And the terrain is the harshest of anywhere in the world.

      • Max Wellian

        Yeah, but it ain’t as if FEA just came out last week. And when you optimize something, it’s based on parameters. Lightness and strength are not on the same side of the ledger. You aren’t going to make a block of billet aluminum stronger by cutting it. It may be plenty strong for the task, but it ain’t gonna be stronger than it started life.
        I remember when aluminum started becoming popular on bikes and engineers were carping that due to the way it continuously fatigues until failure vs steel which seems to fatigue slower then plateaus and loses little strength, there would be no vintage aluminum bikes…unless they spent their life on a pedestal somewhere.

        • Born to Ride

          The only trouble with the arguement is that stress analysis via the finite element method allows engineers to reduce stress concentrations in complex geometries like aluminum perimeter frames on bikes. If you can get your factor of safety high enough, some of the aluminum alloys with a good temper can last tens of millions of cycles, effectively giving them the endurance limit of steel at a lower factor of safety. I’ve been wondering since we have been seeing a resurgence in steel tube frames if there is a threshold of specific strength required and how they calculate and test these frames. Really interesting stuff.

          • Max Wellian

            All I can say is I just watched their new vid on the bike and it looks and sounds great. I’m sure it’ll probably outlast me!

          • Sayyed Bashir

            “a resurgence in steel tube frames”. KTM exclusively uses chrome-moly steel frames on all its bikes, even the MotoGP bike.

          • Born to Ride

            So did Ducati, then they ditched the steel and started winning races. I think steel frames are more difficult to fine tune the flex characteristics. Granted that is just my intuition knowing a bit about structural stress analysis and material science.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Intuition doesn’t win races. KTM knows more about steel frames than anybody else. The tubes are laser cut and robot welded so they are consistent. They can design in “high torsional rigidity and low longitudinal stiffness” for “better absorption of the energy created from the front and rear suspension”. KTM did very well in their first year in MotoGP on a brand new bike. They were ahead of Aprilia and Suzuki in many races. This year should be even better.

          • Born to Ride

            They know more about steel frames than a company that had been racing on them for decades and winning races? Dude you’re delusional. Also laser cut and robot welded doesn’t mean that they are inherently better than an aluminum frame that is also robotically welded and robotically machined. KTM will be off the podium indefinitely, because their factory team will not attract race win capable riders.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I think you will have to eat your words soon enough. You are accusing a dirt bike company that has never competed in MotoGP of not winning a podium on a new bike with new riders in their first season? And don’t worry about race win capable riders. You will see them soon. KTM is not going to hire current superstars like Rossi or Marquez. They will develop from within just like they did their bike.

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    i know a road i’d love to try this on! i live in N.Ca. so there’s this little stretch of Hwy.1 between Leggett and the coast…! think twisty! maybe not more than the Dragon’s Tail,but in the ballpark…

    • Old MOron

      Ooh, I think I know just the section of Hwy 1 you’re talking bout.
      It’s like an elfin forest.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        that’s the one! i used to drive from Eureka to Ft.Bragg and back all the time on that road and saw all manner of bikes on it-apparently it’s quite a favorite for 2-wheeled travel! also deer,black bears,turkeys,etc. do watch out for them if you should venture…

        • Old MOron

          Gorgeous section of road. It’s so densely green, and the canopy hangs over the road. Then suddenly you arrive at the sea. (Actually the arrival is probably not all that sudden, but that’s the way I remember it.)

  • allworld

    This is so my type of bike.
    Triumph should use this bike to produce a touring version; extend the swing arm an inch or so, and a slight bikini fairing, an effective low profile windscreen, and the bam. The reincarnation of the Sprint ST 1050 we all loved.

    • Alaskan18724

      Yes, also.

    • Born to Ride

      And don’t route the airflow of the fairings to use the rider’s circulatory system as secondary cooling while stopped and the fan comes on…

    • JMDGT

      They sell a Tiger Sport in Europe with the 1050 triple.

      • allworld

        That’s good for Europe…. I have a 2012 Tiger 1050, but I would love a new updated Sprint ST, not the GT. Think KTM Super Duke GT….

        • JMDGT

          A lighter more powerful Sprint would dominate the market I think. Europe gets all the good stuff it seems. Maybe it is just my obsession with unobtanium.

    • Max Wellian

      I don’t think this would make a good sport tourer. They use a “lighter” battery that probably won’t start the bike in the cold and “shaved weight off the alternator” which means it’ll probably melt down when you plug in electric gear. Nevermind, the heat needy track tires…
      This is a nice day play bike, not a workhorse.

      • Born to Ride

        It could be that starter motors have become more compact for the same torque output, and the charging system more efficient. As far as the tires go, that’s not a long term problem. My bike came with the exact same tires and they are almost wasted now at 1200 miles.

  • Michael

    Now… if only they would bring back the round headlights…

    • Alaskan18724

      Yes.

    • Born to Ride

      These headlights are so much brighter and better focused than the twin round headlamps. Buuut, they could easily put an updated LED projector into a round housing like some other manufacturers.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Definitely has that bug eye look

  • Born to Ride

    Didn’t they just “refine” this engine with 100 new parts like 2 years ago? How much are they going to spend on incremental improvement to a 25 year old engine design? I’m sure this engine is a fine tuned machine of perfection by now, but I’m 90% sure that the extra power came from raising the rev ceiling and not any other change to engine internals, intake, or exhaust. Granted, improvement to lubrication and manufacturing tolerances is likely what allowed them to safely raise the rev ceiling, but man, I’d have loved to seen a 1200cc torque monster. That’s what this bike was all about before.

    • Billy Jack

      Yes, the 2016 iteration was also “all new” (even though it wasn’t), and it had “104 developments” in the engine. An engine that still managed to look remarkably like the one they first put in it 20yrs earlier.

      https://www.cycleworld.com/2016/01/22/triumph-announces-all-new-speed-triple-models-video

      I’ve always liked the speed triple. But I think it’s long past due for a ground-up redesign. And I think most of the buying public knows it, even if Triumph thinks we don’t.

      • Proheli

        Agreed. I finally rode one last year, the upspec version. It was downright portly compared to other big 4-5 bikes in this category. Aprila, KTM, Ducati and the Yamabop. As I did the test ride I was thinking this would be a good bike for my dad, very smooth and upwardly mobile enough as his skills increase. He’s 70 and doesn’t ride too much. Its not really in the Super Naked class, but more something that if you just take it for what it is, its a great bike. Just don’t compare.

        • Jeff S. Wiebe

          “Just don’t compare”. That’s good advice in general in terms of achieving contentment with a given set of circumstances. Problem is before you’ve chosen those circumstances, you pretty much have to compare, and that’s where the choices of lesser desirability show up as such. It’s almost too bad, except it’s the way things keep improving (rosy coloured glasses oversimplification). Anyway, this is my rambling blather indicating I agree with you.

          • Proheli

            I really enjoyed my test ride, and it wasn’t until I tried to change directions, back and forth quickly, that the bike showed its more all around nature.as opposed to claiming to be a Super Naked, but I really did enjoy the test ride.

      • Maria

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        • Gabriel Owens

          Eat a D

    • roma258

      Maybe wait to ride it before casting judgement? I mean, 148 bhp on a naked bike is probably enough? Especially the RS with the Ohlins and IMU electronics is probably pretty sublime, and I expect it’ll undercut Tuono Factory and Super Duke R by a couple grand.

      • Born to Ride

        But why should we assume that it’s a magnitude of order better than the model that just came out 2 years ago? It’s the same frame, same suspension, same brakes, same RbW with the addition of an IMU which only really improves the features you hopefully never have to use anyways. Crank horsepower claims are nonsense. We’ll have to wait and see how much of a difference the wheels and engine tweaking actually makes.

      • Born to Ride

        Nevermind, I redact all my previous complaints. This gets cruise control too! That was worth the update, lol

        • Max Wellian

          Would be to me. I often end up a long way from home, tired, and hungry. Make the highway hop back that much more tolerable.

  • JMDGT

    I like the RS version of this bike. I need to ride one. I have always liked the Speed for a number of reasons. I’d like to see some changes like bringing back the round head lamps but overall I like what they’ve done. I would think this buys Triumph another few years to sell this updated version. I’d be happy with a RS version. At the right price of course.

  • Andrew Capone

    This is sweet. I’m fine with Triumph not trying to out- do the Super Naked competition with raw numbers. The Speed is a Gentlemen’s Express, British to the core, and this could tempt me to trade in my 2012.

    • Born to Ride

      I wouldn’t mind if they had a 1200cc version that *only* made 130rwhp. As long as it made 90ft-lbs from 2500 to 9000 rippums, all would be good.

    • Alaskan18724

      Exactly right. The ethos of this bike works for me. Looked at a Tuono last weekend, didn’t even bother to throw a leg over it. Turns out, I’m all about a Gentlemen’s Express. Fast enough. Smooth enough. Cool enough. A bike for a man who brushes his teeth and combs his hair in the morning.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        You posh sod. All hair-combie and tooth-brushie.

        • Alaskan18724

          Guilty. And all Speedie Triplie.

      • Gabriel Owens

        What’s hair?

        • Alaskan18724

          A high-maintenance accessory.

  • mikstr

    interesting updates to a great bike. Sure wish they made it a 1200 though…

  • Shlomi

    Triumph lost the super naked market few years back. Yes the ST is great bike, but no rational buyer would pick the ST over the Tuono/ SDR/ S1000R. On the other hand cheaper Japanese super naked are getting better see FZ10/ GSX S1000. My local dealer doesn’t even keep ST inventory in the showroom.

    • jeff benson

      No offense, but if we were rational we’d be in cars. Any bike purchase is a personal involvement that transcends the oh so middle class boring doldrum of rationality.

      • Shlomi

        Ok, I assume you are a passionate/ implosive buyer, tell me you prefer the ST over the Tuono / Tuono Factory or the SDR. Don’t get me wrong I like the Triumph brand, I owned Street Triple Rx until a year ago. The street triple leads its class especially the new 765 RS, but the ST is a 🐕.
        The evidence, the SF dealership (which sells lots of Triumph) does not even keep inventory of ST on their floor.

        • Born to Ride

          If all you care about is sportbike performance then sure, she is heavy and relatively slow steering without the top end rush of 155rwhp bikes. But, if you care more about having a bike that performs in all conditions, whether it’s commuting, traveling, canyon carving, or the occasional track day, and does all of those things well enough to put a smile on your face, then I think there is hardly a finer bike than the Speed Triple. Especially when you take 20lbs off the tail and let that triple howl through a stubby side mount pipe. I have the STRS because I wanted a weekend sportbike that was the absolute best for the money, but I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t already have a competent all-rounder in the garage. YMMV

          • Shlomi

            Since you are owner I cant argue with you on how much you like your bike. Still I don’t see how the ST is better than SDR even for daily ride. The SDR has even more torque down low, a bit longer suspension, and electronic package that is second to none. I guess the ST is better looking than SDR “General Grievous”: https://www.google.com/search?q=general+grievous+star+wars+picture&client=firefox-b-1-ab&biw=1440&bih=731&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=kuBb5blMd40GxM%253A%252CLiSnEoxKfM94sM%252C_&usg=__X_vLGyolIuQ1rzu9ICXkijm71is%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiOjZD8kJPZAhUPA6wKHUWkAx4Q9QEIOTAI#imgrc=LqZLgK-PA1rI8M:

          • Born to Ride

            The SDR also vibes very annoyingly at freeway speed, I found the saddle to be uncomfortable, and it isn’t that quick steering either. Yes, mountains of power everywhere and it is a better sport bike than the speedie, but I didn’t think it was good enough on the highway to be my commuter. I had a sprint st with the 1050 triple, and that thing effortlessly hummed down the freeway at 80-85mph. I did 600 miles a week one particularly awful quarter at my university, and that bike made it bearable. Like I said, if you want a sport bike with a handlebar, the speed 3 is not your sled, but if you want a highly refined bike that is comfy and does everything well, I don’t see any other bike in its class being better.

          • gjw1992

            You’ve described why the speed triple still earns its place in the Triumph catalog(ue). And while some complain this 2018 version is too much evolution not revolution, I think that extra 1000rpm and the power that comes with it will give it a little extra hi-end rush that might’ve been lacking.

            The great lo-speed manners which have probably been improved should also attract attention away from all those otherwise great new bikes that have jerky and on/off throttles

          • Born to Ride

            Indeed, Triumph fueling and throttle response is second to none. Forgot to mention that before.

        • jeff benson

          Actually I got a 1050 Tiger on a screaming deal (7k for a demo with 600 miles on it). It helps that the Triumph dealer is a mile from my house. Aprilia is two States away (big States) so the Tuono is no option no matter how attractive. My old bones are beyond either a Tuono or an ST anyhow. Lol.

          • Shlomi

            The Tiger 1050 is a great bike. Too bad Triumph Triumph removed it from the US product line. The only competitor to the Tiger is Ducati MTS, I owned one and sware it’s my last Ducati ever.

        • Alaskan18724

          Does passion include how it makes you feel when you look at it? If so, I prefer the Triumph.

  • xyzzy_xyzzy

    I’ve got the 2016 Speed Triple S. Preferred the looks over the S1000R (who’d chose a girlfriend with a squint!), and it was smoother/quieter than the Tuono (much less fun, but when you ride every day you make compromises for comfort). The first thing I did was replace the exhaust with a low-mount and add a tail tidy. Looks heaps better, as well as being lighter and with a lower centre of gravity. The Street Triple has had low-mount exhaust for years and looks much better for it, I was expecting the Speed Triple to finally catch up. At least the RS got cornering ABS etc – overdue.

  • Russ Archer

    Where’s the Roulette Green colour?

    • Clutchman11

      Now that you mention it, when did Roulette Green disappear?

      • Russ Archer

        2007 was the last year Roulette Green was offered. I bought a used ’07 RGS3 in 2010. Sold it a couple of years ago after I had a bad motorcycle wreck on a different bike. Man, I wish I’d kept it. Love Speed Triples and that Roulette Green color just totally fit the bike’s personality.

        • spiff

          Hopefully they will offer it on the new generation.

          • Clutchman11

            Would be nice, although I doubt it. Loosely basing it on the two color options I saw on their UK website.

  • jeff benson

    I am always amused at how a bike can be “too powerful” one year and then a few years later, with more power, be considered boring. Human nature I guess.

    • Born to Ride

      Who said the speedie was too powerful? Certainly not our MOrons…

      • jeff benson

        Au contraire. Many were very impressed with the ST back in the day.

  • Alaskan18724

    WHEN???

    • Born to Ride

      WHO!?

      • Clutchman11

        WHERE?!?

        • spiff

          WHY!?

          • Alaskan18724

            BECAUSE IT’S THERE!

  • lennon2017

    Cue the review from some sunny south European spot where the writer/vlogger explains how they opted to spend most of their limited time with the RS model which will set the consumer back more than said consumer is willing to be set back as evidenced by the downturn in sport bikes since ten years ago, and oh yes, the Öhlins is superb, as are the brakes, and you really can feel the extra hp and the full color dash is a great improvement over the old tacho-monochrome combo, and attention to detail is Triumph level as always but is it worth the coin, we’ll have to wait and see for when we pit it against its 2018 rivals later this year in the supernaked shootout of all supernaked shootouts in which the delectability of those raging horses from the KTM is just still too good to let slip to second place next to these other $15k+ bikes, even though they’re all winners in our book, what book, we’re online, now let’s see if one of us can score a long termer that we write half of a half dozen posts on how it’s proven itself a cool commuter, track day weapon and all-rounder, indeed we’re sad to see it go but check back to see what’s next in garage, maybe it’ll be something one could buy on a motojourno’s budget.

  • David Davidson

    not sure if it said the arrow exhaust RS will be CA legal?