Published on August 12th, 2022 | by Boris0
2022 TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE RR REVIEW – GLORY TO THE EMPIRE!
IMAGES BY NICK ‘OLD BLIGHTY’ EDARDS
It’s a hell of a thing, this Speed Triple RR…a right hell of a thing.
Look at it.
Sure, the pics look great, but you have to see one in the flesh, you have to sit on it, and touch it, and gaze adoringly at the level of finish.
And then, when you ride it (and you must – I quite insist) you’ll understand Triumph has done something quite special.
It has created a true sportsbike. And made it beautiful.
That’s it. That’s the punchline right there.
This is the bike I had been hoping Triumph would ultimately build and stop pfaffing around with all those howling, skinny-bitch 765 and 675 jiggers.
They are all well and good, those little buggers. But there is not now, nor will there ever be, any substitute for the hairy-balled beastliness of a 1200cc triple. Especially when it comes with clip-ons, rear-sets, and suspension that is truly world-class in its brilliance.
“It’s just a Speed Triple RS with clip-ons,” you say.
Heh. Well, yes, it has clip-ons. And rear-sets, as well, like I said. But it also has that insanely good electronic suspension, loads of carbon-fibre, and it’s tuned differently.
It feels like an entirely different bike to the brilliant RS – which I loved with the kind of drooling derangement very few can understand. I rode them back-to-back, and then I called Cliffy at Triumph.
“Why does the engine feel different?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Well, the RS feels like a triple – it’s all growly and has the sound and feel of the mongrel about it. And the RR, which has the same engine, feels much smoother, although it still throws itself at the horizon like a whore on a sailor. What’s the go?”
“I think it’s a different tune. No-one’s saying anything when I ask. But you’re right. They feel different to ride – and it’s not just the ergos.”
“So I’m not imagining it?”
“No, you’re not imagining it.”
Just to clarify…
The RS is a sportsbike. That’s what the riding position is all about. It’s not an appalling “I need a spinal fusion” thing, but it’s serious. Your head is forward, your legs are high and back, and if your jacket is short, there will be wind blowing down your crack. But you won’t much care, because you’ll be hammering the fish-and-chips out of it, all dry-eyed and breathless, like you’ve just jumped out of a plane.
And there is much to hammer, brothers and sisters – 180 horses, 125Nm, and a wet weight of 199kg – all wrapped in a beautifully finished, carbon-fibre-kissed package that is, to my jaded eye, quite stunning.
This is a genuinely great-looking bike – both up close and at a remove. And that is so hugely important, given how bike-buying is always a heart-over-mind thing. Well, it is if you’re doing it right.
And yes, much of its sexy look has to do with the fairing – a strange point of controversy for some opinionated chieftains.
The issue, it seems, is that its styling is in the same ball-park as the MV Augusta Superveloce. Maybe none of the yodellers noticed the Superveloce has a full fairing, and they are just concentrating on the funnel-like swoop of the upper fairing to the single headlight. Yeah, well, maybe…OK.
There is a vague similarity, I will grant that. But I’m sure that the Triumph fairing will not fall off or come loose, and then just look magnificent laying on the road like the MV’s might well do. It has some form in that regard.
And here’s the thing also – the Speed Triple RR offers a level of ride, handling, and performance which will rarely be exceeded, let alone bettered. All the gear is there for just that. The Stylema brakes, the levers, the brilliant up-and-down quickshifter, and the gorgeous attention to detail and finish. The bike exudes class – plain and simple. And aggression. O so much aggression.
I thought I was maybe fapping a little too hard over the thing. I felt a reality check was needed. I took the RR down to my mates, Duncan and Aaron, who run the best mechanic shop for a hundred miles in any direction.
Duncan is of an age with me, and Aaron is his son, and a generation removed from the weathered wisdom his father and I provide whether he wants it or not. He’s also much faster than either of us.
They speak the truth to me when it comes to bikes, so I do, on occasion, take a test-bike to them, let them have a ride, and then see if they’re digging it the same way I am.
They both agreed it was stunning. Then they rode it. They were both blown away. Duncan started muttering something about retiring and buying one in red, but it was Aaron who seemed to be most taken with it.
“I lay awake at night and think of it,” he says to me every time we catch up. “It does everything how I want it done. And it’s gorgeous.”
I simply cannot sum it up any better than that. The RR will do everything you want such a bike to do, and you’ll stare at it in naked adoration every chance you get.
It’s more road-focused than track focused – and of course it must be if it’s to be relevant, and Triumph built it with that in mind. Banging it through corners, you quickly realise three things – a) What sublime handling actually is, b) how slow you actually are, and c) how much faster you could actually be if you stopped being a bitch.
I love bikes that do that to me.
It’s certainly too race-crouch for me, and if I could get an RS with that otherworldly suspension – and I’m flat out thinking of a bike that has better suspension than the RR – I’d own it in a sec. And then the madness sets in, and I tell myself there’s no reason why I could not have an RR and ride it on special occasions, racer’s crouch be damned, and just wallow in its titanic glory.
As a package, its damn hard to equal let alone beat. A stunning, torquey, well-mannered motor, a sublime gearbox mated to a superb quick-shifter, brakes that will stop the world…and suspension that’s simply the best there is.
With this bike, Triumph has claimed a place at the top of the sportsbike mountain – a summit that has some serious contenders on it. Sure, there are a few bikes that can match the RR’s performance. There’s maybe only one that can come close to its suspension. But I can’t think of a single bike out there that offers all of that, as well as being a truly stunning-to-look-at motorcycle.
Glory to the Empire. It deserves it.
HOW MUCH? $32,390 plus ORC.