I had the privilege of having a Speed Triple 1200RS on loan from Triumph Motorcycles and wow, what a privilege that was.
The 1200RS is a bike from the Speed Triple family, the previous model of which was the 1050.
I’m going to get techy with you early on here – the 1200RS has a Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder engine with fully adjustable Ohlins suspension front and back, Brembo brakes front and back and upside down front forks.
I really like the single sided swing arm styling of the RS and the exhaust, although standard, has quite a stylish end can fitted and sounds really good along with the triple engine especially when you drop it a gear and overtake, honestly you can feel the smile spreading across your face at the noise.
The 5” tft screen is easy to read and so too is navigating the various settings. There are five rider modes – rain, road, sport, track, and rider. Neither of my personal bikes have modes and to be honest I’ve never found a use for them, I always just tend to put a bike into sport mode as I find this most suits my riding style. A fly screen would be a good idea as when it was sunny (I know, I wasn’t expecting sun in October either!) you do get some reflection on the tft screen.
The weight of the RS is only 198kg and with a bhp of 178 I found the bike to be nimble in the corners and it felt stable too which is what I crave from a bike. The acceleration full stop was amazing but especially out of the corners, I could feel myself grinning under my helmet every time and I could hear myself giving a little chuckle too!
The RS has an up and down quickshifter which to start with I did forget I had as my bikes do not have this but I soon got used to it. I did find I had to really push the lever when changing gear – previously when I’ve used a quickshifter, I did find it quite light when changing gear so I am thinking that maybe this bike’s quickshifter needs a look at and maybe some adjustment.
A full keyless system is in place for this bike so I made sure that I kept the fob in my bike jacket pocket and zipped up at all times so I wouldn’t forget it or leave it somewhere and ride off without it! That would definitely be an oops moment :-O
I like the riding position of this bike and found the seat height of 830mm to be okay for me, I felt really comfortable on the bike both when riding and just moving the bike about or in and out of the garage.
There is cruise control on the bike which is really easy to set when riding and very useful especially if doing some motorway riding. The RS also has Optimised Cornering ABS and switchable Optimised Cornering Traction Control (with IMU) and Front Wheel Lift Control – I liked having the last one, stops me wheelieing down the road, it ending badly and me making a complete twat of myself!!!
The RS comes with Metzeler Racetec RR tyres which Metzeler describe as race track and road racing tyres. I can honestly say I do not like these tyres in the rain, the back end twitches and I have to adjust my riding so that I can ride safely whilst getting the most out of the bike. As I ride all year round, I would change the tyres to a more all round, all year riding tyre but, it’s personal choice.
The RS has bar end mirrors which were excellent for visibility and didn’t vibrate when riding as I have experienced on some bikes.
I rode the RS every day that I had the bike, I really loved the combination of the sound of the engine and the exhaust when you open it up, I could feel myself grinning from ear to ear under my crash helmet! I found the RS to be such fun to ride, it’s light, easy and comfy too.
If bikes came with a grin factor rating, I would give this five out of five. Every time I got off the bike I was grinning. I love how the bike feels, it’s responsive, agile and is just asking to be ridden more and more. The more I rode the bike, the more I wanted to get back on the bike and ride it, there’s definitely something about it that hooks you in.
I know the RS is part of the Speed Tripe family, but I honestly think it is a bike in its own right and deserves its own family, in my opinion it shouldn’t be compared to the 1050 because it is so different.
If I were buying the bike my first purchases would be:
- A tail tidy – I would have this fitted if I could before I left the showroom;
- A set of Michelin Pilot 5’s;
- A fly screen;
- Heated grips – I fit these as standard on all my bikes!
Other than that I wouldn’t change anything on the bike, I love it as it is and it was a sad day when I had to give the bike back 🙁
I absolutely loved riding the RS, I had such fun and have never grinned so much in a week – thank you Triumph for the loan of the Speed Triple 1200 RS, it was a privilege to ride 🙂
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I have done a walk around video of the 1200 RS which you can watch here: