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Home » motorcycle, Triumph Motorcycle

2011 Triumph Speed Triple 1050

Submitted by on May 14, 2012 – 1:00 pmNo Comment

Well, those lights are gone now, replaced by more angular units. But the lights are just a small part of an overall whole that’s radically different, yet still largely based on the same basic motorcycle. Allow us to explain.

Triumph engineers left no stone unturned when redesigning the Speed Triple. To keep things simple there were three goals to adhere to: it had to be lighter, it had to have more useable power (not that it was lacking in this department), and the last one is a bit strange: it had to feel more like its younger brother, the Street Triple.

To obtain the first objective, the entire chassis was redesigned to package the bike’s vital components closer together and with a greater forward weight bias. The new frame is slightly lighter than the one it replaces, though the major weight savings comes from all-new wheels and wheel assemblies that, combined, are more than six pounds lighter than last year. This despite the new model’s rear wheel being widened to six-inches (from 5.5-inches) to better accommodate a 190-series tire, and a single-sided swingarm that’s 18.5mm longer yet 2.2 pounds lighter than before.

This revised chassis was also a measure to place more weight toward the front tire. Its engine is placed forward 3mm and tilted forward seven degrees to shift more weight to the front.

Other than the lengthened swingarm, further measures include moving the battery in front of the fuel tank and steepening the steering head angle. Triumph also moved the most dynamic piece of the puzzle closer forward as well — the rider. But I’ll get into that a little later. All told, the 2011 Speed Triple places 50.9% of the vehicle’s weight over the front, compared to 48.6% for the 2010 model.

The Speed Triple retains the same basic 1050cc three-cylinder engine from last year, but with a few little tweaks that allow the bike to breathe a little easier. A revised airbox now has a 10% greater filter area, while revised fuel-injection software is claimed to improve fuel economy by 6%. A new sump allows for closer packaging of the exhausts and provides more ground clearance as well.

Header pipe diameter is reduced to 38mm (from 42mm), and secondary exhaust pipes are enlarged to 50.8mm (from 44.5mm), all for “more useable power.” Inside the engine, the inner cylinder transfer holes have been opened to reduce pumping losses during the pistons’ downward stroke. All told, Triumph claims a five horsepower increase (to 133 hp) and 8% more torque (82 ft.-lb.) compared to its predecessor. A new, high-efficiency radiator helps keep engine temps under control.

Triumph showed us a dyno chart comparison with this year’s engine overlaid on the previous version. What’s interesting is that below 4800 rpm the old engine actually made more power and torque. It’s not until that threshold is crossed does the new lump out-pull for the rest of the rev range. A clear demonstration of more useable power.

Taking the Speed Triple for a spin on the racetrack would reveal its performance at the limit. It was comically surprising how much fun it was to ride around the tight Chuckwalla track. With all the torque on tap, it’s entirely possible to keep the bike in third gear for the entire length of the track and never worry about shifting. It’s got that much grunt. The six-speed transmission is smooth both on and off the track, and the quick handling we noticed on the street transferred over as well.

The street-biased suspension made for a plush ride, and yet handled track duties surprisingly well. But make no mistake, race suspension it most definitely is not. Braking, too, was equally as powerful on the track as it was on the street and didn’t show any signs of fading. The only limitation is ground clearance, as the footpegs tend to scrape the tarmac at knee-dragging lean angles.

A full day of lapping around Chuckwalla further fueled my imagination into dreaming up a Triumph literbike. The bike is so entertaining to ride around the track as it is. A proper variant made to handle that kind of abuse would just be icing on the cake.

otomaps.com source article: www.netcarshow.com www.motorcycle.com www.roushperformance.com

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