2012 Triumph Speed Triple R | Doin' Time

Photography by Ari Henning

WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2012): $15,999
MILES: 3855
MPG: 39
MODS: MFW Vario footpegs

I haven’t done much with the Speed Triple this month except commute, but even the shortest jaunt on the Triumph makes me smile. The front tire leaves the pavement frequently, and when the weather is cold enough, a fistful of throttle sets the rear Pirelli spinning. I’m not showing off, it’s my way of warming it up! There’s certainly no risk of getting bored on this bike.

I’ve been tinkering with the Speed’s suspension in order to find a compliant “city” setup. Dialing in the Öhlins suspension is as easy as riding with a 3mm hex wrench in your pocket to tune fork damping. The shock is even easier: You can actually reach down and turn the damping knobs while you ride. The adjustments are pronounced, though more so for the fork because the shock spring is so stiff that it doesn’t compress much with just me on the bike. The back end is more yielding with a full load in the Ventura pack or my wife on the back, so clearly a softer spring would benefit ride quality.

Ergonomically, my only gripe with the Speed is legroom—there’s just not enough of it. To give myself a little more, I installed a set of MFW Vario footpeg brackets and pegs (www.twistedthrottle.com; $166.50). The kit installed in minutes, and the shifter linkage and rear brake master cylinder offer enough adjustment to get the controls back where I wanted them. Oh, how I wish I’d had these for that inaugural 1500-mile tour! The brackets add an inch of legroom that opens up the rider triangle appreciably. This one mod brings the Speed’s ergos more in line with those of the Trophy sport-tourer, but the system moves the pegs outboard about half an inch, and the Triumph’s foot controls are already fairly offset compared to the footpegs. That means you have to ride a bit pigeon-toed. I’ll probably go back to the stock pegs for the daily commute and weekend joy rides when I need to shift and brake a lot, but I’ll definitely switch to the Vario pegs the next time I point the Speed Triple at the far horizon.

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