2013 Triumph Speed Triple R | Doin' Time

Staffers’ Rides

Photography by Joe Neric

Wrist: Ari Henning
MSRP (2013): $15,999
Miles: 100
MPG: na
Mods: A brand-new bike

In my last update, I reported how an inattentive motorist rear-ended me in traffic, totaling my long-term Triumph Speed Triple R. Thankfully, the offending cager was fully insured, and the bike has been replaced. So here I am with a fresh Speed Triple R, recently delivered by Triumph with just 100 miles on the odometer and the rpm limit advisory sticker still on the tank. Aside from that detail, I’m a happy guy.

I’ve been without my three-cylinder beauty for two months now. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder, and every bike I’ve ridden since the Speed’s departure has paled in comparison to my memory of the Triumph’s feel, sound, and power. I even rode a 675cc Street Triple, the Speed’s little brother, for a few days. And while it was charismatic and impressively light handling, it felt small and, well, slow. There’s no doubt that I’ve been spoiled by the Speed’s prodigious torque. I have missed the way it growls at start-up, its ability to effortlessly float the front tire leaving stops, and the way the right combination of front and rear brake, downshifts, and clutch modulation will send it sliding into a turn. It’s a hooligan bike, no doubt about it!

I’m grateful that the Triumph is back, and its absence reminded me of a few things I still want to do with it. A track day is pretty high up on the list. This is the first long-termer I’ve had that wasn’t a sportbike first and foremost, but with that brutish 1050cc motor and those gilded Öhlins suspenders, you better believe the Speed can hold its own on a racetrack. It will be nice to go to the track with fun as my only agenda. I’m looking forward to burning up a set of sticky tires and getting black-flagged for carrying wheelies down the front straight.

And with summer right around the corner, I’m looking forward to setting out on a few more road trips. All the passes over the Sierra Nevada mountains are open that time of year, and when isn’t a good time to cruise the coast or experience northern California’s redwood forests with their cool, fragrant air? There’s so much to see, and I can’t imagine a better bike to see it all from. I’m getting the travel itch just thinking about it!

This is a beautiful, powerful, and charismatic motorcycle, and it’s proven capable of satisfying my every motorcycling desire. That reads a lot like the press material for Zack’s recent acquisition. He’s looking to stretch the Multi’s legs and tap into its abilities, which is right in line with my desires for the Triumph. Surely, he’ll want to experience the Ducati on the open road, and I intend to join him. Yosemite, perhaps? Sounds like a plan, but I’d better put a few hundred break-in miles on the Triumph first.

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