In today’s money 147.8 horses doesn’t sound like a lot, but stick it in a brilliant chassis and switch on ‘Sports Mode’ and it feels more like 180 horses, especially at just shy of a 190kg’s and around 1,445mm in length. The Triumph 1050 Speed Triple RS is a compact beast with the attitude and stance of a MMA fighter on speed just spoiling for fight. And this was very evident in the demo we borrowed from Triumph SA’s headquarters in Sandton. The bike was fitted with twin can Arrow exhausts and the cut slicks were scrubbed right over the edge. It is clear that this bike is not aimed at the conservative rider. It is a bike that you can happily use every day, but she loves to be opened up. The Speed Triple is designed for fun, be it pointing the front wheel at the heavens, dragging at knee at mad speeds through corners, pinning it in a straight line or doing crazy stunts. The 22.9° rake and 91.44mm make the Speed Triple incredibly quick and agile in a corner encouraging the rider to push harder and faster. The triple cylinder power plant snaps off the line with brilliant alacrity if you aren’t expecting it, but the electronic package does keep it all tidy in the more conservative modes. Our photographer was still was still extremely nervous about pillioning on the diminutive rear seat behind our very less than conservative Séan, with very little to grab onto and his arms not being able to encircle Séan’s girth, the evil twinkle in said individuals eye while revving the primal sounding 1050cc did not help either. This is a monumental bike, so we decided to tour some of the monuments in and around our local capital city. It was a muggy day, overcast but as hot as hell and incredibly humid, so airflow jackets were the order of the day. Séan says … Collecting the Triumph 1050 Speed Triple RS I was quite excited and nervous at the same time. To be honest this was going to be my first ride on the fabled Speed Triple. I had heard from many sources that it was aggressive bully of a bike that required some serious skill to keep under control. After a quick run-down of all the features and electronics from Rob Chandler at Triumph SA, I kept it in road mode and aimed it at the longest route back to the office. The sitting position is sort of sport biased, but still slightly upright enough to be comfortable for commuting. The seat height at around 825mm’s gives the taller rider like myself a nice view over the top of most of the other traffic on the road. And you might think that the cockpit on such a short bike would be cramped for a bigger rider, but the distance from the foot pegs to the seat and the seat to the handle bars is ideal, as is the shape of the fuel tank. Riding with my toes on the pegs is my natural position and this had my legs tucking neatly and comfortably into the tank. It took me all of 3 corners to settle in and start getting a bit enthusiastic. I can’t wheelie for sh!t, so when the front wheel comes off the ground my butt bites down hard on the seat. Riding up quite a roughly paved pass behind the Union buildings and accelerating hard I hit a couple of bumps which got the front wheel airborne (It really did! I promise), the electronics kicked in and made me look like a hero keeping the Triumph steady and pointed in the right direction. It’s a great pity that the photographer was down the bottom of the pass and pointing the camera wrong way. The extremely rough paving did highlight the 1050’s firm suspension more suited to smooth race tracks and freeways, but still coped admirably with my 115kg’s and very bumpy road. The suspension is superb with very little sag under hard acceleration, with the rebound keeping the wheels in basically permanent contact with the surface and the damping keeping your kidneys more or less where they should be … unless the road gets unrealistically bumpy. Not once did I come across the aggressive bully of a bike that some people had told me the 1050 Speed Triple was, what I did find was a quick, powerful, agile muscle bike that was willing and able to most anything you wanted it to do. So we put it in the hands of our resident talented hooligan Kyle to give it a proper shake down and he had this to say … Kyle says… This bike has always been a sparkle in my eye from the day it arrived in SA a few years ago. It has that peaky Blinder effect. Complete business - until you wring its neck. This bike by far has the best sounding engine at high revs. It is so smooth you tend to forget how fast you are going until you look at the TFT dash. Although it’s naked, at high speeds you are not getting as much buffering as you expect. It’s a real gentleman, until you play with the rider modes and set up the bike to hooligan. The rider mode that I was using was set up by Triumph SA. The ABS setting was on Track/Motard – Front brakes are not as sensitive as normal riding style. You can yank on them and pull a stoppie. Yank too hard and they will prevent you from lifting the back wheel. The rear brakes have no ABS at all. Now if you don’t know what you are doing this can get you into trouble but once you have your eye in it can be heaps of fun. The rider mode was on Street and this was fun. This 1050 kicks you in the arse and before you know it the front wheel is up and you are cruising along. The wheel base is rather short so if you are wanting to wheelie for the first time on this bike be aware of it as I got a fright the first wheelie I did as it shot up faster than a rocket taking off to space. It has a very smooth quick shifter that works really well at low RPM which makes sense in traffic. Over all this is one fantastic bike, and being the Gentlemen it is, it’s not scared of getting its hands dirty. Definitely, one of the most fun bikes that I have ridden to date. This one from Triumph South Africa www. triumph-motorcycles.co.za They have a full demo fleet of all models available in South Africa . Go and ride one.