Speed Triple 1200RS owners opinion

I thought I would write up a real world opinion of my ownership of my Speed Triple 1200 RS. It’s not exactly a long term review – I’ve only owned it about nine months and 1200 miles. I’m a fair weather biker and don’t ride through the winter.

Let’s start with the practical stuff – comfort.

Much has been written and said about the 1200RS’ overly stiff suspension, and I sort of agree and sort of don’t. The Ohlins is clearly top quality kit and fully adjustable, and if you’re prepared to put in some time and effort you can dial out much of the harshness. I’ve softened mine up to a point beyond Triumph’s recommended “comfort” setting, and while still a bit firm, I find it now works perfectly well on the road and it’s only the worst roads that now create a problem for me. I could soften it a bit further, but I’m no suspension expert and don’t want to compromise the bikes handling. I think where Triumph has got it wrong is that I think my setting should be a mid-point one rather than virtually fully soft. This is a naked road bike, not a track focussed sports bike! Come on Triumph, people who want their bike to be primarily track focussed buy sports bikes, not super-nakeds! The first time I rode my new bike after delivery, it actually knocked me clean out of the seat over one bump, but it doesn’t do that any more now I’ve spent some time tuning the suspension.

So, now I’ve got the suspension set up to my liking, what about the rest of the comfort? Well, pretty damn good actually. The riding position is a little lent-forward but certainly not what I would describe as ‘wristy’ and certainly not uncomfortable. The seat is actually really nice, padded and comfortable. I think I could spend several hours sat on it without suffering numb-bum syndrome. Leg room is fine (I’m 6ft with 32” legs), the foot peg position is comfortable. I can’t quite flat-foot it, but I can get the balls of both feet on the ground without a problem. My only slight concern about potential long term (many hours in the saddle) comfort is that you do get a very slight high speed (70mph+) vibration through the hand grips. It doesn’t overly bother me, but I’ve not done a trip long enough to see whether it might result in numb fingers after several hours. You also notice it in the bar end mirrors where the view can get fuzzy at 70+. Talking of bar end mirrors – at first I thought they were more style over function, but actually they’re not. They work very well and give an excellent view of what’s going on behind you.

It’s a naked bike, so wind blast is a given. I have the optional fly screen and visor fitted to mine – which I think really tidies up the front end look of the bike. I’ve not ridden one without the fly screen fitted, so I can’t comment on how much actual difference it makes to wind blast, but overall I don’t have a major issue with it. Up to 60mph it’s virtually non-existent. 60 to 80 it builds but is still not really a problem – I could sit quite comfortably at mid to high 70’s and not be bothered by it. It’s only above 80 that it becomes very noticeable, but this isn’t a bad thing in my view as it encourages you to keep your speeds sensible!!

Moving on to quality, fit & finish and instrumentation.

I’m very impressed with the overall quality of the whole thing. Everything looks and feels premium with nothing looking really cheap. The quality of the paint finish is also excellent and the matt silver paint job has really grown on me – it looks quite stealthy, which I like. The switch gear all works fine (and is all back-lit), my only minor gripe is the indicator switch lacks a distinct ‘click’ when you use it so you’re never entirely sure whether you engaged it unless you glance at the dash to check. I really like the TFT screen, the main screen has everything you need presented in a nice, clear, stylish manner. Navigating the menus via the joystick is easy once you’re familiar with it. The screen also has built-in sat nav via the My Triumph app on your phone. It’s not a full on map, but uses direction arrows and distances and works quite well.


If you watch some of the YouTube videos or read some of the MC forums, it seems that a number of people have had numerous issues with their 1200RS’s – mainly electronic glitches. My bike hasn’t suffered any of these problems, it has been in for two warranty recalls, the first to replace the exhaust valve cover (which could fly off) plus re-torque the engine bolts (oil could seep from the gasket) and the second to replace the rear brake rotor bolts which could work loose. None of these issues manifested themselves on my particular bike. Mechanically, my bike has been spot on with no problems whatsoever. My only minor issues have been with the keyless operation and the bluetooth connectivity. With the key, I found that if I keep it in my zipped up leather jacket pocket, then the bike won’t always recognise it, but if I keep it my (biker) jeans pocket, then it’s not a problem. It’s similar with the bluetooth; if I put the phone in my leather jacket then the bluetooth connection will always drop out, but if I put the phone in my jeans pocket then it’s a lot more reliable – though still not 100%. Annoyingly, if the bluetooth connection does drop, it won’t ever reconnect until you stop the bike and turn the ignition off and on! I only use the bluetooth for running the Triumph sat nav app.

Now on to this bikes forte – performance & handling.

One word – WOW!

The engine is epic, so powerful yet enough torque to still pull hard and fast from virtually any speed in any gear. In reality you can’t really use anything approaching it’s full performance potential on the road. If you short shift (say 8k rpm) up the gears you will reach three figure speeds before you’ve had chance to glance at the digital speedo! You could ask what’s the point of having a 180hp motorcycle then? Well, what I love about it is the effortless acceleration – I know that no matter how fast I want to to accelerate, the bike will just deliver it with loads to spare. It certainly makes overtaking slower traffic easy, you can just pick them off one or two at a time in the blink of an eye. I Would miss it if I didn’t have it! The engine also sounds wonderful – not so much the exhaust (which is fairly quiet) but the induction growl which is addictive. Fortunately, the brakes are every bit as impressive as the performance – they can really haul this thing down from big speeds in next to no time.

The gearbox works fine – fast shifts up and down and the clutch is fairly light and the bite point easy to judge. The gear change lever is a bit ‘spongy’ and doesn’t seem to have a distinct click as it engages the next gear, but it works quite efficiently with no missed gears or false neutrals. The Quickshifter works really well if you’re pressing on at moderate to high rpm, with a nice auto-blip on a down shift. But at lower speed it’s a bit variable, sometimes absolutely fine, but at other times it will refuse to change up unless you use the clutch. I don’t view it as a major problem, as I just use the clutch at low speeds which works absolutely fine with smooth slick changes.

At under 200kg fully fuelled, the bike feels nice and light. You notice this when both riding it and wheeling it around in the garage. On the move, the bike feels very flickable and will change direction with minimal input from the rider. It’s one of those bikes that just seems to go where you look without you having to consciously make any effort. It will certainly hold a line through a bend at far greater speeds than I will ever be comfortable with! I think the Metzler Racetec RR tyres certainly contribute to this - in the dry at least! I’m yet to get caught in the rain with them, so can’t comment on their wet-weather performance, but given they are little more than a slick tyre with a few grooves, it can’t be good. I will certainly be changing them to something more every-day sensible when the time comes to change them, or I would certainly look to change them prior to embarking on a long tour.

Despite this bikes monumental performance potential, it’s not intimidating to ride. It’s not physically a particular big or heavy bike and it’s just as happy to travel at low to moderate speeds as ballistic ones. Just be aware of what’s going to happen if you really crank open the throttle – the scenery will become very blurry, very quickly.

My previous bike was a sports tourer. A Yamaha FZ1 Fazer which with its very effective half-fairing was great for distance work and that was my main concern when choosing a super-naked – would it be suitable for longer distance riding as well as short blasts? I’m yet to find out, but I think the answer will be yes. It’s comfortable enough and the wind blast (sub-80) doesn’t overly bother me, and luggage options for the 1200RS now seem to be finally appearing.

I chose a super-naked because none of the genuine sports tourers appealed to me, and I don’t get on with sports bikes (too uncomfortable). Most super-naked’s are really, really ugly I think, but the Triumph is a very good looking machine – I love how it looks. The other super-naked I really like the look of is the Ducati Streetfighter V4 – but that’s at a whole different price point!

Overall, I’m very happy with my choice – It’s brilliant to ride, very fast, great looking, good quality and comfortable enough. And, I’m averaging 47mpg - what’s not to like?

Hopefully we’ll have many happy years together :slight_smile:



Fantastic write up mate and a great summary for anybody thinking about buying one. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down :smiley:


Great write up - one of my mates would agree with your review to the letter. Thanks for posting


Great write up Neal. Sounds like you are a (more than) satisfied customer :slightly_smiling_face: Long may it continue.


What an excellent review! This is the power of the forum - real owners writing about their experiences with their own bike. Let’s have more like this!


Great review - it’s good to hear “real life” experiences.


As per above, great real world write up and thanks for the post!


Thanks all :slight_smile:

It genuinely reflects my ownership experience so far. If things go wrong I’ll report back!

I don’t view myself as a Triumph fan-boy, I had my FZ1 Fazer for 10 years before making the switch, but the Triumph has exceeded my expectations.

I’m hoping it will encourage others to write their own reviews - warts and all! It’s the best way for potential new owners to get an insight into what a particular bike is like to live with.


Any review I write would be a giant fan - girl - in - love - with - her - first - big - bike perspective, I have very little to compare it to. I would be happy to of course, but it would need to be read very much knowing that I know very little else!!


Absolutely nothing wrong that. Get typing. :grin:

It doesn’t matter that you don’t have anything to compare it to. It’s just your experience with your bike.

Is it reliable, is it comfortable, is there anything you don’t like about it, why did you choose it, do you regret it….

Go on, you know you want to :slight_smile:

1 Like

@NealH … have you had a pillion?

No, I’ve never had a pillion on the bike. I don’t think I even have the pillion option on my insurance.

1 Like

A few pics of what the Triumph sat nav looks like using the MyTriumph phone app with a Bluetooth connection to the tft dash.

The standard display just shows the circular rev counter with Speed, gear, riding mode & fuel gauge.

If you select Navigation from the Bluetooth menu, the main display shrinks a bit and the navigation info appears alongside it.

This shows my next turn is to the left in 6.0 miles onto the B1108.

If you want, you can change the layout so that the navigation info takes up a prominent position on the display and adds an ETA to your next way point.

If your next turn is a roundabout then it shows you the exit.

It works really well…. Right up to the moment the Bluetooth connection drops out :roll_eyes:

The only way to get the connection back is stop and turn the ignition off and back on. Shame.


I purchased the Triumph tank bag for the Speed Triple. It’s a Givi bag with a Triumph badge, so I don’t know whether it’s one of their existing bags or something made specific for Triumph. This is what comes in the kit…

It doesn’t come with any instructions, you have to go to triumphinstructions.com and download a pdf, which is actually very comprehensive. Once you have the instructions putting it together and fitting it is fairly straightforward.

There’s a mounting plate to bolt onto the petrol filler surround and then a quick release mechanism on the bottom of the bag which clicks onto it. Fitting and removing the bag from the tank once the mounting plate is in place is very quick and simple.

No part of the bag actually touches the paintwork on the tank, which is good because with Matt paint any marks or scratches can’t be polished out.

The bag itself has one of those roll top waterproof liners and can’t be removed. The capacity is only 10 litres, but you can actually cram quite a lot in. It’s as big as I’d want on a tank. It also has a number of handy pockets on the side and in the lid.

There’s a window on the top for I assume a mobile phone, but it’s quite small. I have a small, cheap Nokia phone and it barely fits - anything larger would be a non-starter.

The kit also includes a rubber pad which is designed to stick on the tank and goes at the bottom of the mounting plate, but if you fit that then it becomes a permanent addition to your tank and would look rubbish, so I left that off. On my road test the bag seemed very secure and didn’t wobble about when on the move.

With the bag removed you are left with the mounting plate, which is sort of okay, but I don’t like it so will remove it and fit it only when I plan to use the bag. Now I know how it works, fitting it just involves swapping four bolts and only takes about five minutes.

It looks so much better without the mounting plate.

The quality of the bag and the kit is excellent. It seems well made and everything looks and feels very solid.

Overall I’m very happy with it and would recommend it.


My thoughts on the MyTriumph app module….

The app allows you to control your phone, music, GoPro plus have access to turn-by-turn navigation on the TFT display. It was included as standard on my bike.

I only use it for the nav function as I have no interest in taking calls or listening to music while on the bike.

The nav function almost works really well, if it was reliable it would be all the navigation I would need. Entering a route on the app is quite straight forward when you’ve figured it out and allows you to enter as many way-points as you like so you can really customise your route. It does have some limitations and frustrations though….

  1. You can’t save routes or favourite destinations, meaning you have to create from scratch each time. You can import gpx files though, but I’ve not tried this.

  2. The Bluetooth regularly drops out so you lose the connection to the dash. I’m not sure whether this happens if the phone temporarily loses it’s mobile signal, but really frustratingly the Bluetooth won’t reconnect unless you stop the bike and turn the ignition off and on.

  3. If mid journey you stop for a break or fuel and turn off the ignition your route won’t reappear on the dash unless you close and open the app - which means losing your route! So you have to start again and re-enter a new route.

  4. Sometimes, the instruction on the TFT will just freeze. You will realise after a few miles that the information isn’t changing. The only way I can see to reset it is by closing the app and reselecting navigation from the menu. Losing your route again.

Overall, it’s a really good idea with really poor implementation. It was standard on my bike so it didn’t cost me anything, but if I’d paid a few hundred pounds for it as an option, I’d want my money back.


Great write-up and totally right concerning the issues.
I have tried android and ios phones and it still hangs up on either.
Interestingly, the app does know where you went though so it would seem that its the bike that hangs up.
For me, having the music/radio on longer (2hr ish stints) is a bonus and all it’s handy for tbh.
Waste of money? Definitely.