• Parent Category: Articles

Fast Triumph motorcycles are everywhere these days.  In the course of the 2014 AMA season, Danny Eslick has won the Daytona 200, while Jason DiSalvo claimed a victory at Mid Ohio.  Both were riding Triumph Daytona 675R racebikes.  Fellow competitors Bobby Fong, Steve Rapp, and others have also championed the British marque.  Elena Meyers, the fastest female in the AMA's Daytona Sportbike class, also pilots a 675R.  At Bonneville, DiSalvo has been spending his off weekends flirting with the motorcycle world land speed record aboard the Triumph-powered Castrol Rocket streamliner.  The Apex Manufacturing/Castrol Triumph AMA team that Jason and Elena ride for is led by Richard Harris, who also heads up the popular trackday organization, Sportbike Track Time (STT).  The Jason DiSalvo Speed Academy (JDSA), a high performance riding school which holds both standalone events and classes combined with STT days, is also sponsored by Triumph.  STT coaches and customers, as well as club racers and trackday riders throughout the country, have flocked to Triumph over the past few years.  The Ferrari-esque scream of English three cylinder engines can be heard wherever motorcycles are going fast.  It's the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, circa 2014! How popular are Triumph's Triples?  Yamaha felt the need to build an 847cc three-cylinder sport standard motorcycle in order to compete for sales with Triumph's Street Triple and Street Triple R, bikes which displace only 675cc.  Currently, Yamaha is rumored to be shoving the same engine into an adventure-touring bike for 2015, to create a machine which would face off against the Triumph Tiger 800.  It makes us wonder when the Tuning Fork company will release a full-on three cylinder sportbike to take on the Daytona 675 and 675R.  If the Yamahas sell well, expect Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki to follow suit. If the Japanese are copying the English, it's got to be because those pesky Brit three-pots are stealing market share.  Remember when Ducati experienced its late 1990's revival and suddenly Japan Inc. got into the business of building twins?  Here we go again! Triples are sexy.  They have a certain proportion that is more pleasing to the eye than a four cylinder or a twin.  The sound they make is nothing short of an internal combustion orgasm.  Power delivery is torquey like a twin, yet it also provides a top end rush reminiscent of a four cylinder.  This is considered by many riders to be a "best of both worlds' scenario.  The inline-three cylinder motorcycle engine is an inherently British creation that makes gearhead Anglophiles go all weak in the knees.  These attributes and attractions make Triumph triples the "IT" motorcycles of the moment.  We want one! And so it has been decided.  TrackdayMag.com's 2015 project bike will be a three cylinder Triumph.  However, since we're always that little bit different, our machine won't be the AMA-inspired 675R, the standard 675 sportbike or either of the naked Street Triple models.  Instead, we're going for the Mac Daddy, bar room brawling, cage match fighting Speed Triple 1050, and not the standard version, either.  Nope.  We're grabbing an R model, baby!  Top shelf parts, right from the factory.  Give us that Ohlins shock and forks to suspend the beast and Brembo brakes with ABS to stop it.  Want more?  The machine we're procuring is a leftover 2013 model, which means it comes with a set of forged aluminum wheels made for Triumph by PVM.  These featherweight rims, said to reduce inertia by 16% up front and 25% out back while reducing unsprung weight,  were replaced with less expensive and heavier cast units in the 2014 model year, which allowed Triumph to drop the price of the current Speed Triple R by $1300.  Who would have though that buying a leftover motorcycle could net you a better performing machine? So why a Speed Triple R instead of the decidedly more track focused Daytona??  True, the Speedy has been around for quite awhile now.  The bike's last major update occurred in 2011 and to be truthful, it wasn't that great a departure from the previous model.  At 467 pounds wet, she's a plump old gal.  A rating of 135 ponies at the rear wheel isn't exactly setting the literbike class on fire, either.  Naked, torque-tuned machines in this niche of the motorcycle market have been referred to as Hooligan Bikes or Street Fighters.  You could just as easily borrow the automotive term "Gentleman's Express."  A bike like the Speed Triple R appeals to riders who value lunging off-apex grunt, brisk acceleration and excellent handling but aren't willing to spend all day in a proctologist's office crouch in order to have fun.  Are your back, knees and neck giving you fits, old salt?  No need to sit reminiscing by the fire. Here's a slightly more civilized way to get out there and tear some ass.  Hey, none of us is getting any younger. Regular readers will have noticed that many of the TrackdayMag.com staffers are graduates and huge supporters of the Jason DiSalvo Speed Academy.  Most of us are also Coaches with Sportbike Track Time.  These connections to JDSA and STT made a Triumph project almost inevitable.  It gets better though.  The lead fabricator for the Apex Manufacturing/Castrol Triumph AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike team is a mechanical savant named Ed "Teddy" Donahey.  This uber-talented individual spends his days churning out racebikes for DiSalvo, Meyers and anybody else willing to come up with the asking price for a top-spec competition Triumph.  Guess what Teddy's personal ride is?  Yep, a 2013 Speed Triple R!  When Trackdaymag.com began inquiring about the possibility of doing a Triumph project bike, Donahey and the rest of the Apex Manufacturing crew volunteered to build it for us.  Hmmm....  A trackday bike, built for us by a winning AMA team?  Well....  OK.  If you insist! As this is written, our Speed Triple R is lurking in the shadows at the rear of the Apex Manufacturing shop, waiting for their 2014 racing commitments to conclude.  After that, it's game on!  Having seen the one-off custom work that Teddy has already done to his own machine and discussed the ideas that he's working on for the near future,  we couldn't be more excited.  This whole thing has got us feeling rather like Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery.  As he might say, "A one-off, hand-built, track-focused Triumph Speed Triple R with a big Union Jack on it?  That's my BAG, baby!"

Copyright © 2014 TrackdayMag.com. All Rights Reserved. Designed by iCueSolutions.