Everything You Need to Know About Triumph Speed Triple Motorcycles

The Triumph Speed Triple series of motorcycles officially began in 1994 when the company revamped its Hinckley motorcycle to embrace a more aggressive "streetfighter" look. In essence, these bikes are sport bikes built for speed and racing ability but without the aerodynamic fairing that you more typically see on sport bikes. Before you dive into the eBay listings and try to get a Triumph Speed Triple, here are some important facts to help you make an informed buying decision.

General features

Since 1994, Speed Triples have undergone a number of different iterations and generations, all with their own particular features. Despite this, there remain some important cross-generational commonalities, including:

  • Engine: The most important component all generations of Speed Triples have in common is their DOHC inline-three (or inline-triple) engines.
  • Brakes: All generations of Speed Triples have dual-disc front brakes and single-disc rear brakes, through their strength has varied from model to model.
  • Aesthetics: All of the bikes in this class typify the streetfighter look in more ways than just the fact that they lack fairings. They also have aluminium twin-spar frames; large, round headlights; tall, upright handlebars; and lightweight silencers — all hallmarks of the streetfighter bike.
Different generations and models of the Triumph Speed Triple

Here are the various generations of the Triumph Speed Triple and what sets them apart:

  • T309: This was the first generation of Speed Triples, launched in 1994. The UK models featured 750cc engines when sold in most European markets, and 885cc engines when sold in all other markets. All engines were water-cooled. The bikes here were carburetted and had five-speed transmissions.
  • T509: First introduced in 1997, the cycles in this generation of Speed Triples were all fuel-injected. All had 885cc engines, boasted 108 horsepower, and had single-sided swing arms similar to those found on Honda VFR bikes. In 1999, the engine was upgraded to 955cc and had 110 horsepower.
  • 955i: In 2002, Speed Triples were introduced with 955i engines. The engines were also lighter than those in all earlier models, further increasing these bikes' power.
  • 1050 models: Starting in 2005, Triumph began producing 1050cc models of the Speed Triple, first claiming 129 horsepower, then ratcheting it up to 133 horsepower in 2011 and 140 horsepower in 2016.
How should you go about choosing a used Speed Triple?

Before you start looking through the eBay listings for the perfect Triumph Speed Triple for sale, remember the following factors:

  • Mileage: Generally speaking, the lower the mileage on a given bike and the older its model year, the less expensive it will be.
  • Engine power: Speed Triples with more powerful engines will generally be more costly than those with less powerful engines.
  • Condition and history: Inspect photos carefully to get a good idea of the bike's condition, and look for mention of its service history.