Took a test ride today - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Speed Triple Forum Rants and ravings about the best naked triple on the planet!

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: 2001 Suzuki SV650
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Took a test ride today

Went to the local Triumph dealer twice this week. Thursday afternoon, they had a couple of Klim reps on site and I got a bunch of swag, plus replaced an ill-fitting jacket with the Marrakesh, which I think I might take to a tailor to see about moving the chest armor pockets from my old jacket to the new one since the Marrakesh doesn't have chest armor pockets.

This morning, they had burgers and demo rides going on, so I went back in. The RS I have had my heart set on wasn't available to ride at the time, as the key fob thing didn't make it to the dealership with the bike, but they had an S model right next to it, so I figured I could get a feel for the ergos and how the bike felt to ride to me. I had a bit of a wait, as the bike has been sitting in the showroom since January and had 0 miles on it, so the battery had drained. After waiting for a partial charge, they put a half tank of gas in it and checked it over, then let me take it out. I didn't wring the motor out or anything, since it's brand new, but I got to experience some basic city riding on my own on it. It's night and day compared to my SV650.

This thing has gobs of torque. So much torque that when I didn't give it enough gas to keep the RPM's high enough to keep the motor from starting to lug on moving from a stop, it still pushed me back solidly. 1/8 turn of the throttle is an authoritative go command, 1/4 throttle is above and beyond anything I've felt on the SV. I didn't want to do more than 1/4 throttle because I wanted to ensure I didn't get the RPM's up too high. I was worried about the suspension since I'm 295 lbs, but I guess that's still more or less about what an average rider plus pillion would weigh, or reasonably close.

At no time did it feel like I was overloading the suspension and the balance of the bike was phenomenal. Whether I was taking a corner at speed or in the parking lot doing little circles and figure eights, the bike felt perfectly balanced, a far cry from my SV. The position of the handlebars, footpegs, seat, and gas tank knee cutouts were so perfectly spaced for my frame that I was just relaxing upright with my knees gripping the tank the whole time. I could see riding that bike for a long time without getting fatigued the way my current bike does. By the time I was done, I had to get out of there quick, before I up and bought the S model on the spot.

I think by the time they have the key fob for the RS, I'll be ready to purchase my first Triumph.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 01:31 AM
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It will do you well. I had a '12 and it was very well balanced and smooth. I had it for four years and 54,000 miles and it was a great everyday, short or long rides, do everything kind of bike. Loved it. Power? I went plenty fast, but I never felt the need to peg the throttle. I only had 133 hp on tap. The '19, as you know, has more. I want one too.

Take care though. That test ride didn't fully prepare you for what can happen if you misuse the throttle. The rush of speed can happen very quickly. Have fun, but use some wisdom. The good news is that the throttle is quite controllable, linear, and predictable, so you'll get no surprises.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 07:24 AM
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They didn’t have the fob huh... yea yea ok, sounds more like, “we don’t want you to drop the higher tier model if you can ride the S and get the same experience”.

I came from owning a SV650 naked and I’m a bit surprised you find the Speed night and day when it comes to torque, the SV RIPS from very down low in the rpms, and before they screwed up with the Gladius (That must’ve been the ugliest, least bough bike and biggest deception in all-time) SV had killer looks, sure the turns weren’t as refined as the Speed and the front suspension bottoms out when riding potholes or speed bumps and it isn’t adjustable nor the shock. But that engine! It’s the most noble torquey thing you can find, it has more takeoff than the Honda cb1000 I once tried. It blew my mind. I couldn’t get off the thing. And paid less than $3000 for a spick and span all-silver ‘03 in 2007

Coming to the speed triple you’ll welcome the better handling and beefier suspension especially at 295, but you’ll have to brush up in your mechanical and electrical skills if you don’t want to spend an atrocious amount of money in service and electrical gremlins which will most definitely happen and in the first two years you’ll have warranty but there’s no rhyme or reason on when or how these will appear (read any of the threads on this forums) Also the speed has regular valves not like the hydraulic self-adjusting valves in your SV, another thing to consider but not a deal breaker as you’re better off not even adjusting them at all or maybe once at 20-30K miles and then never again.

These days Suzuki started making the SV again with the exact same engine just cosmetically uglier, not as much as the Gladius, maybe a halfway abortion between the two, just like the speedie. That tells us something. Solid models overall but one you can buy brand new for $7000. Just sayin’

If the sellers of the round-eye speeds weren’t so out of their minds I’d say get a pre-2011 with ohlins and all the bling your heart can take, with superior sound from factory, crazy sharp brakes and no electronic gimmicks cutting down your HP’s, timeless design and way quicker flickability. But these guys think they’ll get the same money they paid 8 years ago especially if it’s an S version with the stripe they don’t get off their horse. They think the have the last Diet Coke in the desert, and they do, but c’monnnnn
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicspeed View Post
....Also, the speed has regular valves not like the hydraulic self-adjusting valves in your SV....
I thought all the SV650s have shim under bucket valves which require adjustment? I know my SV1000s do.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 01:14 PM
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I had a 2001 SV650S for nine years, bought new. The valves are not self adjusting hydraulic. Yes, shim under bucket. My SV was very well balanced at parking lot speeds, light and agile. Needed upgraded suspension. It was a budget bike after all. You can lug the engine down low and still pull away. I wouldn't do that with my T595 Daytona. But, not in the same league as the Speed. On a curvy road, the Speed will not lose the SV if well ridden. Nothing wrong with going in another direction when it comes to bikes.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 02:19 PM
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At least the new models (‘03-‘08 i believe) no adjustments are necessary, as I took it once to the mechanic and he said I’d never need to adjust them.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicspeed View Post
At least the new models (03-08 i believe) no adjustments are necessary, as I took it once to the mechanic and he said Id never need to adjust them.
I had a Suzuki mechanic tell me that my SV1000s would never need to be adjusted. I had to adjust most of the valves in my '05 SV1000S during my rebuild when it had about 23,000 miles on it. The front exhausts were WAY out.

You got loud pipes, but you ain't sayin' nothing!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 02:58 PM
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Just because a valve train stays in spec for a particular engine, doesn't mean the valves never need adjustment. The 2nd Gen SV has the same shim under bucket arrangement as the 1 gen and I would wager even today's model is the same. The valve clearances should at least be inspected. If you want to double the mileage interval or ignore completely, that's fine as an owner. For a mechanic to say that is ill advisable. Every engine build is unique no matter the mass production technique. I had to adjust some valves on my '01 SV. Probably the reason why I don't seek out mechanics to work on my bikes. I'd rather go it alone.

Of course this thread was about the Speed, so talking about or comparing to a SV is a non starter. Back on track.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
Minitwins
Main Motorcycle: 2001 Suzuki SV650
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicspeed View Post
They didn’t have the fob huh... yea yea ok, sounds more like, “we don’t want you to drop the higher tier model if you can ride the S and get the same experience”.

I came from owning a SV650 naked and I’m a bit surprised you find the Speed night and day when it comes to torque, the SV RIPS from very down low in the rpms, and before they screwed up with the Gladius (That must’ve been the ugliest, least bough bike and biggest deception in all-time) SV had killer looks, sure the turns weren’t as refined as the Speed and the front suspension bottoms out when riding potholes or speed bumps and it isn’t adjustable nor the shock. But that engine! It’s the most noble torquey thing you can find, it has more takeoff than the Honda cb1000 I once tried. It blew my mind. I couldn’t get off the thing. And paid less than $3000 for a spick and span all-silver ‘03 in 2007

Coming to the speed triple you’ll welcome the better handling and beefier suspension especially at 295, but you’ll have to brush up in your mechanical and electrical skills if you don’t want to spend an atrocious amount of money in service and electrical gremlins which will most definitely happen and in the first two years you’ll have warranty but there’s no rhyme or reason on when or how these will appear (read any of the threads on this forums) Also the speed has regular valves not like the hydraulic self-adjusting valves in your SV, another thing to consider but not a deal breaker as you’re better off not even adjusting them at all or maybe once at 20-30K miles and then never again.

These days Suzuki started making the SV again with the exact same engine just cosmetically uglier, not as much as the Gladius, maybe a halfway abortion between the two, just like the speedie. That tells us something. Solid models overall but one you can buy brand new for $7000. Just sayin’

If the sellers of the round-eye speeds weren’t so out of their minds I’d say get a pre-2011 with ohlins and all the bling your heart can take, with superior sound from factory, crazy sharp brakes and no electronic gimmicks cutting down your HP’s, timeless design and way quicker flickability. But these guys think they’ll get the same money they paid 8 years ago especially if it’s an S version with the stripe they don’t get off their horse. They think the have the last Diet Coke in the desert, and they do, but c’monnnnn
It very well could have been that they didn't want me to take the 0 mile RS they had when they had an S model 3 feet away, either way, I'm extremely happy I had a chance to ride a Speed Triple. The night and day difference is likely 2 things.

First at 295, I'm more than an average load to get moving and the speed triple has nearly double the torque of the SV at peak (82.6 lb-ft to 47.2 lb-ft) so it would stand to reason the Speed Triple with its significantly higher displacement comes in higher across the rpm range (both redline at 10.5k iirc)

Second my SV is a multiple generation learner bike. I bought it from someone who bought it from someone else, who probably bought it from someone else. It was a sub 2k investment to learn to ride a bike. Once I have the Speed Triple, the SV will be the bike I learn to ride on the track without worrying about crying over money if I crash it. I had to take apart the carbs and get the crud out when i bought it, and the exhaust smells like they're still running pretty rich. In the colder months like February, it's not noticeable, so I might leave that alone (took me a week to get them to run right the last time). The rich carbs along with the age and misuse of the bike are probably contributing to it producing less power than the stock numbers are advertised to be. I know I need to do some other corrective maintenance to it, valve seals are probably leaking a bit, I go through about a half quart of oil a month (1000 miles almost entirely highway).

I agree the SV is a nice friendly stable platform, but one of the previous owners put GSXR1000 clip ons on the front. At least the cables were done properly, but it's quite uncomfortable for longer rides and while I can do all of my parking lot drills (yeah, I'm a safety nerd and do parking lot drills every couple weeks) it always feels a little weird with the angle my body is at while holding the clip ons and making tight maneuvers. The Speed Triple felt a whole lot more "natural", if that makes sense. The height the clip ons at their highest and the distance between the seat and the triple clamp make an awkward riding position for a 6 foot tall guy. In retrospect, I feel a little bad for my buddy, who I had ride the bike from where I bought it to my house, because I didn't have a license yet at the time.

I think overall, due to my size, the speed triple fits my body ergonomically better and while I was initially afraid I'd have to get the suspension resprung and possibly revalved to deal with the heavier springs, it seems that unlike the SV650 where even putting a bigger shock on wasn't sufficient (Kawasaki 636) to keep me from bottoming out on hard acceleration and bumps, the Speed Triple handles my weight without getting unexpectedly twitchy or bottoming out on rough roads.

My fault for bringing up the SV. It's my current bike and it's my basis for comparison, so when I say the Speed Triple feels absolutely perfect for me, that's in reference to the SV I've spent so much time on.

Last edited by Shuvool; 08-11-2019 at 05:32 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 10:16 PM
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You can get same bike minus the electronics for a fantastic in the 16-17 model in either the r or the s. I have the s and it feels great.

GO CHIEFS!!! Im with Mahomes!
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