Inspiration: Racing

Refined By Experience

20 is the magic number

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the sweet-sounding Triumph Speed Triple first lit up our roads. With its naked street-fighter style, even the earliest versions of the bike still look confident and at home among more contemporary rivals.

Yet, while its initial blend of sport-bike styling with a classical twist certainly caught the eye, it was the bike’s handling that quickly set the 1994 Speed Triple apart, offering high-performance credentials to road riders in a versatile package that also made the bike practical – and, crucially, fun – for the daily commute.

That ride has only been improved by the bike’s four generations since. And so, here in the Spirit office, we thought it was time to demonstrate just why the big-selling Speed Triple has stood the test of time so successfully.

Meet Joe. 29, a homeowner and fulfilled in his job. Yet, content with his Explorer in the garage, he’s never ridden a Speed Triple.

We decided it was time to set that right.


After three laps to warm up the tyres (and himself), we gave Joe a further 20 to bring his lap times down as much as possible.

20 laps for 20 years. Simple. The question was, could the evidence of the latter be enough to convert Joe in the time it took to complete the former?

Just as the Speed Triple was best described as ‘ahead of its time’ when it was first released, two decades of engineering later, it seems that – amid enormous developments – the same mantra still applies.

“I can’t speak about the original Speed Triple,” said Joe, “but, whatever Triumph has been doing over the last 20 years, they’re certainly created an amazing bike.

I felt as though I gained about 20% more confidence with every lap, even in England’s typically dodgy weather, and it’s definitely a bike everyone should ride. I’ve released fun endorphins in me I didn’t even know existed!