Posts by tag: T309

Triumph April 26, 2018 posted by

Fireball Orange: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Fully-faired sportbikes of the 80s and 90s from Japan are almost without exception festooned with jagged graphics, huge logos, hilariously technical-sounding acronyms, and retina-searing colors. They're pretty cool now in a retro way and some of them, like the famous Rothmans designs, are truly iconic, but they feel like rolling billboards. Which of course is exactly what race-bikes, and therefore race-replicas are. They're fun and nostalgic and even ironic these days, but honestly? I wouldn't have been caught dead on one back when they were new. I've always been a classy, subtle guy and while this Fireball Orange Triumph Speed Triple may not be subtle, it is a pretty classy brute and exactly the kind of machine that interested me back when I got into motorcycling.

It's a shame folks on this site don't seem to like these first generation "T309" Triumph Speed Triples. You're really looking at one of the original factory streetfighters: a legitimate sportbike with the fairing removed, a modern cafe racer. Because while the period Daytona may not have been a cutting-edge performer, it certainly was a sportbike, just one that was more a "gentlemans's express" than a "racetrack refugee." Sure, the Speed Triple was limited by its modular spine-frame that allowed design flexibility at the expense of weight and handling, but people did actually race them, at least in a one-make series called, fittingly enough, the Speed Triple Challenge that was meant to promote the brand.

Unfortunately, the weight and top-heavy design meant it was as much a race bike as Harley's more recent XR1200 that also found its way into a one-make race series. But as a road bike? The Speed Triple's burly 885cc three cylinder engine had performance and charisma to spare. Triumph knew it couldn't compete in terms of raw performance against the Japanese, so they went for quality and character instead, and their bikes of the period had better detailing and better paint. You'd certainly be hard-pressed to find another bike from this era that looks this good without having been restored.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Beautiful, mint, original ‘95 Speed Triple. Low miles & garage kept. Meticulously maintained. This bike is unique, draws a crowd, and performs extremely well for an older bike. Soulful exhaust note and a ton of character. There are not many like this one left. Mileage is subject to change, as I am still riding it.

Even if the early Speed Triple wasn't a pretty cool bike on its own, at least Triumph's strategy paid off and strong sales allowed brand to thrive, enabling it to produce machines like the much-lauded Daytona 675, Street Triple, and modern Speed Triple. Picking at them for their limitations seems unkind, especially considering the incredible bang for the buck they provide. You're a seasoned rider, you've got a few grand to spend, and you want something cool to ride to work and blast around the canyons on weekends? Something that your significant other will want to ride with you? Something with classic looks and reasonably modern performance? This is about the cleanest, lowest-mileage near-classic you're likely to find, and you can even pretend it's an investment...

-tad

Fireball Orange: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale
Triumph October 11, 2017 posted by

Black-Clad Bruiser: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Triumph’s entire 1990s range of sport, sport-touring, retro, and naked machines like this original Speed Triple was built around a common spine frame and two engines, the 885cc inline triple seen here and a larger-displacement inline four. This allowed Triumph to quickly create new variations and mirror market trends without sacrificing quality, a strategy that led directly to today’s world-class motorcycles. But the company's road to success was a difficult one. They were long gone by the early 1990s, a victim of the Japanese motorcycle industry’s massive growth in the 1980s. Triumph was able to hang on throughout the 1970s, trading on their handling and reputation for performance. But once the Japanese bikes’ handling caught up with their reliably powerful engines, it was all over but the shouting.

The reborn Triumph of the 90s knew that it could never hope to compete with the Japanese in terms of outright performance, so they focused instead on quality and capitalizing on the brand’s undeniable mystique. The new Triumph motorcycles offered real-world performance, decent handling, and surprisingly high fit and finish. It's not the lightest or nimblest of machines: none of these first-generation John Bloor-era Triumphs were. But they were well-built and charismatic, just as intended.

T309 Speed Triples are definitely not track machines: a top-heavy weight distribution caused by the spine frame compromised handling, although there was a promotional one-make race series for them called the "Speed Triple Challenge" that must have been fun to watch. The rugged triple and five-speed gearbox may not offer performance that will set your hair on fire today, but the 98 claimed horses mean the Speed Triple is plenty fast for road use and the bike should sound great with the aftermarket three-into-one exhaust seen here.

The seller refers to the bike as "this original naked bike." If he means "one of the original naked bikes" then he'd be correct. The Speed Triple was introduced in 1994, but Italian rival Ducati's Monster was introduced a year prior in 1993 and Honda's proto-Monster Hawk GT was first available all the way back in 1988, although it was kind of a sales flop at the time. Nevertheless, the Speed Triple is one of Triumph's best-selling bikes of the modern era and, much like the Monster, can probably be credited with the company's current success.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Thanks for looking. This is a very good condition 1995 Triumph speed triple. It has recently had a top end overhaul and new timing chain and tensioner/guides. The bike fires on the 2nd crank every time and runs awesome. I am looking to sell to downsize my collection due to a growing family. 

I have and will include with the selling price, the original Triumph dual exhaust that is pictured in one photo. It is not installed but all hardware is there. 

Many spares are included as well which were given to me by previous owner. 

I have owned for the last 5 years and have had a blast riding this original naked bike. This bike was the first year the speed triple was offered in the USA. My offering is your chance to own a modern classic. 

There's been no interest in the bike so far at the starting bid of $1,500 but there are still a couple days left on the auction. The first-gen Speed Triple is nearly a classic at this point, but modern enough you can count on it to start every day, and the build quality of the Bloor-era bikes is high. They've been pretty cheap for a while now, and many that come up for sale feature signs of neglect, but this one looks very nice, and supposedly comes with a bunch of additional parts, so it might be worth looking into as a future collectible.

-tad

Black-Clad Bruiser: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale




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