Improvements To The Speed Twin 1200

Discussion in 'Triumph General Discussion' started by JonS-Triumph, Jun 7, 2024.

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  1. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
    Subscriber

    Nov 3, 2023
    19
    8
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    I am a relatively new rider and I picked up my 2023 Speed Twin 1200 in January. Even though I was not able to ride for about 6 weeks, I now have about 3000 miles on it. My goal is to put on about twice the mileage on the bike as I do my car. It is a great bike but now that I have a few miles under my belt, I have a better understanding of the kind of riding I will be doing so I have come up with a short wishlist of what I would like to either fix/upgrade on my bike or look for those features on another bike.

    After doing a lot of reading and watching some YouTube video's I became convinced that I would get a more comfortable ride if I switched out the rear shocks for Ohilns (some of the roads where I live are just terrible). The shocks should be in in a couple of weeks so I won't know for a while if this was a good idea or not.

    Other features/enhancements I would like include:
    • Something that weighs a bit less and/or has a lower center of gravity.
    • The torque on the bike is just wonderful, something that could rev a bit higher would be nice.
    • A bit more comfortable on long rides. This is not just the seat but I have found I am doing a lot of highway high-speed driving (our speed limit is 75 just about everywhere so if you are doing less than 85 you are in some danger). A smallish windscreen would be nice
    • Navigation would be nice
    • I don't really want to sacrifice the reliability of the bike I have experienced so far.
    People talk about a Speed Twin 1200 RS but that is a dream. That might have a lot of the characteristics I am looking for.

    Some of the Speed Triples seem to have some of what I am looking for but I don't think they tick the comfort boxes.

    Ideas?
     
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  2. TonyG

    TonyG Noble Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    795
    443
    Bucks
    I've changed out my rear shocks to K-Tech units and it seems a bit less 'clunky', don't think it would make much difference to the comfort level though as they are set with handling as the priority.
    I was looking at the Triumph comfort seat but opinions seem to be that it is not that different to the stock, best suggestion seems to be to get it re-upholstered by a specialist.
    Small windscreens are available from various suppliers, but again this seems to be a trial and error process, some claim they help, there is a woman in the UK called BikerKaz that puts up lots of videos on YouTube. She fitted a small bikini type fairing and says it makes a difference and she does lots of long tours on her Speed Twin.
     
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  3. Markus

    Markus Crème de la Crème
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    Oct 28, 2020
    3,154
    1,000
    AUSTRIA
    I would ad heat-grips on your list.
     
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  4. ajc400

    ajc400 Member

    Jun 4, 2024
    89
    18
    Glasgow
    #4 ajc400, Jun 9, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2024
    From your description I wonder if an "adventure" style road bike might be a better solution - you'd have the advantage of a comfortable riding position, a screen, a monoshock rear suspension system (which I suspect would be a lot more compliant than a twin shock setup), preferably with road tyres on 17" wheels, and be on a bike designed for fast, long distance riding. The centre of gravity might not be lower (you'd have to be looking at a cruiser style bike for that) but these "adventure" bikes are usually very well balanced despite being taller.

    What could that be? Well, maybe a Triumph Tiger Sport 660 or 850, or a Tiger 900GT for it's road-biased spec. Other makes are available...... :eek:

    Of course, they don't have the retro appeal of a Speed Twin! ;)
     
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  5. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
    Subscriber

    Nov 3, 2023
    19
    8
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Thanks everyone for the comments. I think I will start a list of characteristics that matter to me and then see how closely a couple of the bikes I am considering match. I don't think I will go in the adventure direction, though lots of people around me have various BMW and Triumph ADV bikes. I still prioritize low weight, handling, comfort, and performance - Unfortunately the Speed Triple 1200 RS does not look like a good choice either. This may be heresy, but the closest think I can find is an Aprilia Tuono V4 (non-factory) It has relaxed ergonomics, comes with a windscreen, as much torque as my Speed Twin. The problem of course is that whenever I go out on the Speed Twin, I know it will get me home safely. I am not so sure of the Aprilia.
     
  6. edtxw01

    edtxw01 New Member

    Feb 17, 2024
    7
    3
    UK
    I bought my Speed Twin 1200 last August, ex-demo 700 miles. It now has 6,000 miles on the clock. I too considered suspension changes as the ride was harsh on the awful British roads. However, I first put the rear shocks on the softest setting ( need to remove the exhaust mufflers to turn the adjuster, simple enough). But the break through was ditching the awful Metzeler Roadtec RR tyres and fitting Michelin Road 6s. It transformed the bike. I've covered the best part of 4,000 miles on the Road 6s and am no longer considering changing the rear shocks.
    For navigation I use a Beeline Moto, it takes a bit of learning but once mastered it's fantastic and easily fits to the handle bars, no wiring and is removed in a second so won't get stolen. Enjoy the torque :)
     
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  7. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
    Subscriber

    Nov 3, 2023
    19
    8
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Thanks very much - very helpful information. It was also suggested that a TomTom might be helpful. In terms of the tires, would you say they are as 'sticky' as the Metzler tires, they are on my bike as well?
     
  8. edtxw01

    edtxw01 New Member

    Feb 17, 2024
    7
    3
    UK
    The Road 6s are excellent all round tyres, probably not ideal on a track, but loads of grip and great in the wet. I also have them on my BMW GS and they stick like glue and have great mileage too.
    Read some reviews of Road 6s against other tyres, but I guess it depends on what you want to do with the bike. I also found the Metzeler Racetec RRs were awful on wet roads, which we have a lot of in Britain. Whereas, I've never had any concerns with the Michelin's.
    I'm just at the end of a ten day tour of Ireland, the Michelin Road 6s have handled everything, wet, dry, smooth, rough, gravel, etc without any problems.
     
  9. JonS-Triumph

    JonS-Triumph Member
    Subscriber

    Nov 3, 2023
    19
    8
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Thanks very much. Today we are having rain for the first time that I can remember in months. I think my priority order of characteristics for tires for my Speed Twin 1200 (or likely any bike I would get) are: 1. grip on the road (unlikely to track this much), 2. comfort, 3. everything else.
     
  10. ajc400

    ajc400 Member

    Jun 4, 2024
    89
    18
    Glasgow
    Road 6 tyres are a top choice - my cousins have them on their BMW S1000R and Triumph 675RS, and they are a popular choice for friends with road use adventure bikes.

    Never used them myself, my local shop always had a great deal on Pirelli Angels which suited me fine on previous bikes. Metzeler Sportec's on Speed 400 seem good, and we'll see what the Triumph dealer is offering when they need changed.
     
  11. struv

    struv Member

    Jun 4, 2023
    17
    8
    Teesside
    Aprilia Tuono V4 is a race/track bike with sit up handlebars a bit of an animal and ticks less of your boxes than the triumph .a bloody good laugh tho and would be a steep learning curve for a new/inexperienced rider
     
  12. struv

    struv Member

    Jun 4, 2023
    17
    8
    Teesside
    Aprilia Tuono V4 is a race/track bike with sit up handlebars a bit of an animal and ticks less of your boxes than the triumph .a bloody good laugh tho and would be a steep learning curve for a new/inexperienced rider
     
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