Tammy Mother Fuckin’ Lou

Yeah, that’s right. That’s her name.

471 pounds of hot, wet American summer by way of British engineering and Taiwanese manufacturing. 1050cc, 135HP and 82 ft-lbs with a sexy ass single sided swingarm equate to smiles for miles on the back of this triple cylinder naked sport bike. I’ve never owned a triple cylinder bike before and the benchmark for “schwing” is my 4 cylinder 2008 Yamaha R1. I bought the Triumph Speed 3 this past October at the end of the riding season but managed to put 1300 miles on her before winter really set in. Sadly, the stock Metzeler K3 Racetec Interact crapped the bed at 1300 miles on the odometer so I dialed up a pair of Bridgestone BT-016 Pros as a replacement. I rocked the non-pro BT-016s on my R1 and they were the best tire I experienced to date so that is one of the reasons why I opted to replace the Metzelers with the Bridgestones. The other, of course, is cost. A rear K3 Racetec Interact is $250 alone while a BT-016 is $230 for a front and a rear. The K3s stuck well but wore like ass so it was a no brainer to get the BT-016s that stick just as well and last 3500-4500 miles over the 1300 the K3s got me.

As stated, I have never owned a triple cylinder bike before but I have to say that I am happy to own one. As best as I can describe it, it feels like good balance between a twin sportbike’s  growl and an inline four cylinder’s wail in the mid range and top end. I ditched the OEM exhaust for a slip-on shorty from Competition Werkes but it was mostly an aesthetics and weight saving measure over a competitive one. I have always been a lover of the naked sport bikes so obviously the Speed 3 is right up my alley. The overall look and feel are in place and the handlebars keep leverage on tap for negotiating the fun sections of the pavement but I did install a set of lower foot pegs as I am a tall SOB. I think that if I was to do a track day I would drop the OEM foot pegs back in place for the day but in the real world the lowered pegs are the way to go. I haven’t encountered a corner where I have dragged the lower pegs yet so I will keep running with them.

The brakes are simply the best I have experienced on a bike and I guess it is due to the Brembos up on the front axle. I previously thought the R1 had top braking honors but the Speed drops the gospel with every pull of the lever. Honestly. I am really impressed.

My only true complaint to date is the clutch lever pull. It’s not long before I have a Popeye style left forearm from the work out! I just gotta avoid city traffic. I think a set of one inch handlebar risers are on the horizon as it would help with my rider triangle but it isn’t a mission critical purchase.

All said and done I am happy that Triumph and I have embarked on a journey together. The Japanese motorcycle world I hail from is comfortable and nearly perfect but the Speed 3 is a challenge I will gladly accept.

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