Motorcycle hooliganism is all about street racing and street stunting. The streetfighter motorcycle class is a popular bike of choice thanks to its epic combination of sport bike aggression and urban practicality. Like modern custom bike movements, streetfighter bikes have roots going back to the café racer movement of the 50s and 60s in Europe. But the first street fighters in their purest form appeared in the late 70s and early 80s, thanks to the rise of Japanese-built sports bikes.

The streetfighter movement began with the modification of high displacement and high horsepower superbikes. Fairings and windshields were removed, clip-ons replaced with tall upright handlebars, with the addition of round headlights for the looks and short, loud exhausts for the sound. But then manufacturers caught up, and, in a bid to ride on this popularity, they added streetfighters to their lineups.

Today, there are plenty of muscular factory-made hooligan bikes that will wheelie spontaneously from the Ducati Streetfighter V4, the fastest streetfighter you can buy in America, to the KTM 1290 Super Duke RR, Kawasaki Z1000, and Aprilia Tuono 1100. Then there is the Triumph Speed Triple, one of the sickest hooligan bikes, and here are ten reasons why.

10 Original Hooligan

The first-generation Speed Triple made its debut in 1994, and since, all the models have enjoyed immense success. Triumph refers to the Speed Triple as the original hooligan, and although this is disputable, it isn’t wrong since it is considered the first factory-built streetfighter.

The Triumph Speed has remained a cult icon throughout. It paved the way for creating a whole new segment that has grown to include some of the most fun hooligan motorcycles that will inevitably get you in trouble with the law.

RELATED: 10 Things We Love About The Triumph Speed Triple

9 “Bring It On” Geometry And Ergonomics

The Triumph Triple Speed offers a well-designed package with a stance that gives it an upright, comfortable riding position, which is a big plus for the bike, especially the new 1200RS. But the bike is even more impressive at a standstill, given how it carries itself. The geometry and ergonomics that screams, ‘bring it on.’

The bike looks like a sprinter with its short, sharp, and athletic physique. It is pretty narrow once you sit on it, such that the 32 inches of seat height doesn’t hinder keeping both feet grounded. The bike looks ready to rip types to shred to the amusement of the rider.

8 Punchy Engine

The first Speed Triple was powered by the fuel-injected 855cc Daytona engine, making just 96hp while being bulkier than later models. But its successive variants have grown in leaps and bounds, becoming one of the most successful Triumph models. The bike saw significant updates in 2011 and 2016 and a major redesign in 2021 when it received a new 1160cc motor with 30hp more peak power and rated at 170hp.

The torque delivery is linear and keeps coming in a useful manner. While it is not the most powerful hooligan compared to rivals like the KTM Super Duke RR or the 208hp Ducati Streetfighter V4, it packs enough punch to keep up.

7 Grown-Up Looks

The Triumph Speed Triple has always had mean looks, with an aggressive front fascia. The bike combines retro-modern styling with the latest in technology offerings. Traditional Triumph styling cues are visible on the bike. While a lot has changed over the 20 years plus of production, the bike has remained beautifully crafted and aesthetically pleasing. That is, if you have nothing against the twin bug-eyed headlights.

The 2022 Triple Speed RR adds a whole new flavor to the model with a café-racer headlight cowl and a pair of clip-ons, and you will either love or hate the new stance.

RELATED: This Is Why We Love The Triumph Speed Triple

6 One Of The Best Sounding Engines

We’ve mentioned that one of the early streetfighter mods involved making the bike louder. The Speed Triple gets a head-start in this department because it is a three-cylinder, and they are some of the best-sounding bikes. They have more exhaust pulse than a twin and less than a four-cylinder, and the combined frequency falls between the lower frequency drone of a twin and the higher frequency howl of the fours. It’s basic physics.

Triumph altered its crank geometry to depict the Yamaha’s cross-plane geometry, and the result is one of the best sounding engines. All you need for the Speed Triple is an aftermarket slip-on exhaust, but even the stock free-breathing system produces a spine-tingling roar alongside a pronounced exhaust note.

5 Plush Suspension

Triumph bikes are known for their top-notch handling. While the Speed Triple has always been a capable road bike, upgrades like the plush suspension upgrade in the semi-active, electronically adjustable Öhlins system make for a sharp handling system that provides the best of both worlds.

You can adjust compression and rebound dumping accordingly, and there are pre-set suspension settings built into each rider mode. The suspension system is brilliantly complex yet easily operable, and it makes for a better overall riding experience.

4 Plenty Of Easy To Use Electronics

The Triumph Speed remained a technophobe for a while, afraid of beast taming tech. Perhaps that’s what made it a bare-knuckle hooligan. But not everyone is a hardened, hyper-skilled stunt lad. Many appreciate the hi-tech goodies that are plentiful in the modern Speed Triple.

The 2022 Speed Triple 1200 RR comes with a smart, neat, and easy-to-use 5-inch TFT screen that is clear under all conditions. From the TFT, you can tune the bike to your liking using features like cruise control and the M button, which helps switch between the four pre-set rider modes. ABS, Traction control, and a bi-directional quick-shifter are key goodies, with up to thirty accessories available for customization off the factory.

RELATED: Here’s How The Triumph Speed Triple 1200 Compares With The Ducati Streetfighter V4

3 Perfect Compromise For Sporty Road Riding

In its newest 1200RR guise, one can argue the Triumph Speed Triple is too pretty for the track. And while it does a good job keeping up with sports bikes on the track, it will certainly eat them up for breakfast at the twisties. It is a great compromise for the more hostile 200hp+ monsters while offering sporty road riding.

Switch off the tech, including ABS and traction, and the bike turns into a wild hooligan, great for wheelies and effortless burnouts while anchored by its top-end Brembo brakes.

2 A Versatile Ride

Versatility is always one of the top factors that make hooligan bikes popular. They are track-able yet easier to grow on compared to track-bred superbikes. They don’t pack upwards of 200hp, but these bikes have enough punch to pop random wheelies, stoppies, power slides, burnouts, etc. Triumph went all out with changes to the core values of the new bike, which makes it even more versatile.

Now, the Speed Triple RS is as practical on B-roads as it is in the city streets. It comes with goodies like heated grips, cruise control, and a blipper/shifter combo that makes riding a breeze.

RELATED: Meet The 2021 Triumph Street Triple 765 RS: A Baby Speed Triple With RS Goodies

1 Ever-Evolving

The first-ever Triumph Speed Triple was practically an un-faired T595 Daytona with bold black, orange, or tallow paint, white-faced clocks, special badging, and the twin-beam bug-eyed styling. It was almost an afterthought, but the hooligan slowly gained popularity over the better selling Daytona. It has since evolved into a leaner, more imposing super naked.

By the second generation, still based on the Daytona, the Triumph had confirmed its success and would lead to the quiet discontinuation of the Daytona in 2004. The Speed Triple evolved from the Daytona borrowed 855cc and 955cc triple motors to the long-running 1050cc and the current 1200cc engine in the RR and RS versions. Each comes with a welcome bump in power.

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