Underrated, overlooked but a brilliant bargain, Triumph’s Speed Four makes magnificent sense in these cash-strapped times
Triumph’s model range has always been a little schizophrenic. On one hand they’ve produced unique machines that have been hard to pigeonhole alongside any Japanese, European or American equivalent, while at other times they’ve taken the more powerful opposition a little more head-on.
Back in 2000 Triumph dived into the supersport 600 class when they produced the TT600, a machine which was perhaps too much too soon for the Hinckley firm. It may have been the first mass-produced 600 with fuel injection, but it suffered badly from poor fuelling and a gutless power delivery. Fast forward two years and many engine and FI updates later, and the motor was better, almost up there with the TT’s sublime chassis and fierce brakes. But by then the class had moved on and the Triumph was still at the back of the pack.
Instead, the Speed Four promised a ‘less is more’ approach at its launch in March 2002 at Cartagena in Spain. Less bodywork was to equal more fun – and so it proved.