The highly anticipated Triumph Speed 400 has recently hit the market, and the first wave of reviews has shed some light on the motorcycle’s pros and cons. While there are certainly many positive aspects to this new offering, it is important to acknowledge the areas where the Speed 400 falls short.
One of the primary cons of the Triumph Speed 400 highlighted by reviewers is the issue of vibrations. Given that the Speed 400 is equipped with a high-revving 398 cc single-cylinder engine, it is not surprising that vibrations are present. This is a result of basic physics, as a single-cylinder configuration inherently generates more vibrations compared to multi-cylinder engines.
Some experts and enthusiasts predicted this outcome, suggesting that a low-revving, long-stroke engine would have been better suited to minimize vibrations. However, the Triumph Speed 400, with its high-revving nature, struggles to achieve a vibration-free ride.
Another Triumph Speed 400 con pointed out by reviewers is the clunkiness of the gearbox. Sagar Sheldekar, a well-known automotive journalist who formerly worked at Powerdrift, compared the gearbox of the Speed 400 unfavorably to that of the KTM Duke 390. The transmission is reported to lack the smoothness and precision that riders expect, making gear shifts feel less refined and potentially affecting the overall riding experience.
Furthermore, several reviews have raised concerns about the speedometer accuracy of the Triumph Speed 400. It appears that there is a significant speedometer error, with some videos even showing the speedometer indicating speeds as high as 170 mph. Reviewers have mentioned a potential discrepancy of around 10 km/h, which can be quite significant and misleading for riders relying on accurate speed readings.
Additionally, the exhaust note of the Speed 400 has received criticism. As a single-cylinder motorcycle, it faces limitations in producing an appealing exhaust sound. Manufacturers often struggle to enhance the acoustic qualities of single-cylinder engines, and the high-revving nature of the Speed 400 exacerbates this issue.
Some reviewers have likened the sound to that of a vacuum cleaner, highlighting the disappointment for riders who appreciate a more satisfying auditory experience.
Despite these criticisms, it is important to remember that the Triumph Speed 400 also boasts several notable features. It is powered by a liquid-cooled, 398.15 cc, 4-valve, DOHC single-cylinder engine with a compression ratio of 12:1. With a maximum power output of 39.5 HP (40PS) at 8,000 RPM and a peak torque of 27.7 ft-lb at 6,500 RPM, it offers respectable performance for its class.
The engine is equipped with Bosch electronic fuel injection and electronic throttle control, ensuring efficient and responsive power delivery. The exhaust system consists of a stainless twin-skin header and a stainless steel silencer, which, despite the aforementioned criticisms of sound, still meets industry standards.
The Triumph Speed 400 is directly aimed at Royal Enfield Classic 350 customers and is expected to make a dent in Royal Enfield’s armour.