Hanging it rough since 1994

Spotting A Fake MK1 Speed Triple

An article requested by the community, who would have thought anyone gave a monkeys about these old biffas! I guess more people care than anyone would have thought.

Old Mottley gave up his time to knock this page up… all credits to Mr Mk1 and over to you old chap.

Well we thought this may be a useful addition to our pool of knowledge, those of you that are in the know will spot a fake a mile off, but these bikes seem to be spawned to catch the new to MK1 ownership punter. OK were not talking massive money here but trying to shift a bitsa for 2.5K when it’s probably only worth 6-800 quid may still sting a bit to the unsuspecting owner!!!


As is in the sales blurb, a Speed triple was basically a de-faired Daytona 900 with a single head light and the easiest way to Speed Triple up an old T3 is to do exactly that, a Black Daytona 900 would need the oil cooler removing, single head light with the black fork leg shroud mounts, radiator covers clocks and idiot lights to make a convincing copy. However the Speed Triples also had a slightly different rake to the yokes than the Daytona and 94/95 bikes were also 5 speed where as the Daytona was 6. Colours were Yellow and Black for 94 and Orange and black for 95/96 but Triumph employees were allowed to choose a different colour so it is possible that a there are a few bikes out there that may confuse and closer examination would be necessary to get to the bottom of it.


Things that tend to be botched are the headlight mounts, aftermarket ones should ring alarm bells. The fully adjustable forks should be in place so check for the preload/rebound tops and the compression adjuster at the bottom, 3 spoke Brembo wheels were fitted to all the 900 Speed Triples apart from the 6 spoke ones for the smaller end of line 750 Speed Triple.

Two good ways to narrow down for sure if what you are getting is a Speed Triple even if it has had a hard life and bits from other T3s have been grafted on is to look behind the headlight and on the front of the headstock there should be a white sticker with various E numbers and stuff but it will also state Speed Triple on it. Another is to take the frame/engine number and contact the factory.


Various other tell tale signs should be black engine not silver, black swing arm not silver, under slung rear brake caliper, seat should have the lugs on either side to accept the seat cowl, clocks should have chrome bezels white dials and the mounting nuts at the rear should be horizontal. Points of note should also be made when viewing as 94/95 bikes had a pull through on the forks above the top yoke of 28mm and 96 bikes had them flush with the top yoke.

If all else fails feel free to ping us a pic here and we’ll do our damnedest to suss the thing out for you 😉


Laced throughout this article are a few shots of basket cases… just check out our Gallery for pictures of the real McCoy for comparison, 9 times out of 10 they are asking more than a low mileage mint MK1 would go for… it’s a low trick to play on someone.

You can clearly see in this one the clocks are wrong and the fork tops are non adjustable…


Oh back to me now… Another thing I noticed was the position of the horns on the fakes, especially if it was a Daytona previously. If a fake they are mounted under the radiator on the side of the bike where in fact there should be a twin horn affair going on under the headlamp. Another tell tale sign is the union jack badge missing from the rear panel, sure sign of a cheap respray!

Now armed with all this knowledge I better get over to the Gallery and see if some fakes slipped through the net!
[Ed. A couple did but we are all sorted now]

Until next time Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. All valid bikes in their own right unless someone is trying to sell it as the genuine article surely

  2. Indeed mate, as has been the case in the past and I sure why the article was requested. A defroked Daytona is still a cool bike, no doubt about that but I think it gets up peoples noses when others try and make a fast buck at someone else’s expense, like in the case of that first shot, the trophy speedy hybrid thingy.

  3. How many mods do you have to do to a speed triple before it becomes something else??? I know I am in a minority of one but I prefer the Trident clocks and headlamp ears so I have fitted them to mine, and polished the swinging arm, and some of the covers, and it has white wheels…. It does however have the correct Vin number 🙂

  4. Unfortunately my son bought the silver Daytona without fairing advertised with just under 13,000 miles. it has been ridden twice in the last 5 months once to get it home then the second time to take it to our Triumph dealers the following weekend. The ad said the shims had been done but the Triumph dealer checked and all of the clearances were out. They identified major problems with the top end at a cost of £1,000. If this work is undertaken I’m still not sure it will be ok. So the case is with the small claims court. Does anyone know any of the history of the bike? Please contact Dave 07785 913346 Chairman Somerset and Dorset Branch. Thanks

  5. Sorry to hear about your troubles with the bike Dave I take it you mean the silver one above ? don’t know any history on it myself but if you are looking at a grand to fix that would get you a very low mileage replacement lump !!!! good luck with it all 😉


  6. Ok so what do I call the one I’m building.
    Thunderbird mainframe
    Custom rear.
    Speed triple swing arm and suspension
    Daytona forks
    Thunderbird sport yokes
    Thunderbird tank
    Super III Engine and ECU
    675 peg set
    Speed triple headlight and clip ons
    Daytona Clocks mounted on Speed Triple surround

    How do I declare this to insurance company?

    • http://www.mk1speedtriple.co.uk/2013/05/bloody-insurance/ – The insurance cartels really do screw the modded bike riders out there. I’m sure it’s how they planned it. You have to declare the make and model as per your V5. Performance tweaks should be declared and anything expensive you want to keep, mind you once you crash the bike it’s the property of the insurance company and they have no right to give it to you unless you request salvage rights, so your risking your shinny bits without it. Anything they spot you don’t declare will be used as an excuse not to pay out and that’s the business they are in after all so best to declare it all really, then watch the insurance market dwindle to one or two companies after spending most of you spare time in a fucking call center queue for the privilege! Insurance has a place, but insurance for the masses if killing the bespoke market. Guess it’s the price you pay for not being another sheep.

      BTW, The project sounds good! I hope to see a triumphrat.net build thread soon. 🙂

  7. Sounds like a Speed Bird III !

    Ah insurance…..!!!! ask Silkie he has a soft spot for that kinda stuff (takes cover!)


  8. Regarding the “Another tell tale sign is the union jack badge missing from the rear panel, sure sign of a cheap respray!” comment. Is this correct as the pictures from the brochure for 1994 and 1995 show bikes without a union flag badge on the rear panels?

    • Oooooh Good spot Whoshe. Next time we’re all about I’ll take a gander at few yellow ones and report back. I’ll have a natter with those lads at the factory too. Miss information is worse that no information any day of the week.

    • Also of note: Triumph dealers used to offer little plastic stickers of The Union Jack in that same size, so be sure to check that it isn’t just a sticker.
      I know this because I purchased one and stuck it on the small headlamp fly screen/fairing that I added to make it look more ‘stock’.
      I also have a Micron 3 into 1 race pipe with the Carbon fiber baffle (stock exhaust in storage).
      I didn’t like the look of the chrome system against the all-black engine, so I had it sandblasted and powder-coated in matte black.

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