I wouldnt be afraid to try it. More often than not, an unexpected strike will land. Thats not to say that it wont fail you at some point but I dont necessarily think that is enough reason to rule it out. Many techniques fail and none are sure fire 100 percent attacks. As far as a kick goes, its fast. I can execute it as quickly as a roundhouse or perhaps faster. The risk of takedown is theree but only briefly and if its a takedown of the single leg variety you will find that your kicking leg is often high on the opponent, giving the opportunity to attempt the triangle.

Also, the ability to maintain forward montum in a fight is devestating to most opponents and the forward kick facilitates that momentum.
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu