Triumph invited me to the launch of the new Street Triple back January in London.
Unfortunately for me, it was a Tuesday night, so with gritted teeth, I had to give this one a miss. For most of the day, I was sulking like a child. When the opportunity came to ride it, I grabbed it with both hands.
Triumph unveiled three new models of the Street Triple. The top of the range RS, the R and an S model. Low seat offering is available for the R and also an A2 compliant S model.
The three new models boasted an all-new engine, with an increased displacement over the old model. Triumph has updated it with all the latest goodies and gizmos expected on litre class bikes. Hopefully, other manufacturers follow suit and give their middle-class bikes a much-needed update.
The Street Triple and the Daytona shared the old 675 engine. Both are a common sight on track days. Triumph has re-engineered the engine, new internals and externals ramp up the displacement from 675 to 765, I’m assured this is purely coincidental. The new engine makes 121hp, and when mated with a lightweight chassis it sounds like a perfect recipe.
As I stated earlier the new 765 is kitted out with lots of new tech. It has a full-colour dash, adjustable rider modes and a quick-shifter. I’ll admit I didn’t play with these much, I was too busy enjoying myself, but I did like it when dark mode flicks on the night/dark screen, I do prefer that to the light day screen.
When heading out on my road test, a Triumph guy said to me “That engine will kill off the Speed Triple”. I didn’t know how to interpret those words, or what to expect, so it meant nothing until after I got back. I haven’t taken a speed triple out, but with hindsight and looking at the specs and figures, the new 765 engine makes 121hp, and the 1050 speed triple makes 136. The Speed Triple makes 15 hp more but is a bigger and heavier bike. What the triumph guy said was starting to make sense. I would rather have a lighter more nimble bike, that’s going to be cheaper to run.
The first apparent thing that struck me on the road test is the engine note. The triple has a very distinct growl, a combination of inlet and exhaust noise. It’s not quiet. It surprises me that a euro 4 compliant bike can sound like this. Even better yet, Arrow is making exhaust systems, and that could be a match made in heaven.
There is one thing that does bother me, and there is a bit of a high pitched engine whine. People say it’s like the old Ducati dry clutch rattle, and it just is what makes it what it is. It’s not a severe flaw, just an annoyance.
The fueling on the bike is spot on; there is no hesitation, that combined with the quickshifter allows silky smooth changes. Reving the engine hard is a gift that keeps on giving, the noise and responsiveness begs it to be revved harder, and the more you rev it, the more it gives back. It’s a weird combination. It’s almost as if the bike wants you to kick its head in and redline it all the time. It still pulls well from lower down in the rev range, and the increased displacement gives it a nice boost of torque, this proves to be quite the all-rounder.
See below for a video showing the beautiful noise!
The chassis is remarkable too. Brembo brakes provide extreme braking power, with ABS although it is only straight line ABS, not cornering. The front suspension is Upside down Showa BPF (Big Piston Fork), while the rear shock on the RS is from Ohlins. Fitted with super sticky Pirelli SuperCorsa tyres, they grip like glue when warm and the warm-up time is super quick. These suit the overall sportiness of the RS to a tee.
I would LOVE to take this on track; Triumphs racing pedigree shows through with this model. In the track day and racing scene Triumph triples are well respected, and it’s easy to see why. It was bringing a great smile to my face out riding on the roads, so I can only imagine that on track this would be a secret weapon.
It’s no surprise why it has been selected to replace the ageing Honda Moto2 engines. That is a fantastic achievement by Triumph, and here is me hoping that somewhere hidden in the factory in Hinckley the intelligent people are dressing this bike with a fairing and slapping some Daytona badges on it to celebrate their involvement with the Moto GP series.
The only thing left to discuss is the styling. Is it a looker?
Well, it’s certainly not the prettiest front profile ever, I have seen worse. Aside from the front, it looks spot on. The only other small gripe is the wind blast from a lack of a decent screen. I’m small at 5’7″, and even I found that there was a lot of wind blast, but the bike is naked, and so It is expected.
The only major problem I found, is that after the demo ride, I didn’t want to hand the keys back. Could I live with a Street Triple? I think I could. It was great fun, and I had a beaming smile from ear to ear. The engine and exhaust note is addictive, and I can’t stress how quick this bike is on the road even with a bloke who has no clue what he is doing at the helm.