I was invited to the launch of the new Triumph Street Triple unveiling last January in London. Unfortunately for me, it was a Tuesday night, and with me having an average Joe day job it was pretty impractical for me to finish work, travel down to London from Stoke, attend the event until the small hours of the morning and then back to Stoke again in one night ready for work again the next day. So with gritted teeth, I had to give this one a miss, being pretty disappointed, and sulking like a child for most of the day. When the opportunity came to ride it, I grabbed it with both hands.
At that launch, Triumph unveiled three new main models of the Street Triple. The RS (the top of the range model this review is based on) an R model and an S model. There is a low seat offering in the R and also an A2 compliant S model are available too but 95% of my attention goes to the RS model though despite being short, and a pansy behind the bars. The three new models boasted a new engine, with increased displacement over the old model. Triumph has also 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. We will have to wait and see on that one.
The old 675 engine was shared between the Street Triple and the Daytona, I haven’t had the privilege of riding the old 675, but you see plenty of them out and about, and the Daytona is also a common sight on track days. Surely that’s good? So the new replacement engine would have to be a right peach then? 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. Making 121hp, that’s a number not to be sniffed at. The bike is lightweight too and lots of power in a lightweight bike sounds like a perfect recipe. As stated earlier the new 765 is kitted out with the latest tech, it has a full-colour dash, adjustable rider modes and a quick-shifter it is packed with lots of goodies. I’ll admit I didn’t really play with these, 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 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. Now, I haven’t ridden a speed triple, but with hindsight and looking at the specs and figures, the new 765 engine makes 121hp, and the 1050 speed triple makes 136. So the Speed Triple makes 15 hp more but is a lot 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 on running and maintenance costs.
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 sounds like a match made in heaven. There is one thing that does bother me, and there is a bit of a high pitched whine. Now from trawling through internet forums, this is a common thing on Triumph Triples, one person says it’s like the old Ducati dry clutch rattle, and it just is what makes it what it is. It’s not a serious 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 just beg to be revved harder and 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 really kick its head in and redline it all the time. That being said it does also pull well from lower down in the rev range, quite the all-rounder. See below for a video showing the beautiful noise!
The chassis is remarkable too. Triumph hasn’t skimped picking parts from the bargain bins. Huge Brembo brakes provide fantastic brake 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 on the RS is a special Ohlins shock. Also fitted with super sticky SuperCorsa tyres from Pirelli, they grip like glue when warm and the warm-up time is super quick. These suit the overall sportiness of the RS. I say this a lot of stuff I write, but I’m not a quick rider and I haven’t done any track riding, but I would LOVE to take this on track. It’s no surprise to me why Triumph triples are well respected in the track day and racing scene. 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 bit of a secret weapon. No wonder why then 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 clever people are dressing this bike up in a yummy fairing and slapping some Daytona badges on it to celebrate.
The only thing left to discuss really is the styling. Is it a looker? Well, it’s certainly not the prettiest front profile ever, but I have definitely seen worse. Aside from the front, I think it looks spot on. Another small gripe is the wind blast. I’m small at 5’7″, and even I found that there was a lot, but the bike is naked, and so It is expected, I guess you have to find a fault somewhere and I really really am nitpicking with this one.
The only major problem I found, is that after the demo ride, I didn’t want to hand the keys back. The thought of going back to my Stone Age 2011 bike with no creature comforts and no quickshifter was heartbreaking. Could I live with a Street Triple? Well, 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.