If the current Triumph Street Triple is impressive, this brand new one is simply out of this world!
Being a motorcycle manufacturer is demanding, as you have to bring together years of hard work, expertise and innovative engineering in developing those dynamic machines. And, at the end of it, you can only hope that your efforts bear fruit in terms of sales volume – after all, that’s what it boils down to in the end. While this in itself is a challenge, an even more herculean task is to bring out the successor to an already successful model. And this was the task facing Triumph Motorcycles when it came to the Street Triple.
Since its global launch in 2007, the Street Triple has been lauded for its versatility by experts and enthusiasts alike. And it doesn’t come as a surprise that the motorcycle is Triumph’s best-selling model with over 50,000 units on the ‘streets’ – pun intended! The new 2017 line up, therefore, has to deliver even more in every department. It was these thoughts that plagued me as we boarded the flight to Barcelona to ride the new Street Triple range, and find out if it raises the bar further and builds on Triumph’s reputation for quality, character and style.
Once in the Gaudi city, a brief presentation was made on the new line-up – the contents of which were focused largely on the engine. That was primarily because engineers were asked to recognise the versatility of the iconic Street Triple, and to expand the range with the addition of more variants. So, this iteration of the Street Triple comes in three variants – S, R and RS. All three variants produce different power and torque figures from the same 765cc three-cylinder engine derived from the Daytona. This engine gets as many as 80 new parts, as well as a bigger bore and a longer stroke to give it that hike in displacement. While the specs did the trick on paper, it was only when I took the new Street Triple out for a spin at the legendary Circuit de Catalunya that I was blown away. Literally!
After one quick sighting lap, it was time to see what the new Triumph Street Triple was capable of. Getting a good drive out of the final corner, I whacked the throttle open on the start-finish straight. I ducked down behind the short windscreen, and before I knew it I had already crossed the 150km/h mark – and the bike was still going strong. 170... 180… 200. By this time, the windblast was pushing me back, and I decided to roll off the throttle. The Street Triple RS is extremely quick to gain speed, and that’s because of the way this engine has been tuned. The power output is impressive, at 121bhp – an increase of 16% – while torque is up by 13%, at 77Nm. Interestingly, the RS makes more power at 4,000rpm than its predecessor did at its peak. And despite these upgrades, the friendliness of this engine hasn’t been lost. This is a motorcycle that can go fast, but isn’t one that will make you soil your pants. Power delivery is linear till about 8,000rpm, post which it shoots up to its peak at 11,700rpm. Of course, due credit must be given to the ride-by-wire throttle, which results in crisp response to inputs. The RS also comes with five riding modes – Road, Sport, Rain, Track and Custom. While all of these modes deliver all the available power, it changes the way the power is delivered. Plus, a lighter clutch action and revised geometry makes the ride absolutely comfortable. For those who would love to take the Street on the track, it also comes equipped with a slipper clutch and a quick-shifter.
The Street Triple sits on 41mm Showa big piston forks up front and an Ohlins’ Piggyback Reservoir Monoshock setup at the back. Combined with a reworked chassis, the stiff suspension gives the bike great handling dynamics. In fact, thanks to a punchy motor and the way the suspension has been setup, it makes for a great track tool. The new Street Triple tips the scales at 166kgs – two kilograms lighter than its predecessor. All of this weight is well balanced, and lets it tear around the track with the utmost ease. Boosting the confidence further around the track are the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres.
While the setup does have its perks, it felt a bit too stiff when we rode the bike in its stock form on the B-roads of Barcelona. Every jerk is felt as you ride over patchy or broken road surfaces. Of course, the suspension is fully adjustable, at the front as well as at the back, but we really can’t tell you how the bike will behave on our roads until we ride it here. As far as the brakes are concerned, the new Street Triple can shed speeds as quickly as it can gain it. The Brembo-sourced brakes have enough bite, and good feel too.
The Street Triple with its minimalistic design and bug-eyed headlamp has never been stunning to look at, but in this 2017 iteration it gets a rather mature appeal. A small windscreen atop the headlights makes the bike more presentable – at least when you look at it from the front three-quarter view. All the other elements come together quite nicely. The tank is wide up front and gets narrow towards the seat making it easy to grip with the inside of the thighs. The engine, accompanied by a sharp belly pan, adds mass to the centre of the bike. An exposed sub-frame, beefy swing-arm and a split seat give the 2017 Street Triple a contemporary charm. We would have preferred the traditional handlebar mounted mirrors as opposed to the bar-end ones since these put form over function. Following from a rather muscular design right from the front forks, the tail section is relatively narrow, and looks rather vulnerable.
Behind the handle bar, on this RS version, sits a 5-inch TFT display that comes with two themes and six style options. The screen displays a riding mode symbol, ambient temperature, gear position indicator and a fuel gauge apart from the standard speedo and tach. Additionally, it also has two trip meters, average fuel economy/distance to empty, display contrast settings and more. To toggle between the riding modes and the information options, the Street Triple RS gets a 5-way joystick. All switches are top notch in terms of quality.
The Triumph Street Triple RS is a wholesome motorcycle. It can be a great ride for a rookie sports-bike enthusiast and, at the same time, can be unquestionably fun to ride on the track. In fact, even after spending a day with the new Triumph Street Triple RS, it’s been hard to find faults in it. Our only grouse is the stiff suspension setup and the tiny bar-end mirrors. The new Street Triple is a worthy upgrade from its predecessor; it retains the versatile nature that the Street Triple has been known for and adds so much more to it.
The new Triumph Street Triple is expected to make its way to India in June. Just the way they did with the Bonneville range, all variants of the Street Triple too are expected to make their way here gradually. Expect the bike to demand around 10% more than the current generation model, with this RS variant carrying a sticker price of approximately Rs 11 lakhs. If you are planning to buy a bike in this class in the near future, we would recommend you to wait. The new Triumph Street Triple will surely be worth every penny.
- Triumph Street Triple RS
Engine: 765cc, three-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Power: 121bhp @ 11,700rpm
Torque: 77Nm @ 10,800rpm
X-Factor: As versatile as before, but a lot more engaging and fun to ride.