Fast Bikes - - LONGTERMERS -

THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… “Pon­der­ing the al­ter­na­tives...”

The ea­gle-eyed among you will have al­ready no­ticed that these pic­tures are of the Tri­umph Street Triple R, not the RS. The rea­son is the RS has been re­turned to Hinckley to have over £1,000 worth of choice parts added and, just as I’d been hop­ing, I had the R to re­turn home on.

The R sits sec­ond from top in the Triple range, boast­ing an im­pres­sive list of spec­i­fi­ca­tions due to its step up from the S, but lack­ing a num­ber of up­grades that an ex­tra grand will give you for the RS – top of the triple pile. You can get the full list by get­ting the brochure from www.tri­umph­mo­tor­cy­ so I won’t wang on too much but those that stand out are Brembo M4.32 Calipers as op­posed to the M50s on the RS. There’s no quick-shifter, the R’s sus­pen­sion is Showa fore and aft, whereas the RS has fully ad­justable Showa BPFs (Big Pis­ton Forks) and an Öh­lins set up at the rear com­plete with pig­gy­back reser­voir. No belly pan on the R, which also sports ‘nor­mal’ mir­rors as op­posed to the bar end ver­sion, and al­though it still has the im­pres­sive dig­i­tal TFT dash there are only three styles on the R, three fewer than the RS and you also lose the track map, though still have Nor­mal, Sport, Wet and your own rider set­tings.

So on the face of it that’s a fair whack of ad­di­tional good­ies sported on the RS for drop­ping an ad­di­tional grand. How­ever, with the caveat that it de­pends on the type of rider you are, the R is ac­tu­ally a bet­ter road bike. Sure when I first flung my leg over the R I missed the quick-shifter straight away, though as an aside, love the rein­tro­duc­tion of the white on black with the red sub-frame as sported on the Day­tona 675R. Yes it’s pretty, but in func­tion the R ap­peared to be more ag­gres­sive, with more us­able power in the midrange where the RS strug­gles. Now I was ex­pect­ing this. Tri­umph tell you that you will get your peak torque at 9,400rpm as op­posed to the RS’s at 10,800rpm, but the only real way of prov­ing it was via the JHS dyno.

The Dyno chart shows that at 8,000rpm the R de­liv­ers a fur­ther 7bhp and 6Nm of torque to the RS, in fact the RS only re­ally starts to out­strip the R at 11,000rpm. This fur­ther em­pha­sizes the RS’s in­ten­tion to be a track weapon in naked cloth­ing, the elec­tron­ics honed in for top-end per­for­mance that has been so well doc­u­mented this month with the Moto2 test. The 765 engine, shared by both R and RS, dropped into a Su­per­sport frame that may well be the all new Day­tona. Fin­gers crossed…

So do you choose the R or the RS? It’s a win-win for me – whether you get the full pack­age for a ton shy of £10k, or save your­self a grand and add what you are want­ing to the R you are still rid­ing a su­perla­tive ma­chine that ar­guably only Yamaha’s MT-09 has come close to ri­valling in re­cent years. I would say if you dance to the reg­u­lar tune of the track it’s the RS all the way, but if your mileage is road fo­cused then the R is the more nat­u­ral choice.

Though I am look­ing for­ward to the re­turn of the RS, to check out the up­grades and any fur­ther gains from the Ar­row ex­haust I will still be ret­i­cent to send this R back. Es­pe­cially as its my favourite paint scheme… Shal­low I may be, but I like what I like!

Like you, we’re gag­ging for Tri­umph to bolt a 765 mo­tor into a Day­tona. TheRof­fers ad­if­fer­ent out­put to theRS.

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