Triumph Street Triple RS
Previously, the term super middleweight has been reserved for the likes of Chris Eubank Jr and Carl Froch, yet the Street Triple’s latest advancements have now warranted an exclusive naked supermid label. Once again Triumph has raised the bar and created a class-leading weapon, although it wasn’t plain sailing.
I was slightly perplexed after most of the boys jumped off the RS for the first time and were left underwhelmed, although I could see why. It all revolves around the electronics, which reset every time the ignition is switched off. In its more obtrusive modes, the electronics invasively cull the power as soon as the front wheel approaches lift-off. After a quick tutorial on how to navigate the confusing five-way joystick and select ‘Track’ mode, unremitting three-pot power was exulted by all. We don’t need anti-wheelie on a 120bhp middleweight, Mr Bloor.
And that’s the issue – if there is one – with the RS. With 21st century goodies and electronic wizardry comes a slight disconnection, and an iffier throttle from closed to open. The RS isn’t as intuitive as the previous undiluted model and it’s somewhat harder to exploit its potential, though that potential is far superior. And I doubt an ability to navigate lengthy nocturnal sojourns along leafy A-roads is top of your list, but the RS has the worst dipped beam in the history of motorcycling.
Regardless of its trivial niggles, the Street Triple RS is the complete package and utterly romps the opposition at any given opportunity with supersport dynamics. There are no compromises – except those pesky ’bar mirrors that hamper mid-corner comfort – and if it weren’t for being polite, any rider aboard the RS would have comfortably left the rest behind at any opportunity. By simply slimming down the front-end and adjusting the rider’s weight distribution, Triumph made us assume that geometry was changed in order to provide us with a soothingly nosey front-end stance. It’s the only bike here that’ll allow trail braking and off-the-throttle heroics, constantly encouraging greater corner speed.
Its poise and agility is a wonderful asset, though that comes with a stiff suspension set-up that isn’t as welcoming to UK roads as more pliable rivals. However, the quality of the stroke and damping at either end ensures a classy execution – a cut above most of the budget hacks on test – and we’re sure there’s the ability to make things softer with the vast
adjustability on offer.
As with most Triumph three-pots, the new Street Triple is dangerously addictive to thrash. The RS’s distinction over other models is its supersport top-end, which continues to deliver right until the redline with a devastating rush of power – so much so, the 12,750 limiter can often suddenly creep up on you. It’s won’t chew the Z900 and GSX-S750 for breakfast, but the engine’s character and intangible X factor leaves you feeling like twice the man.
Realistically, on the road, it’s the perfect blend of power and control, with every gallivanting Hinckley horsey available for use. The R model’s beefier midrange is undone by lesser components and a lack of quickshifter (the fact that the Triumph is the only bike wearing a quickshifter gives you some idea of the class), yet some may save the grand and reap rewards ngine. incess. The ank for a cushioned ly builds p-end. om a bike riumph ound zes the s still ut with de.
Easy peasy with this three-sy.
No one had a bad word to say about the RS. It rocked!
The Trumpet looks trick at all angles.
You can get better brakes. You just have to sell a kidney to afford them.