Tri­umph Street Triple R

2007’s parts bin suc­cess story grows into fo­cused, no-non­sense ten-year-old


‘For a sunny thrash it’s im­pos­si­ble not to be ex­cited by the Street’

RID­ING HARD ON the B4391 east of Ffes­tin­iog, the Street Triple R shines. Do you know that feel­ing when you dive deep to­wards a bend, turn in, and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the feel of the road, tyres and sus­pen­sion press­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously through seat, foot­pegs, and han­dle­bar? The R gives all this and more. Tight­en­ing a line at this point can be a real test of sus­pen­sion, ge­om­e­try and weight dis­tri­bu­tion, but the Street copes with aplomb. At naughty speed it’s the only bike of the three that doesn’t wal­low, com­plain, or suf­fer a feed­back short­fall. When you’re push­ing on, wolf­ing down the next serv­ing of Welsh Bs, the Tri­umph is hands-down the best bike here. ‘Yes, it re­ally han­dles,’ agrees deputy edi­tor Mike Ar­mitage. He rode the racier range-top­ping RS ver­sion ear­lier in the year, but this is our first taste of the more road-bi­ased R ver­sion. ‘At speed the chas­sis steers, tracks and car­ries it­self nigh-on fault­lessly. It’s bet­ter at iso­lat­ing bumps than the firmer RS, with a slightly plusher ride. The sus­pen­sion’s qual­ity and it never mis­be­haves,’ says Mike. This sports-like han­dling is de­spite less ex­treme ge­om­e­try. The Street is still racy, but its 23.9° rake is more re­laxed than on last year’s model, and there’s ad­di­tional trail for greater sta­bil­ity. Tri­umph have moved the swingarm pivot point as well, to re­duce squat dur­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion. Seat height has risen by 25mm, and the up­dated perch seems to pitch the rider up and for­wards over the forks, plac­ing more weight over the front of a bike that al­ready has the weight dis­tri­bu­tion you ex­pect of a track­day-ready sports­bike. The ge­om­e­try tweaks are needed to keep things con­trolled with the new 765cc mo­tor. It’s based on the last 675 Day­tona unit, but taken as big as it’ll go – bore and stroke are the max­i­mum pos­si­ble, the liner’s cast as one part to al­low the big­gest pis­tons. The re­sult is a claimed 116bhp and 57 lb.ft, though this bike makes 118bhp and 59 lb.ft on our dyno – over 20bhp and 13 grunts more than the orig­i­nal Street in 2007. It’s a bril­liant piece of en­gi­neer­ing. Wound to the stop it’s howl-out-loud fan­tas­tic, Mike gushes out words like, ‘fab­u­lous’, ‘surg­ing’, and ‘long-legged’. Couldn’t agree more. The R sits in the mid­dle of the three bike Street range. There’s an S with five fewer horses and seven fewer pound-feet, and the range-top­per RS adds 5bhp with sim­i­lar peak torque. The R uses dif­fer­ent cams to the RS for ex­tra midrange at the ex­pense of a lit­tle top-end. It should be the strong­est and best-re­spond­ing Street in nor­mal use, and the smooth de­liv­ery and mighty pull from 6000 to 8500rpm is fab­u­lous. Yet there’s still an in­vig­o­rat­ing top-end whoosh. Yamaha’s ri­val triple revs more freely but the 765 feels strong­est when al­lowed to get into its stride. And al­low­ing the Street to get into its stride is es­sen­tial. The R might be less fo­cused than the RS, but it’s by far the sporti­est here – and that’s an is­sue when you’re not try­ing to ride like a TT hero. ‘It’s lost a lit­tle of the fun that made the orig­i­nal great,’ says Mike. ‘It’s more road-friendly than the RS, but still too sporty.’ Be­ing de­signed for un­flus­tered speed means the R isn’t play­ful. Where the MT-09’S sharp gear­ing and puppy-ea­ger en­gine see it leap out of low-speed cor­ners and tease the front up off hillocks, the Street isn’t set-up for that kind of fun. It’s not about do­ing wheel­ies; it’s about press­ing on. ‘It’s a good Tri­umph triple,’ muses Bike de­signer Paul Lang, a big fan of ear­lier mod­els. ‘Great power and torque, ace sound, smooth fu­elling. But next to the oth­ers it lacks a lit­tle... some­thing.’ I get what he means: the Street hasn’t the Kawasaki’s con­tin­u­ous whoosh­ing four-cylin­der drive and lacks the Yam’s en­thu­si­asm at sen­si­ble speed. The oth­ers also have sus­pen­sion that works bet­ter (as in can­celling-out bumps) up to 70mph – the Yam’s softer set-up and more up­right rid­ing po­si­tion de­liver a way more com­fort­able ride at le­gal speeds. Fin­ish is high qual­ity with great de­tails, from swingarm pivot to neat seat stitch­ing. Plenty of wid­gets too, with trac­tion con­trol and rid­ing modes, plus a colour dash with joy­stick con­trol and many dis­play op­tions. And it’s per­haps the Street’s most con­tentious fea­ture. ‘Too many op­tions,’ com­plains Mike. ‘You spend yonks dick­ing about chang­ing stuff for no rea­son ev­ery time you start up.’ But he’s ana­logue. I’d rather have this mod­ern dis­play with its foibles than the fad­ing mil­len­nial cool of the Z900’s dis­play. Is­sues over elec­tronic pref­er­ences fade the mo­ment you start the R, and head­ing back out for a sunny evening thrash it’s im­pos­si­ble not to be ex­cited on the Tri­umph. To­mor­row holds a three-hour ride home, though. It’ll be a re­minder that the Street’s real strength is when you’re rid­ing in high-per­for­mance mode.

read screen with a gazil­lion dis­play op­tions

(Above) Not dou­ble winkers, but a joy­stick to con­trol mul­ti­func­tion screen (Be­low) Easy to

Still a looker but we’re not en­tirely con­vinced by the red sub­frame

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