com­pet­i­tiveDif­fer­ent en­gine,in 2017, more­but some­how­power, lighter Kawasaki’s chas­sis. newIt soundsZ900 feel­s­like enough­like an oldto make­bike. Init this re­spected com­pany the Zed looks dated, es­pe­cially when viewed from the cock­pit. It’s as if Kawasaki are ner­vous about in­vest­ing more into what is most def­i­nitely a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. And the Z900 suf­fers be­cause of it. Nim­ble chas­sis, sweet fu­elling, gor­geous looks – the Street Triple R is a fab­u­lous ma­chine where the qual­ity is in the de­tail. It’s come a long way from the sim­ple be­gin­nings of 2007. The bike that greets your eyes now is a re­fined ma­chine, with more power and lazer-fo­cus than ever be­fore. But while the new mid-range R is a lit­tle less fo­cused than the RS ver­sion, it’s still a naked sports­bike that’s more at home on a track than on the pub­lic road. In this form, the Street has lost sight of the en­ergy that made the first model great. And the lucky blighters at Yamaha have found it. That same youth­ful ex­u­ber­ance that was the lifeblood of the orig­i­nal Street Triple is bub­bling out of the MTŠ09’S un­der­slung ex­haust. Yamaha seem to un­der­stand this, help­ing rather than hin­der­ing it with their re­cent up­dates. Leap off Welsh crests within a safety net of trac­tion con­trol? Ab­so­lutely, sir. With vigour, sir. It feels as alive on the road in 2017 as the first Street Triple did in 2007.

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