Triumph Street Triple Triple still sets the standard for naked middleweights
REVISITED Look for later unit with plugs rather than moulded-in cables, or check with a dealer that the recall work has been done
What we said then
“Triumph reckon the new Street Triple is an entry-level model. If that’s the case then it could attract a whole lot of people to motorcycling – and Triumph’s only problem will be persuading them to trade up to another bike. It blends the style and character of the Speed Triple in a lighter, more manageable but still thrillingly quick and sweet-handling package.” MCN launch report | July 11, 2007
But what is it like now?
I’ve wanted to ride this bike for ages. It sits outside the MCN office on sunny weekdays, reflecting old memories for me of a bike that’s as close to perfection as anything else that’s been released in the last 10 years. I finally plucked up the courage to swindle a go from the owner, who works on one of our company’s car magazines, in return for a big clean-up and a full tank of fuel.
I should have done it earlier. Within miles it feels like old times, this 10,500-mile 2008 model in the ohso-distinctive green paint cutting a neat dash through the Cambridgeshire countryside near our office. After the SV650 I’ve been running this year the Street feels big, composed, perfect.
There’s a slight snatch on first pull of the throttle, but it’s all part of the character and can easily be dialled out with a little throttle control. Leave the 40mph zone near work, let the twistgrip rip and enjoy the delights of a bike clearing off – that three-cylinder soundtrack streaming behind as it tries to keep up.
Despite the years and miles, this one feels as fresh as new. The gearshift remains a delight and the suspension has kept its control, though the squared tyres slightly impinge on the handling and will soon need replacing.
Early bikes like this have the shorter first gear and a cheekier demeanour than the R models that started their run in 2008. Those added more composed suspension and stronger brakes to the Triple’s mix, but I always preferred the squishier feeling of the non-r models. Even with the cheaper right-way-up forks and twin-pot sliding brake calipers rather than the R’s upside-downers and four-pots, this was a cut above the opposition in its day. And I reckon this 2008 machine would still send current-day rivals scurrying. It remains a brilliant motorcycle.
Any obvious faults?
The owner, Garry, reckons the brakes are playing up when hammered on, but I can’t tell on my afternoon’s ride. Aside from the issue with the squared tyres making the bike reluctant to start turning before tipping off a ledge as it rolls off its square centre, there’s nothing wrong with this bike. The reg/ rec recall has been done to replace the shunt-type with a more reliable MOSFET unit. The paint is in good condition and it’s clearly been a sunnyday bike. Garry bought this six years ago for £3500 and he’d still get close to that now, having covered 9000 miles in six summers. How’s that for bargain motorcycling?
Or worthwhile extras?
The headlight cowl and small screen add some shelter from the wind and is worth having, while the tank protector has done its job and the bellypan adds balance to the design and helps protect the front of the engine, which is vulnerable to paint damage. The Arrow high-level exhausts inject fruitiness to the triple’s aural treats and they look better than the low-slung options of the time and give a better balance with the retained pillion peg hangers, which are sculpted to wrap around the cans. Though the seat cowl suggests pillions are hardly a priority for the owner.
the frame and engine numbers to make sure they match the original stampings and haven’t been tampered with to hide their real identity.
“I would always disbelieve the mileage on the clocks too, and I can tell the age of a Street by the thickness of the brake discs. The step between the
‘It’s a bit too easy to steal the earlier models, from 2007 to 2012’