And you thought the old Street Triple was good…

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - MICHAEL NEEVS SE­NIOR ROAD TESTER michael.neeves@mo­tor­cy­cle­

‘The 765cc mo­tor is an ab­so­lute gem and has taken the engine to an­other, un­ri­valled, level’

On the face of it, Tri­umph’s new £9900 Street Triple RS is all about its 765cc triple engine. Bored and stroked from the old ma­chine’s 675cc, the breathed-on 121bhp ride-by-wire mo­tor fea­tures over 80 re­vised parts, in­clud­ing a new crank, con rods, bal­ancer shaft and Nikasil-plated alu­minium bar­rels re­plac­ing the 675’s iron lin­ers.

Pow­er­ing the Street Triple since its launch a decade ago (and in that time Tri­umph have sold over 50,000 of them), the old revvy, grunt-laden 675cc lump is rightly re­garded as one of the most evoca­tive en­gines of all time. Slim and com­pact to please Tri­umph’s chas­sis en­gi­neers, it was packed with per­for­mance, char­ac­ter and a gnarly three-cylin­der sound­track.

Af­ter a day spent rid­ing Tri­umph’s hot new Street Triple RS at its world launch in Barcelona, it’s clear the new 765cc mo­tor is an­other ab­so­lute gem and has com­fort­ably taken this iconic engine to an­other, un­ri­valled, level.

The new triple hits harder, spins-up faster and belts out its shriek­ing, bass­laden sound­track higher up the deci­bel range, through its (1.7kg) lighter new air­box and ex­haust.

But de­spite pro­duc­ing 13% more torque and 16% more power and hav­ing some of the 675’s raw edges smoothe­d­off (but not too many) it’s not ac­tu­ally the new Street Triple RS’S best bit. No, what makes this new Tri­umph so spell­bind­ingly bril­liant is how light and easy it is to man­age. I can’t think of a bike – even top-level sports­bikes or su­per-nakeds – that of­fers such bal­ance, com­po­sure and com­plete­ness.

The Street Triple RS has no flaws or price com­pro­mises. Ev­ery sin­gle com­po­nent, from the mo­tor to the elec­tron­ics, tyres and chas­sis works in per­fect har­mony, mak­ing the new ma­chine as en­joy­able pot­ter­ing around at town speeds, as it is dig­ging deep and scrab­bling for grip at full lean madness.

Its new slip-as­sist clutch has an im­pos­si­bly light lever ac­tion and the re­vised gear­box has such a tight, ac­cu­rate shift, you would swear it’d been lifted from a blueprinted race engine. There’s a shorter first and sec­ond gear for even more zing and a quick­shifter for light­ning up­shifts, but sadly no au­to­blip­per, which would’ve been nice.

If the easy clutch and gear­box don’t make you smile, the light-ac­tion, ul­tra-pre­cise, jerk-free ride-by-wire throt­tle will. Then there’s the way the 2kg-lighter Tri­umph floats from cor­ner to cor­ner with the smallest in­put from the rider and the litheness of the steer­ing, which makes ev­ery bike you’ve ever rid­den be­fore seem like it had flat tyres. With its low pegs, wide bars and lux­u­ri­ously padded stitched

seat the Tri­umph is all-day comfy, too.

The cherry on top of all this bril­liance is, of course, that 765cc engine, which de­liv­ers just the right amount, but not too much, power and torque. Sound fa­mil­iar? From the RC30 to the OW-01 and GSX-R750, some of the best-bal­anced sports­bikes in his­tory have been 750s. And yes, the new Tri­umph can be ut­tered in the same breath as th­ese old greats.

Whether you choose to thrash the liv­ing day­lights out of it, or leave the gears alone and take ad­van­tage of its ex­tra torque, the new RS de­liv­ers se­ri­ous speed. But cru­cially it’s not bru­tal – it doesn’t fight you, tie the chas­sis in knots, or shred its tyres. Some­one stick clip-ons and a fair­ing on this thing…

Chas­sis mods are lim­ited to a new stiffer gull­wing swingarm with a re­vised swingarm pivot po­si­tion, for ex- tra sta­bil­ity and flex, but the Tri­umph also gets a new Öh­lins shock and top spec Showa Big Pis­ton forks. They ac­count for the Street Triple’s plush ride, un­flap­pable sta­bil­ity at speed and sharp­ness in the cor­ners, as do Pirelli’s top-rung Di­ablo Su­per Corsa SP tyres. And the new Abs-as­sisted monobloc Brembo M50s are packed with feel and power. They re­main un­flus­tered no mat­ter how hard you push them.

For the first time the Street Triple gets a full elec­tron­ics pack­age, in­clud­ing five rid­ing modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Track and a pro­gram­mable Rider mode) con­tain­ing dif­fer­ent throt­tle maps and vary­ing lev­els of trac­tion and ABS in­ter­ven­tion. They add an ex­tra layer of

so­phis­ti­ca­tion and safety to the cheeky naked, but un­less you stop and switch all the aids off, this is the first Street Triple you can’t wheelie, which de­tracts from the fun a smidge.

Tak­ing cen­tre stage in the cock­pit is an in­no­va­tive new 5in full colour mul­ti­func­tion dash, which would look more at home on a top-spec Pani­gale than a sim­ple naked bike like this. It shows the kind of at­ten­tion to de­tail lav­ished on the new ma­chine and proof the RS is much more than just a 675 Street Triple with a big engine.

It’s all con­trolled by new switchgear fea­tur­ing a joy­stick con­trol next to your left thumb. You can choose be­tween six dif­fer­ent dash lay­outs, scroll through modes, op­er­ate a lap timer, pick rid­ing modes and change the in­di­ca­tor func­tions from self-can­celling to man­ual. The dash is light sen­si­tive and au­to­mat­i­cally changes back­ground from white to black de­pend­ing on con­di­tions.

Although the new Street Triple RS is the same phys­i­cal size as the pre­vi­ous model, new styling gives it a tough- er, chunkier big bike look and new LED head­lights are not only 28-times brighter than con­ven­tional bulbs, they give the Tri­umph a more sin­is­ter­look­ing face, too.

Tri­umph have re­ally gone to town in mak­ing the new Street Triple a wor­thy suc­ces­sor to the bril­liant orig­i­nal model. Not only is the new RS a thing of won­der, that’s not the end of the story. There are also more road-fo­cused, af­ford­able-spec, S and R mod­els and a low seat and 660cc A2 li­cence-friendly ver­sion (see sep­a­rate story). On top of all that there are over 60 of­fi­cial ac­ces­sories avail­able to make your Street Triple faster, sex­ier and more prac­ti­cal.

The Hinck­ley firm can’t put a foot wrong right now and the new Street Triple shows that Tri­umph aren’t just pro­duc­ing bril­liant ret­ros, their mod­ern nakeds are as­tound­ing, too.

‘At­ten­tion to de­tail makes the RS far more than just a 675 Street Triple with a big engine’

HIGH­LIGHTS ● Brembo M50 calipers ● Fully-ad­justable BPF forks ● Öh­lins shock ● Quick­shifter ● Five rid­ing modes ● ABS and switch­able

trac­tion con­trol

The RS has a feel­ing of qual­ity that be­lies its rea­son­able price A pil­lion seat cover comes as stan­dard along­side a bel­ly­pan The S and RS mod­els gain a full-colour dash which can have its dis­play al­tered to suit the oc­ca­sion In muted grey or black, the RS doesn’t shout about its sporty cre­den­tials The RS swaps the S model’s Showa shock for an Öh­lins unit Neat touches in­clude the stitched, and com­fort­able, seat TURN OVER Ace on the road, bet­ter on track

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