NEW STREET TRIPLE 765 ‘SPELLBINDING’
And you thought the old Street Triple was good…
‘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
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