Triumph Street Cup
A classic case of style over substance
While the Street Cup isn’t ever going to be a machine to compete against the performance café racers like the Yamaha and BMW, the Triumph goes toe-to-toe against Ducati’s Scrambler Café Racer. But sadly, in comparison to the Ducati, it lags far behind when it comes to performance, build quality and equipment.
A café racer version of Triumph’s Street Twin, it uses the 900cc version of Triumph’s High Torque parallel twin, making 54bhp, and despite its retro looks boasts ride-by-wire and sophisticated engine management. In fact, it is packed with tech, like ABS, switchable traction control and a slipper clutch. Longer shocks increase ride height by 20mm and sharpen up the geometry, while drop-down bars, a fly screen and numberboards complete the look.
Easygoing and friendly, if you like spirited riding it lacks effective power and if you like cruising along, it is too refined to involve you. Triumph’s engineers have done almost too good a job of ironing out its foibles and the end result is a motor that’s a non-event.
With a short reach to the bars and low-set pegs, the riding position is the most comfortable here and it would be possible to do a long day in the saddle without much pain. Like most Triumphs, the handling is neat enough. While the rear lacks damping control even when you up the pace little, there is enough reassurance from the tyres. You can tramp on at a decent pace so it’s a shame the narrow 18in front wheel and tall tyre don’t exactly help with agility – you can feel it resisting your efforts to turn.
Combined with poor brakes (the single disc and twin-piston sliding caliper lack bite and feel) it means that this isn’t a bike you can ride aggressively, even if it is nice in town.
You can’t help but like the Street Cup but £8800 bikes should have broader abilities. There are nice touches, like hand-painted pinstriping, but from the low-rent suspension to the bargain-basement brakes and the welds on the handlebars, it feels like a budget bike masquerading as a high-end model. This is a long way from the best Triumph can do.
Handling ability isn’t on the same level as the other four