Tri­umph Street Cup

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

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

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