T765RS: the bike Tri­umph should make

It might not be an of­fi­cial model, but this is a Tri­umph 765 sports­bike you can buy. PB rode it to see if the re­al­ity matches the dream...

Performance Bikes (UK) - - Contents - WOR D S Jon McAvoy PHO­TOS Jamie Mor­ris


EIGH­TEEN MONTHS ago, at the end of the tech­ni­cal brief­ing at the Tri­umph Street Triple 765RS launch, the pre­sen­ter asked the as­sem­bled jour­nal­ists if any­one had any ques­tions. Vir­tu­ally ev­ery hand in the room went up, at which point he added: “Ques­tions not about whether we are go­ing to fit this en­gine into the Day­tona...” where­upon 95% of the hands went back down. The idea that the then all-new, en­viro-friendly, 765cc, 120bhp triple en­gine is an ob­vi­ous way to re­vive the now dis­con­tin­ued Day­tona, was ob­vi­ous to ev­ery­one in the room, in­clud­ing the Tri­umph top brass.

Then, eight months later, Tri­umph an­nounced they are go­ing to be sup­ply­ing the same mo­tor to the Moto2 world cham­pi­onship in 2019, and still the men­tion of ‘Day­tona’ and ‘765’ in one sen­tence gets you noth­ing more than a with­er­ing look. Why would you show­case your­self on such a huge global stage, and then not make it count in your show­rooms?

Then there is the blind­ingly ob­vi­ous point: a Tri­umph Day­tona with the meatier 765cc mo­tor from the new Street Triple, plus all its rider aids, is a mouth-wa­ter­ing prospect. You don’t need the ben­e­fit of hav­ing rid­den hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent sports­bikes to know that such a bike would be spe­cial, not least be­cause there isn’t/ wasn’t much wrong with the Day­tona 675 – it just needed some hair on its chest, which is ex­actly what Paul Hinch­liffe thought.

Paul is the dealer prin­ci­pal at Pure Tri­umph in Woburn, and a huge fan of the old Day­tona 675. Un­like many dealer prin­ci­pals, he is also very ex­pe­ri­enced and knowl­edge­able when it comes to spin­ning the span­ners. His path to the top spot in the deal­er­ship has not been via mid­dle-man­age­ment cour­ses and meet­ings about meet­ings. No, Paul got there via a much less trod­den path, start­ing in the work­shop. He is a qual­i­fied tech­ni­cian, has owned com­pa­nies that spe­cialise in fab­ri­cat­ing per­for­mance ac­ces­sories, and builds track­day bikes. He may have a posh job ti­tle, but he has oil and grease un­der his fin­ger­nails. So it re­ally shouldn’t come as a sur­prise that as soon as the Street Triple 765 was an­nounced, the gears in Paul’s head started turn­ing...

“Be­fore we even got any bikes de­liv­ered to the deal­er­ship, I got a mas­sive piece of pa­per and printed a side-on pic­ture of a Street Triple 765, so I could try to work out its rake and trail,” says Paul. “The project was al­ways to try and make the Street Triple be­have like a sports­bike, but with­out the need for a steer­ing damper. I wanted it to be ‘neu­tral’, not too ex­treme like most su­per­bikes and su­pers­port bikes, but un­mis­tak­ably a sports­bike.” He set about his project in a me­thod­i­cal, log­i­cal and ju­di­cious way, start­ing by get­ting the Street Triple RS’s en­gine as good as it can be with­out tuning it. With no race kit avail­able, he set about tidy­ing up the all-new ride-by-wire throt­tle con­nec­tion, and re­ally smooth­ing out the fu­elling with a Power Com­man­der and ex­haust. The gor­geous SC Project ex­haust sys­tem came di­rect from one of his con­tacts at the com­pany in Italy look­ing to get in­volved in the project. An­other un­pop­u­lar de­ci­sion in cer­tain quar­ters, as Ar­row make the only af­ter­mar­ket pipes sanc­tioned by the big T...

If any­one other than a man who works at a Tri­umph deal­er­ship un­der­took such a project, it wouldn’t even reg­is­ter with the folk at Hinck­ley. How­ever, in Paul’s case, be­cause he is of­fer­ing the bike for sale through fran­chised dealer Pure Tri­umph, he’s tread­ing care­fully to keep Tri­umph’s le­gal ea­gles happy. There are no Day­tona or Street Triple badges any­where on the bike, not even a ref­er­ence to 765 or RS. And this is not be­cause Paul hasn’t fin­ished it, nor be­cause he doesn’t like stick­ers...

So, of­fi­cially, Paul is sell­ing the con­ver­sions as a ‘T765RS’ to avoid a hefty bol­lock-stamp­ing from the fac­tory. Is that sim­ple pro­tec­tion of trade­marks, or be­cause he’s beaten an of­fi­cial ver­sion to mar­ket? We could spec­u­late all day. And prob­a­bly get an an­gry so­lic­tor’s let­ter. In any case, a Street Triple is his­tor­i­cally a Day­tona with­out a fair­ing. So, to my mind, that makes a Street Triple with a fair­ing fit­ted a Dayt... (stop! – CN)

The sec­ond part of the project came at the end of

2017, when Paul made some yokes that re­duced the Street Triple’s rake by 0.5 de­grees, which puts the T765RS’s rake about half­way be­tween the Street Triple 765’s, and the Day­tona 675’s. The gear­ing was also changed to re­duce the wheel­base to some­where be­tween the two bikes’ mea­sure­ment. He also fit­ted some clip-on han­dle­bars to add some weight to the front end, then went to try it out at Mal­lory Park. The re­sult of the test was that the only thing the bike needed was the sus­pen­sion firm­ing up and a fair­ing fit­ting to fin­ish it off.

Last win­ter, MCT Sus­pen­sion revalved the forks and re­placed the springs with 9kg coils, and changed the Öh­lins rear shock spring from an 8kg item to a 9.5kg one. Paul then mod­i­fied the Day­tona sub­frames, and made a set of brack­ets to take a com­plete set of un­mod­i­fied 2016 Day­tona body­work. The larger di­men­sions of the mo­tor, and header tank, proved to be the trick­i­est things to ne­go­ti­ate, but in the end, af­ter many at­tempts, Paul achieved his goal of get­ting the body­work to fit with­out a sin­gle mod­i­fi­ca­tion or cre­at­ing any kind of mount­ing stress points. None of the mount­ing points are un­der any load what­so­ever. The wiring loom had to be mod­i­fied, and Paul fin­ished it all off with a set of home made car­bon in­fills, which for all the world might as well have been sup­plied from the Tri­umph ac­ces­sories range. They and the body­work are a per­fect fit with­out any un­even gaps. It is quite ob­vi­ous that Paul has spent a lot of time in get­ting the fit and po­si­tion of the body work just right. As well as the qual­ity of fit, the over­all lines of the bike are just right. It sim­ply doesn’t look like a Street Triple with a set of body­work. It looks like a fac­tory-built Day­tona 765.

Pure Tri­umph have al­ready sold three of the T765RSs, and build them to or­der. The one I’m rid­ing is fit­ted with the trick SC Project ex­haust, which makes it the most ex­pen­sive one that they’ve built. Paul reck­ons hav­ing a Yoshimura or Akrapovic ex­haust would save around £300 from the price tag of £14,250 for this bike. That said, since they are built to or­der, you can spec your T765RS how you want, so a slip-on or stock ex­haust would save even more.

Ev­ery­thing you’d hope for

ON THE ROAD, it is im­pos­si­ble to think of a sin­gle rea­son why Tri­umph won’t build this bike for 2019. It would be easy to dis­miss it as ir­rel­e­vant now that the su­pers­port mar­ket is all but dead, and those su­pers­port/su­per­bike-bridg­ing mod­els such as the Pani­gale 959 and Suzuki GSX-R750 are rel­a­tive small fry. How­ever, if Suzuki stopped mak­ing the GSX-R750, they still have the 1000 to of­fer sports­bike fans. Like­wise, Du­cati and Yamaha. Right now, Tri­umph have noth­ing to of­fer the sports­bike rider, and yet they’re about to start flex­ing their mus­cles in the Mo­toGP pad­dock. Putting aside what­ever Tri­umph’s com­mer­i­cal and mar­ket­ing rea­sons were for get­ting in­volved at the cut­ting edge of the sport, I can’t be­lieve Tri­umph won’t pro­duce a Day­tona 765 of some sort next year, sim­ply be­cause this thor­oughly well thought out and ex­e­cuted in­ter­pre­ta­tion of what could be is sim­ply so damn good.

It’s the bike the 675 could – and should – evolve into. It feels ‘grown-up’ in pretty much ev­ery way. The rid­ing po­si­tion is that bit taller, that bit wider, and a lot less tor­tur­ous that the 675’s for any­one larger than the av­er­age Su­pers­port racer. It is prob­a­bly the only give­away that the bike started life as some­thing other than a pure sports­bike, and it’s all the bet­ter for it. This sets the tone for the rest of the ride. The T765RS has all the agility and rate of turn of the 675, but with­out the slight edgi­ness and need for a very light touch. It is right at home on the back-roads around Woburn, which are un­du­lat­ing, open, and mostly dealt with in sec­ond,

third or fourth gear. The T765RS has an ex­tra bit of sta­bil­ity and surefootedness over the 675, yet is un­mis­tak­ably a Day­tona: nar­row, re­spon­sive and fun. It might be the breathed-on sus­pen­sion, or it might be the ge­om­e­try and wheel­base. It feels like the ge­om­e­try to me: lazier than a 675 or R6, but way quicker than any litre bike you’ll ride in 2018.

The peaky Street Triple 765RS en­gine also feels more at home in the sports­bike con­text. As well as hav­ing the fu­elling well set-up by Paul, and a very the­atri­cal ex­haust note, it runs fairly low gear­ing, due to this one pri­mar­ily be­ing a track bike, and also to re­duce the wheel­base. Thus the power de­liv­ery is slightly masked, but there is no doubt that this bike is a peach. At the risk of stat­ing the ob­vi­ous, ev­ery­thing that the 675 mo­tor was miss­ing as a road tool is now present.

There is plenty of power ev­ery­where you need it, de­liv­ered with that sig­na­ture flat torque curve and mono­tone sound. No steps, no sur­prises, just like the 675, only more of it, all be­ing kept in hand by the Street Triple’s ex­cel­lent suite of rider aids, with­out nan­ny­ing it and ru­in­ing the fun. It’s in­cred­i­bly sat­is­fy­ing to have enough power to get a big shot of adrenalin, and be se­ri­ously anti-so­cial if the mood takes you, but not so much that un­less you’re rid­ing like your hair is on fire, the ride un­der­whelms and makes you feel in­ad­e­quate.

In a per­fect world, a mod­i­fied swingarm would give the shorter wheel­base Paul wanted with longer gear­ing to re­duce gear changes and bet­ter utilise the ex­tra grunt over a 675. Given that this is just a set-up ob­ser­va­tion rather than a crit­i­cism of the over­all pack­age, I wouldn’t usu­ally men­tion it, but it does shine a light on the lim­i­ta­tions that in­no­va­tors like Paul can bump into. To get the wheel­base he wants, he has had to slightly com­pro­mise the gear­ing of the bike for the road, which con­ve­niently is ideally suited to the track rid­ing he does. There is no doubt that this small com­pro­mise he has had to make has been worth it. Paul has got his sums right on the money for the chas­sis set-up.

I’d be amazed if Tri­umph haven’t un­of­fi­cially al­ready been over the bike with a mea­sur­ing tape. If they haven’t, they should soon. It might just be the right bike at the right time, for them and for us.


It might be de-badged but the Day­tona body­work is un­mis­tak­able

STEALTH AP­PROACH Paul’s choice of body­work colour helps the T765RS keep a low pro­file on the road

Power is abun­dant, while ac­cept­able be­hav­iour is as­sured by Street Triple’s rider aids

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