Tri­umph Street Triple R

Race­track reg­u­lar Lee in­tro­duces his Street Triple R to a road-bike-only track­day

RiDE (UK) - - Contents - LEE SKELLETT

I LIKE THE oc­ca­sional track­day. Thrash­ing around a grippy cir­cuit with noth­ing to worry about apart from the next apex is prob­a­bly my favourite thing to do on a mo­tor­cy­cle. But re­cent years have seen track­day garages look more like race pad­docks. Mar­quees, gen­er­a­tors, tyre warm­ers, race fair­ings and vans for as far as the eye can see have be­come sta­ples of re­cent events. I’m not a fan – even my 1999 Yamaha R6 track bike still has its num­ber­plate fit­ted.

So when I saw Don­ing­ton Park was of­fer­ing a road-bike only day, I jumped at the chance, book­ing my Street Triple R on as quickly as I could. A 96db noise limit and a ban on tyre warm­ers seemed right up my al­ley. Best of all is the lack of prepa­ra­tion and pack­ing needed. Set­ting an early alarm and lay­ing my gear out the night be­fore was all I needed to do.

The early morn­ing fog and 11°C chill both burn off as the Tri­umph al­ready feels alive on the back-roads that lead to

Don­ing­ton. At the cir­cuit en­trance, I find my­self fol­low­ing a van trai­ler­ing a beau­ti­ful Foggy-rep Du­cati 916 into the garages. Af­ter sign­ing on I have a wan­der around the garages and ex­plore the other bikes that have shown up. There’s ev­ery­thing from an early KTM Ad­ven­ture to a shiny new Yamaha R1M – big bikes, small bikes and per­haps ev­ery gen­er­a­tion of Street and Speed Triple ever made. All well looked af­ter, all clearly own­ers’ ac­tual road bikes and ev­ery­body happy and ap­proach­able. A far cry in­deed from a typ­i­cal track­day.

It only takes a ses­sion be­fore I learn the track, and if the Tri­umph liked the back roads over here, swoop­ing though Craner Curves is an­other level of fun. Then on the run down to Foggy Esses, the track drops away re­sult­ing in an ex­cel­lent fourth-gear, 100mph wheelie. The grip from the Pirelli Rosso Cor­sas is impressive, and even though I had a bit of brake fade, the power and con­fi­dence from the Brem­bos lets me brake later and harder than I ever thought pos­si­ble on this bike. I’m used to rid­ing a

“I knew it would be good but not this good”

sports­bike on track, so once I get my head around the rid­ing po­si­tion and rein back my ex­ces­sive hang­ing off, ev­ery­thing just slots into place and the Triple is go­ing ex­actly where I point it - and at very high speed.

At the end of the day, I’m im­pressed. I knew it’d be good, but not this good. Most impressive for me though, is how adept it is on track with no mod­i­fi­ca­tions other than a drop in tyre pres­sures. And to top it all, I don’t even have to pack a van up. Just ride straight out of the gate and re­trace my route from this morn­ing.

A road-bike only track­day at Don­ing­ton is a won­der­ful thing

Road bike on the race­track rarely as much fun as the Street Triple R

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