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