2020 STREET TRIPLE RS
The best middle-weight naked now gets a bit more oomph
Riding the middle-weight Triumph at Circuito de Cartagena in Spain
IT’S MY THIRD TRIP TO SPAIN IN A SPAN OF ONE year and I’ve already gotten acquainted with all that the serene countryside has to offer. The food, the smell, the terrain and even the tarmac isn’t really very different from what we come across back here in India. Additionally, the machine in question is quite familiar as well. The RS has been among our favourite mid-weight nakeds since its launch a couple of years ago, having won the in-house award as well. With the 2020 update, Triumph has taken the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach with the Street Triple RS. The implementation of Euro 5 regs mandated Triumph incorporate changes to the exhaust system anyway but they’ve gone a step further and given the RS a fresh set of clothes as well. But does that take the RS further ahead of the competition or have the others caught up already?
The 765cc, liquid-cooled triple has been reworked with inputs from the Moto2 engine team, which means, despite meeting the norms, the power figure and weight haven’t changed at all. Thanks to the new exhaust cam and intake duct, the torque is up by 2Nm at 79Nm with a 9 per cent boost in the mid-range. The exhaust has been tweaked with improved in-flow and out-flow and the pipe looks exquisite thanks to a carbonfibre tip. It also gets a bi-directional quickshifter with auto blipper. In terms of design updates, the biggest change is the menacing ‘eyebrow’ cluster which seems inspired from the Tiger. The tank remains the same but other body panels have been smoothened out for a wellrounded, muscular look. There’s also a seat cowl which adds to the sleek design. Among other updates, there’s the second
THE RS HAS BEEN AMONG OUR FAVOURITE MIDDLE-WEIGHT NAKEDS SINCE ITS LAUNCH A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO
gen TFT cluster that comes with four themes and several colour options to choose from. There’s also an integrated GoPro control system along with navigation.
On the road
As aforementioned, the dry weight remains the same at 166kg, which obviously equates to the best power-to-weight ratio in this class. And to test its potential, we not only rode the RS on the bumpy B-roads around Murcia but also at the brilliant Cartagena race track.
On the streets, the triple motor feels even more eager thanks to the linear power and torque delivery. The tractability has improved vastly and the short first and second ratios make it easy to ride at low speeds. The third gear can go down all the way to 15kmph and then take you to speeds over 100kmph effortlessly, making the RS extremely comfortable to ride on roads. However, the riding position is aggressive (for a naked) and the ground clearance is low as well. More on that later, when it comes to India in January 2020. But the real fun begins on track where the Triple RS really shines and shows its true potential.
The engine loves to be revved and revved hard! The triple motor comes alive especially after 6000rpm, going all the way to a howling 12,750rpm and the quickshifter allows you
to switch cogs effortlessly. However, the bikes we rode were prototypes and some journos faced issues with the blipper. But you simply forget about it after showing it a few sets of corners. The USP is still the handling though. With fully adjustable Showa Big Piston Forks at the front and premium Ohlins monoshock at the rear, the RS is a hoot in corners. It’s so surefooted and clinical that you’ll be able to attain mental speeds through the corners. What aids the riding even further are those brilliant Brembo M50s. Triumph has provided MCS ratio- and span-adjustable levers to allow you to adjust the sharpness making it extremely potent on track. Last but not the least, a special mention to the third-gen Pirelli Supercorsa SPs. The soft-compound Pirellis are the best road-legal tyres I have tested ever and are super sticky. Mind you, the Street Triple RS is the only middleweight naked which wears those boots, thus adding to its premium kit.
Still the king?
Yes and no. The additional grunt makes it extremely tractable and allows for insane corner exit speeds. The suspension setup still remains a benchmark in its class and so do the brilliant Brembo M50s coupled with the Pirelli Supercorsa SPs. However, I also rode something similar and orange a couple of weeks before the RS and that really blew me away. If you’re a track junkie, the RS is still the best bet for you. But if you want something more practical which will also save you more than couple of lakh rupees, I think the 790 Duke makes for a more balanced mid-weight hooligan. The competition has clearly moved then. ⌧
THE STREET TRIPLE RS IS SO SUREFOOTED AND CLINICAL THAT YOU’LL BE ABLE TO ATTAIN MENTAL SPEEDS THROUGH THE CORNERS
TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE RS Engine 765cc, In-line triple, liquid-cooled Transmission 6-speed Power 121bhp @ 11,750rpm Torque 79Nm @ 9350rpm Weight 166kg (dry) Price `11.5 lakh (estimated)
Facing page, bottom: 765cc motor has been tweaked by the Moto2 engine team; second-gen cluster not really intuitive. Left: The rear end, with the seat cowl, seems clearly inspired by the Daytona 765