Video: New Street Triple RS more than just a fancy motor

Published: 19 February 2017

After a day spent riding Triumph’s hot new £9900 Street Triple RS at its world launch on the roads near Barcelona and at the Catalunya MotoGP circuit, it’s clear its new 765cc motor is an absolute gem of a thing and has comfortably taken this iconic engine to another, unrivalled level.

Well deserved of our 5-star rating, the new triple hits harder, spins-up faster and belts out its shrieking, bass-laden, acid-infused soundtrack higher up the decibel range, through its lighter new airbox and exhaust.

But despite producing 13% more torque, 16% more power and having some of the 675’s raw edges smoothed-off, but not too many, it’s not actually the new Street Triple RS’s best bit. No, what makes this new Triumph so spellbindingly brilliant is how light and easy it is to manage. I can’t think of a bike – even top-level sportsbikes or super nakeds that offers such balance, composure and completeness.

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There are no flaws or built-down-to-a price compromises. Every single component, from the motor to the electronics, tyres and chassis works in perfect harmony, making the new machine as enjoyable pottering around at town speeds, as it is digging deep and scrabbling for grip at full lean madness.

Its new ‘slip-assist’ clutch has an impossibly light lever action and the revised gearbox has such a tight, accurate shift, you\d swear it’d been lifted from a blueprinted race engine. There’s a shorter first and second gear, for even more zing and a quickshifter for lightning upshifts, but sadly no autoblipper, which would’ve been a nice touch.

If the easy clutch and gearbox don’t make you smile, the light-action, ultra-precise, jerk-free ride-by-wire throttle will. Them there’s the way the 2kg-lighter Triumph floats from corner to corner with the smallest input from the rider and the litheness of the steering, which makes every bike you’ve ever ridden before seem like it had flat tyres. With its low pegs, wide bars and luxuriously padded stitched seat the Triumph is all-day comfy, too.

The cherry on top of all this brilliance is, of course, that 765cc engine, which delivers just the right amount, but not too much, power and torque. Sound familiar? Some of the best-balanced sports bikes in history have been 750s, from the RC30 to the OW-01 and GSX-R750. And yes, the new Triumph can be uttered in the same breath as these old greats.

That engine delivers serious speed, but it’s not brutal. It doesn’t fight you, tie the chassis in knots, or shred its tyres. Someone stick clip-ons and a fairing on this thing…

Chassis mods are limited to a new stiffer gullwing swingarm, a new Ohlins rear shock and top spec Showa Big Piston forks. They account for the Street Triple’s plush ride, unflappable stability at speed and sharpness in the corners on the road and track, as do Pirelli’s top-rung Diablo Super Corsa SP fast road/trackday tyres.

ABS-assisted monobloc Brembo M50s are packed with feel and power. They remain unflustered no matter how hard you push them

For the first time the Street Triple gets a full electronics package, including five riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Track and a programmable Rider mode) containing different throttle maps and varying levels of traction and ABS intervention. They add an extra layer of sophistication and safety to the cheeky naked, but unless you stop and switch all the aids off, this is the first Street Triple you can’t wheelie, which detracts from the fun a smidge.

Taking centre stage in the cockpit is an innovative new 5” full colour multi-function TFT dash, which would look more at home on a top-spec Panigale than a simple naked bike like this. It shows the kind of attention to detail lavished on the new machine and proof the RS is much more than just a 675 Street Triple with a big engine.

Although the new Street Triple RS is the same physical size as the previous model, new styling gives it a tougher, chunkier ‘big bike’ look and new LED headlamps are not only 28-times brighter than conventional bulbs, they give the Triumph a more sinister-looking face, too.

Triumph has really gone to town in making the new Street Triple a worthy successor to the brilliant original. Not only is the new RS a thing of wonder, that’s not the end of the story. There are also more road-focussed, affordable-spec S and R models, a low seat and 660cc A2 licence-friendly versions. On top of all that there are over 60 official accessories available to make your Street Triple faster, sexier and more practical.

The Hinckley form can’t seem to put a foot wrong at the moment. They’re not just about producing brilliantly executed retros, their modern nakeds are simply astounding, too. The old 675cc Street Triple was always going to be a tough act to follow, but we’re happy to report this new 765 is a very special motorcycle indeed and all for just ten grand.

Specification

Price £9900
Engine 765cc 12v inline triple
Frame Cast aluminium twin spar
Seat height 825mm
Suspension Fully adjustable Showa 41mm forks and single rear Ohlins shock.
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs. Brembo four-piston radial caliper.
Colours Silver, black
Available March
Power 121bhp@11,700rpm
Torque 57ftlb@10,800rpm
Dry weight 166kg
Tank capacity 17.4-litres 

Street Triple roll call

Sitting at the top of the Street Triple tree is the high spec £9900 RS, but there are another four versions to choose from to suit to every budget, leg length and licence.

Street Triple S

  • £8000 available April
  • 111bhp
  • Black subframe
  • Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres
  • Nissin two-piston brakes
  • Showa suspension
  • Basic traction control, ABS and riding modes.
  • Updated analogue/LCD clocks

Street Triple R

  • £8900 available May
  • Engine turned for torque
  • 116bhp
  • Red subframe
  • Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres
  • Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers
  • Showa shock and Big Piston Forks
  • RS-spec TC, ABS and riding modes (except Track mode)
  • Colour dash and new switchgear 

Street Triple R LRH (Low Ride Height)

  • £8900 available August
  • 780mm seat height
  • Bespoke low suspension and seat 

Street Triple S A2 licence

  • £7700 available June
  • 660cc, 47bhp
  • Can be derestricted to give 94bhp

What we like

  • Harmonious blend of power and handling
  • Smoother, stronger, tougher engine
  • Lightness of steering, controls and gearbox
  • Stonking brakes
  • Angrier soundtrack 

What we don't like

  • No autoblipper 
  • No more easy wheelies 

 

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