MCN Fleet: A Street Triple Parisian romance
It’s been three months since I got my hands on the Triumph Street Triple 765 RS and so far the bike has been an absolute hoot. Triumph have scored highly in many areas with the new RS from performance and handling to design and build quality.
One thing that I’ve yet to properly test is just how well the bike works over a long distance. It’s an interesting subject for me since I did my big trip last month to Germany on the latest Super-Naked sports bikes of 2017 and found them to be surprisingly bearable over long distance with discomfort setting in around the 800 mile mark.
The triumph is much smaller than the monstrous super nakeds, so is it more cramped, less comfortable, will the lack of cruise control and less power reduce the fun and comfort? All these questions have been answered after a recent shoot in Paris where I used the Triumph as my transport mule.
Setting off from Peterborough early doors I loaded up the bike with my clothes and camera kit for the three day trip and quickly encountered my first hindrance for a comfortable ride before I’d even got off my driveway. I’ve installed a Triumph tailback on the RS, and while it’s extremely well designed and aesthetically pleasing it’s restrictive for riders wearing backpacks. Nuts squashed against the tank we set off heading for the Brittany Ferry to Caen from Portsmouth and it wasn’t long before the forced riding position became extremely uncomfortable and I was fidgeting around trying to get some feeling back in the nether regions. Eventually I opted to raise the backpack as high as I could on my back and rest it on top of the tail pack which is something I'd struggled to do earlier in the day and once I’d made the adjustments it was relieving but far from ideal. When we were on the ferry I made some amendments to my packing arrangements which thinned my backpack a bit which was the answer. You can happily ride with a backpack and the official Triumph Tail pack attached, just don’t over pack it.
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An over night stop in Caen we set off with Paris in the crosshairs demolishing our first tank of fuel in just over an hour and 20 minutes. Amazingly the Triumph returned 56.6mpg. To date that’s the highest I’ve seen it. This frugality continued throughout the whole trip allowing me to squeeze a sweet 170miles between fuel stops.
Dipping in to the beautiful city of Paris we hit the tight and twisty back streets with cobbled and uneven surfaces and set to work. This for me is where the compact nature of the Street Triple came into its own. Unlike bigger naked bikes the small presence of the RS made whizzing in-between cars, through junctions and making u-turns a breeze. The bike has great steering lock and superb balance meaning I was able to spin it around in one single manoeuvre, no foot dabbing or 3 pointers in sight. It’s fair to say that it’s possible to do this on most bikes, but when you’re loaded up with 30kg of luggage, 20 of which are on your back it’s no mean feat. Also, the bike had just clicked over to 3000 miles and the original sharp bite of the clutch seems to have gone and allows for much better control.
A blistering 37 degrees made hard work of the day, but thankfully every so often the naked bike had an advantage over the three maxi scooters I was shooting where I could slip open my zips and get some airflow into my jacket. I’ve got the Triumph fly screen fitted and whilst it doesn’t offer huge protection against motorway speed buffeting it does lighten the pressure just enough on the torso to allow you to relax a bit more.
A 600 mile round trip and it’s fair to say that the 765RS is far more comfortable than expected on a long trip and has surprisingly good fuel consumption compared to my figures so far. It was nice having the small Oxford F1 tank bag on the bike where I could rest my chin on those laborious motorway miles. The rear Pirelli Super Corsa SP has squared off and getting to be changed ready for my next long stint over to Geneva and Samoen in France in July. That’s going to be an even bigger endurance test for both the bike and myself but one I’m really looking forward to.