Triumph triple in quality street
By Harriet Ridley
TRIUMPH has launched its 2013 versions of the Street Triple naked middleweights.
These motorcycles have been so successful that it is in part down to them the British manufacturer enjoyed a boom during the recession when all others suffered.
These original models with their brilliant performance have since become Triumph’s best-selling machines, with 50,000 Street Triples sold in the past five years.
I speak in the plural when referring to the Street Triple because there are two versions – standard, and the higher spec R - and they’ve both been overhauled.
Triumph is renowned for making bikes that handle superbly and while the Street Triple’s chassis is cherished for its brilliant performance it’s now even better thanks to more weight being shaved off. The Street Triple R now weighs just 183kg, fully fuelled and ready to go.
Most of this impressive 6kg weight saving comes from the new exhaust, which also provides the biggest visual change.
The twin underseat pipes are replaced by a single, side-mounted system that also lowers the centre of gravity, which optimises handling, making the bike both more agile and stable.
And since - as in best streetfighter tradition – the Street Triple is a stripped down version of the Daytona 675 supersport bike, with high bars and a lower gearing, I’m not surprised to learn that Triumph has just unveiled its new Daytona supersport bikes at the Milan motorcycle show with this same single side-mounted exhaust.
Other changes to the Street Triple include a new rear subframe and slimmer tail section that give it a more Japanese naked middleweight look, although the diamond headlights give the game away that this is Triumph – ie the best of British.
So does the snarly yet refined 675cc three-cylinder engine that gives the Street Triple its perfect compromise between low-down grunt and a speedy top end, with a mid range that’s the envy of the class.
The bike’s powerful enough for a blast down the fast roads but also practical for everyday use.
Power and torque remain unchanged at 105bhp and 50ft.lb, but tweaks to the gearing, throttle bodies and ECU have improved the engine’s economy by a claimed 30 per cent round town.
Indeed, while it’s sporty enough to go scratching on the back roads in the company of serious supersport machinery, it also makes a brilliant town bike thanks to that strong low and mid range power, silky smooth power delivery and throttle response, slick gearbox with easy controls and comfortable, spacious upright position.
The new Street Triple, and the outstanding R version in particular, is so capable you have to keep reminding yourself it costs what you’d expect a budget bike to set you back – that’s less than £8,000 even for the more expensive, higher spec version.
At £7,699 the R version costs £700 more than the £6,999 standard Street Triple and for that extra money you get fully-adjustable KYB suspension including upside down forks, a sharper steering geometry for more precise handling, best-in-class Nissin four-pot radial front brakes instead of the standard bike’s non-radial two-pots, and you can opt for switchable Nissin ABS for an extra £350.
The seat height is 200mm higher on the R. Both versions come shod with Pirelli’s excellent Diablo Rosso Corsa sporty road tyres.
Matt graphite is a colour option for the Street Triple R, while the glamorous Caribbean Blue is available on the standard bike only.
Flyscreens, belly pans and a lightweight Arrow exhaust are all accessory options for both bikes.
This raft of updates has made these runaway naked middleweights even better motorcycles - class leaders in no uncertain terms.
Triumph Street Triple
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 675cc inline three-cylinder, DOHC, 12v,fuel injection
Performance: 105bhp, 50ft/lb
Transmission: Six gears
Chassis: Twin-spar die-cast aluminium frame, double-sided swingarm
Wet weight: 183kg
Fuel capacity: 17.4 litres
Seat height: 820mm