Triumph Street Triple Road Test
Motoaus put Triumph’s sought after 675 Street Triple through its paces and came away smiling.
Triumph 675 Street Triple – Mid Size Masterpiece
After the success of the Daytona 675, one might have wondered what Triumph could do to improve what was an extremely good bike. Well, for a lot of riders, they have done just that with the Street Triple. 20 percent cheaper – and 50 percent more fun – is how I’d describe the Street Triple.
With a slight engine retune, the replacement of the fairing with its big brother Speed Triple’s distinctive twin headlights and a re-arrangement of pegs and bars, Triumph have turned out a great mid sized all rounder.
The Street Triple shares the same 3 cylinder engine as the Daytona 675, which Triumph tell us they individually CNC machine the combustion chambers and inlet ports for maximum flow, just like on a race ported head. These ports are fed by the same Keihin 44mm throttle bodies as the Daytona’s EFI .The cams are a different profile to boost low end torque, and I’d imagine the ECU has a slightly different tune. This adds up to 106 horsepower, and 69 Nm of torque.
What these figures don’t show is they also add up to one of the best sounding motorcycles I’ve ridden, as heard from the riders seat. Apparently Triumph spent some time tuning the resonance of both the inlet and exhaust systems to perfect this aural feast. More on that later however. Even though it’s a naked machine, there is still a ram air of sorts, inducting between the headlights, and passing through the headstock of the frame to the air box.
The chassis is virtually identical to the Daytona, the main difference being the non adjustable forks, twin piston calipers and a lower seat height. The rear shock has spring preload adjustment only. Weight is claimed at 167Kg dry, putting it on the road at around 180 wet, in line with most of the Japanese 600 supersports bikes. This is no overweight commuter bike! Wheelbase is a sporty 1395mm, or a tad under 55 inches. Seat height comes in at a modest 800mm, compared to the Daytonas 825mm, the skyscraper 850mm R6 Yamaha perch, and Suzukis SV650s 810. This figure, along with the price tag, will possibly influence a lot of purchasers – the leg length challenged among us will love it.
Whilst discussing sizes, it is worth mentioning the Triple is a fairly compact motorcycle, and although at under 6 foot tall and lets say, “over 85 kilograms” I’m not gigantic, I would be nearing the limit of those who will find this bike the ideal size. If you look down on Wayne Carey – I mean physically 😉 – this motorcycle is going to look like a mini bike under you. For the little people though, the ST will be a delight.
Five minutes into a ride on the Street Triple should have anyone grinning. Beautiful steering, with adequate brakes and suspension, and a absolutely fantastic sound system, make it a joy to ride. No, not a stereo, you wouldn’t want one on this bike. Although with standard mufflers it is fairly quiet off the bike, once in the riders seat, the combination of exhaust and inlet noise is delightful. From a low down growl, to a high rpm howl, the Triple gives out a note not far removed from a old V12 Weber carburetted Ferrari.
The low down torque of the triple, combined with fairly low gearing, means it will wheelie off the throttle in low gears, at particularly low speeds in first gear. Triumph certainly put the work in on the fuel injection, throttle response was perfect; crisp and devoid of any stumbles or hesitation. Gear changes were both light, and positive, I don’t think I ever missed even one shift on it.
The few negatives I found were a couple of fork bottoming jars under heavy braking down hill on a bumpy road, possibly due to my manly size, and the seat on this particular test bike wasn’t what Id describe as comfortable. However it was fitted with an aftermarket seat, which I believe may have been faulty, sitting on a different bike with the standard seat felt much nicer. Several people who sat on the bike agreed. Both issues would be quickly and easily solved if I were to buy one.
Like any naked bike, wind blast might be an issue on extended highway use. Triumph offer a nose cone extension which would offer a little more protection, but at legal-ish speeds, I found it acceptable how it was. For round town riding and slower speed corner work on a variety of roads, the Street Triple offered up a great riding experience. I experienced no nervous moments with the machine, even ridden hard on bumpy roads with a heavy throttle hand, it shook its head less than most other 600s I’ve pushed along on.
Acceleration was between great, and brutal, for a bike of this size, top speed would be limited more by the lack of fairing – and your license- than horsepower, but I “believe” it to tap out in top gear at about 240 kmh indicated. On a closed track only of course. The brakes were more than enough to get the rear off the deck, and the standard Dunlop Qualifiers were comfortable at any lean angle. On one longer test run undertaken, we encountered a range of conditions from dry, through damp and patchy, to torrential rain. The torquey engine and delightful throttle response meant the pace hardly differed from dry to wet.
The undertail exhausts emitted a bit of heat to the legs in slow traffic and at lights, but no noticeable seat warming whilst in rapid motion.
Some naked bikes, particularly the home made street fighter types, do look much like a faired bike with the fairing yanked off. Even though that is essentially what the Street Triple is, if you didn’t know, you’d think it was designed as a naked bike. At first glance it looks very similar to the bigger Speed Triple.
The iconic twin headlights are topped with a neat little pod, housing a large round analogue tacho with an inset LCD digital speedo, and flanked by another LCD with computer functions such as coolant temp, gear position and a clock. There is also a trip computer with average speed, maximum speed, and journey distance/time, average and instantaneous fuel consumption, a Lap Timer with a 99 lap memory, average and maximum speed, and distance travelled per lap or total. The tacho is ringed with a series of blue lights which serve as a shift light, progressively lighting up as revs near the 12,650 rpm redline. These are apparently programmable as well. I did miss having a fuel gauge for the 17 odd litre tank, however there is the usual low fuel light.
The seat lock is in an awkward place to get the key into, tucked under a frame rail, but after you fumble the seat off, a couple of handy nooks are revealed for stashing small items.
Triumph offer a range of desirable, and in some case necessary accessories for the Trip. Necessary would be the rear wheel hugger, unless you think muddy water looks good on the back of your legs, and desirable to me is the horn looking low mounted Arrow exhaust. Perhaps try the accessory seat before you order one, the seat on our admittedly well used and abused test bike has issues that made it unsuitable for both myself, and anyone else over 70kgs that sat on it. The tiny people I know said it was fine however.
The test bike was the ever popular Black, but it also comes coloured in Fusion White or Roulette Green.
Conclusion: This is one of those bikes where the facts and figures, numbers and times, in the end don’t really matter too much. It’s just a blast to ride, it sounds absolutely great, has no outstanding bad features, and its well priced at 11,990 plus etc’s. I can imagine buyers considering bikes as diverse as a supersport 600, a motard, or machines such as Suzuki’s SV650, could all put this on their shopping list to try.
I doubt they’d be disappointed.
Street Triple Video:
Unfortunately in the short time we had the Street Triple, most days were a rainout, not suitable for filming. We did get one short test run in on the bike, only to find that for some reason the electronics of our videocam interacted with whatever electrical noise the Triple was generating, and the result was a ruined audio track. Which is about the worst thing to miss out on! Anyway, heres a little clip overlaid with music that will either please, or revolt you. Enjoy!
Triumph Street Triple Specifications