This bike is selling well, the epitome of cool, it’s designed to be ridden in a retro leather jacket, jeans, engineer’s boots and shades – not on a damp day Scottish day in textiles.
Leaving Triumph Glasgow for a quick spin north over the Erskine Bridge you notice the torque, this 1200cc engine makes more torque than power, it’s happiest between 3 – 5k rpm and that’s what this bike is all about, there’s certainly no point hitting the limiter at 7k.
It handles far better than the name or style would give it credit for, it’s not an extended wheelbase or an exaggerated riding position. The feet forward position isn’t as extreme as some, it’s almost neutral.
The rear shock is hidden under the formed aluminium adjustable seat – (although sometimes over some bumps, you wonder if there is a shock).
The 9-litre tank also as its limitations, but this isn’t a bike that’s going to be used for massive miles (is it?).
Despite the minimalist design of the bike, it’s still equipped with ABS, switchable traction control and a ride-by-wire throttle. It also has two riding modes, ‘Road’ and ‘Rain’, offering a different throttle response. It’s minimalist display also has Odometer, Rev counter, Gear position indicator, Range to empty, Fuel level, Average and current fuel consumption, Clock, Two trip settings, Service indicator, Traction control settings.
It’s also got an assisted clutch to make the lever lighter and for security an engine immobiliser with a transponder ignition key.
This is a motorcycle that is aching to be fettled with plenty of Triumph accessories to personalize the bike. It makes a very interesting addition to the Bonneville family of T120, Thruxton and Street Twin.
Triumph Street Triple RS
Nick Bevan, Guest reviewer
Are you one of those people who only like Iron Maiden and no other band?
Me neither, sometimes I’m in a Coldplay mood and sometimes its AC/DC but there is never one style of music that suits how I feel at any given time and so it is with bikes too. Sometimes I want one that I can thrash and sometimes I would prefer something to bimble about on thinking happy thoughts and counting sheep. So, when I got a chance to spend a few days with Scottish Biker Magazine and the team at Triumph and Ducati Glasgow at their swanky new store conveniently located off junction 26 of the M8, I jumped at the chance to try a “festival” of bikes for every occasion. Belladrum for bikers if you like.
For me a bike must have two special features, it should do what its designed to do really well and it should make me smile when I look at it. With this in mind, I landed my hefty frame aboard a stylish Triumph Street Triple RS. I shouldn’t like this, what would I use it for? It’s a small bike and I’m a big bloke. Its young and slinky and I’m old and wobbly, but I was going to hang in there and try not to burst a blood vessel if it really lived up to its rapidly growing and enviable reputation.
Off we trot, fat me on slinky Kylie a man out of his era wishing I was a bit younger a bit thinner and a bit cooler, but like a granny at a wedding disco I soon forgot about my age and enjoyed this little beauty for what she really was and boy was I blown away.
Sparky and lively like a limbo dancer on Irn Bru, she just took off (yes this bikes a she), crisp throttle response thanks to the new ride by wire and on this model 5 riding modes including track which I used and loved. Uncomplicated controls, user friendly LCD instrument panel, Brembo brakes, Ohlins rear shock – what’s not to like.
So, did I love it, could I live with it? Yes, and here is why. It did what it was supposed to do very well indeed, remarkably so in fact. The new engine builds on its predecessor’s strengths but is more powerful and better mannered, it’s a masterstroke. The steering is sharp and precise, built with top notch suspension parts working together brilliantly. The clutch and gearbox combo is smooth and the quick-shift addition just adds to a whole world of plush beauty.
It’s well made and the finishing touches are gorgeous. The whole package is the real deal. This a very capable street motorcycle indeed and that’s one of the reasons I love it, it does what it’s supposed to do very, very well indeed, in fact it goes above and beyond and I can see myself riding this for longer days in perfect comfort.
So, what about my second “must have” does it make me smile, again yes, the build quality makes me happy, it’s very good but more than that there are no annoying gizmos that get in the way of the purpose of the bike, it looks great, purposeful and ready for action.
If I rode in town a lot and wanted a bike to scratch on of an evening, or wanted a fine weather 150 miler for the weekend, I would defiantly have this in my armoury.
I’m a sports tourer kind of chap doing lots of long trips but this rascal would encourage me to get out of an evening when hefting Meatloaf out of the garage is just not worth the hassle. It is a Kylie and I consider myself lucky lucky lucky to have been able to have a play with a machine that made an old man wear a cheesy grin.
Try it, buy it, you won’t be disappointed. Aha, I hear you say you got a freebie ride from a dealer who wants to sell their bikes. This is true and a very good dealer they are, but it’s not all Ed Sheeran in this motor cycle range I must tell you. Wait till next time when I tell you about the Honey G and Ed Balls love child that everyone votes for but was not for me at all.
Check that out! My colleague Nick said to me as I was getting on the bike – If that bike was a song what would it be? Answer – Bad to the bone…The Triumph blurb says, “This is a cruiser with a dark side” In some ways it’s an overshadowed bike possibly due to the dominance of American brands, but that doesn’t mean it’s inferior at all – oh no!
This is a substantial bike, the seat was perfect for me the bars are closer back than some bikes and quite wide – into a headwind at motorway pace the drag was noticeable but at all other times, it was perfectly acceptable (an aftermarket touring screen is available). It’s a nice place to be, retro speedometer on the tank with a small rev counter and other bits of info – that you don’t need, because you’re too busy having a hoot on the bike.
At low pace the engine purrs, but ask it to perform and boy does it bark, it spins up nice and quickly as well. the power is silky smooth and the 200-section tyre just digs in and pushes you forward – the engine note is just great, deep and purposeful.
It handles very well for a big bike but does need some attention in the tighter sections, possibly due to the width of the rear tyre, but at no time was it an issue. The brakes do a good job of hauling this bike up.
The seat is comfortable and low enough to be able to flat foot both feet which is just as well, the bars sit back a bit but seemed just right.
This is a ‘look at me but don’t mess with me’ bike, on looks alone this bike could be a winner, the lovely paint tank detail – it just draws your eyes which is one of the reasons you buy it…especially in red.
Capacity – 1699cc, Power – 97bhp, Torque – 156Nm @ 2,950, Drive – Toothed belt, Gearbox – 6 speed.
The figures don’t tell the whole story, it’s all the better for being test ridden – like the adage – don’t knock it ‘til you tried it? If you do, you’ll love it.