The Triumph Street Triple RS has been launched in India at a price of ₹ 10.55 lakh. It is the higher-specced variant of the Triumph Street Triple. Triumph Motorcycles had launched the Street Triple S earlier this year, but that was the base variant of the new Street Triple. The Street Triple RS, with its specs and pricing, goes right up against the Ducati Monster 821 and the Kawasaki Z900. Currently, the Monster 821 has been temporarily taken off the market as it did not meet BS IV emission norms. Ducati has said that it will be launching the Monster 821 before 2017 ends. Till then, we will keep the specifications comparison against the Kawasaki Z900. So here goes.
Looks and design
There is no doubt that the Kawasaki looks the angrier, bulkier of the two. It will score more in terms of road presence over the Street Triple RS any day. That's not to say that the Street Triple RS lacks in styling or flair. It is angular, precise and lean. It is way more chiselled than the Z900 and the bug-eyed headlamps have always been a standout feature of the Street Triple across its generations. The Kawasaki Z900 is akin to a jacked up WWE wrestler while the Street Triple RS could be compared to a lean, mean football player. But that is just our way of looking at it! Both motorcycles are good-looking in their own right.
|Specifications||Triumph Street Triple RS||Kawasaki Z900 ABS|
|Displacement||765 cc, 3-cylinder, liquid cooled||948 cc, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled|
|Max Power||121 bhp @ 11,700 rpm||123 bhp @ 9,500 rpm|
|Max Torque||77 Nm @ 10,800 rpm||98.6 Nm @ 7,500 rpm|
|Weight||166 kg (Dry)||208 kg (Kerb)|
|Riding Modes||5 riding modes||NA|
|Price: Ex-showroom, Delhi)||₹ 10.55 lakh||₹ 9 lakh|
The power output of both bikes is similar, at 121 bhp for the Street Triple RS and 123 bhp for the Z900. The torque is considerably higher on the Z900 at 98.6 Nm while the Street Triple RS gets only 77 Nm of torque. The important thing to notice is that the maximum power and torque come at lesser revs on the Z900 than on the Street Triple. Also, the Z900 gets a four-pot motor, while the Street Triple RS gets only three pots. This should mean that the Z900 has a better engine, right! Well, all of that could be nullified by the fact that the Street Triple weighs a lot less than the Z900.
Although Triumph doesn't publish kerb weight figures, the Street Triple RS will still be 15-20 kg lighter than the Z900. Plus, the Street Triple barely makes 2 bhp less than the Z900. This means the Street Triple RS has a better power-to-weight ratio than the portly Z900. Plus, when it comes to brakes, suspension and tyres, the Street Triple RS is way better off with its Brembo brakes, Showa big piston forks, Ohlins monoshock and the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres. That's not to say the Kawasaki lacks in its components; it gets Nissin callipers gripping twin 300 mm discs on the front wheel and 41 mm upside down front fork with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability. But still, the as far as cycle parts are concerned, it's the Triumph which emerges triumphant.
Features and equipment
The Kawasaki Z900 ABS is a motorcycle for purists. These people like their motorcycles raw and bristling with power. It doesn't get fancy tech electronics or ride-by-wire. In the name of electronics, it just has ABS. Yep! No traction control on offer to go along with the ABS. For a bike which makes beyond 120 bhp of power and runs on Dunlop Sport Max Tyres, it should have been a part of standard equipment.
Then you have a slightly old-school instrument console, which is part analogue and part digital. In comparison, the Street Triple RS gets a lovely 5-inch colour TFT screen, which is programmable itself. Apart from that, you get ride-by-wire, five riding modes (road, rain, sport, track, and rider), switchable traction control and ABS as well. As far as features and equipment are concerned, the Street Triple RS packs a lot more punch than the Z900.
This paper comparison of ours has left us scratching our heads. The Kawasaki Z900 makes its case with mad, gushing power and costs a lakh and half rupees less than the Street Triple ₹ The Street Triple RS justifies the extra money with superior features and equipment. At the risk of sounding diplomatic, we will have to reserve our judgement till we actually put these bikes to the test together. Having said that, both motorcycles are excellent value for money for their price! So, if it's a performance naked you are looking for, you will not regret buying either of these naked middleweights. But if occasional track days are what you have in mind, the Triumph Street Triple RS certainly is our pick over the Kawasaki Z900.