Over the last year or so, I have had the good fortune of riding some really good motorcycles, ranging from retro styled modern classics, sport tourers, litre-class nakeds and commuters too. But the all-new Triumph Street Triple RS simply blew me away with its pace, power and practicality. The good folks at Triumph Motorcycles India were kind enough to invite us to Barcelona, Spain to test ride the 2017 Street Triple and it was one ride, I was glad not to miss out on.
I will respectfully disagree to anyone who says that the new Street Triple RS is a good-looking motorcycle. I mean, would you ever call John Rambo good-looking? He was an all-out action hero and so is this motorcycle. It is a beast, a predator that will devour you for a meal should you look at it cross-eyed. You want to wheelie her, stoppie her, scare the boy-riders silly or go really fast on a racetrack, she will do it with this inexplicable slick ferocity that beggars belief. Look at it and you can figure out that new Street Triple RS retains the lines of the previous generation, but takes inspiration from the new Speed Triple RS as far as design is concerned.
The jutting out radiator cowls, the fly-screen above those signature bug-eye headlamps and those gorgeous fat Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres literally warns you to not mess with them. And to top it all, the fit and finish of the motorcycle is at a different level altogether. Try as hard as I might, I couldn't find a single fault or discrepancy; such is the quality of components.
Triumph has left no stone unturned to provide the new Street Triple RS with loads of features and some fancy bits. Starting off, there is the new 5-inch full TFT screen which shows every possible data and can be configured to show different lay-outs. Then come your LED DRLs which are positioned right inside the two bug-eyed headlamps. Of course, there is ride-by-wire and five riding modes - Road, Rain, Track, and Sport along with a Rider mode which can be fully customised according to the needs of the rider. Then come the ABS and traction control, which of course are switchable. You can also get heated grips as an option, which are helpful when riding in the cold. As far as the suspension is concerned, at the front there are the 41mm Showa big piston forks with a travel of 115mm and is fully adjustable for pre-load rebound and compression damping. At the rear, there is an Ohlins piggyback reservoir monoshock, again fully adjustable. Braking duties are done by twin 310mm floating discs up front and a single 220mm fixed disc at the rear.
Heart of the matter
The biggest update in the 2017 model is the engine. The Street Triple RS now gets a 3-cylinder, 765 cc engine which produces peak power of 121 bhp at 11,700 rpm along with maximum torque of 77 Nm at 10,800 rpm. Clearly, the motorcycle loves to be revved all the way up. The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission with quick-shifter which allows for clutch-less upshifts as well. There is enough torque to build up insane speeds in any gear without missing a beat.
The shifts are slick and the throttle response in any mode is more than instantaneous. A fun fact is that unlike other motorcycles with different riding modes, the Street Triple RS offers all the 121 horses in each and every mode. Be it the road or the racetrack, it can give bigger motorcycles a run for their money in every aspect. And yes, 121 horses are more than you will ever need. It is one of the most practical sportbikes you can ever hope to lay your hands on.
Handlin' it all
Triumph has always known to make sweet handling motorcycles and with the new Street Triple RS, it has bettered itself in every aspect. You can be downright brutal with the throttle inputs, steering inputs, even the braking inputs, but nothing seems to upset the motorcycle. In fact, our track session on the famous Catalunya circuit proved that road-going bikes can also be supremely potent track tools. It felt almost as if the bike was made for the track rather than the road. Of course, it is the other way round. I graciously tip my hat to the boffins at Triumph for making this happen in the sweetest possible manner. Oh, and did I mention the exhaust note? Red-line the motorcycle and its guttural roar is nothing short of blood-curdling. Even in the lower RPMs, there is a nice sounding sweet rumble from the motorcycle.
What we think
It surely is one of the most exciting products to come from Triumph in recent times. The Street Triple was always the benchmark in its segment in each and every aspect and Triumph has managed to make it better than ever before. It can be your daily commute and your weapon of choice for the racetrack at the very same time, without compromising on either experience, which is absolutely phenomenal. We believe that the new Street Triple will come to India sometime in June-July this year. Time to rob a bank, then!