Test riding the new Triumph Street Triple RS

Jan 07, 2018, 11:24 IST | Anosh Khumbatta

The new Triumph Street Triple RS is nimble and its intuitive handling will put a big smile on your face, everytime

The 765-cc in-line three churns out 123 PS and 77 Nm of twist
The 765-cc in-line three churns out 123 PS and 77 Nm of twist

Over the last few years we have seen a steady decline in the demand for race replicas, as buyers have begun to appreciate the comfort, versatility and usability of naked middleweight sport bikes. One of the machines that is prominently responsible for the growth of this segment in India is the Triumph Street Triple 675. Triumph has revamped the Street Triple, and, earlier this year, the company launched the base variant in India, the Street Triple S. Not wanting to keep enthusiasts waiting too long, Triumph has now launched the top-of-the-line Street Triple RS.

Öhlins monoshock absorbs all the undulations and keeps the bike planted
Öhlins monoshock absorbs all the undulations and keeps the bike planted

Triumph has done well to maintain the instantly recognisable silhouette, with the most noticeable visual change being the trademark twin headlights that have gone from five-sided to a more rounded, teardrop shape. The previous generation Street Triple was an excellent motorcycle with great ergonomics and sharp handling, and Triumph has been able to retain the excellent riding position and rock-steady chassis from the older model, with a slightly longer swingarm bolted on.

You can choose from six possible dash layouts. Pics/Sanjay Raikar
You can choose from six possible dash layouts. Pics/Sanjay Raikar

The engine is derived from the Daytona's 675 triple, but is an all-new unit featuring increased bore and stroke dimensions to get to the 765-cc displacement. On the RS, the in-line three-cylinder unit is tuned to make its peak 123 PS at 11,700 rpm, while max twist is 77 Nm at 10,800 rpm; impressive numbers for a middleweight. The Street Triple RS comes with a comprehensive electronics package that includes five riding modes, adjustable throttle maps, switchable ABS and a multi-level traction control system. All of these parameters can be accessed and controlled via handlebar-mounted controls that are extremely intuitive, while the interface is the much-talked-about colour TFT display. The rider can pick one of six main screens, all of which display a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, fuel-gauge and riding mode, while data like the coolant temperature, trip metres, distance to empty and a lap timer are displayed along the bottom strip. The dash can swivel forward and back, so that riders can angle it just right for optimum visibility.

The rider’s seat is fairly comfortable, but the pillion seat is not
The rider’s seat is fairly comfortable, but the pillion seat is not

The riding modes available on this motorcycle are Rain, Road, Sport, Track and a customisable 'Rider' mode. The full 123 PS is available in all modes, but it is delivered in a controlled and gentle manner in Rain mode, with the power delivery getting progressively stronger as you cycle up through the modes to the Track setting. The Rider mode allows you to select your own parameters for throttle response, traction control and ABS, or completely switch off the electronic nannies.
Weighing just 166 kilograms dry, the bike felt light and nimble, while the excellent throttle response, perfect fuelling, addictive intake roar and crisp exhaust note had us looking for empty stretches of road on which to wind open the gas. The clutch, although cable-operated, was extremely smooth and precise. The seat is nice and roomy, while the signature bar-end mirrors provide a decent rear view.

The Triumph Street Triple RS has been equipped with top-shelf suspension components and tyres and the handling is simply sublime. The fully-adjustable Showa Big Piston Fork up front and Öhlins STX 40 rear shock with remote reservoir would be at home on the racetrack, and do wonders for the rider's confidence when flicking the bike into bends, and the super-sticky Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres provide excellent grip.

The new engine has a sweet note and pulls strongly upwards of 3,000 rpm. But, the engine really comes into its own above 7,000 rpm, which is when a mad rush of acceleration takes over as the tachometer rushes towards its 12,750-rpm red-line. With shortened ratios for the first two gears and its light weight, the RS gets to triple-digit speeds incredibly fast. Twin 310-mm floating discs up front are supplemented by the combination of radially- mounted, four-piston Brembo M50 mono-block calipers and a Brembo radial MCS 19-21 master cylinder with adjustable lever reach and bite ratio. This is similar to the braking systems offered on much more expensive superbikes, including the R1.12-crore Ducati Superleggera, and are designed to provide fade-free braking. The rear brake consists of a single 220-mm disc and a Brembo single-piston caliper.

Although we were impressed by the bike, there were a couple of small things that bothered us during the ride. The 130-mm ground clearance is a bit low for our roads. The bike also reverts back to Road mode if the key is switched off when in Track or Rider mode, and one has to remember to switch back before setting off. The mode button allows you to toggle among the Rain, Road and Sport modes on the move, but to select Track or Rider, you must come to a standstill. And, the tiny pillion seat is not comfortable. All things considered, Triumph has really hit the sweet spot with this motorcycle by endowing it with a fantastic electronics package, best hardware and exceptionally sporty handling. Priced attractively at R10.55 lakh [ex- showroom], the Street Triple RS makes for an extremely desirable motorcycle and is a worthy successor to the old Street Triple.

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