Triumph Speed Triple R Review

Monday, October 11, 2010

"I don't care how mild or responsible of a rider you think you are, climb aboard the Street Triple R and you will step over to the dark side, and some laws will be broken."

The Triumph Street Triple R sports some attitude with its blazing orange paint, Italian racing exhaust and engine exposed for all to see. 

It's a looker no doubt and received some admiring glances, but looks alone will not have people turning their heads as you roll down the boulevard.  The Arrow exhaust coupled with the Triumph triple-cylinder motor has the Street Triple R sounding like an absolute thoroughbred racing machine.  Crank up the revs past 6,000 RPM and the Triumph emits a sound that I can only compare to Italian exotics such as Ferrari.

It seems a little odd to be comparing a bike to an exotic car, but the motor sounds like no other I have ridden before and the instant I cracked open the throttle, the only thing that came to my mind is "this thing sounds like a Ferrari!"  Of course the trade-off to this vociferous motor is that at cruising speeds, the Arrow exhaust is quite loud for a street bike.  If you are not one to wear ear plugs while commuting, this bike, fitted with this exhaust, might have you changing your mind.

A sweet sounding motorcycle is all well and good, but the beauty of the Triumph is that the noise you are hearing is actually transferring into some seriously fun power at the rear wheel.

The Engine
All this joy and happiness is courtesy of a 675 cc Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder producing a claimed 108 horsepower and 51 ft-lb. of torque.

The torque curve on the Triumph is truly a thing of beauty and the Street Triple R can be launched as docile or as aggressive as your right wrist commands.  The Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection performed flawlessly and throttle response was excellent, adding to the complete package of the Triumph's power plant.

Triumph knocked it out of the park when they created this motor; it is exactly what an urban street fighter should be; extreme torque down low and the power is 100% useable on the street.  I felt like I was riding a 450 dirt bike around town, coming out of slow corners, giving the bike a quick blip of the throttle and floating the front wheel in the air.

Having ridden motorcycles for more than 25 years, you would think a small thing like dancing the front end around wouldn't be such a big deal anymore.  But the Triumph Street Triple R does it in such a distinct manner and with such a beautiful pitch that even the most jaded motorcyclist is sure to have an absolute riot.  The boring morning commute all of a sudden has a completely different flavor and every stop light is now just one more opportunity to thrust away while tapping into the seamless power delivery and soaking in the sweet melody.

Keeping all of this fun in line is the Street Triple R’s lightweight frame, which has been lifted directly from the Daytona 675.

The Aluminum beam twin-spar helps keep the Triple R's weight down to a wet weight of 416 pounds.  The Triumph Street Triple R feels compact, light and oh so nimble.  Not like a nervous racehorse but composed with a super-responsive feel.

Suspension duties are handled by 41 mm Kayaba fully adjustable upside down forks (preload, compression and rebound adjustments are available) and a Kayaba monoshock with adjustable preload out back.  The suspension on the Street Triple R is definitely up to the task but will never be a standout.  There is no doubt the Triumph sports some quality suspension, but there were some moments when things felt a bit harsh in the front and soft in the rear; but these are minor grumblings I assure you. 

The Triumph never felt unbalanced and overall it gave a quality ride.  Some more time spent tweaking on the knobs would surely have left me even more satisfied.  The spring rates and valves have been re-calibrated from the Daytona 675 in a bit of a compromise to keep the sporty nature while still being plush enough for the street.

The Street Triple R's transmission shifted quite smoothly with only some slight notchiness when passing through neutral.  The gear ratios were perfectly suited for street riding.  The cable clutch pull is light and actuation is smooth, no need for the ever-popular arm pump surgery many racers have made trendy.

Triumph has a winner on their hands with this motorcycle. It's simply one of the most fun motorcycles I have ridden on the street.  It's reasonably priced, sweet handling and has a motor that begs to be ridden like a hooligan.

I don't care how mild or responsible of a rider you think you are, climb aboard the Street Triple R and you will step over to the dark side, and some laws will be broken.

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