Triumph Street Triple (2007 - 2011) review

With £2k taken out of the Daytona 675's pricetag, is Triumph's Street Triple the bargain sportsbike of 2007?

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 - 12:06

Details
Manufacturer:
Triumph
Category:
Naked
Price:
£ 5349
Overall
5
Need Insurance?
It's not very often that I get to ride a bike I genuinely can't find anything to moan about, but that's the case with the Street Triple, it honestly is that good
Stunning bike that is worth so much more than its price tag. Awesome.
Nothing.

I've been waiting to ride Triumph's Street Triple for about two years, ever since the Daytona 675 was launched. When I first saw that bike I emailed the guys at Triumph and asked if I could get one of them, strip its fairing off and fit a set of Speed Triple flat bars. A naked middleweight triple with a truly sporty chassis sounded like my perfect bike. Strangely enough they never got back to me, obviously knowing something I didn't at the time.

As it now turns out the Street Triple was always on the cards, even during the development of the 675. In fact the bikes were developed in conjunction with one another. Take a close look at the 675, you'll spot the fairing brackets are neatly tucked away, the engine's water pipes are hidden and the frame doesn't have any ugly fastenings. Despite the fact most of it is hidden behind a fairing the Daytona was designed to look good naked, because 18-months later it would appear in exactly that state.

Amazingly enough the Street Triple is essentially a stripped to the bone Daytona 675. Why is this amazing? Well, despite costing nearly £2,000 less than the Daytona at £5,349 the Street Triple shares nearly all of the sportsbike's major components. The chassis, engine, wheels and dash are straight off the 675, which is amazing value for money. Okay, the suspension isn't adjustable (although the shock does have variable spring pre-load) and the brakes aren't radial but all the same, on paper this is a stunning value for money machine. And it's also a stunning bike to ride fast.

I'll admit that I might be slightly biased towards the Street Triple. As I've already said this is exactly the kind of bike that floats my boat. I love the Speed Triple and have a real soft spot for stripped middleweight machines. If, as the marketing bumf was suggesting, the Street Triple really was a fusion of the Speed Triple and Daytona then it could well be very special. It is.

From the moment you get on the Street Triple to when you eventually get off it again it's almost impossible not to have a huge, stupid, grin permanently etched on your face.

Although it's physically quite small, which is a throwback to the compactness of the Daytona, the Street Triple is anything but cramped. Along with the flat bars Triumph has fitted new footpeg hangers and a totally new sub-frame to the bike which, as well as a new rider-friendly low seat height, comes with a comfortable seat as well. Which is all very well and good, but to be truthful it could have nails attached to the seat for all I care because the riding experience is so damn good.

Tipping the scales at just 167kg the Street Triple is easily the lightest middleweight out there. It's 6kg lighter than the Hornet and 36kg less than the Z750, which is a huge amount. And it shows. On the twisty roads around Lake Garda in Italy, where Triumph chose to launch the bike, the Street Triple was brilliant. The chassis is, as you would expect, perfectly balanced and flicking it from left to right the Street Triple's lack of bulk makes it feel even more manoeuvrable than its sporty brother. I can't think of any bike that would be quicker through the second and third gear corners or any that would be as fast with such a lack of effort or with so much poise.

Despite not having any adjustment the inverted forks are set up perfectly for road riding. In our group there was a variety of riding styles and weights ranging from a very small Japanese female tester to the slightly more porky European rider (me) and no one had any complaints with the suspension at either end of the bike. The ability to get standard suspension settings bang on is a trait of the current crop of Triumph bikes and one that I hope long continues. From smooth roads to the bumpier passes it never failed to impress, as did the engine.

Although it is essentially identical to the Daytona's motor Triumph has altered the camshaft and with it the valve timing. Basically the valves open sooner and for longer compared to the sportsbike's engine, which has the effect of increasing the motor's bottom end torque. Although it doesn't rev quite as high (12,650rpm compared to 14,250rpm) the Street Triple makes more bottom end grunt than the Daytona, which wasn't exactly known for being lacking in that area to start with.

Unlike the inline fours the Street Triple has power from the word go, you don't need to be above any rpm to get drive, it's just there. Although it makes a peak torque of 51lb.ft Triumph claim the bike makes more than 44lb.ft from 3,500rpm right up to 12,300rpm, which I don't doubt. The hairpin bends on the route could be taken in first, second or even third gear, depending on how much you wanted to scream the engine, which shows how flexible it is. But don't be lured into thinking that this is a dull, workhorse of an engine, oh no. The Street Triple has Speed Triple DNA running through its veins, which means there is more than the hint of the hooligan in there!

If you want to learn to pull wheelies then look no further than the Street Triple. Yes, despite its middleweight tag, fairly modest 106bhp power claim and relatively small 675cc motor this is the new king of stunt bikes. If you fancy showing off then this is the bike for it. Although Triumph's stunt rider Kevin Carmichael could probably wheelie a London bus if he put his mind to it, the Triple even makes nobbers like myself look good. Second gear, bit of clutch and off you go. The only bikes I can think of that are as easy to show off on are its bigger brother, the Speed Triple, and KTM's 950SM.

But it's not just the front wheel that has issues staying on the floor. Radial brakes are the current 'must have' fashion accessory but, in order to keep costs down, Triumph has stuck with two-piston sliding calipers on this Triple. Posers may moan about this, riders won't. As Carmichael demonstrated with me on the back they are more than up to the job. On the road I really couldn't tell the fact that they weren't four-piston jobbies and after some fairly hard use down a very twisty road they didn't show any signs of fading at all. I did a bit of digging and found out that the brake pad compound is actually the same as the Dayton 675's, so it's only a bit of squeeze-power you're missing out on if anything compared to the full-blooded sportsbike.

It's not very often that I get to ride a bike I genuinely can't find anything to moan about, but that's the case with the Street Triple, it honestly is that good. The engine is wonderfully flexible, chassis superbly balanced and I still love the stripped Speed Triple looks. Does it really matter that it looks virtually identical to its bigger brother? I don't think so. In fact the only slight gripe is that the steering lock could be a bit bigger, that's it and I'm really just being picky.

Triumph admit that it has taken a hit on price with this bike, which it obviously has. With a two grand saving over the Daytona and so little difference between the two bikes, this is the bargain bike of 2007 without a doubt. It may have budget suspension and brakes but like so many other Triumph road bikes this in no way detracts from either the bike's performance or riding pleasure.

Personally I can see these things selling like hotcakes, especially in France and Italy, but I see no reason at all why the UK shouldn't snap them up. Good looks, wonderful chassis, British name on the tank and a bargain price tag to boot. What more could you honestly want?

SIMON WARBURTON: TRIUMPH PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

How come this Triple costs £2,000 less than the 675?
"There are some elements that cost less, the bodywork, brakes and suspension for example. We have taken cost out where it hasn't affected performance. The suspension isn't adjustable but it still works very well. But principally we have taken a hit. We made a commercial decision that we weren't going to make as much money on the Street Triple but it will bring new people into Triumph."

Why is the bike being launched so late?
"It was simply due to the length of time the project took. We would have liked to release it earlier but just couldn't do it. The Street Triple has around 150 new parts even though it is very close to the 675, which takes time to design, organise a supplier, etc. It took just over a year and a half to turn this bike around, which is very, very fast."

Was there a worry it would be too sporty?
"We haven't gone 100% for sporty. The suspension is more forgiving and the riding position is comfy, so we hit a compromise."

KEVIN CARMICHAEL: TRIUMPH'S STUNT RIDER

How do I pull 12'o'clock wheelies, Kevin?
"It's all about the rear brake. To pull wheelies you need to learn to use the rear brake, then you can get the height, then you can change gear. I ride along in first gear, clutch the wheelie up then catch it on the rear brake. You don't need to push it that hard, a small amount of pressure will make the bike react. Once the wheel is in the air I use the clutch to change gear, it's much smoother, and get the bike in a high gear as soon as possible because the bike reacts slower to throttle inputs.

I've been waiting to ride Triumph's Street Triple for about two years, ever since the Daytona 675 was launched. When I first saw that bike I emailed the guys at Triumph and asked if I could get one of them, strip its fairing off and fit a set of Speed Triple flat bars. A naked middleweight triple with a truly sporty chassis sounded like my perfect bike. Strangely enough they never got back to me, obviously knowing something I didn't at the time.

As it now turns out the Street Triple was always on the cards, even during the development of the 675. In fact the bikes were developed in conjunction with one another. Take a close look at the 675, you'll spot the fairing brackets are neatly tucked away, the engine's water pipes are hidden and the frame doesn't have any ugly fastenings. Despite the fact most of it is hidden behind a fairing the Daytona was designed to look good naked, because 18-months later it would appear in exactly that state.

Amazingly enough the Street Triple is essentially a stripped to the bone Daytona 675. Why is this amazing? Well, despite costing nearly £2,000 less than the Daytona at £5,349 the Street Triple shares nearly all of the sportsbike's major components. The chassis, engine, wheels and dash are straight off the 675, which is amazing value for money. Okay, the suspension isn't adjustable (although the shock does have variable spring pre-load) and the brakes aren't radial but all the same, on paper this is a stunning value for money machine. And it's also a stunning bike to ride fast.

I'll admit that I might be slightly biased towards the Street Triple. As I've already said this is exactly the kind of bike that floats my boat. I love the Speed Triple and have a real soft spot for stripped middleweight machines. If, as the marketing bumf was suggesting, the Street Triple really was a fusion of the Speed Triple and Daytona then it could well be very special. It is.

From the moment you get on the Street Triple to when you eventually get off it again it's almost impossible not to have a huge, stupid, grin permanently etched on your face.

Although it's physically quite small, which is a throwback to the compactness of the Daytona, the Street Triple is anything but cramped. Along with the flat bars Triumph has fitted new footpeg hangers and a totally new sub-frame to the bike which, as well as a new rider-friendly low seat height, comes with a comfortable seat as well. Which is all very well and good, but to be truthful it could have nails attached to the seat for all I care because the riding experience is so damn good.

Tipping the scales at just 167kg the Street Triple is easily the lightest middleweight out there. It's 6kg lighter than the Hornet and 36kg less than the Z750, which is a huge amount. And it shows. On the twisty roads around Lake Garda in Italy, where Triumph chose to launch the bike, the Street Triple was brilliant. The chassis is, as you would expect, perfectly balanced and flicking it from left to right the Street Triple's lack of bulk makes it feel even more manoeuvrable than its sporty brother. I can't think of any bike that would be quicker through the second and third gear corners or any that would be as fast with such a lack of effort or with so much poise.

Despite not having any adjustment the inverted forks are set up perfectly for road riding. In our group there was a variety of riding styles and weights ranging from a very small Japanese female tester to the slightly more porky European rider (me) and no one had any complaints with the suspension at either end of the bike. The ability to get standard suspension settings bang on is a trait of the current crop of Triumph bikes and one that I hope long continues. From smooth roads to the bumpier passes it never failed to impress, as did the engine.

Although it is essentially identical to the Daytona's motor Triumph has altered the camshaft and with it the valve timing. Basically the valves open sooner and for longer compared to the sportsbike's engine, which has the effect of increasing the motor's bottom end torque. Although it doesn't rev quite as high (12,650rpm compared to 14,250rpm) the Street Triple makes more bottom end grunt than the Daytona, which wasn't exactly known for being lacking in that area to start with.

Unlike the inline fours the Street Triple has power from the word go, you don't need to be above any rpm to get drive, it's just there. Although it makes a peak torque of 51lb.ft Triumph claim the bike makes more than 44lb.ft from 3,500rpm right up to 12,300rpm, which I don't doubt. The hairpin bends on the route could be taken in first, second or even third gear, depending on how much you wanted to scream the engine, which shows how flexible it is. But don't be lured into thinking that this is a dull, workhorse of an engine, oh no. The Street Triple has Speed Triple DNA running through its veins, which means there is more than the hint of the hooligan in there!

If you want to learn to pull wheelies then look no further than the Street Triple. Yes, despite its middleweight tag, fairly modest 106bhp power claim and relatively small 675cc motor this is the new king of stunt bikes. If you fancy showing off then this is the bike for it. Although Triumph's stunt rider Kevin Carmichael could probably wheelie a London bus if he put his mind to it, the Triple even makes nobbers like myself look good. Second gear, bit of clutch and off you go. The only bikes I can think of that are as easy to show off on are its bigger brother, the Speed Triple, and KTM's 950SM.

But it's not just the front wheel that has issues staying on the floor. Radial brakes are the current 'must have' fashion accessory but, in order to keep costs down, Triumph has stuck with two-piston sliding calipers on this Triple. Posers may moan about this, riders won't. As Carmichael demonstrated with me on the back they are more than up to the job. On the road I really couldn't tell the fact that they weren't four-piston jobbies and after some fairly hard use down a very twisty road they didn't show any signs of fading at all. I did a bit of digging and found out that the brake pad compound is actually the same as the Dayton 675's, so it's only a bit of squeeze-power you're missing out on if anything compared to the full-blooded sportsbike.

It's not very often that I get to ride a bike I genuinely can't find anything to moan about, but that's the case with the Street Triple, it honestly is that good. The engine is wonderfully flexible, chassis superbly balanced and I still love the stripped Speed Triple looks. Does it really matter that it looks virtually identical to its bigger brother? I don't think so. In fact the only slight gripe is that the steering lock could be a bit bigger, that's it and I'm really just being picky.

Triumph admit that it has taken a hit on price with this bike, which it obviously has. With a two grand saving over the Daytona and so little difference between the two bikes, this is the bargain bike of 2007 without a doubt. It may have budget suspension and brakes but like so many other Triumph road bikes this in no way detracts from either the bike's performance or riding pleasure.

Personally I can see these things selling like hotcakes, especially in France and Italy, but I see no reason at all why the UK shouldn't snap them up. Good looks, wonderful chassis, British name on the tank and a bargain price tag to boot. What more could you honestly want?

SIMON WARBURTON: TRIUMPH PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

How come this Triple costs £2,000 less than the 675?
"There are some elements that cost less, the bodywork, brakes and suspension for example. We have taken cost out where it hasn't affected performance. The suspension isn't adjustable but it still works very well. But principally we have taken a hit. We made a commercial decision that we weren't going to make as much money on the Street Triple but it will bring new people into Triumph."

Why is the bike being launched so late?
"It was simply due to the length of time the project took. We would have liked to release it earlier but just couldn't do it. The Street Triple has around 150 new parts even though it is very close to the 675, which takes time to design, organise a supplier, etc. It took just over a year and a half to turn this bike around, which is very, very fast."

Was there a worry it would be too sporty?
"We haven't gone 100% for sporty. The suspension is more forgiving and the riding position is comfy, so we hit a compromise."

KEVIN CARMICHAEL: TRIUMPH'S STUNT RIDER

How do I pull 12'o'clock wheelies, Kevin?
"It's all about the rear brake. To pull wheelies you need to learn to use the rear brake, then you can get the height, then you can change gear. I ride along in first gear, clutch the wheelie up then catch it on the rear brake. You don't need to push it that hard, a small amount of pressure will make the bike react. Once the wheel is in the air I use the clutch to change gear, it's much smoother, and get the bike in a high gear as soon as possible because the bike reacts slower to throttle inputs.

Score Breakdown
Overall
5
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