2013 Triumph Street Triple R review

Triumph's most popular bike gets a big update. There's a lot riding on this one.

Posted: 5 November 2012
by Ben Cope
Made for roads like these
White looks the business
Simple clocks, perfect for the job

This is page 2. Click here for page 1 of our 2013 Triumph Street Triple R review.

Is that a good thing? Well, I quite like a bike that needs bossing around.

Triumph have revised the frame and it now features an adjustable pivot position for the swingarm and due to that, there's a small geometry change but the noticable change is the steering lock which has been increased: up from 56-degrees lock-to-lock to 62-degrees. Bound to make it easier to muscle around town, around a U-turn and around the garage. I bet they kicked themselves for not allowing more lock in the original Daytona 675's frame.

Even though Triumph haven't really altered the motor, it's still worth more of your time. Unlike a four-cylinder 600 naked, the three-cylinder Triumph can pull from low down. Even loading it up in top gear at 40mph, it doesn't take long for the Street Triple to overcome the adverse gearing and haul you up to 120mph. Try that on a 600 and you'd go backwards ...and then the motor would go pop.

It's not just a cliche: you definitely change gear less on the Street Triple than you would on any other 600 and that makes for a more relaxing and yet more involving ride. You can concentrate on the road ahead and wringing those three cylinder to their glorious 12,500rpm redline and not just feed in gear after gear.

Triumph claim improved fuel economy, well here's what I got: On a 36 mile run from the hotel, mainly motorways at 80mph, the bike showed 47-48mpg on the go and averaged 42mpg for the trip.

Out on twisty roads, thrashing the poor old Street Triple R to within an inch of its life, we covered 101 miles, at an average speed of 53mph, including a petrol stop and coffee stop and the total consumption averaged out at 34mpg. Pretty good.

The Street Triple comes with Pirelli's Diablo Rosso Corsa as standard. A good tyre but - and this is unusual for manufacturers these days - Triumph also recommend Metzeler's M5, Dunlop's Qualifer II and Bridgestone's BT016 Pro. You could opt for stickier rubber but it really doesn't need it - you will run out of ability before you run out of grip or ground clearance.

The rear of the bike, just like the previous versions, feels planted. It sticks to the road like a limpet clings to a rock; you will not get it to budge. The week before this launch, back in the UK, I had ridden the 'old' Street Triple R on Hickley's finest dank roads. I rode up to Triumph on a Panigale which lit up the dash like a Christmas tree every time I tapped the throttle but when I jumped on the Street Triple the roads felt like they'd dried out. They hadn't but the Street Triple has so much natural grip and manages to find grip where you think there's hardly any to be had.

It's such a confidence inspiring bike, it squeezes out the SV650 as the naked bike that caters for the broadest levels of experience. You could be totally green to motorcycling and the Street Triple will give you everything you need without being intimidating or you could be a seasoned pro and you'll enjoy being able to extract every last drop of what the Street Triple has to offer.

Sure the R is slightly tricker than the standard bike and it's £700 more expensive but both are immensely usable and capable. If my riding was mainly commuting, I'd take the standard bike, opt for Triumph's ABS (£350) and blow the rest on a quality heated jacket. If my riding was mainly for fun, with the odd trackday thrown in, I'd plump for the more costly R version and not bother with ABS.

Street Triple, the third album: not quite as raw as the first and not as controversial as the second, it has mellowed slightly but like the best albums, I reckon it'll grow on you. It did me.

Triumph Street Triple price: £6,999 OTR

Triumph Street Triple R price: £7,699 OTR

Release date: Late November 2012

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Discuss this story

Great review. Unfortunately, I can't get past the album cover. Will the looks grow on me too ? Like a hemorroid ? ;-)

Sorry Triumph, I really want to buy British, but I'm saving for a Brutale 800.

Posted: 06/11/2012 at 00:41

Great review!

Posted: 06/11/2012 at 07:14

Very nice review. Has revived my interest for this bike.

Posted: 06/11/2012 at 15:29

Funny thing about "those headlights"... if I remember correctly... Triumph was getting hosed in the press for sticking with the old bug eyes for so long on both the Speed & Street Triples... "Looks old", "dated", etc.. They changed to the "insect eyes"... and everyone howled about the loss of the "iconic look" of the bug eyes... go figure...

I know bikes must keep "moving forward", design and tech wise... but I really prefer the KISS (keep it simple stupid) less is more look of the original... bug eyes and all... especially if it had the minimalist Arrow 3 into 1 stubby low exhaust... Looks and sounds SOOOO good... and just one really great bike to ride... Elegantly simple... crackerjack engine... great ergos... just about the perfect bike for cracking down a twisty road...

Posted: 06/11/2012 at 15:43

There's quirky and there's sodding ugly.
One of the few bikes you could crash and end up with something looking a lot nicer.
I know a bloke who bought a 675 Daytona new,motor replaced under warranty after it seized,wiring loom fell apart then just to add insult to injury it failed it's first m.o.t. because Triumph had fitted the wrong headlight and he'd been riding around dazzling other road users for 3 years without realising.Another guy tried to tour Europe on his newly run in street Triple last year,got as far as France before it showered him in hot coolant and died.Have Triumph lost teh plot are are those guys just unlucky?

Posted: 07/11/2012 at 00:27

I do like the old street with a 3 into one arrow, the new exhaust looks a transfomer style so not for me, not enough change for me to spend my money I'll stick with the "old" one for now.

"Wheelies, really? How old are you" 57 and I love them

Posted: 07/11/2012 at 14:30

How old is backasswards, 73 and a Daily Mail reader? Wheelies are big and wheelies are clever.

If you ride other than on sunny Sunday mornings two months of the year, they give you something to do when it's pissing down (albeit you need to avoid wheelspin) or the road temperature is hovering around freezing. Like it has been the last 3 days, for example.

Old Street was awesome at wheelies for a middleweight. Not in getting them up without clutching it (though it could manage that), but it felt weightless like you could whack it up in 1st, cog it into second as the nose came up and then hold it there effortlessly. Much easier than my Tuono to keep up and the bonus is it steers easily while you have it up there.

Posted: 08/11/2012 at 12:47

"It still has 'those' headlights" - Yes, it does and it still looks dreadful for it. It looks like a crashed Daytona 675 and that is probably because the front of it is a Daytona but without the fairing. I know this is subjective and I really want to love the bike but I cannot get passed the lights that Triumph put on their naked bikes. Other manufacturers do not seem to have the same problem, the Brutale and Monster both look excellent, even the GSR750, Z750 and Z800 don’t look like they were cobbled together from bits left over following a crash.

I would probably be down at the Triumph dealer tomorrow with a wad of cash if their Speed or Street triples didn’t persist with the silly looking headlights.

Posted: 08/11/2012 at 13:58

15mm may not sound much but is a worrying trend by Triumph.

Triumph needs to realise that more of its bikes are too high for those of us shorter riders - and if your female, only a Bonneville is likely to be suitable.

Forget the lower seat; you can't swing your leg over the back of the bike.

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 12:49

I'm sure it is a great bike but does look more Japanesque than I like :(

Meanwhile you should see this crazy road rage case.... somewhat ironically Defense Counsel and I both ride Triumphs. Bonnie for him Sprint RS for me.


Guilty of Second Degree Assault, sad story. Rider lived, crushed leg.

Posted: 10/11/2012 at 11:12

The best thing about the original was the fact it was a great bike which was priced to sell.... and guess what?!! I even considered buying a brand new bike for the 1st time.....

We all love a bargain, and sadly this is too expensive to be genuinely considered that, especially given the grim financial forecast.

Posted: 11/11/2012 at 08:35

Time Smith 2 of course it's just your opinion on the looks of the lights and I'm about to prove it by saying as a Street Triple R owner with the new headlights I think the Tuono is an ugly piece of unreliable crap and the Suzukis and Kwaks you list are both dull aesthetically and lifeless rides as well. Both my STR and Tiger800XC have never failed to impress me with handling, looks, reliability and fun.

Posted: 30/12/2012 at 22:46

moko, sori dude but your well off the mark, and your mates are really unlucky. i bought one of the 1st series 57plate striple picked it up oct, yes I had a few teething problems, but Triumph were on it immediately sorted under warranty. 74thousands miles later in all weathers my amazing street triple doesn't miss a beat. Don't slag them , till u tried and tested them, undoubtedly one of if not the best little bike on the market, and more fun than u could possibly imagine.....

Posted: 22/01/2013 at 21:47

It just looks daft with the side exhaust.... There's enough space under the seat for the side-by-side Arrows, so can you sort that please Triumph, as looks are everything....

Posted: 03/04/2013 at 22:40

The old street triple looks so much nicer, thats why I bought a second hand 2011 one.
I only have one gripe with my 2011 one, and I notice the new model is still the same. Triumph still insist on tucking the side stand away under the foot pegs, and they still haven't welded a small lug on it, to help you get it out first time as you dismount, without having to fart about, especially if you have wet boots on, and they keep slipping off the only small bit of accessible stand.
Other than that, it's a cracking bike. Fuel economy is absolutely shite though. My 1200 Bandit is better at fuel. You would think with all the modern fuel controls and systems, they would get it so much better.
It makes up for it with Torque, and an excellent set of close gear ratios which keep you on power band all the way up past the speed limit and beyond!
And it has an induction roar to die for. I would rather listen to it, than hear Justin Bieber screaming with a knife in his chest.

Posted: 10/03/2016 at 17:18

Oh yeah, and this model has a shite looking exhaust system.... get the Arrows back on....and the round headlights.

Posted: 10/03/2016 at 17:19

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