2013 Triumph Street Triple: the rivals

You're not the only one with your eyes locked on a Street Triple...

Brash and ballsy, though less so than the 2007 original, the 2013 Street Triple has grown up, with a taller first gear, better fuel economy, more steering lock and a front-end weight bias.

It isn’t trying to be its cool older cousin, the Speed Triple, anymore – but it still has some damn fine genes. The Street’s Daytona 675 engine is quick and eager, its chassis confidence-inspiring and its styling distinctive (cough, headlights, cough).

It’s number one in a field of one, if the field is ‘big, beefy British naked’. But remove the word British, and the field expands. Italy and Japan offer up strong competition in an intriguing range of shades, and if your head tends to battle with your heart, best read this before you dash off to a dealer.

Engine: 675cc triple

Weight: 182 kg wet

Power: 105 bhp

Price: £6,999. With ABS £7,349

MV Agusta Brutale B3 675

With a punchy 675cc triple of its own, the MV is the Triumph’s closest match, even if it does cost a good £1,500 more. So what do you get for the difference (the equivalent of a winter runabout)?

In a word, gorgeousness (is that a word?). What these Italians put on their pasta to be able to pen such lines, I don’t know, but the MV is get-off-and-stare-at-it good-looking.

But a peaky engine means that it’s better suited for the twisties than bumbling through town.

Engine: 675cc triple

Weight: 167kg, dry

Power:  108 bhp

Price: £8,499. With EAS: £8,699

Click here to add an MV Agusta Brutale 675 review

Ducati Monster 796

If you’re playing with the idea of a Triumph, you’re probably after a bit of character, right? Well, the 796 is liquefied character cast into the shape of a motorcycle.

With a brilliant, torquey engine (shared with the Hypermotard) in a high-spec chassis with single-sided swingarm and quality components, this is a thoroughly involving and usable bike.

Oh and did we mention classic good looks? Our pick of the rivals.

Engine: 803cc twin

Weight: 187kg, wet

Power:  87 bhp

Price: £7,495. With ABS: £8,195

Click here to read Ducati Monster 796 owner reviews

Suzuki GSR750

With a detuned GSXR-750 motor and far more attitude than any other naked in Suzuki’s range, the GSR is no chump, but it’s probably the ‘sensible’ choice here – well-built, economical on fuel and not a penny more expensive than the base Speed Triple (though the ABS version is £50 more than the rival, and if you’re doing much urban riding at all, the ABS version is the one to have).

If your head has nearly overpowered your heart by now, just give in and go buy the GSR.

Engine: 749cc four

Weight: 211kg, kerb

Power:  105 bhp

Price: £6,999. With ABS: £7,399

Click here to read Suzuki GSR750 owner reviews

Kawasaki Z800

On paper, the most powerful (yay!) of this line-up, it’s also the heaviest (boo!). On tarmac, however, there’s more to the new-for-2013 Kawasaki Z800 than its power-to-weight ratio.

If attitude is one of the boxes you’re looking to tick, the Zed is firmly on the shortlist. That Kawasaki green and black has always looked the business, and the hunched, burly styling is the equivalent of punching passersby in the jaw as you blast past on a wave of strong mid-range.

Engine: 803cc four

Weight: 229kg, kerb

Power:  111 bhp

Price: £7,499

And last but not the least… 

Triumph Speed Triple R

Still fixated on a Triumph, but want something just that little bit more than a Street Triple? Don’t forget its flashier sibling, the R.

For an extra £700, Triumph will throw in switchable ABS, adjustable suspension, stronger brakes, a flyscreen and belly pan and aggressive splashes of red in the bodywork.

It’s prime British beef, too… only extra bloody.

Engine: 675cc triple

Weight: 182 kg wet

Power: 105 bhp

Price: £7,699.