First Ride

Triumph Triumph Street Triple RS (2020) review

The latest generation of Triumph Street Triple RS brings a new face, increased poke in the midrange and Bluetooth connectivity for 2019

Details
Manufacturer:
Triumph
Category:
Naked
Price:
£ 10300
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

THE Triumph Street Triple range has had an RS in its ranks for some time now, and it’s always been the performance statement within the Street Triple range.

The introduction of the new 2020 Street Triple RS marks not just the biggest visual change to the model since it’s bug-eyed-removing makeover, but also the most powerful Street Triple RS we’ve seen to date.

For the press launch, we spent a day riding the stunning roads around Murcia, Spain – with a few laps spent blasting around Cartagena for good measure.

Triumph Street Triple RS (2020) video review

Price and colours

The 2020 Triumph Street Triple RS is available in Matt Jet Black with Aluminium Silver and Yellow decals, or Silver Ice with Diablo Red and Aluminium Silver decals. Both paint scheme options include hand-painted Diablo Red wheel pinstripes and an Aluminium Silver rear sub-frame.

Triumph has somehow managed to keep the pricing for the Street Triple RS the same as the last model, at £10,300. So, more power, torque, and tech for the same money…

It seems like a no brainer to me!

Triumph Street Triple RS Engine

With the new bike’s engine Triumph and their Moto2 engine development team have not only managed to circumnavigate the latest Euro5 regs, but they have also given riders a bit more of everything! The big news really comes in the form of a revised exhaust system and exhaust port lift and timing. These tweaks now include a twin catalyst layout that is less restrictive than one larger catalyst. That along with some intake adjustments mean peak power is up 9% on the old model at 123ps (122bhp), with torque too making a jump up in mid-range and peak delivery, 79Nm at 9,350rpm and 9% more torque in the fat of the rev-range.

Out on the road and track today the Street Triple RS was a joy, the mid-range torque is now a big juicy wedge that you can really get stuck into. It’s not that the old RS was lacking in that sense, it was just the motor was a tad on the peaky side. Not something you can say about the 2020 model.

Chassis and suspension

With the new 765cc engine powering the bike, it’s no surprise the chassis and suspension have been left pretty much as stock. Upfront are a pair of Showa fully adjustable 41mm Big Piston Forks, combined with a top-spec Öhlins STX40 piggyback shock at the rear – again, fully adjustable. Braking is still provided by Brembo, courtesy of some lovely M50, 4-piston callipers, and an MCS adjustable lever at the front and a Brembo single-piston caliper at the rear.

The same suspension that was plush in the morning, was taut and sure-footed in the afternoon. Obviously, the Triumph technical team had been twiddling with the settings between the morning’s road ride, but it just shows what is capable of the Showa/Öhlins set up.

Handling

The main phrases that have stuck in my head after a day on the bike are agile, fast and fun – with added stability. Comparing this machine with the RS of old, the handling is noticeably different. The bike is more stable in fast corners, without loosing any of the eagerness from before. The change of direction is super-quick and getting the bike from apex to apex seems effortless.

Comfort

For a motorcycle that has always had its heart set on being a performance icon, the Street Triple has forever been a comfortable place to be, and 2020 will be no exception. One of the appealing things about the bike is its versatility, the do-it-all nature of a track bike, commuter and occasional touring machine are a very attractive trait to have.

Equipment

With the bang-up-to-date dash, we have a new set of riding modes, GoPro connectivity and the option for turn-by-turn navigation. Sadly, these will only happen when you’ve bought the accessory Bluetooth module to fit to the bike.

An up/down quickshifter is now standard on the RS which is a welcome addition. It’s not like the gearbox without is lacking anything, it more helps to cement the bike’s place within the upper echelons of the charts.

We like about the Triumph Street Triple RS

  • New styling
  • Broad torque curve
  • Planted feeling on road and track

We don’t like

  • Bluetooth module is extra – could easily be included
  • ABS cannot be disabled

Verdict

If you’re in the market for a naked bike with genuine performance potential, there is still really only one door to knock upon. The 2020 Triumph Street Triple RS has again cemented itself as the benchmark for usability, speed and handling in the sub-thousand cc class. For a package that provides you with two or even three bikes in one and still at the same price as the outgoing model – you can’t really see a reason not to get to your dealer and buy one.

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