Used Bike

Buyer's Guide: Triumph Street Triple

All you need to know about buying Triumph's best-selling bike

AFTER a crescendo of excited rumours and a frenzy of design mockups and spy shots, the Street Triple was launched in late 2007. Marrying a version of the 675cc engine from the Daytona with the looks of the Speed Triple, the Street Triple was a smaller, lighter, nimbler – dare we say it, more real-world – version of the iconic hooligan streetfighter. The icing on the cake was launch pricing of just £5,349.

The formula proved an instant winner: there was an initial waiting list stretching months. The Street Triple kept up the performance and has been Triumph’s best-selling model for the past five years, and the manufacturer has shipped over 50,000 units globally.

The standard Street Triple made 107 bhp, good for 140 mph, and 51 lb-ft of torque – over four-fifths of the latter available as low as 3,500 rpm. With plenty of oomph across the rev range and a perfectly balanced chassis and 167 kg weight making it eager and flickable, it was billed as one of the best bikes of the year.

An R version was launched in 2008, featuring fully adjustable suspension and uprated brakes – what was lacking in the standard version vis-à-vis the Daytona - and a slightly different riding position thanks to Magura bars, besides cool matt paint schemes. 

The new-look 'insect eye' headlights of the 2011 Speed Triple were also taken up by the 2011 Street Triple, and despite a universal 'urrggh!' from the public, found its way on the second-generation Street Triple the following year, as well as the subsequent R version.

Lighter, smoother and more refined, if less in-your-face than the originals, the second-generation Streets remain the benchmark for midweight nakeds that get your juices splashing about. 

Visordown owner survey

Seventy-two owners filled in our survey; we thank them for their input. Collectively they’ve travelled over half a million miles on their Street Triples, and we’ve distilled their reported experiences to bring you the vital information on this popular Triumph.

A significant proportion of owners, 41.4%, have the 2012 model, with the 2010 model being the next most quoted (14.3%). The R version is more popular than the standard, with 60% of owners opting for it. 

The majority (63.4%) of our sample bought their Street Triples brand new, and a further 10% bought bikes with less than 1,000 miles on the clock. But they’ve been racking up the miles rapidly, with more than 30% of the bikes now sporting between 10,000 and 30,000 miles on their odos; one respondent can’t seem to get off his/her bike, having racked up over 50K miles.

Tyres

Street Triples roll off the assembly lines wearing Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsas, which are retained on 42% of respondents’ bikes, along with the odd Strada or Supercorsa. The most common aftermarket tyres fitted are Michelin (Pilot Road 2/3, Pilot Power, Power Pure), Dunlop (Roadsmart, Sportsmart, Qualifier/II) and Bridgestone (Battlax, S20).

Fuel economy

Striples seem to return about 40 mpg, give or take a bit varying on owners’ enthusiasm with the throttle. 26% of surveyed machines returned that precise figure, while about 11% of respondents each got 37, 42 and 45 mpg from their bikes. About 4% somehow get more than 50 mpg. The adjacent graph shows the miles per gallon breakdowns according to our owners.

Fit and finish

Triumphs are generally well-built and the Speed Triple is no exception; an impressive 97% of respondents said that they were happy with its fit and finish – the only significant complaint was about the R’s matt paintwork, with an owner saying it chipped, scratched and stained too easily. That's not to say the Street Triple is a perfect motorcycle; you can read about its issues on the next page of this guide.

DEALER OPINION

Darren Roebuck, owner, A1 Moto, York: "The Street Triple is a phenomenal motorcycle, and I’m not just saying that. It’s our best-selling model – we’ve sold hundreds! It’s been around since 2007 but it still gets so much interest. It has a really broad spectrum of appeal – both genders, ages 30-65, and all levels of experience, whether it’s riders moving down from litre-sportsbikes or moving up from learner bikes. Hi-and-hers buys with the Speed Triple and Street Triple are quite common. 

"It doesn’t have major problems, and the engines are bombproof. There have been some niggles though. There were a couple of recalls for rectifier issues; the standard Street Triple’s rear suspension tends to lose dampening over time; and the early batches of the model with the new-shape headlight have an issue where the headlight plastics are prone to cracking. 

"Over 2-3 years of ownership it’s not a particularly expensive bike to run, especially as the residual values are really good: used Street Triples leave our showroom floor as quick as they come. Accessorising is very popular; I don’t think I’ve ever sold a standard bike! Flyscreens, bellypans and silencers are the three most common accessories." 

Problems

Over two-thirds (68%) of respondents had experienced no problems at all. But the Striple does have its issues, with electrical problems account for two-thirds of owner complaints. Indeed, Triumph recalled bikes in April 2011 to replace the troublesome rectifier regulator, which some respondents noted, also mentioning dead batteries, wiring issues, and alternator failures. 

Some respondents are dissatisfied with the (standard) bike's rear suspension and rear brake, while owners have also reported coolant leaks; stuttering and incorrect exhaust mapping; replacements of the cam-chain tensioner, wheel bearings and crank position sensor, and a broken shifter shaft. 

You can see a breakdown of problems by type, by clicking the chart on the right.

Improvements and accessories

The leading items on owners’ wishlists are a better seat (14.2%) and improved suspension (10.1%), followed by a fuel gauge, a smaller turning radius, more underseat storage, and better mirrors. Some nostalgics pined for the old logo and headlights; some wanted options or aftermarket goodies as standard (ABS, bellypan, alarm, etc). Wishes were also expressed for better fuel economy, more leg room, revised gearing and better fuelling, stronger rear brakes, adjustable rear sets and an oil sight glass. 

Owners just love accessorising their Speed Triples. Nearly 4 in 5 bikes (78.7%) are fitted with flyscreens, while rear huggers (55.7%), bellypans (54.1%), exhausts (41%) and tail tidies (27.9%) are also popular. Crash bungs seem to be a must-do, and aftermarket levers, aftermarket seats and cowls, and bar-end mirrors also appear on numerous bikes.

Service intervals and costs

Minor services are due at 6,000 miles, then 18,000 miles, and so on, and cost in the region of £150-£200. Major services are at 12,000 miles, then 24,000 miles, and so on, and will set you back anywhere between £300 and a rather steep sounding £600. 

Prices

Triumph wants £6,999 for a new Street Triple and £7,650 for the R, with ABS a £350 option on both. There are discounts to be had on the base models (standard non-ABS bikes), don’t hesitate to negotiate with your dealer.

Striples hold their value well. Glass’s Guide Retail prices start at four grand for a 57-plate Street Triple with 12,000 miles, rising by £100 for every six months newer the bike is, or £125 from the 59 plate. A 12-plater currently retails for about £5,500. The R, meanwhile, starts at around £4,800 for a 58-plate with 10,000 miles, and a 12-plate is in the region of £6,200.

Browsing the major classifieds, we found plenty of bikes for sale, more than 180, with 90 per cent of these being trade ads. The cheapest clean bikes were an 08-reg private bike with only 4,000 miles (!) and a fair few accessories going for £3,995, and a 58-reg trade bike with less than 20,000 miles listed at £4,100. 

Useful links

Read our reviews of the 2007 and 2013 Triumph Street Triple/R.

See how Visordown readers rate the Street Triple / R, or add your own reviews.

Looking for a different bike? We have nearly 50 more motorcycle buyer guides!

Hat-tip to all the Visordown readers, as well as the enthusiastic folks over at the Triumph Rat forum, who responded to our Street Triple owner survey. 

OWNERS SAY...

Chris Foreman, Herts: I fell for the Street Triple R’s sublime engine, and the demo bike had Arrow pipes that made it sound special. It’s very light and easy to manoeuvre. I use it to commute and have taken it to Wales, France and Germany. Cruising up the B500 in Germany (the Schwarzwald-Hochstrasse) over a long weekend was brilliant. The bike has not let me down. Though, once I decided to fit a one-tooth larger front sprocket for better cruising, and split the cooling hose when I trapped it next to the chain! I have had the bike for nearly four years and would like a change, but really can’t find a better one.

Jim Lowe, Devon: I exchanged a Harley-Davidson V-Rod for the 2012 Street Triple, as I wanted a lighter and more manageable bike. I’d intended to buy a Ducati Monster but after examining the Triumph and sitting on it (and without even test-riding it), I chose it over the Ducati. I’ve owned the bike for seven months and have covered 2,000 miles over the winter. I have had the bike custom-painted and added some extras and raised the handlebars. The Triple has not disappointed, in fact it has reinvigorated my passion for motorcycles – I’ve been riding bikes since 1964 and was getting slightly bored, but every time I get the Triumph out, it makes me grin.

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