We live in a world where frequently less is perceived to be more, and nowhere is that truer than in the naked sportbike sector. Triumph started leaning toward the scantily-clad market with its Daytona 675 back in the first decade of the new millenium, and now has released a more refined, next-gen naked line with its new Street Triple family. Sleek and sheik, the three current members of Triumph’s wee nudist colony definitely brings sexy back along with a healthy dose of performance and electronic gadgetry to boot. Folks, this is a brand-spankin’-new trio of rides, and if you’re anything like me, you have a healthy respect for British engineering and can’t wait to dig into this new triple-play from across the pond, so let’s get to it.
Much like everyone else, Trumpet’s naked line started out life as an established, fully-faired street machine, but stripped of its body panels for that minimalist, slightly Mad Max-ish look we have come to love so much. Now that we are seeing second- and third-generation models, the naked look has clearly moved away from such simplicity and has matured into something even more appealing, with the notable exception of the funny-looking, side-by-side headlight cans and vestigial flyscreen. Looks a little too insectoidfrom the side if you ask me, but it does look OK from the front, and if it’s being ridden properly you aren’t going to get a very good look at it in profile anyway.
A slight nose-down/tail-up stance lends the bike an aggressive air, though to be honest, it didn’t really need any help in that department.
Nothing says “serious business” like a beefy front end, and the inverted stems up front definitely fall into that category quite nicely. The frame is largely concealed, and doesn’t exactly impart the same kind of look as does a well-exposed Trellis, for instance, but it does leave the powerplant completely visible, leaving nothing at all to the imagination for a different kind of naked look.
A slight nose-down/tail-up stance lends the bike an aggressive air, though to be honest, it didn’t really need any help in that department. The fuel tank is narrow where the knees grip it, but flares out to form an abrupt flange that acts as a knee-hanger for some serious body English, and the flange swallows the legs to sort of put the rider inthe bike more than on it.
Flylines along the top describe a steep drop to the rider’s saddle, but very little rise to the p-pad and a minimal butt-retention step for the rider. Given the performance envelope of this family, particularly with the “RS” version, I think I’d be a little more comfortable with more step in back.
An exposed, bolt-on subframe kind of replaces some of what is lost visually with the minimal main frame, though it’s more visible on the “R” and “RS” due to the contrasting paint than the base-model “S” version. A tucked-in taillight housing keeps the ass-end clean, but whisker-mount turn signals clutter up the tag mount, and look more than a little vulnerable if you ask me.
(Street Triple S)
As always, the ever-present struggle to strike a balance between strength and weight influenced the frame design, and Trumpet’s solution was to run with a twin-spar main frame and high-pressure, die-cast structure for the subframe, all made from lightweight aluminum. A gull-wing swingarm adds to the modern panache and gives it an edgy and aggressive look with a traditional, two-sided layout that instills more confidence than a fancy, single-sided swing-thing ever will. Cast aluminum rims mount the 17-inch tires with a 120/70 hoop up front and a 180/55 bringing up the rear.
The above is all common across the board, but the different trim levels create some divergence at this point. While all three run 41 mm, separate-function, Showa front forks, the “S” forks come with fixed damping values and 4.3 inches of travel, but the “R” and “RS” spices things up a bit with separate function-big piston forks that boast adjustable compression/rebound damping and preload with 4.5 inches of travel. At the rear wheel, the “S” again predictably pulls from the bottom shelf with a Showa piggyback monoshock that comes with the obligatory adjustable preload and 4.8 inches of travel. The “R” steps it up with a Showa monoshock that allows for compression- and rebound-damping tweaks as well as preload with 5.27 inches of travel, and the “RS” brings out the big guns with an Ohlins STX40 piggyback that comes with all of the above and 5.5 inches of travel.
Brakes also see some model-specific changes with twin, 310 mm discs across the board up front, but the “S” runs Nissin calipers with a 220 mm disc and Brembo binder on the rear. On the “R,” we have a pair of Brembo M4.32 monobloc binders up front, and the “RS” again gets the cream with Brembo M50’s to bite the front discs. The latter two also come with switchable ABS fore and aft while the “S” has all-the-time ABS protection.
(Street Triple R)
…the “R” adds a four-preset riding mode function for variable power delivery, and the “RS” gets a total of five presets to include a ball-crushing “track” power curve.
All three bikes run the same, all-new, 765 cc plant that naturally comes with liquid cooling and electronic fuel injection to help it meet emissions. The 77.9 mm bore and 53.3 mm stroke leaves it significantly oversquare with a smokin’ hot, 12.65-to-1 compression ratio across the board. Dual over-head cams time the four-valve heads for a total of 12 poppets. Variations between the mills deliver different amounts of joy with a respectable 111 horsepower and 54 pounds o’ grunt from the “S” model while the “R” churns out 116 ponies and 57 pounds and the “RS” takes the cake with 121 ponies and the same 57 pound-feet of torque as the “R.”
Ride-by-Wire throttle control enables the traction control feature across the board, but the “R” adds a four-preset riding mode function for variable power delivery, and the “RS” gets a total of five presets to include a ball-crushing “track” power curve. To further it’s trackside credentials, the “RS” sports a quickshifter feature for the truly incorrigible among us. A six-speed gearbox and slip-assist clutch finishes out the drivetrain with a chain final drive.
(Street Triple RS)
I haven’t seen MSRP on all the 2017 models yet, but the “R” is $10,399. Expect a little less for the “S” and a bit more for the “RS”.
To be fair, I wanted to head to Europe’s boot for a competitor for the base model “S”, but stopped cold when I got to the shining star of Austria; KTM. I found the 690 Duke to fit the bill nicely, so here we go.
As always, looks are subjective to taste…so if you prefer the KTM over the Trumpet, you need to acquire some taste. No, seriously though, the angular look of the Duke is a trifle off-putting to me, but it’s ok if you like it, just understand that I think you’re wrong. Also, they must have some really tough arses in Austria, because KTM has a bit of a reputation for — ahem — firm saddles, to put it kindly.
Moving on to crunchier bits that are easier to qualify, KTM runs a steel Trellis frame that adds a significant cool factor to the look. Neither bike has adjustable front forks, but the usd, WP stems on the KTM are a bit beefier at 43 mm versus the 41 mm Showa forks on the “S,” and the KTM ride is a bit plusher with 5.3 inches of travel all around. Brakes are similar, but the KTM runs Brembo front and rear while the “S” has cheaper Nissin binders up front, and the Duke comes with multi-mode switchable ABS.
We find the biggest difference at the powerplants. Trumpet runs a three-cylinder mill while the 690 cc Duke has its customary thumper engine. RbW, liquid cooling and FI are constants, and so are the slipper clutches and six-speed transmixxers. KTM hangs in there with the “S” in the gadgetry department with traction control and rider modes if you get the Track pack option, though at only 73 horsepower, output is lower than the displacement difference can explain away. Most of that can be attributed to the one-lung engine, and we won’t even get into the difference in vibration since it should be obvious that the Duke is going to be a harsher ride that will put your ass and hands to sleep sooner rather than later.
“There it is folks. I don’t know about you but Trumpet certainly didn’t disappoint with this trio. I’d say the revamp and upgrade from the 675 engine is working out, but for me it’s all about the looks and handling. Well, except for that fugly headlight arrangement, but oh well, it’s a tiny flaw I get to pick at that doesn’t really amount to a deal-breaker by any means.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I agree from the side the headlights look a bit like insect eye-stalks, but coming and going, the bike looks awesome. I haven’t ridden these new Street Triples yet, but last year’s models were very solid, good power delivery, and quite comfortable. I expect these will be as much so.”
|MODEL:||STREET TRIPLE S||STREET TRIPLE R||STREET TRIPLE RS|
|ENGINE TYPE:||Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder||Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder||Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder|
|ENGINE SIZE:||765 cc||765 cc||765 cc|
|BORE / STROKE:||78 x 53.4 mm||78 x 53.4 mm||78 x 53.4 mm|
|POWER:||113 PS / 111 BHP (83kW) @ 11,250rpm||118 PS / 116 BHP (87kW) @12,000rpm||123 PS / 121 BHP (90kW) @ 11,700rpm|
|TORQUE:||73 Nm @ 9,100 rpm||77 Nm @ 9,400 rpm||77 Nm @ 10,800 rpm|
|FUEL SYSTEM:||Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI. Electronic throttle control||Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI. Electronic throttle control||Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI. Electronic throttle control|
|EXHAUST:||Stainless steel 3 into 1 exhaust system low single sided stainless steel silencer||Stainless steel 3 into 1 exhaust system low single sided stainless steel silencer||Stainless steel 3 into 1 exhaust system low single sided stainless steel silencer|
|CLUTCH:||Wet, multi-plate clutch||Wet, multi-plate, slip and assist clutch||Wet, multi-plate, slip and assist clutch|
|GEARBOX:||6 – Speed||6 – Speed||6 – Speed|
|FINAL DRIVE:||O-ring chain||O-ring chain||O-ring chain|
|FRAME:||Front – Aluminium beam twin spar. Rear – 2 piece high pressure die cast||Front – Aluminium beam twin spar. Rear – 2 piece high pressure die cast||Front – Aluminium beam twin spar. Rear – 2 piece high pressure die cast|
|SWINGARM:||Twin-sided, cast aluminium alloy||Twin-sided, cast aluminium alloy||Twin-sided, cast aluminium alloy|
|FRONT SUSPENSION:||Showa 41 mm upside down separate function forks (SFF), 110 mm front wheel travel||Showa 41 mm upside down separate function big piston forks (SF-BPF), 115 mm front wheel travel. Adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and preload.||Showa 41 mm upside down big piston forks (BPF), 115 mm front wheel travel. Adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and preload.|
|REAR SUSPENSION:||Showa piggyback reservoir monoshock, 124 mm rear wheel travel. Stepped preload adjuster.||Showa piggyback reservoir monoshock, 131 mm rear wheel travel. Adjustable spring preload (lock-rings), compression damping and rebound damping.||Öhlins STX40 piggyback reservoir monoshock, 131 mm rear wheel travel. Adjustable spring preload (lock-rings), compression damping and rebound damping.|
|FRONT BRAKE:||Twin 310 mm floating discs, Nissin 2-piston sliding calipers||Twin 310 mm floating discs, Brembo M4.32 4-piston radial monobloc calipers||Twin 310 mm floating discs, Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc calipers|
|FRONT TYRE:||120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa||120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa||120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP|
|FRONT WHEEL:||3.5” x 17” cast||3.5” x 17” cast||3.5” x 17” cast|
|REAR BRAKE:||Single 220 mm fixed disc, Brembo single piston sliding caliper||Single 220 mm fixed disc, Brembo single piston sliding caliper||Single 220 mm fixed disc, Brembo single piston sliding caliper|
|REAR TYRE:||180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa||180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa||180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP|
|REAR WHEEL:||5.5” x 17” cast||5.5” x 17” cast||5.5” x 17” cast|
|SEAT HEIGHT:||810 mm||825 mm||825 mm|
|HEIGHT (WITHOUT MIRRORS):||1,060 mm||1,085 mm||1,085 mm|
|RAKE:||24.8 degrees||23.9 degrees||23.9 degrees|
|TRAIL:||104.3 mm||100 mm||100 mm|
|LENGTH:||2,065 mm||2,065 mm||2,065 mm|
|WHEELBASE:||1,410 mm||1,410 mm||1,410 mm|
|DRY WEIGHT:||166 KG||166 KG||166 KG|
|FUEL TANK CAPACITY:||17.4 LITRES||17.4 LITRES||17.4 LITRES|
|FUEL CONSUMPTION:||4.7 l/100km – 60.1 MPG||4.8 l/100km – 58.9 MPG||4.7 l/100km – 60.1 MPG|
|EMISSIONS:||115 g / km||112 g / km||115 g / km|
|STANDARD EQUIPMENT:||Ride-by-wire throttle, ABS, Switchable traction control, All-new ‘gullwing’ swingarm, Rain and Road riding modes, LED position light bulb headlights, Updated LCD instrument pack, All-new bodywork including new flyscreen with integrated air intake, and new inner and outer radiator cowls, Sporty twin-seat design, Painted rear bodywork, New black powder coated main frame, subframe and swingarm||Additional to the S: Switchable ABS, Slip and assist clutch, 5” full-colour TFT instrument pack, Additional Sport and Rider programmable riding modes (Rain, Road, Sport and Rider), High-spec onboard computer, New switch cubes with 5-way joystick control, DRL headlights, Self-cancelling indicators, Sporty body-coloured flyscreen with integrated air intake, Premium seat stitching and vinyls, Red rear subframe, wheel pinstripes and detailing||Additional to the R: Quickshifter, Additional Track riding mode (Rain, Road, Sport, Track and Rider), Lap timer, Matt silver painted aluminium rear subframe and detailing, Silver/grey seat stitching, Body-coloured pillion seat cowl (pillion seat also supplied), Body-coloured bellypan, Lower chain guard, Unique paint schemes|
|COLORS:||Diablo Red or Phantom Black (Metallic)||Jet Black (Gloss), Matt Aluminium Silver (Metallic), Crystal White||Matt Silver Ice or Phantom Black (Metallic)|