Triumph have made the triple cylinder configuration their own in recent years. In-line three cylinder engines have been the signature engineering layout for the brand since the company reinvented itself in 1990.
A brief foray into big bore four-cylinder machines with the TT600 and 1200 Daytona and Trophy machines met with limited success but by and large all modern sporting Triumphs have been powered by a triple. Of course Triumph pioneered the triple cylinder layout with the model recognised as the world’s first multi-cylinder production bike,
Forty years later what is perhaps the best triple cylinder engine ever has emerged from the Triumph factory. While the original triple displaced 750cc and more recent variations included 750, 885, 955; 1050cc in the current Speed Triple, Sprint ST and Tiger and a gargantuan 2294cc monster in the Rocket III, to my mind the best of all is the smallest on offer and it measures only 675cc in capacity. Good things often come in small packages and the new Street Triple 675 is one great little package.
Powering the Street Triple is essentially the same 675 triple treat that first saw duty in the much heralded Daytona 675 sportsbike introduced in 2006. For naked duty in the Street Triple the engine has been modestly retuned for better bottom end response through milder cam profiles. However it has not been strangled and still runs the heady 12.65:1 compression ratio and boasts short gearing that makes the bike a hoot around town. A gorgeous resonance from the air-box when winding the throttle on provides even more aural pleasure than the note from the 3-1-2 exhaust system.
The Street Triple redlines at 12,650rpm. Power has tailed off a little by then but the machine still pulls well all the way to an indicated 14,000rpm on the tachometer. The engine is a ripper and is only some Daytona 675 race-kit parts away from unleashing more top end if you simply must do so. But unless you were going racing, I can’t really see the need. A handy feature for track-day punters is a tilt sensor in the engine management system that stops the engine if the bike is dropped.
Triumph state that more than 60Nm of torque is available from 3500rpm right through to 12,300rpm with a peak figure of 69 arriving at 9,100rpm and I have no reason to doubt that claim. Around town the Street Triple jumps away from the lights with a surprising eagerness thanks to quite short gearing and a slick gearbox and clutch make shuffling up and down the cogs a joy.
Street Triple Treat – Page 2 (Touring)
By, Trevor Hedge
A 16-47 sprocket combination and a sixth gear ratio of 1.13 means the Street Triple is working at 6000rpm for a steady 110km/h. At the racetrack you shift into top around 215km/h before the machine runs out of puff around 230km/h. The upper gears are very close ratios and if getting up it for the rent at least one of the four blue LEDs that progressively light up from 10,000rpm onwards are constantly illuminated.
On the highway the short gearing can become a little tiresome but surprisingly though, fuel economy does not seem to suffer. The Street Triple consistently returned a 300km touring range from its 17.4 litre fuel tank.
In the comfort stakes the Street Triple does quite well. The seat is well padded and the riding position wonderfully natural. Those over six feet tall might find the pegs a little cramped however. The only real gripe I found in regards to comfort was some vibrations transmitted through the bars and pegs. Fixing that problem would likely be as simple as fitting some rubber bushes in the peg mounts and pumping some expanding foam down the handlebar tubes to help dampen the tingles.
My pillion also complained of some annoying vibrations through their pegs and noted that a pillion had to be careful not to burn their legs on the mufflers. An easy fix for that last problem is the optional Arrow 3-into-1 exhaust system and in the process saving your significant other’s lower legs from the chance of a burn should help justify the extra expense to she/he who must be obeyed.
A dash mounted LCD keeps you well informed with a fully featured trip computer that shows average speed, maximum speed, journey distance, journey time, average fuel consumption and instant fuel consumption. The LCD display also features a lap timer with 99 lap memory, coolant temperature gauge and gear position indicator along with the normal speed, odometer and clock functions beside the conventional tachometer. When the sun goes down the gauges glow a very pleasant grey-blue hue.
The rest of the machine is pretty much a no frills affair with non adjustable suspenders and old school two-piston sliding calipers. Basic it may be, but work it does!
Street Triple Treat – Page 3 (Performance)
By, Trevor Hedge
The brakes never gave me any cause for complaint, even after fifty laps of Wanneroo Raceway. While not outstanding they are certainly up to almost any task and only in the spirit of competition could I see anyone needing more performance than the standard stoppers.
The suspension is a little soft, especially at the rear, but it is far from atrocious and still enabled me to circulate with the fast group at a ‘Trakdayz’ event at Wanneroo Raceway. Smooth is the key. Be too aggressive or ham-fisted with your inputs and the Street Triple will get upset. Any spirited two-up work would certainly require some suspension work. As little as $500 spent on a new spring and some valving work would make the Street Triple quite a weapon. As it is, the standard set-up is certainly way better than most contemporary middleweight commuters. (And now Triumph has introduced the Street Triple R with slightly more sporting suspenders for those that like to ride harder)
Stability is outstanding considering the almost telepathic steering response. Turning the machine is a wonderfully light ‘think and it is there’ process. The original Speed Triple steered like an XD Falcon with flat front tyres and no power steering so the magic steering of the Street Triple was certainly a pleasant surprise.
Shod with Dunlop Qualifiers the test machine fell into corners beautifully and lured me into entering roundabouts perhaps a little quicker than prudent. The only black mark against the machine in the commuting stakes is a surprising lack of available steering lock which makes the turning circle bigger than you would expect.
Quality of finish seems very good. Every black motorcycle I have ridden at the racetrack has seen the paint on the sides of the fuel tank lose its luster after constant rubbing against my leathers but the Street Triple still came up well. Most of the fasteners certainly look better than some of the lawnmower nuts and bolts found on its competition. The mirrors work well enough and the switchgear is basic but tactile and functional.
Overall I can’t imagine there are many motorcycles that prove as fun for the urban commute than the Street Triple. Wonderfully nimble, responsive, comfortable and quite stylish, the Street Triple is a fantastic package that is equally as rewarding for the experienced rider as it would be to the newcomer.
The established middleweight entry bike supremo is Suzuki’s SV650. The Suzuki is available from $9490 which makes the jump to the $11,990 ask for the Street Triple quite a chasm. There is no doubt however that the Street Triple is a better ride. $2500 better? Yes, I reckon it is. However that $2500 difference alone will be the simple decider for many.
Street Triple Treat – Page 4 (Summary & Specifications)
By, Trevor Hedge
• Engine, Engine, Engine
• Nimble handling
• Commuting comfort
• SV650 Suzuki is $2500 cheaper
• Short gearing makes high speed work tiresome
• Minor vibration niggles
• Normal nakedbike lack of weather/wind protection
• Engine – Liquid cooled, DOHC, in-line, three cylinder
• Capacity – 675cc
• Bore x Stroke – 74 x 52.3mm
• Compression Ratio – 12.65:1
• Induction – Keihin multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection, 44mm throttle bodies
• Exhaust – Full stainless steel 3-1-2 exhaust system, twin mufflers
• Ignition – Digital EMS
• Final Drive – Chain (47/16)
• Clutch – Wet, multi plate
• Gearbox – Six speed, close ratio – Primary (85/46), 1st (34/13), 2nd (39/21), 3rd (36/23), 4th (27/20), 5th (26/21), 6th (25/22),
• Oil Capacity – 3 litres
• Frame – Aluminium beam twin spar
• Rims – cast alloy five spoke, 17×3.5″ (F), 17×5.5″ (R)
• Tyres – 120/70ZR17 (F), 180/55ZR17 (R)
• Suspension – Kayaba 41mm inverted forks, 120mm travel (F), Kayaba Monoshock, 126mm travel (R)
• Brakes – Twin 308mm floating discs Nissin two-piston sliding calipers (F), Single 220mm disc Nissin single piston caliper (R)
• Dimensions L x W (bars) x H mm – 2030 x 736 x 1250
• Seat Height – 800mm
• Wheelbase – 1395mm
• Rake / Trail – 24.3° x 95.3mm
• Dry Weight – 167kg
• Fuel Capacity – 17.4 litres
• Claimed Power (Crank) – 107hp @ 11,700rpm
• Claimed Torque (Crank) – 69Nm @ 9,100rpm
• Measured Touring Range – 300km
• RRP – Expect to pay just over $12,000
• Warranty – Two years, unlimited kilometres