Triumph Street Triple underwent a major overhaul for 2013 with an all-new chassis, but in our minds, the original 2007-2012 model pretty much remains a perfect bike for beginners looking for their first full-sized machine or experienced riders seeking out one of motorcycling’s purest rides.
Triumph got it spot on with the Street Triple. What probably started out as a parts bin special turned into the British company’s best seller and an award winner around the world.
A fusion motorbike
The Hinckley company claimed that the naked streetfighter was a fusion of their Daytona 675 and Speed Triple 1050, though the truth is that for most riders it is better than either. The look, with the twin under seat exhaust and marmite bug-eyed headlights, comes from the Speed, although the main chassis and engine are shared with the supersport Daytona. That said, the motor has been detuned (from 123bhp to 106bhp) while the brakes and suspension have been replaced by cheap, unadjustable items, with the rear shock being particularly nasty. This wasn’t a problem for the entry level riders being targeted with the Street and the introduction of the R model, using Daytona suspension and brakes, gave the quick boys and girls a bike that really rocks on the fast and twisty stuff.
An entry level bike
The Street Triple was always designed to be an entry level bike, and there are plenty of examples of cost cutting. As well as the cheap cycle parts, using the Daytona’s track-derived frame means that there’s not much in the way of a turning circle. In fact, it’s fair to say that the little 675 isn’t very practical. Triumph deliberately designed the bike to have a low seat height and it is certainly a very good option for shorter riders. The flip side, however, is that there’s not much by way of padding in the saddle, so most people will suffer numb bum syndrome after less than an hour. Add in the inevitable wind blast that comes from riding a naked, and a complete lack of provision for luggage, and it’s clear that the Street is no tourer.
One of the best sounds in motorcycling
But to criticise is to completely miss the point of the Street. Wind the throttle on and the induction roar from the triple is one of the best sounds in motorcycling. The chassis is so sweet, so intuitive, that it’s like playing a live action video game. In the right hands, the Street Triple (especially in R trim) is a real giant killer. It’s one of the purest motorcycles on the market today.
Triumph gave the Street Triple a minor facelift in 2011, with new headlights (from the latest Speed Triple), graphics and colours. The jury is out as to whether these represent an improvement, with many preferring the original headlamps. The bikes ride exactly the same though, so the choice is yours.
I want to buy one. What do I need to look out for?
The rectifier/regulators on early bikes have a habit of failing with annoying regularity. Triumph finally issued a recall in 2012, so most bikes will have had these replaced one way or another. But it’s worth asking the seller if this has been done if you want to avoid being stranded.
The polycarbonate headlights on the restyled bikes have a tendency to crack. Again, Triumph issued a recall to replace these, so best check if this has been done or not.
It’s also worth pointing out that later bikes were assembled in Triumph’s Thailand factory, rather than Hinckley. Although there is no difference in build quality, that may detract from the purists looking for a ‘British bike’.
Triumph offered a wide range of colours, including the lurid Roulette Green and Imperial Purple. These are not to everyone’s taste and white and black options will always be best for resale value. For our money, the metallic black R option with gold wheels is the combination of choice.
I want to sell my Street Triple. Any hints?
There are a lot of Street Triples out there, so make sure that your one stands out. Triumph offered a whole range of factory accessories for the bike and these do make them more desirable. The small flyscreen tidies up the front no end and is almost expected. Other desirables include the belly pan, seat cowl and Arrow exhausts. While top end aftermarket parts from companies like Rizoma and Pazzo can also add value.
As always, condition and history are key. Buyers have plenty to choose from, so don’t expect to get top dollar unless your bike stands out as one of the best.
Don’t forget, webuyanybike.com is always on the lookout for Street Triples. Why not take the hassle out of selling and enter your registration number on our homepage. See how much your bike is worth!
Any alternatives? Honda CB600F Hornet, Ducati Monster 696, Kawasaki Z800
Which one to go for? You can’t really go wrong with a Street Triple, but we would probably spend the extra on an R model. Taking one of the last of the pre-facelift (2011) models in the classic black and gold combination.