2012 Triumph Street Triple R

By Marissa Baecker

Whether you like the retro-styling, the history or the modern technology with a historical flare, the union jack is back and Triumph Motorcycles are returning our classic favourites to the Canadian market and creating a few new ones at the same time.

What is the difference between the Street Triple and Street Triple R? Triumph says “It’s a Street Triple with more attitude and more spec.” It appears to be a standard sport bike yet shares the frame of the supersport Triumph Daytona. Initially introduced to the line-up in 2008, it’s popularity has kept it coming.

When I walked around the Street Triple R, the Diablo Red gloss paint (also available in Crystal White and Phantom Black) paired with the brushed black metal, twin headlights and mirrors up off the handlebars, this roadster was creating images of an insect – but absent a fairing, a naked one.

Turn the key and both those headlights are on – great feature and Triumph gets bonus points for this. I have said it time and time again, having one headlight on and one off is a complete turn off whether you are riding the bike or one is coming at you.

Get behind the bars, the dials will tell you what type of ride to expect. A digital display offers easy to read speedo, odo, trip meter, temperature, 99 lap timer (for those fun track days), while the remaining indicators are housed in the tach. The tach is what will get your attention and foreshadow your ride. Red line on your tach starts around 14,000 rpm. When you are riding, you reach around 5,000 rpm and a line of LED lights appears at the top but the real power in this machine will show itself as needle continues the climb.

This little beast produces 50 ft. lbs. of torque at 9,200 rpm but the average rider may not get there but just knowing that is where the bike offers 105 HP, will leave something to explore during your time with the bike.

With a seat height of 31.7”/805 mm, I anticipated being a little cramped with my 34” inseam but was pleasantly surprised at the amount of room and adjustment space available. Adjustable inverted Kayaba 41 mm inverted forks in the front and Kayaba monoshock in the rear allows you to tailor your ride and absorb those bumps. Seated relatively tight to the tank enables your thighs to naturally grip the body of the bike and the pegs are placed directly down from the rider’s seat providing a balanced centre of gravity.

My arms were the perfect length to the 29.7” handlebars and locking in for an upright ride. Wrist angle was not an issue although after an hour or so, my shoulders were complaining a little but that could be attributed to the absence of a wind screen and testing my endurance at highway speeds around 100 km/h.

The wind is the only thing that will drain you however as this machine weights in at 416 lbs/189 kg, flips from side to side in the curves like pancakes on a Sunday morning, and pulls out of the corners with barely a twist of the throttle encouraging a rider to chase the sunset rather than stop for coffee and with an average 17.4 litre/4.6 US Gallon fuel tank, 51 miles per gallon at highway speed, and about $20 to fill the tank, you will be able to explore the open road.

Engine is a fuel injected, liquid-cooled, 12 valve, in-line three cylinder, 675 cc with a six speed transmission. Clutch control is key to offering a smooth ride. You can pop it through the gears for a rocket ship exit from the lights or climb the RPMs gradually and get a smoother acceleration.

What brings this pandora’s box to a halt? Twin 308mm floating discs in the front and single 220mm disc in the rear on cast aluminum alloy five spoke 17” wheels with 120/70 in the front and 180/55 in the rear resembling that super moto slick.

The stainless steel 3 into 1 into 2 exhaust system with twin high level polished stainless steel silencers are positioned right under the seat. Some riders have expressed feeling heat on their bottoms which may not be a welcome addition on a mid-summer day with the climbing mercury but the day I rode was relatively cool and with a higher than average wind so I didn’t notice it.



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