PH2 RIDDEN: 2013 TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE
It wasn't broken, but Triumph fixed it anyway...
At first glance the new Street Triple looks like a mere update or tweak but the reality is very different. There are very few components shared between the old and new Street Triple and the 2013 bike is basically a ground-up redesign. The chassis, subframe, wheels, bars, clocks, plastics and exhaust are all new and while the engine is essentially unaltered, it does gain revised ECU settings, tweaked fuel injection bodies and a taller first gear. Triumph, in typical Triumph fashion, has looked at customer feedback and responded. The new exhaust is low slung as so many owners fitted the 'low-boy' Arrow aftermarket system, the steering lock is increased as before it was a little pathetic and the fuel economy is boosted.
Works like a charm
The old Street Triple walks the very fine line between sporty and usable extremely well and you might worry that in making the model sportier for 2013 Triumph may have crossed over this line. It hasn't. At slow speed the 2013 Street Triple feels very similar to the old model and retains all the old bike's pleasant touches. The riding position is comfortable, the bars nice and wide and bike feel light and controllable. The only real irritation is the mirrors, which are really crap unless you want to look at your elbows. Bring back the old round ones - they may look dated but at least they fulfill their purpose in life.
Better in the bends
Having trimmed 1.4kg from the Street Triple's chassis as well as 0.5kg from the wheels and 3.6kg from the exhaust, it comes as no surprise that the 2013 bike is far sprightlier to turn than the old model. By moving the exhaust from under the seat to a low-slung style, Triumph has altered the bike's weight distribution and improved the Street Triple's already excellent handling. While still retaining that balanced and reassuring feeling of the old model, the new bike is quicker to respond and also less bouncy thanks to slightly firmer suspension settings. Like the old bike you can go crackers if you wish but, unlike bikes like the MVBrutale 800, this isn't a requirement. The Triumph is as happy bimbling around as it is going flat out.
The old Street Triple was, and still is for that matter, a brilliant bike. As well as being reassuring and easy-going for a new or less experienced rider, the Triumph is so versatile that the more experienced can take it on track and go bonkers thanks to its Daytona derived chassis. The new Street Triple is all this and even more. Triumph has retained the relaxed attitude of the old bike and injected a new dose of handling that doesn't detract from its user-friendliness. If someone said they were thinking of buying a Street Triple I would have no hesitation in encouraging them to do so, as long as they lent me the keys for a few hours ... ok, days ... alright, weeks...
TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE
Engine: 675cc, 3-cyl
Torque: 50ft lb@9,750rpm
Top speed: 140mph (est)
Weight: 182kg (wet)
Price: £6,999 (+£350 ABS)
Colours: Black, white, blue