Triumph Street Triple RS [2018-2019] Review
The Street Triple RS is more powerful, high-spirited and crazier version of the Street Triple S. It is also aesthetically more appealing, and has gadgets that can embarrass some of its competitions.
What is it?
Why would I buy the Triumph Street Triple RS?
For that sweet sounding tractable motor, overall handling and instrument cluster
Why would I avoid the Triumph Street Triple RS?
Doesn’t have road presence (bright colours might help), and it's expensive
The Street Triple RS is a more powerful, high-spirited and crazier version of the Street Triple S. It is also aesthetically more appealing, and has gadgets that can embarrass some of its competitions. It was launched a few months ago as Triumph felt the need to excite the Indian market with a streetfighter that is more desirable. Being the top-spec variant, the Street Triple RS gets all the bells and whistles but it comes at a price point that makes it out of reach for a lot of buyers.
How does it ride?
The older Street Triple was known for its agility and handling and things have gone to the next level with the new Street Triple RS. For starters, the 765cc in-line motor on the Street Triple RS is a bored out version of the 675cc that powered the outgoing model. This new heart makes 121bhp at 11,700rpm and peak torque of 77Nm at 10,800 and this is just for the RS model. The power is much less on the Street Triple S which is the base variant. The best aspect of this motor is its tractability. Thanks to the wider torque spread, it’s easy for the Street Triple RS to be ridden as low as 3500rpm. In fact, shift the gear to fifth and the bike will do 35kmph without any fuss. To make things exciting, drop the gears and cross the 7000rpm mark. That’s where the adrenaline level starts to push up because that’s where this British naked motorcycle become a different animal.
Twist the throttle completely and you will reach illegal speeds in a matter of seconds. The motor is extremely refined and smooth. There are no signs of any vibrations even post 10,000rpm. The bike returned 20kmpl in city riding conditions. The addition of a quickshifter elevates the overall experience. The up-shifts are nice and friendly and can be operated from 2500rpm. Unfortunately, the same thing can’t be said about the downshifts. For city riding, the slip and assist clutch is pleasure to use. The throttle response is precise, thanks to the ride-by-wire system.
In terms of safety, the folks at Triumph have equipped the Street Triple RS with top of the line Brembo M50 monobloc callipers with 310mm discs at the front. At the rear, there’s a single piston calliper gripping into a 220mm brake disc. The bite and feel on the levers is unbelievable. There’s also a switchable ABS to take care of the panic braking. The ride duties are taken care of by fully adjustable Showa big piston forks in the front and Ohlins at the rear. The tuning is slightly on the firmer side but not firm enough to break your back each time you go through a pothole.
Handling the Street Triple RS in really slow traffic requires little more input - blame the slightly heavy front and super grippy Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres. But as the speed increases, life becomes easy. In fact, the bike doubles the excitement in smooth and curvy roads. Quick turn ins and outs are the RS’s forte, a very addictive trait of the bike.
Anything else I should know?
Yes! The riding modes. The Street Triple RS has five of them, Sport, Rain, Road, Rider and Track. Here, there’s no change in power output. What changes is the throttle map, ABS and traction control settings. The rain mode is the friendliest of all, with the safest ABS and traction control settings in the works. In fact, the quickshifter is disabled in this mode. The road, sport and the track mode are the most exciting ones, with throttle response varying between friendly and super aggressive. Rider mode is a customizable one. You can mix and match the settings and get the ideal one.
There’s a 5-inch colour TFT display slapped on the cluster. Believe it or not, it’s clearly the best display screen in any production motorcycle in India. The display is very engaging, attractive and can impress anyone in just one glance. This screen offers different themes which can be selected through a five-way joystick on the switchgear. Each theme has three different styles which I think is a pretty cool idea. This TFT unit also comes with auto contrast feature and can also be adjusted using a small adjuster on its left. This unit displays ride data like speed, tacho readings, clock, fuel level, gear indicator and ambient temperature. It also shows real time fuel efficiency, riding range and much more.
You should also know that the Street Triple RS is available only in one colour- matt grey and also gets body-coloured belly pan and pillion seat cowl. In order to differentiate from the rest of the family, the subframe of the RS gets a matt silver finish.
Should I buy one?
Before I say anything, take a test ride of the Street Triple RS. Because once you do, there will be various thoughts like ‘should I break my mutual fund or switch to a high paying job’ running through your mind. That’s how good the new Street Triple RS is. It has a knack of plastering a grin on your face every time you take it out. The bike can commute, can hike up your adrenaline rush on the corners and all this is backed up with some incredible safety gadgetries. Yes, the design isn’t radical enough but if you leave that aside, you get a very capable and addictive middle-weight motorcycle.
Where does it fit in?
With a price tag of Rs 10.55 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), the Street Triple RS is not cheap. It crosses the Rs 13 lakh mark in on-road pricing which comes close to a few litre-class bikes like the Suzuki GSX-S1000 at Rs 14.15 lakh on-road and Honda CB1000R at Rs 13.97 lakh on-road. But BikeWale data analysis shows that a lot of prospective Kawasaki Z900 customers are interested in this British motorcycle.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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