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2008 Triumph Street Triple: MD First Ride

Time stands still, I can feel the three small cylinders working together to create some sort of a crescendo way too early! How can 675cc feel like so much more?

One of the smartest things the modern Triumph factory did was to strip a Daytona sportsbike to create the Speed Triple. If there is one Triumph that has managed to capture imaginations during the last 10 years it is the Speed Triple. So in the styling department, Triumph has had good reason to make the new Street Triple look similar to the great Speed Triple 1050.

All the difference you’ll notice from a distance is the Daytona 675 swinging arm and the lower spec front brakes. The double round headlights are there, the double high stubby exhaust is there and the minimalist look is complete.

The basis for a great naked was always there in the Daytona 675. The engine produced more torque than the bland and characterless in-line fours at the same time as it went just as fast around a racetrack.

The Street Triple feels very light when I first sit on it and push it forwards and backwards with the engine humming on idle. The seat (800mm) and feel is of a taller bike than the 2007 Honda Hornet 600, but the Street Triple feels just as light and nimble.

The acceleration is instant and there’s no boring wait for 10K readings on the tachometer. There seems to be drive all over the power band, but from 6,000rpm the fun really begins and the front lifts at 8K both in first and second. Not big wheelies, just a small and very satisfying power wheelie. If you want to play with the big boys the Street Triple can wheelie all day long easily by doing on-offs or using the clutch in second. It’s just a natural thing for such a motorcycle. I would have been disappointed if it didn’t.

The two things that impress me straight away are the 675cc triple engine and the handling. First I notice that there’s no nervousness or tendency to headshake like I have experienced on the Speed Triple. The front end on the Street Triple is rock-solid . . . probably due to the Daytona 675 chassis and swinging arm. The best parts from the Daytona 675 have been donated directly to the Street Triple. This makes the Street Triple a seriously competent sportsbike for the roads and the occasional track-day.

The Kayaba upside-down fork and rear shock keep the Dunlop Qualifier tyres in contact with the changing tarmac. More than mere competence, however, the Street Triple easily inspires the wild in me and I enjoy riding it much more than any new 180bhp litre sportsbike.

The engine is a gem of 106bhp triple power with a claimed 69Nm. Revving it out in first, second and third (continue to sixth if you have the space…) feels great, and above 8,000rpm it offers proper sport bike acceleration. The Street Triple has got the best of both worlds. Hail Triumph for having managed to keep the engine as exciting as this! The 675 is really addictive.

The claimed dry-weight is 167kg (367 lbs.) which is very light. This contributes to the great handling and ease of manoeuvring. The steering angle is not the best for slow car-park manoeuvres in town, but that’s about the only thing that I could put my finger on. The two-pot Nissin front brakes are more than up for the job and I actually like them better than the Speed Triple radial items.

Triumph has simply followed the successful recipe from the latest Speed Triple, Daytona 675 and Tiger 1050 and created another “must have” product. The Street Triple hits me in the gut in the same places as a much bigger capacity motorcycle.

Conclusion:
Having ridden and tested the 07 Honda CB600F Hornet, 07 Aprilia SL750 Shiver, Suzuki GSR600, Ducati Monsters, and BMW F800′s, I know pretty much what I am looking for in a motorcycle such as the Street Triple. My verdict is that Triumph has built exactly the bike that I want!


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Great 675cc triple engine-both on low and high revs.
Handles like the Daytona 675
It’s worth every penny of that at £5.500 (British Pounds)

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Slow speed manoeuvrability hindered a bit by the sportsbike-like steering lock
Makes the Speed Triple less attractive…