2018 Triumph Street Triple RS India Review, First Ride

Enchanting –

  • One of a kind aesthetics
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Surprisingly comfortable and practical
  • Easy to ride, lot of safety kit is standard

Unsatisfying –

  • Priced a bit higher

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The popularity of naked bikes was almost gone, these motorcycles were not being updated, the constant updates to superbikes and the development work on adventure bikes almost had the naked motorcycles gone in the hiding. However, there were iconic naked motorcycles in the market lying around. Some naked bikes came back to life in brand new avatars, trying to set benchmarks, offering value, performance and a bit of comfort and practicality too. Something what naked bikes always did.

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Brits have something called the Street Triple and Speed Triple. Both are updated last year and they came to India shortly after that. Speed Triple is yet to come though. What has been the talk of the town was the Street Triple and even more heavily discussed, the Street Triple RS. The S was ridden early by us and now we comprehensively road test the RS as we clock 700 kms on it in various situations such as touring, weekend ride and a commuting. How is it? Well worth the hype? Let’s find out!

Design

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The design of the motorcycle is a major highlight because of its grey scheme or black scheme that it is mostly seen in looks great. The large bug eyes, the massive fuel tank, the beefy chassis suspension, tyres and brakes also add to the brute image the bike has. The motorcycle is slim and long which is unusual in this category and hence it lends it an old-school yet modern design language that its peer does not offer, which are usually short and stubby. The tail-lamp is sharp and overall, the bike does look good but could have been better to our eyes.

Speedo and Switches

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The instrument cluster is loaded to the gills where you can choose day or night mode or leave that in auto mode. Then there are two themes where you can choose three layouts for the screen where the speedo and tachometer change its outlook. The 5.0-inch screen looks cool and has options and features in abundance and are easy to navigate through. There are two trip meters, fuel economy parameter on offer, All of this can be scrolled through a button on the LHS switchgear. Riding modes can be also chosen at the same time through a special button called M. Traction control and ABS are adjustable on the fly.

Ergonomics

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The ergonomics are accommodating with a wide seat, well padded for long and short distance touring. The mirrors are bar-end units which show a good view of what is behind. The handlebars are short and set a bit low which also has a tiny bit of stretch to make it more sporty and communicative. The rear seat for pillion is usable for short distances. There are big grab handles for the pillion. A low seat height of 825mm is accomdating for type of riders.

The Ride

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The engine is the same as the S version but has been tweaked substantially make 123 PS of power and 77 Nm of torque. The engine is buttery smooth, refined, low on NVH, revs freely and relatively fast and aids in ease of use on a daily basis. The clutch and gearbox are smooth as well. The quick shifter on upshifts is pure bliss in form and function. The motor has rideability in below 4000 RPM and post 7000 RPM mark it just flies and eats the horizon in a blink of an eye. The motor sounds great and the intake howl can be heard from the tank and if you are tucked below, your eyes can hear the intake howl it is that close and that loud.

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The exhaust note is raspy and sonorous and is intoxicating to riders and people around the bike. Mid-range and top-end is great, stress-free cruising at any given speed is good, the motorcycle for a naked, is quite happy to reach 200 km/hr and beyond also. We got 14.4 km/l in enthusiastic riding on highway and city while doing 650 km in two days and two days of commuting. Ride by wire throttle was smooth and all the five modes work precisely.

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This is by far the most communicative chassis we have come across. The suspension also is best in class. Ohlins shock at the rear and showa big piston fork at the front are adjustable and needless to mention, magical. The low-speed damping takes most bumps at any given speed and hence you are not thrown off while in the middle of the corner. At the same time, the poise and feedback from the front and rear is an eye-opener. Tyres play an important role and we were on Diablo Corsa and not Super Corsas and the motorcycle was already really impressive.

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Brakes are so good, they feel over-engineered, perfect bite and so much power to stop at any time inspire confidence to ride hard and fast. We wish the handlebar was wider which would allow more leverage. Nevertheless, it is poised and quick to turn-in. The 23.9 degree rake and light kerb weight of 166 kg, makes this bike easy to commute on a daily basis and hoot in the corners at any track at the same time. The wheelbase is also just about right and the long old-school overall length and poised feel are still there which makes the Triple RS special.

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2018 Triumph Street Triple RS India Review, Verdict

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Triumph Street Triple RS is surreal and real at the same time. A motorcycle so good, it can change your muscle memory if you are a young rider. The motorcycle feels the most communicative, has the right power band, looks good and has the old-school charm in many ways. However, the only downside is the fact that the pricing is on the higher side and that robs it of value to a certain extent, given the fact there isn’t anything in that price bracket as good as this, the Triple RS becomes a default choice, a great buy, a hoot to ride, and fantastic proposition to own and experience.

Price: Rs. 11.13 lakhs ex-showroom

Street Triple RS India Review,
  • Design
  • Features
  • Practical
  • Comfort
  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Value
4.8

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