2008-2011 Triumph Street Triple | Smart Money

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Kevin Wing

When it came time to cook up a streetfighter for members of the paying public who prefer smaller portions, Triumph stuck with the original Speed Triple recipe. Start with a popular, plastic-clad sportbike—the Daytona 675, in this case—peel off the expensive aerodynamic epidermis, sweeten the ergonomics with a taller, broader handlebar, season the rest to suit more mainstream tastes and stir. Presto: instant Street Triple!

Triumph’s naked middleweight contender looks like two-thirds of a 1050cc Speed Triple because that’s precisely what it is. Milder cams create one of the sweetest engines on two wheels. Putting out 91.3 horses at a relatively giddy 11,750 rpm, it makes 18.5 bhp less than a Daytona 675. But when the naked version is easier to ride, more comfortable, costs less, cuts low 11-second quarter-miles at 120 mph and lifts the front wheel in first, second and third gear, who cares?

A broad handlebar and racy chassis numbers let the lissome, 416-lb. ’Triple change direction in slightly more time than it takes to change your mind. Limited steering lock can make tight U-turns tricky. Suspension is on the soft side for heavier pilots, and taller ones may find the nicely balanced ergonomics too tight for long rides. Brakes are sub-stellar but easily improved. And though the squishy price-point suspension is okay under a 150-lb. pilot at a brisk pace, the non-adjustable 41mm Kayaba fork and preload-adjustable shock begin to wilt with added mass and velocity. Bigger, faster riders should spend $500 more for a Street Triple R.

Develop a taste for life above 8000 rpm and Triumph’s mid-sized triple can be a bit thirsty. Expect 40ish mpg if you’re careful, 30ish if you’re not and around 160 miles from a full 4.6-gallon tank of unleaded. Problems? Aside from coolant leaks—usually due to a loose hose clamp—and the occasional loose screw, Street Triple reliability is analogous to a blacksmith’s anvil. Major scheduled maintenance every 12,000 miles usually costs between $700 and $1000, which makes any freshly serviced ’Triple an even sweeter deal.

CHEERS
Light, quick and affordable, with an irresistible soundtrack.

JEERS
Cheap suspension and an appetite for unleaded at high revs.

WATCH FOR
Coolant leaks, loose/ missing screws, sloppy shift linkage, undue camchain noise.

VERDICT
A most compelling way to go au natural.

VALUE
2008 | $6200
2009 | $6850
2010 | $7300


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