Smart Money Tips: Buying a Used 2007-2012 Triumph Street Triple

One of Triumph’s best sellers, and three great middleweight alternatives.

Buying a used Triumph Street Triple, Kawasaki ER6N, Suzuki 600 Bandit, or Yamaha FZ8
How to buy a used Triumph Street Triple, Kawasaki ER6N, Suzuki 600 Bandit, or Yamaha FZ8©Motorcyclist

If you've ever looked at a sportbike and wished you could have essentially the same performance minus the pricey fairing and the aggressive seating position, you're not alone. There were plenty of riders like you around in 2007, and many of them rejoiced when Triumph stripped its Daytona 675 of bodywork, opened up the ergonomics, and rolled out the Street Triple. With almost all of the Daytona's sporty specs intact—except, notably, radial brakes and fully adjustable suspension—the Street Triple fired a loud and rowdy shot across the bow of the middleweight class, and nailed the bull's-eye.

2007–2012 Triumph Street Triple
2007–2012 Triumph Street Triple©Motorcyclist

The Street's 675cc three-cylinder engine had a 12,650-rpm redline, 107 hp, 51 pound-feet of torque, and arm-stretching midrange thanks in part to different cam profiles than the higher-redlined (14,250 rpm) Daytona. "Retuned for more midrange" is often code for "slower." But far from a watered-down version of the Daytona's powerplant, the Street's fuel-injected engine, aided by a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, left little to be desired in terms of top-end power or acceleration out of slow corners and wasted little of your time hunting for the right revs because there were almost no wrong ones. In practical terms the Street Triple was the Daytona's equal everywhere but the racetrack, and even there a good rider could erase the difference between them.

The Street Triple's designers cut costs when it didn't affect performance, raiding the right parts bins to come up with components that worked better than their price tags might have indicated. The front suspension was nonadjustable, and the rear KYB shock had preload adjustment only. In 2009 the Street Triple R came out, equipped with a KYB fork with preload, compression, and rebound adjustment. The R got upgraded brakes, too, bringing it that much closer to Daytona chassis specs.

With a wet weight of just a big lunch more than 400 pounds, the Street set new class standards for flickability. It had the same frame and swingarm as the Daytona but with slightly more conservative geometry and a shorter shock that lowered the seat height to 32 inches. Despite their budget origins, the fork and shock dealt competently with whatever came their way, abetted by strong and predictable brakes.

Older riders might still have a hard time getting past the horror stories about Triumphs being hard to keep running, but for the most part the Hinckley bikes are models of reliability. The Street Triple is no exception, ranking in most riders' estimation with the best the Japanese have to offer. There are a few small issues, however. Check the coolant hoses on low-mileage bikes because the clamps tend to loosen until everything settles in. There have been reports of regulator/rectifier failures-—there was a factory recall in 2011—but not so often as to stand out among competitive brands. The rear shock and brake come under criticism for losing their as-new edge too quickly, and some engine problems crop up from time to time, specifically with the cam-chain tensioner and the engine mapping. But most Street Triple owners report smooth sailing with no issues.

CHEERS

Sportbike performance, standard (-ish) ergos, on-demand wheelies.

JEERS

Um…gas mileage not that great? Sorry, we got nothin’.

WATCH FOR

Leaking coolant, low battery, worn-out shock.

VERDICT

The Goldilocks middleweight. One of Triumph’s best sellers, and it’s easy to see why.

VALUE

2008 / $5,180
2009 / $5,480
2010 / $5,840
2011 / $6,205
2012 / $6,535

Also Smart...

2009–2010 Kawasaki ER6n
2009–2010 Kawasaki ER6n©Motorcyclist

2009–2010 Kawasaki ER6n

The blink-and-you-missed-it ER6n was a naked version of the Ninja 650R, with the same fuel-injected, 649cc parallel twin engine that proved you don't need more than two cylinders to rock the middleweight class. It enjoyed a long run in Europe, but the faired 650R sold better here, so the ER6n disappeared from Kawasaki's lineup after 2010.

1995–2004 Suzuki 600 Bandit
1995–2004 Suzuki 600 Bandit©Motorcyclist

1995–2004 Suzuki 600 Bandit

Nothing fancy here. Just a steel-cradle frame, basic suspension, and an air-/oil-cooled four, but the Suzuki 600 Bandit inspires fierce loyalty thanks to its reliability, low running costs, and solid performance. DIY-friendly carbs and screw-and-locknut valve adjustment mean you can take your mechanic off speed dial and spend tune-up money on accessories and gas.

2010–2013 Yamaha FZ8
2010–2013 Yamaha FZ8©Motorcyclist

2010–2013 Yamaha FZ8

Despite a chassis, brakes, tank, and seat derived from the Yamaha FZ1's, the 799cc FZ8 is more than a lite version of its literbike sibling. A smaller bore than the FZ1, a lighter crank, and an increased compression ratio all conspire to boost low-end performance, and comfortably upright seating and sharp handling make the FZ8 a potent all-arounder. Beloved until the FZ-09 showed up.