From 2007–2016 the Triumph Street Triple was powered by the same 675cc engine seen in the Daytona 675 sportbike, giving hint at the bike’s athletic intent—it won the 2008 Ten Best award with this powerplant. 2017 saw a major engine update to the more powerful and potent 765cc motor, and now, the Street Triple R sees additional styling and engineering updates. A middleweight naked bike like this will conquer the tightest of turns, both on the mountain and the track with aplomb.
As the Best Middleweight Streetbike in Cycle World’s annual Ten Best list of 2017 and 2018, the Street Triple R claimed editor praises: “It is the light, agile, and accessible Street Triple with its newly enlarged 765cc inline three-cylinder that perfectly expresses the qualities of a modern middleweight streetbike in 2017.” The following year we concluded that “the Triumph Street Triple R and its sibling modes the S and RS are the perfect embodiment of historic Triumph values of building light and fun performance bikes with loads of character, but offer a fully modern take.”
Contenders for middleweight naked superiority include the Kawasaki Z900, Yamaha MT-09, Ducati Monster 797, KTM 790 Duke or 890 Duke R, Honda CB650R, and Husqvarna Svartpilen and Vitpilen 701s. We ran the Z900 and then FZ-09 against the Street Triple R in a comparison to find that “the R model also delivers confidence-instilling feedback and composure at a sporting pace.” We concluded that “the clear chassis performance edge goes to the Street Triple R; it truly feels like a supersport with a high bar. While overall ride comfort (as tested) points to the FZ-09, it’s the Z900 that tugged our heartstrings given its price, performance, and all-around usability.”
Upgrades made to the 2020 model include all-new bodywork, including fly screen, air intake, side panels, and rear unit; a 7-percent reduction to rotational inertia that Triumph claims provides a more responsive feel; newly styled LED headlights; a new compact exhaust; restyled mirrors; and two new paint schemes all for a more affordable price tag of $10,500 (that’s a $750 reduction from 2019).