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2009 Triumph Street Triple R First Impressions


by Marc Cantin ,

A little fine tuning of the suspension to cope with my mass and urban bumps in Paris, and the bike struck the right combination of a smooth ride and immediacy of response when leaning into corners or exiting quickly.

The upgraded brakes respond smoothly and instantly to a simple one finger pull, while moving around the machine in corners – giving off my Rossi imitation… - came easily, with the flat bars allowing me to remain more upright than Rossi but still in control of the situation in slow as well as quicker corners.

I played a little bit with the stock suspension settings, to adapt them to my 112kg, and felt an immediate improvement in the ride on bumps as well as when running faster on nice secondary “D” country roads.

Build quality of the Triumph is on a par with the Japanese and Euro competition.

Saving the best for last, let’s talk about the heart of the bike – the engine. The fun starts as soon as you fire up the machine, with a clearly different sound, not the smooth purr of the standard in-line four, not the wanna-be V-8 sound of the various twins, not the mostly mechanical sound of some of the looser and more complex engines out there; just a clean growl that builds in stature without ever screaming, as revs build up when you put the machine to work. OK, I love the Ducati Desmosedici RR sound as much as the next guy, but that is clearly not a normal machine.

Back to the R, where the delicious sound is but a foretaste of what the bike can deliver; big inch feel in a light and agile mid size bike, with that magic combination of usable torque for city driving from just off idle, real passing power for the highway from 4,000 rpm on, and holy shite acceleration from 6500 all the way up to maximum power at 11,700 rpm. The gearbox shifts like a Japanese 600, as the English designers were able to keep shafts and gears light enough that you are not fighting inertia like on a big incher when shifting or working the clutch – just clik, clik, clik, same as a Honda CBR600RR.

Build quality of the Triumph is on a par with the Japanese and Euro competition, while the British stylists have managed to create a roomy sport bike that maintains a slim look allowed by the narrow three cylinder engine, while preserving a different look from the masses.

It is easy to see why the Street Triple R sells so well, as the bike has not apparent flaw, offers several driving advantages, the main one being the torquey engine and the sheer enjoyment of the special engine feel and sound.

I loved it, and so will you!

Photo Credit : Bernard Suquet
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