The test of any motorcycle (and rider for that matter) is how it reacts to unpredictable or adverse situations. One morning as I headed up a moderately graded hill on equally cold pavement and tires, I rolled back the throttle a little too enthusiastically. This rookie error in judgment caused the rear tire to lose friction, sending the hind quarters of the bike to embark on a journey of its own. I have encountered similar situations on twitchy crotch rockets where it remained unclear for an undeterminable amount of time whether I would exit the ordeal unscathed.
Instinctively rolling off the throttle of this bright orange Brit ever so gently, I managed to hold a full-on drift before easing the bike back into a straight line and continuing on my merry way. Not something I would like to make a habit of, but it certainly proved how manageable and intuitive this mount really is.
I initially fell in love with riding years ago because it’s such a visceral experience; the senses are overwhelmed with all of the sights, sounds and smells that one is secluded from when in a car. Pleasant and unobtrusive as it may be at idle, the 675cc inline triple is downright wicked as you approach higher rpms through the close ratio 6-speed gearbox, making the experience that much more stirring.
As if the readily available 105 hp and 50 ft-lbs of torque wasn’t enough to coax my impetuous right hand into making bad decisions, the STR’s twin high level pipes let out a freakish, otherworldly growl as the 1iquid-cooled, DOHC 3-cylinder approaches redline.
|The 675cc inline triple is downright wicked as you approach higher rpms through the close ratio 6-speed gearbox, making the experience that much more stirring. (Photo: Dustin Woods/Auto123.com)
Reeling in all that velocity is no simple undertaking, but the STR does it miraculously well through the use of twin 308-mm floating front discs with Nissin 4-piston radial calipers in the front and a single 220-mm disc with a single piston caliper in the rear.
Adding to the potency of the R package is the fully-adjustable front and rear suspension. The front end features Kayaba 41-mm inverted forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping while the setup in the rear includes a Kayaba monoshock with piggyback reservoir, adjustable for rebound and compression damping.
With an MSRP of $11,199, it’s difficult to find a more well-rounded or entertaining mount in the streetfighter arena. Oftentimes describing a bike as unique or modern are euphemisms for ugly, but the STR somehow manages to look modern and chic, yet exude a classic, sophisticated style.
For those looking for a unique bike with an equally arousing exhaust note, look no further than the Triumph Street Triple R. It’s been a long time since a bike consistently put that big of a smile on my face, regardless of its few shortcomings or how bad of a day I’d had.
Agile, intuitive handling characteristics
Exhaust note is intoxicating at all rpms
Unique, attractive styling
Delayed throttle roll-on
Small turning radius challenging in tight situations
Blue LED lighting on dash is distracting and annoying
Is a fuel gauge really too much to ask?