More than a simple evolution, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R
goes on a diet, gets an all-new frame and swingarm, as well as other chassis upgrades that make it more attractive than ever and solidify its place among the segment's best. The fun-to-functionality ratio is nearly perfect here.
The Thai-made 2013 Triumph Street Triple R also boasts remarkable build quality. Material selection is splendid, while fit and finish leave nothing to be desired.
Perfected to please
Sporting new wheels, red side radiator cowls, and a redesigned tail, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R looks much racier and more modern than its predecessor does. The shorter tailpipe under the engine also contributes to a 6-kg weight reduction.
The new aluminum frame uses eight bolted pieces instead of 11. Geometry was improved in the process, with a tighter rake angle, increased trail angle, and optimized mass distribution (3% more weight up front). It all works to enhance the bike's agility and sharpness.
Moreover, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R features Nissin-based ABS that can be easily deactivated whenever necessary via the instrument panel. The outgoing model's premium braking and suspension components have been carried over, except for the rear calliper which now uses a single piston.
|Sporting new wheels, red side radiator cowls, and a redesigned tail, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R looks much racier and more modern than its predecessor does. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Three is better than four
Triumph wisely stuck with the popular 3-cylinder engine derived from the Daytona 675
. However, revised ignition and newly designed injector bodies improve fuel economy. Additionally, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R offers a longer first gear ratio for smoother riding in stop-and-go traffic.
In terms of ergonomics, the slim seat stands 820 mm above the ground, the handlebar forces the upper body to lean more heavily forward, and the foot pegs sit just far enough out. The result is a slightly sportier riding position. The instruments remain familiar and pleasantly clean, although there's a new fuel gauge. The lack of any protection against the elements provides ideal forward visibility.
Under acceleration, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R naturally fills the air with the sweet sound of the iconic British triple. Intake noise is particularly present (but never too loud) at full throttle. The transmission proves exemplary with lightning-quick, yet fluid, gear shifts. A slipper clutch might be the only thing missing on this outstanding street bike.
Sportier than ever
|Triumph wisely stuck with the popular 3-cylinder engine derived from the Daytona 675. (Photo: France Ouellet)
The 2013 Triumph Street Triple R leans from one side to the other with disconcerting ease, and hugs the apex with greater control. The front fork and wheel still inspire total confidence, prompting the rider to attack corners with more authority. When the road gets rough, the excellent Kayaba suspension maintains fun handling while delivering just enough comfort.
The powerful, progressive brakes are extremely easy to modulate, while the sheer amount of feedback from the front tire and transparent ABS intervention allow you to safely flirt with the limits of grip.
Not for beginners
|The 2013 Triumph Street Triple R leans from one side to the other with disconcerting ease, and hugs the apex with greater control. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Having said that, don't be fooled into thinking that the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R is suited for any rider. It still proves a bit delinquent when charging ahead, but that's the sort of attitude that makes it so lovely. This machine will turn even the gentlest rider into a rebel. Be careful not to let the adrenaline rush get the better of you.
Honestly, in terms of raw thrills, nothing compares to the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R, except maybe the MV Agusta Brutale 675. It trumps every Japanese competitor with superior character, sharpness, and riding excitement. True, the engine has lost some punch at higher revs due to fuel economy concerns, but it still boasts a long, fat torque curve.
|It still proves a bit delinquent when charging ahead, but that's the sort of attitude that makes it so lovely. This machine will turn even the gentlest rider into a rebel. (Photo: France Ouellet)
As far as naked street bikes go, I once believed that nothing could ever beat the 2012 Street Triple
. Well, the next-generation 2013 Triumph Street Triple R raises the bar for riding dynamics. Fun and friendly, yet a tad on the wild side, it is indeed more balanced and closer to perfection than ever.
- Fun-to-functionality ratio
- Friendlier riding dynamics
- One of the industry's best powerplants
- Superb transmission
- Not suited for everyone
- No slipper clutch