Triumph’s Street Triple range has been amongst our favourite mid-weight motorcycles ever. However, the gap between the base model – the S variant (now defunct) and RS was huge. Not just in terms of the pricing but performance as well. However, Triumph is all set to launch the Trident 660 in India in the first quarter of 2021 which meant the S variant was too close for comfort with the performance but the pricing difference would again, have been huge. Thus, Triumph India decided to let go of the S variant bring this one – the R to India. The R is the mid-spec variant in the Street Triple range but the aggressive pricing means the R has come to India with a pricing that’s lower than the S as well. And now, the price gap between R and RS is huge at Rs 2.5 lakh, ex-showroom but the performance isn’t that far off. The dealers have thus been left with lot of unsold stocks of the RS because the R suddenly makes a lot more sense. Here’s why.
It features the same 765cc triple motor that’s also seen on the RS that’s been detuned to produce 116bhp which is 5bhp less, but is developed at slightly higher rpm. The torque however is the same at 79Nm. There are four riding modes to choose from instead of five. The forks are adjustable but are lower-specced Showas and the rear is a fully-adjustable Showa too (The RS gets Ohlins at the rear). You also lose out on the Brembo M50s and have to do with the M4.32s. Other than that, there’s no belly pan, no digital cluster and the weight is higher by 2kg as well. But the R does get a bi-directional quickshifter, traction control and switchable ABS as well. Finally, the Pirelli Supercorsa SPs are replaced by Diablo Rosso III tyres.
Well, for starters, it is an aggressive riding position with rear-set pegs. But it’s not very uncomfortable but is definitely surprising for a naked. The cluster looks dated and is exactly the same as that one the outgoing S variant. The tachometer is large and reminds you of old-school motorcycles and that’s not a bad thing at all.
The same reflects in the way the R goes about its business. At low revs, it isn’t very inspiring but get past 6,000rpm and it suddenly starts to move with vigour. The crank shaft has been altered on the R says Triumph but you cannot really distinguish between the performance of the RS and the R in the real world. The racetrack will fetch the answers for the same but on road, there’s no doubt that the R is fast enough. It does not move like a V-twin/L-twin at low revs, but is quite tractable. The top-end is exceptional as expected from a triple-motor and it even sounds very raunchy once past 8,000rpm. I was happiest in the Sport mode which is not as intrusive as Road where the TC keeps nannying you for no reasons at all. The quickshifter works brilliantly and we had no issues whatsoever on our 200km plus ride.
The ride is definitely firm in stock setup but the suspension is completely adjustable which means, you can choose to run it as per the requirements. The suspension feels properly sophisticated and there’s ample feedback at both ends. The lightweight chassis adds to its agility without compromising on the stability. It’s so easy to ride this machine at high speeds, even in corners, that you can keep pushing the marker further ahead at every attempt. The Diablo Rossos are superb for excellent in corners too and provide ample feedback. The ride and handling setup is definitely the USP of the Street Triple R and if you’re someone who’s planning to hit the track often, the R would definitely suit your needs.
The Street Triple R faces competition from the Kawasaki Z900 and BMW F 900 R. The Kwacker is more affordable but does not have sophisticated road manners of the R and the BMW is a lot more expensive and is slower as well. So good is the package at Rs 8.84 lakh, ex-showroom that even the brilliant Street Triple RS feels overpriced in the company of the R. The R offers something that you really cannot refuse; be it the easy going nature or the track-ready performance. No wonder then that the Street Triple range is now the bestselling Triumph range in the country; replacing the more affordable Street Twin as well.