Review: Trying Out the 2020 Triumph Street Triple RS
Updated: Feb 23
When I found out I would be attending the Triumph immersion event in Tucson, Arizona, I was ecstatic to see the Street Triple RS listed as one of the bikes I would get to ride. I've heard owners of these bikes rave about them, so I've been wanting to experience the allure first-hand and see for myself. I couldn't wait to learn more about this bike, so I reviewed the media kit and then read about it online so I would be prepared. According to Triumph, this bike is light, fast, agile with more aggressive styling and improved technology. It's " the Ultimate Performance Street." I wondered if it would live up to this statement. But before I share my experience, let's begin with a little background on the Street Triple RS.
The bike has a 765cc, in-line three-cylinder engine that is said to deliver track-ready levels of power and torque. The newest (and most touted) development is that it's Euro 5 compliant with a more performance-focused feel, having been precision-upgraded by the same expert team who developed Triumph’s Moto2 engine. It's also light, weighing in at 366 lbs. The bike boasts an Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, fully adjustable Showa suspension, and shift assist. You can also choose from different modes: road, rain, sport, track, and rider. It starts at $12,550 and comes in matte black or silver. But these specifications and information can easily be found with a quick Google search. What I'm sure people want to know is, what is this bike really like to ride.
As I sat on the Street Triple and familiarized myself with it, my first impression was that the body positioning and ergonomics were more upright and comfortable than a sportbike, yet it was still forward enough that it felt very sporty. From an aesthetic standpoint, I love how Triumph took a naked, roadster style bike and made it sexy. As a personal preference, I've always preferred the look of a true sportbike, but the Street Triple changed that for me. The clean, sleek lines, sporty look, and styling are undeniably appealing.
The other desirable trait you can glean just from sitting on the bike is the connectivity. Prior to attending the event, we were encouraged to add the My Triumph app to our smartphones which I did. It offers navigation and the ability to record your route and view a ride summary that includes distance, the time elapsed and the ability to share your ride with other riders. What I personally think is one of the best attributes of Triumph's new connectivity is it offers the world's first integrated GoPro control system so you can operate your GoPro from the bike's instrument display panel. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has dealt with the struggle of operating a GoPro. Is it running? Is it not? Well, Triumph just made vloggers lives a whole lot easier.
As we took off from our resort at a brisk pace, I noticed that although the bike had exceptional torque and responsiveness in the throttle, the power was very smooth. There are some torquey bikes I've ridden that have a jerkiness to the throttle. Not so with the Street Triple. I held the bike back a bit so I could create some space between the riders ahead of me and then hit the throttle to feel the acceleration. I found the bike has real pep and instant acceleration. It made me yearn for the chance to go full-throttle on the track.
Many bikes have speed though, and riding in straight lines isn't my cup of tea--I live for the curves. Luckily, we were able to navigate a couple of roads through the Arizona desert that did offer some sweeping curves, and this is where the lightweight aspect of the bike is desireable. It feels absolutely effortless to lean. I dreamed of what it would be like to ride this bike along the tight, twisty turns of my home turf, The Dragon. It is definitely light and it is most definitely agile.
Given my experience on the Street Triple RS, I agree with the claim that it‘s an ultimate street machine. To be able to truly provide a more comprehensive review and share whether I think it actually does provide track-ready performance, I would need to ride it on the track. (Hey Triumph, can I pretty please ride one on the track?) Since my riding was limited to the street, I do feel confident that it's a great bike for street riding, especially for the price, and I think anyone who buys it will be very satisfied with how it performs.
Watch this video from trip to sunny Arizona with Triumph for some additional thoughts in the Street Triple RS: