2017 Triumph Street Triple RS First Ride Review

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS First Ride Test | 14 Fast Facts
2017 Triumph Street Triple First Ride

In 2007, Triumph unleashed its first iteration of the Street Triple—a mid-weight sport motorcycle that was capable of much more than met the eye. The agile and lightweight streetfighter has since earned a special place in the hearts of those seeking a performance-oriented, all-around motorcycle.

For 2017, the Street Triple lineup gets an overhaul, and arrives in three choices—S, R, and RS. Associate Editor Nic de Sena spent a day twisting the throttle on the flagship RS model, taking in the Barcelonian canyons and lapping the legendary Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya–a regular stop on the MotoGP calendar. Here are the 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS first ride Fast Facts.

1. The 765cc triple cylinder is brilliant. Displacing 765cc for 2017 (up from 675cc), and touting a claimed 121 horsepower at 11,750 rpm, and 56.8 ft/lbs of torque, the 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS’s engine has impeccable fueling and thrilling power throughout the rev-range. When hitting the canyons, the RS has readily available low-end torque that is in constant use. Throttle response is smooth and progressive, making it an engine worthy of flogging or everyday urban riding.

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2. The 2017 Triumph Street Triple lineup includes significant updates to the internal components of its peppy powerplant. Some of the additions include increased bore and stroke, new pistons and con-rods, Nikasil-plated barrels vs. the previous iron-plated barrels, as well as a revised intake and exhaust system. All of these updates were done to increase mid-range and low-end performance, which is immediately felt over the Street Triple 675.  Aside from spec information, the result of a new intake is an absolutely exhilarating induction tune when you’re greedy with the throttle–which you will be aboard the RS.

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS top speed
2017 Triumph Street Triple First Ride

3. This year, the Street Triple line gets a revised gear box. The six-speed transmission is remarkably precise, but gear ratios between first and second gear have been shortened. The result is incredibly street friendly, yet it didn’t deter from the ride on a massive track like Catalunya.

4. The 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS has a full suite of electronics: five riding modes, (Road, Rain, Sport, Track, and Rider) and adjustable ABS and Traction Control. Each riding mode delivers the full power of the 765cc engine, but each specific mode alters throttle progression and electronic intervention, making it manageable for a wide variety of conditions and riding styles. In the wet conditions during the street ride, these different mapping options came in handy while becoming acclimated. All modes except for Track and Off can be selected while riding.

5. Whether in direct sunlight or under the canopy, the full color TFT display looks marvelous. Featuring three different graphic display options, quite a lot of customization, and a relatively easy to use interface, the display stands out. My favorite aspect is the gear indicator, which I referenced more than a few times while trying to come to terms with the Catalunya circuit. The RS also comes with a lap timer and, no, I won’t be sharing my fast (*cough*) times.

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS comfort
2017 Triumph Street Triple First Ride

6. The flagship Street Triple RS arrives with a stock quick-upshifter. The quickshifter operates with precision–even when cruising about the city in lower rpm, I began to heavily rely on it. The quickshifter was much appreciated on the track, of course.

7. The 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS arrives with high-quality suspension that works with precision. You get a fully adjustable Showa BPF fork an Öhlins STX40 shock. On the street, the suspension has a sporting edge that doesn’t sacrifice comfort in the least. Potholes, inconsistencies, and poor road surfaces are no match for the RS’s suspension, and under heavy braking, I experience minimal dive. Under hard acceleration, there was no excessive squat, and that keeps the bike planted on exit. On track, it’s much of the same, although I did increase compression and rebound damping slightly at both ends to firm up the ride for the higher speeds.

8. Geometrically similar to the previous generation, the 2017 Triumph Street Triple improves on an already great chassis. With a wheelbase of 55.5 inches, rake at a slightly more relaxed 23.9 degrees, and trail at 3.9 inches, the Street Triple RS is as nimble as can be. Little effort is required to tip the RS into corners and, once in, it holds its line perfectly. Additionally, Triumph has opted for a “gull wing swingarm,” which has altered the pivot point in an effort to decrease rear squat–it works. Triumph achieved all that while shaving off extra weight, as well.

9. The 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS has more braking power than a modern military, thanks to Brembo M50 calipers with dual 310mm floating rotors up front. Out back, a single Brembo caliper and a 220mm rotor handle braking duties. Brake feel is extremely confident and powerful, but is surprisingly user friendly and devoid of a shocking initial bite.

10. Adjustable levers let you dial in more than just reach preferences. Arriving with MCS adjustable levers, the Street Triple RS allows a rider to fine tune the brake response with the ratio-adjustable lever. Essentially, if you prefer a more aggressive or softer brake response, you can dial that in quickly to suit your needs.

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS First Ride Test | 14 Fast Facts
2017 Triumph Street Triple RS First Ride

11. Performance doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort aboard the RS. Featuring a 32.5-inch seat height, the RS has a riding position that can accommodate casual riding, as well as white-knuckle action. With a narrow chassis, I was able to flat-foot while stopped, which isn’t as common as you’d think for someone that stands 5′ 10″ with a 32-inch inseam. After a full day on the street and track, I was fatigued, but that was no fault of the bike; it is quite comfortable.

12. The sculpted 4.6-gallon fuel tank makes for a wonderful anchor when cornering, or when braking hard at the end of Catalunya’s quick straightaway. I was able to grip the tank with my knees and felt supported at corner entry; the tank looks good, too!

13. The 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS gets fresh looks with revised body work. The goal for Triumph designers was to encourage a more aggressive, and predatory look. In that regard, I’d say they achieved their goals. All bodywork has been updated to help appeal to the RS’s performance nature.

14. Base pricing for the 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS begins at $12,500, and the bike is available in two color options—Matte Silver Ice and Phantom Black.

Riding Style:

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS Specs:

  • Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
  • Displacement: 765cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 77.99mm x 53.38mm
  • Compression ratio: 12.65:1
  • Maximum power: 121 horsepower at 11,700rpm
  • Maximum torque: 57 ft/lbs at 10,800rpm
  • Fueling system: Ride-by-wire multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection w/ SAI.
  • Exhaust: Stainless steel 3 into 1 exhaust system low single sided stainless steel silencer
  • Final drive: O-ring chain
  • Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, slip-assisted
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Frame: Aluminum beam twin spar w/ two-piece high pressure die cast rear subframe
  • Swingarm: Twin-sided, cast aluminum alloy
  • Front suspension: Fully adjustable 41mm Showa inverted Big Piston Fork (BPF); 4.5 inches of travel
  • Rear suspension: Fully adjustable Öhlins STX40 piggyback reservoir shock; 5.2 inches of travel
  • Front wheel: 17″ x 3.5″; Cast aluminum alloy 5-spoke
  • Rear wheel: 17″ x 5.5″; Cast aluminum alloy 5-spoke
  • Front tire: 120/70ZR17
  • Rear tire: 180/55ZR17
  • Front brakes: Twin 310mm floating discs w/ Brembo M50 Monoblock calipers
  • Rear brake: Single 220mm fixed disc, Brembo single piston sliding caliper
  • ABS: Standard
  • Instrumentation: Full-color, 5-inch TFT instrument pack with themes, styles, and high/low contrast options
  • Seat Height: 32.4 inches
  • Wheelbase: 55.5 inches
  • Rake: 23.9º
  • Trail: 3.9 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 4.6 gallons
  • Dry weight: 366 pounds
  • Estimated fuel consumption: 50 mpg
  • Colors: Phantom Black; Matte Silver Ice
  • 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS Price: $12,500 MSRP

2017 Triumph Street Triple RS First Ride | Photo Gallery