New look and cheaper price tag for Triumph's 2020 Street Triple R
Triumph's 765cc middleweight brawler comes down in price for 2020, but gains a design refresh, a bi-directional quickshifter and a revised engine with lighter internals for a sharper throttle response, among other updates.
There's no extra power; the StripR's whistling three-cylinder engine, which now powers the Moto2 racing class, still has the same 116 horsepower it did when the 765cc version made its debut in 2017. But with internal rotational inertia reduced by some 7 percent, it should spin up significantly faster, making its 77 Nm (57 lb-ft) of torque feel all the more instantaneous on a bike that was already famous for its lurid hoon factor. Airbox and exhaust updates allegedly make the bike sound "crisper" and "purer" with "an even more distinctive tone." Well lah de dah!
It gets a rounded-off, insectile, angry, squinting headlight and cowl unit to match the one on the new RS, and to be honest, anyone who's still pining for the old double bug-eye round headlights is missing out on something better. The exhaust has also been tweaked for this model, with a big chunk scooped out of it around the footpeg. The old can looked better for my money, but hey, it's probably going in the bin anyway so you can get something shoutier.
The clutch has an assist system to make it lighter on the left hand, and it's a slipper unit, so you can bang your way down through the gears at high revs without losing the back tire in a compression lockup. Brakes are Brembo monoblocs, suspension is by Showa, with Big Piston Forks and a piggyback rear reservoir, all fully adjustable, and the tires are Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIIs, which should offer a decent balance between sporty grip and commuting longevity.
New for 2020 is an uppie/downie quickshifter, which previously you'd have needed to buy the RS to get your boots onto. It's come down to the R level of specification now, along with Euro 5 emissions compliance, The latter will add no delight to the riding experience, but hey, it's one thing to say you're concerned with climate change and another to pull the cat' and 'zorst off your bike to make it more fun. That's every rider's decision to make.
Probably the biggest news is that the new model comes in some US$750 cheaper than the outgoing Street Triple R, at US$10,500. More bang, less buck, that's what we like to see. The StripR has always been a wild machine to ride – light, fast, precise and very, very silly – and with the new pricing, more people will be able to enjoy its charms. This is not a complicated bike, or a heavy one, or overstuffed with buttons and electronics. It's as approachable as they come, and doubtless it'll do well.