Last Friday I took my bike in to the Triumph dealer to have the fork stantions replaced. Thankfully, as I had places to go, I was given the use of a demonstrator bike. I was given this little sweetie...
A brand new Triumph 675cc Street Triple
I've read an awful lot of articles about how good this bike is. Many biker journos reckon it's the top of the mid range naked class. As you can see from the photos, this bike is completely stripped back. With that and the fact it is built from the lightest of alloys it has no weight at all. In comparison to my big black beast it felt like a large moped when I first got on it.
The riding position was strange too; feet well back and leaning forward onto the bars. At first it felt as if I would fall face first on to the instrument panel if I let go. I eased out onto the road, with an embarassing stall as a van driver kindly waited to let me out, and then opened the throttle a touch. Wow, a moped it certainly ain't!
This thing can really move. At low revs the engine hums quietly, but when you twist the right hand there's a satisfying growl. By the time I'd ridden the few miles home I already realised that this was a bike that could be thrown around and it would do exactly what was demanded of it. I wasn't dissapointed when the service guy rang me to say there was a mix up with the parts and my bike would not be ready until Monday.
The weather on Saturday was really awful and I was still recovering from a grotty cold so it stayed in my garage. On Sunday the sun came out, although it was pretty cold. I had most of the day at university, but got some miles in around that.
With ABS and the lack of weight this bike stops on the proverbial penny. The throttle is so responsive I'd swear it was pre-empting the twist of my hand. I liked the digital display on the panel which was so easy to read and it's good to be able to see how much fuel you've got left, unlike my beast with which you've got to physically check the contents of the tank or wait for the low fuel light to come on.
It is certainly a fun bike with a lot of guts and it looks stunning. Lack of torque was an issue for me though as I was having to use the gears a lot more in traffic, but that was well compensated by a silky smooth gearbox. Not impressed by the mirrors, just couldn't position them correctly.
I can understand why this bike is raved about but I'm afraid it's not my cup of tea. Yes, I enjoyed the weekend experience but I actually missed the solidity of my bike and for reasons of comfort I certainly wouldn't want to ride any great distance on the Street Triple. But, I guess that's not what it's designed for.
Big down point of the experience? The bill I had to settle when I picked up my bike. Oo-er!