No better way to review a motorcycle than to fully exploit its potential on a race track, and that is exactly what we got to do with the 2023 Triumph Street Triple 765 at the Jerez Circuit in Spain
Story: Azaman Chothia
Photography: Triumph Motorcycles
The first generation model was launched back in 2007 and has come a long way since then. For 2023, Triumph has taken their learnings from Moto2 and drastically improved the potent inline-triple cylinder motor alongside other major updates. To experience the motorcycle, we got to test it for a full day at the Jerez Circuit in Spain followed by a ride on the road the next day. The bike retains the iconic Street Triple silhouette with some elements that give it a sharper and sportier look. The fuel tank is sculpted more like a sport bike where it is higher and tapers down towards the front. It has a capacity of 15 litres making the tank 2.4 litres smaller than the previous generation model. The sleek bug eyes with the DRLs give it an angrier look and they are placed slightly higher up the bike. There is a sleek panel on top of this headlight setup compared to the previous gen model that sported a tiny windscreen. The RS sports an underbelly cowl which can be fitted as an accessory on the R model. In terms of looks, this is one desirable motorcycle, especially in this Carnival Red paint scheme.
As soon as I was out on track, the RS felt really friendly and easy to get up to speed with. The RS gets a slightly raised rear end giving it a seat height of 836 mm and you get an 826 mm seat height on the R. The handlebars are 12 mm wider than before giving a rider more leverage and the RS also gets a sharper 23.2 º Rake and 96.9 mm Trail. On the other hand, the R gets a 23.7 º Rake and 97.8 mm Trail. With this, the R has a wheelbase of 1402 mm while the wheelbase on the RS stands at 1399 mm making it shorter than the previous model. Riding both back to back on the road, the ergonomic difference is very minor; the RS obviously feels slightly more committed. The bike has a kerb weight of 189 kg but feels extremely light once it is on the go. The RS gets a 5-inch TFT instrument cluster while the R gets the unit that we see on the Trident and the Tiger 660 Sport. It is easy to navigate through the settings and ride modes with the switchgear and there are also different layouts to choose from on the RS model. The only thing I would have appreciated more would be a better layout for the tachometer.
The chassis is an aluminium beam twin-spar frame with a two-piece high-pressure die-cast rear subframe. Sitting in the frame is the 765-cc, in-line triple-cylinder motor mated to a six-speed gearbox and both variants get a bi-directional quickshifter as standard. The RS now puts out 130 hp at 12,000 rpm and a peak torque of 80 Nm at 9,500 rpm. The R in comparison puts out 120 hp at 11,500 rpm and a peak torque of 80 Nm at 9,500 rpm. Some of the main changes in the upgraded motor include a higher compression ratio, gets new pistons, new valves and camshafts, a new combustion chamber, and increased cylinder pressure limits. A single catalytic converter and a freer-flowing exhaust system help the updated engine breathe better and produce an even better exhaust note.
The gearing ratios have also been retuned where the 1st gear is tall and the 2nd to 6th gears get closer ratios. With all of these changes, the Street Triple RS was a hoot to ride on the track. Blasting around the Jerez circuit was such a surreal experience as the bike is so confidence inspiring and the sharp and flickable nature allowed it to flow so naturally through the crazy corners of this iconic circuit. The bike accelerates harder and you have more power and torque coming in at 7,500 rpm making the engine very responsive and rev-happy on the track. With each passing session, I was able to push harder and it was just so enjoyable to quickshift through the gearbox on the straights while the inline triple motor compliments the entire experience with that spine-shivering exhaust note. There are five riding modes: Rain, Road, Sport, Track, and Rider which can be set up accordingly. The new electronics package includes Cornering ABS and Cornering Traction Control. The Track mode limits ABS and TC intervention to a minimum which provided me with great control through each of the passing sessions. On the back straight, I hit around 205 km/h before I had to get on the brakes and swoop through the Dani Pedrosa corner. When you hit over 200 km/h on a naked bike, the windblast is literally trying to pull you off the motorcycle. Not complaining as that is literally one of the most exciting parts about any naked streetfighter.
With well-paved roads throughout our ride on the day we spent on the road, we mainly switched between Road and Sport mode. The R is more than adequate for a road bike; I was easily able to maintain an average speed of 140 km/h as we covered distances so effortlessly. This motor is extremely smooth and also very tractable; it could easily handle speeds of around 50 km/h in sixth gear after which I could get on the gas and pull away. It’s just amazing how usable this engine is, be it on the track or on the road.
Suspension duties on the RS are handled by a fully adjustable, Showa, 41 mm, USD Big Piston Forks (BPF) at the front and a fully adjustable Öhlins STX40 monoshock at the rear. In comparison, the R makes use of fully adjustable Showa 41 mm USD Separate Function Forks – Big Piston (SFF-BP) at the front and a fully adjustable Showa monoshock unit at the rear. The setup worked perfectly for me on the track and on the road as well. Considering that we were mostly riding on well-paved surfaces, you will have to wait for a road test so we can tell you how it fares on Indian roads. With sharper geometry, the bike can easily be flicked from one side to another and it does so with unparalleled precision and stability. This made the track experience so much fun and for someone visiting Jerez Circuit for the very first time, it was a great bike to learn the layout and find better lines.
The RS makes use of top-of-the-line Brembo Stylema 4-piston radial monobloc calipers at the front while the R uses Brembo M4.32 4-piston radial monobloc calipers that bite onto 310 mm twin disc brakes at the front. The rear braking setup is the same on both bikes where they get a 220 mm disc with a Brembo single-piston caliper. It was my first time experiencing Stylema brakes on a race track and all I can say is WOW! The feel and the feedback are so sharp; the bike stays completely stable even when you get on the brakes a little too hard. For the street, the setup on the R works extremely well to shed speed and get to a halt when necessary. Another distinguishing element is the choice of rubber. The R uses Continental Conti Road tyres which are good for the streets and then you have the RS which gets the superb Pirelli Supercorsa V3 tyres. On the track, they allow you to push really hard and lean further which ultimately gives a rider more confidence. With these tyres, I was able to whack open the throttle earlier to power out of corners and I had no slippery moments throughout the three sessions that we had on track.
It is just insane how well this bike works with a combination of all the new elements. After two days spent in Jerez, Spain for this first ride experience, I am already convinced I need to own one of these beasts. With all of the Moto2-derived upgrades, the Street Triple 765 has become an even more potent motorcycle on the street and the track. With great levels of performance, comfort, and agility, it has a great do-it-all character. To make things even crazier, there is a Moto2 edition of the motorcycle that gets clip-on handlebars and golden Öhlins front forks. This edition was built in limited numbers: 765 models each of two special colour schemes and they have all been sold out already. We would like to thank Triumph India for giving us the crazy experience of riding on a MotoGP track and we now can’t wait for the launch prices to be announced. When launched in India, we can expect the R to be priced at around Rs 11 lakh (ex-showroom) and the RS to come at around Rs 14 lakh (ex-showroom).