Mmmm did I need another bike? That was a bit of a leading question, you always need another bike, silly one to ask really, but did I really. My KTM 1190 Adventure does everything that I need in a bike, tours excellently, goes fast when I need it. But it is quite big and brutish to maul around, with my advancing years I thought I would get something smaller and lighter to blast around on. There are plenty of bikes in this market, the KTM 690 Duke for example, fine machine and all that but I fancied a Triumph. Never had a British bike, the Speed Triple was too much for my needs and its smaller sibling has rave reviews so I started to research this model.
I was in no particular hurry to make the purchase as it was well into the summer, I was intending to wait until after Christmas and see what was about when I stumbled upon a three month old Triumph Street Triple R with 335 miles on the clock at Stratford Triumph. I mentioned this to my nearest & dearest and took her along to view and get the necessary approval. She was quietly taken with the bike and I made sure I wasn’t too portly for it and struck a deal with the salesman and left a deposit.
It was a couple of months before I collected the bike and after the handover session I decided to do the right thing and get acquainted with the bike, especially as there were a few bodies milling around. A check of the display and the usual press of a few buttons to see what they did, after all if all else failed I could read the owner’s manual.
I had picked a round trip of a 100 miles or so to carry on the running in procedure as there were only 335 miles on the clock, this route looked easy on the maps and was going to take me to Kemble Airport in the Cotswolds and specifically the AV8 Cafe which was on the site. So off I set… the clutch and revs interface was a bit different to my usual beast which, you guessed it, resulted in a stall, bugger dam and blast, quickly prodding the start button fired the engine back up and I pulled away hoping no-one had noticed.
My initial trip out went well, got used to the bike and the noise, which was totally different to all of the bikes I had owned in the past. The triple was smooth and responsive, just what the doctor ordered. The best thing was that I could get both feet down on the floor and handle the bike very easily.
Even though I was keeping the revs to the correct point the bike seemed powerful enough and the brakes were first class, as an overall package this had to be one of the best bikes I have ridden.
Seating wise the position is fine, slightly sports bike style but mainly upright as you would expect on a naked bike, the windblast is a feature and I would imagine is helped by the small fairing over the clocks. Even at motorway speeds the blast is OK, I wouldn’t like to go for huge distances but this would be limited anyway by the tank range.
It took me quite a while to complete the running in procedure as the KTM offers a better cold and wet riding experience but the 800 miles I have now covered have been extremely enjoyable and a blast up the Fosse Way after running in was a real treat.
I don’t think the cost of ownership will be cheap, I understand, from many disgruntled comments on forums, that servicing is expensive, the rear tyre doesn’t look like it will match the 8k that I get from the KTM, it looks more like 2-3k at best, the fuel consumption is average for a bike and the insurance, even at my age, is on the heavy side, that is a result of having the ‘R’ model I suppose.
Ram Mount for sat nav (Can’t go anywhere without one, hopeless)
USB Power Outlet for sat nav (All bikes should have at least one of these)
SP Engineering Exhaust (Bling only, I wouldn’t notice any power increase or weight saving)
SP Engineering Radiator Cover (May be essential, who knows, one stone saved equals much dosh saved)
Farkles to be fitted:
SP Engineering Tail Tidy
SP Engineering Indicators Front & Rear
Triumph Tank Pad
Grip Pads for Tank
Rowe Electronics PD1
PD Chain Oiler
Heated Grips (Wuss I know)