Since its launch in 2007, the Triumph 675 Street Triple has been the lynchpin of the British manufacturer’s recession-busting performance, while the volume of many of its rivals has slumped. That’s resulted in Triumph’s market share skyrocketing in several key countries in spite of the global economic downturn, to which the company has remained essentially impervious. Triumph is now celebrating its 5,00,000th motorcycle since production recommenced in 1991 under John Bloor’s ownership, and the significance of the Street Triple’s contribution to that resurgence can’t be overestimated. Almost 10 per cent of the total number of bikes Triumph has made over the past 20 years were Street Triples, and that in just one-fifth of their entire time in business. It’s what you call a showroom success story.
But now, slightly unexpectedly, Triumph has waved the same refreshening wand over its middleweight roadster as it did at the end of last year to its Speed Triple big brother – John Lennon has been replaced by Howling Wolf in terms of the bike’s all-important face. So, gone are those hyper-distinctive round goggle-eye headlamps with chrome bezels, replaced by less retro, but still separate, twin pentagonal wolf-eye lights, part of a restyling package courtesy of Californian Tim Prentice, whom Triumph originally enlisted to create the Thunderbird cruiser. ‘Originally, we planned to keep the same lights as before on both models,’ admits Triumph’s product manager, Simon Warburton. ‘But once we had the complete Speed Triple prototype built up, they just didn’t look right. So we went the whole way and changed them on each model. Some will like them, others won’t – but it’s the bike underneath that counts.’Indeed so, and the chance to borrow one of the first born-again Street Triple Rs for a week underlined that. No getting away from it – this is one of the most practical yet performing real-world motorcycles in the marketplace today, with the extra dose of zest and fun you get from riding it, that makes it stand out from the pack. It’s hard not to play a three-cylinder symphony on that emotive exhaust note via the gearbox any time you ride the Street Triple – even when you’re running errands or commuting to work – quite apart from the exuberant performance the motor delivers when the road opens out and you can raise the tempo. And at the stage that the new-look naked bike’s price is unchanged, it makes the revamped Triumph even better value for money.
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