It’s hard to believe that the Street Triple is now 10 years old.
Introduced in 2007, the Street was a replacement for the unloved (but actually rather good) Speed Four, an unfaired version of the four-cylinder TT600, and took its DNA from the popular Speed Triple 1050.
The Street Triple was heavily based on Triumph’s critically acclaimed Daytona 675, which was released the year before, but far from simply being a naked version of the supersport machine, the Street was heavily reengineered to bring the costs down and help the British company appeal to a much wider audience.
Despite being, in many ways, a parts bin special the Street is one of those classic examples of a bike that’s more than a sum of its parts. The roadster shared the same frame as the Daytona, as well as the same basic engine (albeit in detuned form) but the suspension and brakes were swapped for bottom end items. The engine got the obligatory retune for ‘better midrange’ with cast iron cylinder liners being another cost saving measure. With a sticker price of £5349, the Hinckley factory couldn’t keep up with demand as publication after publication raved about the budget middleweight.
With 106bhp on tap from the soulful three-cylinder motor, the Street Triple delivered enough go for experienced riders, but was still accessible to those looking for a first big bike. The first generation Street Triple was one of the last ‘raw’ motorcycles you could buy, with no ABS, traction control or riding modes. The styling polarised opinion with those big bug eyed headlights coming straight from the bigger brother Speed and dominating the appearance. Comfort isn’t amazing thanks to a sparsely padded seat, but the riding experience was amazing – even if the non-adjustable suspension and sliding caliper brakes are from the bargain bucket. This was addressed with the introduction of an R version in 2009, which borrowed the suspension and brakes from the first generation Daytona 675, and featured a few other upgrades, such as aluminium handlebars and premium paint jobs. Engine-wise, there was no difference between the two models.
The first Street Triples were introduced at the end of 2007 and remained unchanged but for the obligatory colour changes until 2011, when it was given a minor facelift (the main change being the adoption of equally marmite polycarbonate headlamps). This ran through to 2013, when a heavily revised version was introduced, while the latest Street Triple, with a new 765cc engine was released at the start of the year.
For the purposes of this article, we’re focusing on the 2007-2012 incarnations.
What to look out for
Triumph pride themselves on delivering exceptional build quality and reliability and, on the whole, the Street Triple is no exception.
Early bikes suffered a problem with the rectifier/regulator. These failed regularly and could leave riders stranded by the roadside. Triumph finally issued a recall notice in 2012, so the chances are that any bikes on the road will have had this changed by now, but it’s still worth asking the seller and checking any service records.
Another problem came with the headlights on the 2011 facelifted models. These were shared with the Speed Triple and have been known to crack. Again, Triumph recalled affected bikes, but do look closely if you’re looking at a bike from that vintage.
Street Triples are generally pretty easy to ride but the lock stops on the sportsbike derived frame does lead to a somewhat limited turning circle. Those very same lock stops can be snapped off if a bike is involved in an accident, often turning it into an insurance write off, so check to see if the DVLA have any markers against the bike that you are looking at. A Cat C or D bike shouldn’t necessarily have you running for the hills, but you should take extra care when inspecting and price it accordingly, as you’ll undoubtedly find it harder to move on come resale time.
These mid-sized Triumphs may technically be classed as nakeds but owners do like to modify them. In general, sensible modifications add appeal and add a little to the value. Anything from Triumph’s official accessory catalogue is a generally a bonus. The little fly screen fairing, belly pan and seat cowl are the Holy Trinity of modifications for Street Triple owners and give it a more finished look. These are almost compulsory mods and without them the bike looks almost, ahem, naked.
Other popular modifications from the Triumph catalogue are the Arrow slip on silencers and short levers, while medium to taller sized riders may benefit from the extra padding of the thicker ‘comfort’ seat.
What to pay?
Triumph’s latest Street Triple is one of the outstanding bikes of 2017 but these early examples still take some beating when it comes to value for money.
Early Street Triples can be found for just over £2000, but with that you’re likely to be looking at a high miler, and/or a bike with some accident history. Double that budget and you should be able to find an early, well-specced R at a dealer, with £5k delivering a mint late example of these first generation bikes.
Insure your Triumph through Carole Nash.