The 2022 Triumph Street Triple RS is low on emission, gets some more grunt, and a heart-shuddering price tag, but remains a no-compromise middle-weight streetfighter that you should go for.
Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photographer: Sanjay Raikar
It’s been five years, but I still distinctly remember gunning the new Street Triple RS on the Catalunya MotoGP track during the new model’s official media ride. What started as a sceptical ride of a fairing-less motorcycle on a racetrack fast became one of my fondest biking memories. Fast forward to 2022 and here I am riding one on our roads, which is giving me a whole new perspective of the RS.
Since the time Triumph introduced the new generation, the naked middle-weight has become an instant hit, making it a segment leader and a bestseller for the British brand. Globally, you get three variants to choose from, but our market gets the mid-version ‘R’ and the top-spec ‘RS’ that we’ve got here.
If you like the middle-weight street fighters but don’t like to compromise, then buying the ‘RS’ is a given. This is the most powerful and most desirable Street Triple out there and now Triumph’s Moto2 engine team has ensured to make the 765-cc in-line triple BS6-compliant. Now it takes two catalytic converters in the exhaust system to rein in the emission further. So, you can continue to enjoy the much-loved sporty-yet-manageable Triple character but without the guilt.
Triumph Street Triple RS: Design
It’s an updated bike, so there aren’t any major changes in terms of design or engine output. But you’ll notice the sharper twin headlamps and signature daytime running lights that give the bike its distinct identity. Without looking twice, you’ll know it’s a Street Triple. There are a few other notable changes such as a more pronounced air intake just above the headlamps and, like the face, the body also looks more chiselled now — right from a reworked fly-screen, side-panel, tail section and belly pan. Even the aluminium frame comes finished in titanium silver on our Matt Jet Black test bike, though the Silver Ice shade gets fancier red treatment. You also get fresh graphics on the TFT with colour choices, Bluetooth connectivity, and GoPro controls. A new carbon-fibre tip on the exhaust completes the BS6 bike’s visual changes.
Triumph Street Triple RS: Engine
Thankfully, as before, on the RS the 765-cc Triple continues to punch out an impressive 123 hp, that’s five hp more than the standard R, making this version an absolute hoot to ride. The engineers have used this opportunity to tweak the engine to offer a stronger mid-range, making the bike even better for everyday use. Torque has gone up by two Nm to 79 Nm, which also peaks earlier than the older bike. Triumph say that they have also lightened the crank, clutch, and balancer shafts, which has resulted in reducing rotational inertia by about seven per cent. These changes have made the throttle response even more rewarding across the rev-range now. As we rode around town, the extra grunt and torque became very evident, making the Street Triple RS a lot friendlier. Furthermore, you have the option of flicking around the riding modes depending on the traffic situation. If you feel the Road mode to be aggressive on congested roads, then switching to Rain will make things gentler and less intimidating.
Triumph Street Triple RS: Performance
As we got away from the city and reached the winding roads of the hills, I could comfortably race through corners without having to downshift, because there’s always enough power in your control. Empty stretches of roads and the Sport mode is a perfect combination to lift your mood, as the three-cylinder howl echoes through the valley. Motorcycling is truly a therapy and bikes like the Street Triple a well-recommended therapist. The slick six-speed gearbox continues to power the rear wheel, but now it comes equipped with a quick-shifter, so you can move up or down a gear without bothering to engage the clutch at all. And even when you do need to use the clutch, the assist system makes it light to use. The experience is absolutely effortless.
Triumph Street Triple RS: Ride and Handling
Talking about premium parts, the Street Triple RS carries forward the top-class brake and suspension that do full justice to the bike’s well-balanced chassis. Upfront there’s the trusted and fully adjustable 41-mm Showa fork while, at the rear, the Öhlins STX40 monoshock does damping duty. The bike feels nice, firm, and incredibly accurate as you throw it around fast corners and the meatier mid-range makes riding through a series of bends extremely rewarding. The incredible grip from the Pirelli tyres encourages you to lean further. On longer rides on our roads, this set-up tended to feel a little stiff and the one felt that the saddle could do with some more cushioning. A small compromise for terrific handling.
Triumph Street Triple RS: Braking Performance
The braking department is no less impressive either, with the dual Brembo M50 monobloc calipers along with the Brembo MCS 19.21 radial master cylinder. The brake lever also gets adjustability for reach and bite ratio and a single tap is all you need to shed speed. Strong braking prowess allows you to apply the brake a wee bit later as you approach a corner and effortlessly flick the RS from one corner to the other. And that’s when you’ll pat your back for going the full hog and buying the premium RS over the standard R as you outrun your riding buddies without breaking a sweat.
Triumph Street Triple RS: Price
That brings us to the elephant in the room. The staggering Rs 11.35 lakh (ex-showroom) price of the Street Triple RS, which is about Rs 2.5 lakh more expensive than the ‘R’. Yes, it’s a lot of money but you can’t deny that the RS is a lot of motorcycle. To be honest, the standard Street Triple is all the bike you need in the city and weekend rides but if exclusivity and finer things in life are your poison, then go ahead, sign that cheque.
Also Read: Triumph Trident 660 Review