Triumph’s 2008 Street Triple 675 is an all-new streetfighter option for riders who are looking for something smaller and more managable than their Speed Triple 1050.
Between epic riding escapades aboard the latest 1000cc sportbikes, as well as a few early morning 450cc motocross outings, honestly, I wasn’t all that excited to be riding this Fusion White painted Triumph idling in front of me.
And it wasn’t because of its distinct insect-like resemblance, upright riding ergos or even its British name plate. It was because of its small displacement 675cc engine. You see, sheer amounts of outright power can jade any motorcyclist, making it seem that bigger is definitely always better.
However, from the moment I hopped aboard Triumph’s all-new Street Triple 675, I was impressed by its compactness. With a low 31.6-inch seat height and its narrow almost scooter-like width, the Street Triple feels downright tiny. ‘Surely something this small can’t be that much fun,’ I thought to myself.
In spite of its smaller exterior dimensions, the cockpit is quite roomy, even for a six-foot tall rider. Footpegs are low allowing the riders knees to be in a far more accommodating angle than on a sportbike. Reach to the wide, slightly elevated handlebars feels natural yet commanding. The seat is comfortable and form fitting, which keeps your butt from sliding around no matter what situations you encounter.
A more street-oriented 24.3-degree rake and 3.75-inch (95.3mm) trail make the Street Triple less sharp-edged than its supersport sibling and more appropriate for day-to-day life on the streets.
As I press down on the gear shift lever and fan the feathery light cable-actuated clutch, the Street Triple creeps forward. That distinctive Triumph engine whirl that I’ve become accustomed to aboard the Daytona 675 and its bigger-bore relation, the Speed Triple 1050, lets me know that I’m in for a good time.
As I motion through the precise six-speed gearbox, all of the sensations I’ve felt aboard the middleweight Daytona 675 reappear, albeit with much more comfort. Although the Street Triple shares the same basic chassis i.e. twin-spar aluminum frame and double-sided aluminum swingarm, there are some subtle tweaks that yield a substantially different feel.
A more street-oriented 24.3-degree rake and 3.75-inch (95.3mm) trail, courtesy of a lowered swingarm pivot, make the Street Triple less sharp-edged than its supersport sibling and more appropriate for day-to-day life on the streets. With the wider handlebars, the bike still changes directions effortlessly and is ridiculously easy to manipulate in slow-speed parking lot environments. A clear benefit of the more conservative chassis measurements is that the bike never exhibits any headshake or lack of stability during wide open throttle.
The suspension is comprised of a non-adjustable inverted Kayaba 41mm fork and a preload-only adjustable rear shock. The setup does an adequate job of absorbing road imperfections and, despite its lack of adjustment, the fork is versatile. Whether it’s carving thru a freeway onramp, rolling a nose wheelie, or just cruising down the block, the suspension literally does-it-all. Nevertheless, suspension overall is on the soft side, especially up front. Stiffer fork spring or at least basic fork adjustability would have been a worthwhile addition to better tailor suspension performance to the riders’ needs and skill level.
The Street Triple 675 has a completely flat torque curve, giving the rider 40-plus lb-ft of torque from as low as 4500 rpm. However, if its horsepower you’re after keep on revving as there is over 92 ponies ready to go.
Despite its diminutive dimensions, the Street Triple is anything but undersized in the engine department. The fuel-injected liquid-cooled, 675cc Inline-Three is of the same architecture as the Daytona 675, even down to the 12.65:1 compression ratio. However, being that the Street Triple’s sole focus is the striped confines of public roadways, engineers modified the camshafts,reducing the lift in order to increase low- and mid-range engine performance.
As you twist the throttle, the engines rpms quickly build, rewarding the rider with a steady stream of easy-to-use torque. As you surpass the 6000 rpm mark, the accompanying induction howl is so loud it drowns out the exhaust note zipping out of the twin undertail chrome mufflers.
Like Triumph’s other sporting motorcycles, throttle response is exceptionally accurate, becoming most clear while rowing through the gearbox on the back wheel. I’m not joking – this thing will wheelie in the first five gears! Not only does the machine have plenty of power, its power delivery can be as docile as the riders’ wrist commands. It almost seems like it’s too easy to control, making the rider feel like a hero in any situation.
Instrumentation is quite legible, with a large white-faced shift-light equipped tachometer housing a smaller LCD display providing speed, odometer and dual trip mileage. Another larger multi-function LCD screen to the left of the tach displays coolant temperature, time, mpg and other assorted functions that you’ll need a manual to figure out. The twin halogen headlights do a fantastic job of lighting up the road in front of you in even the most light-deprived stretches of road and the mirrors provide the rider with a clear, vibration-free view of what’s behind them.
Instrumentation is quite legible, with a large white-faced tach housing a smaller LCD display that provides speed, an odometer and dual trip mileage. Another larger multi-function LCD screen to the left of the tach displays coolant temperature, time, mpg and more.
Braking is courtesy of twin 308mm front discs that are pinched by a pair of less expensive Nissin two-piston calipers, and a single piston rear caliper that clamps down on a 220mm disc. Even though the brake components aren’t of super premium quality, they are extremely effective at slowing down the 423-pound Triple. The addition of stainless steel brake lines help ensure exceptional power and feel, maximizing the full performance of the lower priced braking components. Another nice touch is the four-way brake lever adjustment that is versatile enough to fit any rider’s hand size.
The Street Triple rolls on high-quality five-spoke aluminum wheels shod with 120/70R17-front and 180/55R17-rear Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier rubber. The tires are a perfect match to the bike and make it that much easier for the rider to extort full performance out of the machine.
Out on the city streets is where we found the bike to be at its absolute best. Its exclusive mixture of manageable size, torquey power delivery, versatile gearing, and of course, light weight makes it almost irresistible to exploit from stoplight to stoplight.
When it comes to Triumph’s Street Triple 675, size doesn’t matter. Despite it not having super high-end componentry, the Street delivers absolutely everything all motorcyclists yearn for. It’s quick, comfortable and most importantly easy-to-ride. Its got a unique character that’s all its own and can gives the rider a sensory-infused experience that can be devoid in other competitors similarly priced offerings. For $7999, the Speed Triple 675 could be one of the best streetbikes regardless of engine size – it’s that fun to ride.
2008 Triumph Street Triple 675 Specifications:
Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, Inline-Three cylinder
Bore/Stroke: 74 x 52.3mm
Compression Ratio: 12.65:1
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Swingarm: Braced, twin-sided, aluminum alloy
Front Wheel: Alloy 5-spoke, 17 x 3.5 inch
Rear Wheel: Alloy 5-spoke, 17 x 5.5 inch
Front Tire: Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier 120/70R17
Rear Tire: Dunlop Sportmax Qualifer 180/55R17
Front Suspension: 41mm Kayaba inverted fork (non adjustable)
Rear Suspension: Monoshock with adjustable preload
Front Brakes: Twin 308mm floating discs, 2 piston sliding calipers
Rear Brakes: Single 220mm disc, single piston caliper
Length: 79.9 in.
Width: (Handlebars) 30.7 in.
Height: 49.2 in.
Seat Height: 31.6 in.
Wheelbase: 54.9 in. (1395mm)
Rake/Trail: 24.3 degree/3.75 in. (95.3mm)
Weight: (Fully fueled, ready to ride) 423 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.6 gallons
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