The Triumph Street Triple has had a history and reputation for being known as a well-balanced rider’s bike. The platform, based on the Triumph Daytona, offered standard bike comfort but sport bike performance. To some the styling left some room for improvement but it was unique, hello bug eyes, nonetheless. Now in its most recent generation Triumph has removed the wraps from an updated 2020 Street Triple RS, which sits at the top of the Street Triple lineup.
The Street Triple received its most recent overhaul in 2017. The most significant part of that update was the new 765 cc triple engine. In RS trim the engine put out 121 horsepower (US Spec) and 57 lb-ft of torque. The new 765 triple engine has had a lot of opportunity to be tested and developed because it serves as the foundation for the engines used in Moto2 racing. Triumph gave us a road going version of their Moto2 engine when it released the limited edition 2019 Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition.
For 2020, the new Street Triple RS has received a boost in performance, more aggressive styling, and updated rider technology. All while meeting Euro 5 standards. Mid-range torque is up 9%. Although peak torque is the same (57 lb-ft), it comes in 1,450 rpm lower @9,350 rpm. There is a new exhaust balance pipe that helps smooth the torque curve.
Horsepower has also been increased 9% in the mid-range but remains the same at its peak, 121 horsepower @11,750 rpm (50 rpm higher). The engine receives a new exhaust cam and higher precision machining on the crank shaft, clutch and balancer. These changes help reduce engine weight and lower inertia. The throttle is more responsive thanks to a 7% reduction in rotational inertia.
The exhaust system on the 2020 Street Triple RS has less restriction and lower emissions thanks to a twin catalyst system that is freer flowing. There is also an all new intake duct, which, along with the exhaust improvements, give the Street Triple RS an improved exhaust note.
The gear ratio’s in 1st and 2nd gear have been shortened. This change helps with acceleration performance and no doubt should make the Street Triple RS easily capable of lifting the front wheel. The anti-backlash gears have been removed due to higher machining precision and that has lowered weight for more refinement.
Possibly the most notable part of both the Street Triple and bigger Speed Triple’s styling is the look of the headlights. They have evolved from circular, to buggy, to a smoother oval look. The new model takes things further with a much more aggressive look. The LED lights have a new shape with a distinctive Daytime Running Light (DRL) design. The new setup is brighter and whiter.
The bodywork is also new and improved. The lines are angled more, cleaner, and sportier. The fly screen and air intake are more pronounced. The side panels, rear unit, seat cowl, and belly pan have all been updated.
Other upgrades include new mirrors, a new handlebar clamp, blacked out control plates and rear footrest hangers, satin metal heel guards, and the top range RS gets a Titanium Silver main frame that matches the finish used on the Speed Triple. The exhaust can is more compact and has carbon fiber detailing. Paint options are Matt Jet Black with Aluminum Silver and Yellow decals or Silver Ice with Diablo Red and Aluminum Silver decals. Hand-painted Diablo Red wheel pinstripes and an Aluminum Silver rear sub-frame come on either paint options.
Technology updates center around the already amazing TFT system. Using the MyTriumph connectivity system and Bluetooth, riders can enable GoPro interaction, navigation, phone and media operations. There are four different graphic styles and colors to customize the display. An automatic mode can be set to change the display based on the amount of ambient light available.
The 2020 Street Triple RS comes standard with an up and down quick shifter. The riding modes can be adjusted between Road, Rain, Sport, Track, and Rider configurable. Each mode adjusts throttle response, ABS, and traction control to suit the needs of the rider. Rain mode lowers power to just under 100 horsepower. Adjustments to these settings can be made while riding.
All these updates and technology sit on a platform that continues to be light and maneuverable (366 pounds dry). There are fully adjustable 41mm Showa big piston forks up front. A fully adjustable Öhlins STX40 piggyback reservoir monoshock is in the rear. Stopping is handled by a Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc front caliper and a Brembo ratio and span adjustable brake lever. There is a Brembo sliding rear caliper.
Overall the 2020 Street Triple RS looks to continue being one of the benchmarks in the naked mid-range segment. The styling updates and performance tweaks do enough to keep the bike fresh and ready for its competition.