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Triumph Demo Day - 2018 STR & Bonnie Bobber

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I live in the DC area, and we have a BMW/Triumph dealer who readily lets you take test rides which by itself is amazing. The more I read about my FZ-07, the more the Triumph Street Triple comes up. It's been on my list to check it out for at least a year, and today was the day....


So here's a mini-review of the 2018 Triumph Street Triple R (yes, this is the new one). The 2018 R version has the new 765cc motor that kicks out 116hp with 57 ft. lbs. of torque. The exact bike I rode was their factory direct Low version which for me worked as I am short 5'6", but it comes at a suspension price which is approximately 30mm in the front and 35mm in the back. I sat on the full size R and it was seriously taller. For you taller folks, the regular R would be a no brainer. They let me take it for an unsupervised ride where I could go where I wanted, and they never said anything about time restrictions or rpm restrictions. Fortunately for them, I’m older and respectful of the bike, and I didn’t get overly stupid.


So about the ride… as this was the first time I rode a bike with ride-by-wire technology, there was a serious learning curve but after 1-2 miles, all was cool although the bike revs very quickly. Plus the clutch lets out very late which is not my preference. The bike was punchy with plenty of usable torque in the lower revs albeit not FZ torque. If you check out the STR specs, all the power/torque peaks out much higher than the FZ. By behaving myself, I never took it over 6000 rpm, but I did use that as my go-to point. It pulls strong, clean and very smooth. I would seriously like to see what the full power hit is at 10K+. Oh, and they would only let me use the street mode and not the sport mode.


Suspension wise, it was a pleasant change to ride a bike with nice suspension. I was in an industrial park for some of my ride where the road wasn’t that good. I got a good idea of how well it works which is significantly better than a stock FZ, but that wouldn’t take much. I would like to think the added 30mm on the regular R version would be much nicer. The brakes were decent too.


Handling wise, it was well planted, and did not seem twitchy or even quick handling. The FZ felt noticeably faster handling than the STR which surprised me. It definitely fits more crotch-rocket like than my FZ – not extreme but noticeable. I rode 535 miles in a day of my FZ – there is now way in hell I could do that on the STR.


Bottom line for me, you could definitely give me one, but I never felt that it was $4000 better than my FZ. Granted I have extra money in my FZ as most of us do, but I enjoy riding my FZ more than that STR which was clearly brought home after I left the dealer as I rode there on my FZ so I was able to get a before and after comparison. It was a good experiment as I get that bug out of my system.


Here’s a micro review of the Triumph Bonneville Bobber which I also test rode. It looks AWESOME, but…. the riding position sucks for me. It does have the big motor with 78 ft. lbs. of torque @ 4000rpm. It’s just a poop load of fun punching that bike in the first 3 gears!!!


Bottom line for me - $11,900 – get a life Triumph as it just isn’t worth it!!!

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We're triumph Fans, and love the new Triples..avoiding the ride so I don't spend the money!

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They have had multiple demo days at my local dealer and I have ridden the new RS, the new R, the new bobber, the new bobber with the apes, the new thruxton, and thruxton R. They are all nice bikes. The thruxton R is growing on me and I was a huge fan of the RS. Definitely options on my list for next bike.  Except the Thruxton R is quite more than I think it should be price-wise. I will start looking for used ones this winter if I can find them for a decent discount to the new MSRP. 

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