Common Tread

2017 Triumph Street Cup first look

Oct 04, 2016

The covers have now been pulled off to reveal the cafe-inspired Triumph Street Cup, and the only reason I'm writing this is because Spurgeon is off on assignment.

I say that because I suspect our junior correspondent would have gladly elbowed me in the solar plexus to get to the front of the line to write about this bike, given his fondness for the Thruxton and the new Street Twin. The Street Cup combines the 900 cc vertical twin engine from the Street Twin with some of the Thruxton's cafe racer styling to offer riders a modern alternative to chopping up an old Honda CB350.

2017 Triumph Street Cup
The 2017 Triumph Street Cup. Triumph photo.

Street Cup gauges
Retro meets new-fangled. Round, analog gauges with digital displays. Triumph photo.
Plus, with the Street Cup you can get your retro looks without giving up modern features such as ABS and traction control. And that's a good thing, because while locking up the front brakes on wet cobblestones and crashing is undeniably an authentic retro experience, it's one better remembered than experienced anew.

Triumph Street Cup seat
Seat and handlebar are big parts of the difference between the Street Twin and the Street Cup. The rear shocks on the Street Cup are longer. Triumph photo.
Change the seat, put on a lower handlebar, fit some bar-end mirrors and you're most of the way there to making a Street Twin a Street Cup. It's not all style, however, because you still get the torque-assist clutch and the Street Cup gets its own rear suspension and Nissin brake calipers.

We won't know until Oct. 25 what the price will be in the United States. MSRP for the current Street Twin is $8,700, and we can hope Triumph won't ask too much of a premium over that for the Street Cup.

2017 Triumph Street Cup
The 2017 Triumph Street Cup. Triumph photo.

The continued expansion of Triumph's Modern Classics line is evidence of a real triumph, in my opinion. More than 20 years after John Bloor resurrected the Triumph name, the company has come full circle. In those early days, the company focused on building Triumphs that looked nothing like the Meridien-era twins, which were seen as antiquated and unreliable. Mission number one of those first Triumph triples was to associate an entirely different kind of motorcycle with the brand in the minds of riders.

Now, after years of building a reputation for reliable motorcycles that don't leak oil and have functional electrical systems, Triumph is free to go back and tap into the nostalgia for those vertical twins of yore. And it's doing so, to great success. The Bonneville line keeps growing and becoming a bigger part of the Triumph range.