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Common Tread

2020 Triumph Street Triple R first look

Feb 11, 2020

Triumph is getting very serious about the middleweight market.

So serious, in fact, that they’ve overhauled the Street Triple R with some of the looks and features of the upspec RS, then chopped $700 off the price of the old Striple R. Ladies and gents, Triumph wants to sell you a roadster.

2020 Triumph Street Triple R
The aesthetic improvements have it looking a lot more modern. Triumph photo.

2020 Street Triple R versus the 2019 Street Triple R

The newest Street Triple continues to use Triumph’s 765 cc powerplant. Not much of a surprise, because the line just received that engine in 2017. They have retuned it for better response, as well as EURO 5 compliance. A reduction in rotational weight is claimed to help the bike react faster to inputs. In spite of a reworked exhaust, horsepower and torque are unchanged.

2020 Triumph Street Triple R
The new design language is spreading across the Triple lineup. Triumph photo.

Styling, however, is right in line with the range-topping Striple RS. The R picked up the RS’s twin LED headlights with “eyebrow” DRLs, plus new bodywork throughout. The classic red subframe is still available.

2020 Triumph Street Triple R
The Striple R takes on a more aggressive posture. Triumph photo.

Equipment’s gone upmarket as well. The Street Triple R now comes with fully adjustable Showa suspenders, a new up/down quickshifter, and Pirelli Rosso III tires as stock. The quickshifter, in particular, seems to have been a common request from owners. The three ride modes (Sport, Street, and Rain) are carried over from the old model, along with ABS and traction control. I was happy to see a low ride height variant debut for shorter riders.

2020 Street Triple R
Signature red subframe is back. Triumph photo.

The biggest news of all, at least to me, is that Triumph dropped $700 off the price of the Striple R while still managing to improve it. That just makes this bike all the more compelling. I think we’re starting to see a trend here, where manufacturers are starting to prefer a few new features and a lower price instead of many new features and a price hike. (I can only hope that’s the trend!)

2020 Street Triple R
The 765 cc engine hasn't changed much. We sure liked it in the RS. Triumph photo.

2020 Street Triple R versus the 2020 Street Triple RS

So how’s the R stack up against the RS? The RS has a little more horsepower and torque, a fancier stock exhaust, and a lovely TFT dash. The brakes are a little nicer and the suspension takes a step up. The RS wears a Showa BPF fork with an Öhlins STX40 out back.

The higher model also has two more ride modes, MyTriumph connectivity system, GoPro integration, and “the highest level of finish of all the Street Triples.” The added tech, hardware, and level of finish come at a $2,050 premium, now that the Striple R is $10,500. That’s a chunk of change in this segment!

2020 Street Triple R
The overall appearance is more upscale. The price is not. Triumph photo.

Though Triumph has streamlined the Street Triple line from three versions to two, the new features on the R and the refinements on the RS make both models more appealing yet still different enough to suit riders with different priorities. Look for these bikes to hit dealerships soon.