Common Tread

Video: Triumph teases a new Street

Dec 21, 2016

In general I'm not a fan of teaser videos, with their dark shadows and oblique angles designed to hide, not show. But I'm going to post this one and here's why.

Triumph will unveil a new motorcycle Jan. 10 in events in London and Miami and it could be a very significant model for the company. The headline on this video is "The Street Will Never be the Same Again." Nice work on the double meaning, Triumph. Because that can refer to the street motorcycle scene and the Street Triple, which happens to be Triumph's best selling model. Thus the significance. Any time a company redesigns its best seller, the stakes are high.

Hyperbole aside ("Once in a generation a motorcycle comes along that changes everything..."), what can we learn from these 30 seconds? Clearly they are emphasizing sportiness: light weight and significant power, so maybe we'll get the sweet handling of the Street Triple with the added power of an engine in the 800 cc range. The riding position is still a neutral, Street Triple-like stance. The TFT dash suggests they don't plan to cheap out. 

I'd hoped to see a replacement for the Street Triple at the EICMA show. When it didn't materialize, I lost hope, thinking that all we would get from Triumph this year was the Bobber. Maybe I was hasty. Maybe on Jan. 10 we will see the first model in the expected new line of 800 cc triples that will carry on the success of the Street Triple line and expand on it with sporting and sport-touring variations.

A Daytona 675 has been in my garage for years and it's still one of the sweetest motorcycle engines I've ever had the chance to enjoy, even though it's no longer cutting edge. It's no surprise that you'll see a disproportionate number of Street Triples in the parking lot at ZLA HQ. Now that it's time for an update, Triumph has a high bar to hurdle. I can't wait to see if they get it right.