IMAGES BY ME, BECAUSE NICK WAS RE-GROWING HIS KNEE
I try not to read bike reviews. Life is too short to subject myself to the feckless word-salad being offered up these days. I am not alone in this. Would it surprise you to know much of the industry doesn’t read bike reviews either? It is pretty much over the tosh being served up by the remaining magazines and platforms as well. But it has to got through the motions because of the metrics its marketing departments are subjected to. I get that. So they hand out bikes to the few remaining professionals, much as they hand out bikes to the mum-and-dad concerns, the family-based nepo-baby platforms, and the old-school still-doing-its,, who are these days just going through the motions with the second- and third-rate editors life-supporting third- and fourth-rate staff and sucking dick for any advertising dollars they can still bilk out of the industry.
Shame, really. They are doing nothing but a disservice to motorcycling with the dreck they offer up.
I got into bikes when I was very young because the stuff I was reading in bike magazines inspired me, excited me, and captivated me. I had to have me some of that shit.
If I was starting today, there is almost nothing being offered in the motorcycle media that would or could enthuse me to buy a bike.
And I suppose this is a strange way to kick off a review of what is one of the most exciting and brilliant motorcycles you will ever throw a leg over – Triumph’s utterly magnificent Street Triple RS.
But I am compelled to do this. It has to be done. Because a great wrong has been committed against one of the best bikes currently on the market, and the people who committed it must be called out.
Happily, the damage is not too bad. The audience exposed to the tripe they served up is small. And it will remain that way.
Firstly, let me tell you what you need to know about the new Street Triple RS.
It is superb. It is one of the most precise-handling, if not the most precise-handling bike you will ever ride. It rewards your efforts – be they ham-fisted or I-know-what-I’m-doing-baby in a way few bikes do. You come yammering into a corner hard, electronics ablaze (and it has them all – Optimised Cornering ABS and switchable Optimised Cornering Traction Control with IMU, Front Wheel Lift Control – and they can be tweaked to your personal fetishes), seamlessly downshifting via a superb quick-shifter, that Moto2-inspired engine howling in joy, and you commit.
Seconds later, you understand you could have committed much, much harder. And so you do on the next bend. You’re still not upsetting it. Try harder. Much harder. You’ll cave before it does. The front is planted. It is integrity incarnate. It’s mated to Diablo Supercorsa SPs. Not glorious in the wet, but otherworldly in the dry.
From the Brembo brakes to the top-shelf Showas at the front and the golden Öhlins goodness on the back – this is a package designed to corner like all the bastards in the whole world.
Much of this ability has to do with its steering geometry and weight, obviously. Triumph wantedthe Street Triple RS to handle the incredible way it does. How much of this has leaked down from its involvement in MotoGP is anyone’s guess since it only supplies the engines for the Moto2 class…but, you know…
Look, you can Google all the specs for yourself (HERE). I do not need to list them all here. They don’t much matter anyway. They are just numbers. When you start a review by using all the conjunctions to pad out the specifications box, you’ve exposed yourself as an idiot.
It’s what those numbers add up to that matters.
That expression “More than the sum of its parts” is exactly what applies here. Triumph has managed to create a bike entirely possessed of that elusive X-factor, that sweet-spot combo of power-delivery, handling, ergos, and build-quality that makes a bike extraordinary.
But reading the dross this Mum-and-Dad reviewer combo offered up, you’d think they were riding another bike altogether.
Dad had more of clue than Mum because he’s maybe ridden a few more bikes. But then he states the RS looks “too modern and aggressive” and then wanders further into idiocy by following that up with a qualifier that plumbs the nether depths of dumb, ie. “although looks can be deceiving because this isn’t necessarily and (sic) aggressive bike to ride”.
Huh? What does that even mean?
Then Dad complains about the side-stand. He stated it felt a “bit flimsy” but “worked fine”.
Do you see what the problem is here? It is meaningless world-salad. It is not a reasoned critique. It’s “I have to produce 2000 words, but I ran out of anything valid to say after 500”.
So that’s Dad. And he’s the one with a vague clue.
Mum on the other hand is completely at sea with the whole writing and riding thing. And it’s quite insulting to women who ride. I know a few of them. None of them are as utterly clueless as Mum is. I’m thinking she’s been included in this grab-bag of rubbish-as-bike-review as some kind of PC sop.
Permit me to demonstrate…
In the section entitled “What didn’t I like?” Mum confesses she’s being really picky and states she “probably wouldn’t use all the rider modes”. Well, given she admits to only spending a few days commuting in Sydney and one run through the Royal National Park, I am not surprised. What do the rider modes do, love? How have they upset you? Did you try any of them? There are five of them, you know – Rain, Road, Sport, Track, and Rider. Too many? Not enough? No variance in what they offer?
Because what you’re stating you didn’t like was the fact you wouldn’t use them. Not that they exist. Not what they do. Just that you wouldn’t use all of them. Sweety, just so you know, that is so NOT a thing not to like on a bike you’re allegedly reviewing.
Then, and this is when I threw up in mouth a bit, Mum and Dad told us about how they went for a ride. Or rides. This consisted of commuting around Sydney (Dad even went out at night once) and that ride through Nasho.
Dad states the Street Triple is a better bike than the Speed Triple in “every way”. Obviously the commute revealed things in this regard Dad feels are best kept to himself, since he doesn’t tell us how the Street is better than the Speed.
Mum, for her part in this catastrophe, was very proud some bloke who went riding with her commented on how “comfortable and confident” she looked toodling through Nasho. He said that? He said exactly that? “Wow, you look so comfortable and confident!”?
My friends say shit like: “You came into that 45 so hard I though you were gonna die!” or “How strong does that bastard pull in second!”
But then after Mum stops for “brunch”, she is reinvigorated and we are treated with the following grammatically-crucified glory: “On the way back, it felt like the bike was responding to my every command with unparalleled finesse, so not sure if it was that my riding skills have (sic) improved or that the bike makes you a better rider”.
I could answer that question for you, love. But I won’t. What I will tell you is that you need to stop pretending you can do bike reviews. Please. I’m sure you’re good at something else. It ain’t this.
For his part, Dad chose to make some bizarre and rather messianic declarations in conclusion, to wit: “I think I can safely say that the 2023 Street Triple RS has re-written the rules of the game (What game is that?). In a world where conformity is the norm, the 2023 Triumph Speed Triple RS (Why are you repeating the name of the bike so often, dickhead?) refuses to blend in (Really? How does it being a great bike not blend into a conformist world?). It’s a rebel with a cause (Fuck…did you actually write that and think it was OK?), a machine that dares to challenge conventions and redefine what it means to ride (What? How does it redefine the meaning of riding, you clueless gibbon? Is there an extra wheel somewhere? What conventions does it dare challenge? List them. I dare you.)
I read that several times. It gave me leprosy. It is a melange of meaningless drivel concocted by someone striving to make some kind of point, and failing in every single aspect.
The Street Triple RS deserves better than this.
Motorcycling deserves better than this.
And sure as shit, you, the reader, deserve better than this.
It may sound like I’m pointing and laughing at the Special Needs kids, but I’m not. Mum and Dad are not poor unfortunate children who have been born with some intellectual deficiency and trying to make their way in the world.
They purport to be professional motorcycle reviewers.
That, they are manifestly and demonstrably not.
And that is why I am pointing and laughing.
The Street Triple RS?
Go ride one. See why this is one of the greatest bikes Triumph has ever built.
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Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.