UNLEASH THE BEST-SOUNDING ENGINE OF TRIUMPH TRIPLE RANGE
Until recently you had to wait until you had a full licence to get in on the Triumph brand. With the introduction of the Street Triple 660, you can buy into the British marque’s famous triple-cylinder engine line-up with only the blue card in your wallet.
Based on the Street Triple, the Street Triple 660 swaps out the 675cc inline three-cylinder engine for a sleeved 660cc unit to sneak under the maximum capacity of the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS).
It’s a beautiful little motor, with all the same character you’d expect from one of Triumph’s trademark inline three-cylinder engines.
Priced from $13,990 it’s not the cheapest LAMS bike — the Ducati Monster LAMS is the only bike more expensive in the segment — but in terms of sheer grin factor it’s hard to beat.
Just like its bigger siblings, the Street Triple 675 and Speed Triple, this brings out your inner hoon but with a few LAMS barriers to stop you overextending yourself.
ABS is standard on the 660 and works a treat at preventing the twin Nissin-branded calipers from locking up the big 310mm front disk brakes. Interestingly, in the rear, Triumph chose to put a Brembo unit rather than another Nissin unit, and it adds to the bling factor as well as stopping power.
Even though you can’t beat it in an emergency, for some riders the added safety net of ABS isn’t always ideal.
Try stopping on any one of our gravel roads with it turned on to find out what I mean.
With this in mind, the ABS can be turned off on the Street Triple 660. While most new riders will keep it switched on, it’s reassuring to know you’re not going to be forced to use it if conditions don’t call for it.
Weighing only 168kg before it’s filled with fluids, the Triple 660 is no heavyweight.
Add to that the nice 740mm-wide handlebars and quality Kayaba suspension and you’ve got a well-handling little bike.
Riding it through the same route taken on the big bad Speed Triple earlier this year, it felt much lighter and yet more planted and much smoother.
Power delivery is reined in by a specific engine control unit (ECU) for the 660 as well as a throttle stop, which allows only a fraction of the throttle to be used compared with the bigger bikes.
While some might think this a pain, I looked at it as fun.
The problem I have with big-power bikes is that you simply can’t use any of that power on the open road. With the Street Triple 660, I found I was knowingly getting the most out of the bike without venturing into territory where the boys in blue would be knocking on my door.
With 40.6kW on tap and a very healthy 54.6Nm at the twist of that throttle, there is more than enough power. Just twist that throttle and unleash the best-sounding engine of the Triumph triple range.
Styling wise, the Street has yet to catch up with the new Speed Triples, with the twin headlights mirroring those of the outgoing Speed rather than the superhero mask of the soon-to-arrive new model. If previous form is followed we’ll soon see the Street gain the new face too.
The low, sleek fuel tank feels like it has been pinched off the Daytona 675 supersport, hardly surprising considering the bikes share the same architecture. But on the Street it really stands out. You wouldn’t guess there’s over 17 litres of fuel in there.
An underslung MotoGP style exhaust channels gases and heat well away from the rider, so you won’t get an unintentionally heated seat like previous generations. Unlike the Speed Triple, the Street range sticks with the simple swinging fork swingarm, keeping weight down as well as giving the Street a much more grounded appeal than the addition of an exotic single sided swingarm usually suggests.
If there is one blatant downside to the Street Triple 660, however, it has to be where it sits in the registration bracket. While 660cc is a great size, the ACC levies for motorcycles over 601cc are significantly higher than bikes under that size.
That said, it is the only new triple-cylinder powered bike in the Learner Approved Market and that alone warrants a closer look.
PROS AND CONS TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE 660 ENGINE: 660cc inline three-cylinder PRICE: $13,990 PROS: Excellent handling, one of the best-sounding Triumph triples, well suited to returning riders, switchable ABS
CONS: Premium price, falls into expensive registration bracket