Review: Triumph Street Cup

Triumph’s Modern Classics series grew to such proportions lately, that you’d almost stress out by the choice you have. Most definitely when you see the wide range of styling accessoiries. Broadly speaking, you can divide the classics into two groups: the 900 cc and the 1200 cc models. Triumph’s original classic, the Bonneville, can be found in both groups, while the Thruxton got a 1200 cc engine during its most recent update. You’re not particularly looking out for a more performance oriented bike (with a higher price tag) but you still prefer a sporty and at the same time classic looking Triumph? How about the Street Cup?

The Triumph Street Cup is the caféracer version of the Street Twin, which in turn is a Bonneville T100 in a more modern look. The Street Cup scores at the first glance, thanks to its beautiful finishing. Neat looking engine, well concealed cables, classy details such as logos, pinstriping and metal footpegs. Available from $10,500 in the US and the same amount in Euros in France, in two color combinations: adorable yellow-gray and somewhat dull gray-black. Although the dullness wasn’t that bad when I saw my test bike in the flesh. Especially the metallic gray sparkles beautifully.

The 900 cc parallel twin delivers 55 hp and 80 Nm. Numbers that won’t lead to astonished reactions when you pull up at your favorite pub. The torque, however, already peaks at 3,230 rpm, so the engine is spicier than you’d expect. With a good twist of the ride-by-wire throttle, you haste away. Experienced riders shouldn’t fear any lack of enthusiasm. At the same time, the power delivery is very smooth and friendly, easing newbies’ minds.

The display is classic: two analog meters for speed and revs. Each has a small digital display for, among other things, range, trip counter, selected gear and consumption.

With its dynamic appearance, the sloping handlebar and the forward bent sitting position you’d fancy to ride the Street Cup lively. To which it lends itself only partly. The engine would love sportive trips, but the suspension has a hard time following when you pretend to be a race pilot. Especially the rear shock absorbers get nervous, dropping the stability quickly.

The same story applies to the brakes. The single front brake disc does fine in gentle situations, but just like the suspension, it falls a bit short in more extreme breaking circumstances. Emergency stop? No problem for the Street Cup, but you simply can’t ignore the rising agitation. ABS is fortunately standard, as is traction control.

Anyway. If you’re looking for dynamic driving and classic looks in one package, then you better check out the Thruxton. The Street Cup is a bike to just enjoy nice rides in the first place. In which it succeeds without a single doubt. The double exhaust pipes produce a delicious, deep roll, the five speed gearbox shifts flawlessly and the steering behavior leaves little to be desired. Two tiny remarks: the Cup doesn’t react very alert on steering impulses, and in slower and sharper turns it needs some extra encouragement.

The riding position is sportive, but arms and legs suffer very little. The seat is comfortable, while the flyscreen – as expected – only scores points in terms of aesthetics. One hour at 140 km/h on the Deutsche Autobahn will not really please your neck. Nope, you should opt for local rides, that much is clear. By the way, these rides you can do two up, because the passenger footpegs weren’t something the Triumph team forgot to remove: the seat cover can be removed and hides the passenger seat.

Conclusion

Sometimes it can be simple. A good looking bike, a fine engine, some technological essentials and that’s it. Triumph has mastered this concept. With the Street Cup they created a motorbike that serves its classic-sporty purpose very well. Because not everyone demands fiery performance, endless comfort and the latest high-tech extravaganza. For nothing more than fun ride-outs among mates, you don’t need all of that. Nope, the Triumph Street Cup offers the basics, but with class. An engine that can convince both new and experienced riders, with a finishing that seduces effortlessly, and a soundtrack that you’ll want to put on repeat.

Photography: Foto PK

Pros

+ Sweet engine with a good balance between accessibility and panache
+ Beautiful finishing
+ Tasty sound

Contras

– Hardly suitable for sportive driving
– Slight instability when braking firmly

Tech specs

Engine and transmission

Type: Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
Capacity: 900cc
Bore / Stroke: 84.6 / 80 mm
Compression: 10.55:1
Max Power: 55Hp (40.5kW) @ 5,900rpm
Max Torque: 59FT-lbs (80Nm) @ 3,230rpm
System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Brushed stainless steel 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin silencers
Final drive: Chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox: 5-speed

Chassis

Frame: Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front Wheel: Cast aluminium alloy multi-spoke 18 x 2.75in
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminium alloy multi-spoke 17 x 4.25in
Front Tire: 100/90-18
Rear Tire: 150/70-R17
Front Suspension: KYB 41 mm forks, 120 mm travel
Rear Suspension: KYB twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120 mm rear wheel travel
Brakes Front: Single 310 mm floating disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Brakes Rear: Single 255 mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Instrument Display and Functions: Twin instrument pack with analogue speedometer and rev counter, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, 2x trip, average & current fuel consumption display, traction control status display, TPMS ready & heated grip ready – controlled by a handlebar mounted scroll button.

Dimensions and weights

Width Handlebars: 29.1 in (740 mm)
Height Without Mirror: 43.5 in (1105 mm)
Seat Height: 30.7 in (780 mm)
Wheelbase: 56.5 in (1435 mm)
Rake: 24.3 degrees
Trail: 3.9 in (98.7 mm)
Dry Weight: 440 lb (200 kg)
Tank Capacity: 3.2 gal (12 l)

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