Analysis: Triumph Street Triple power falls to 79PS

Shubhabrata Marmar  /
27 Nov 2014 15:04:24 IST

Triumph India Motorcycles' website was updated about a month ago to reflect the ARAI-certified specifications. Most of the motorcycles assembled here show a small drop in power between 7 and 10 per cent. But the Street Triple shows a 25 per cent drop in power from 106PS to 79PS. Here's what we know of how the Street Triple lost a quarter of its power output.

The 85PS Street Triple

Triumph actually have an 85PS specification for the Street Triple. If you visit Triumph Brazil, you will see that they have a Street Triple listed with 85PS peak power. Even better is Japanwhere the Street Triple 85 with 85PS is listed as a separate model from the Street Triple R which lists with 106PS. The price difference is JPY2,63,200 or Rs 1.4 lakh approximately. The Street Triple R is not on sale in India.

Why is this 85PS motorcycle important? Well, this is the model that Triumph has been selling in India from day one, then the 79PS official ARAI figure is easily explained. And then the only question that remains is why Triumph did not update the website to reflect the correct and significantly lower power figure all these days.

But let us come back to that.

Triumph Street Triple

Is the 79PS Street Triple value for money?

It isn't. There, we've said it. We have compared the Street Triple to the Kawasaki Z800 in the past because the Kawasaki is close to the Triumph in both spec and price. But now the playing field has been flipped on its head. The Z800 is now just Rs 25,000 more than the Speed Triple, approximately. And in that money, it gives you 35PS more as well as a four-cylinder engine. If I were sticking to a budget, then the Kawasaki makes a lot more sense.

On the other hand, the new spec actually makes the Kawasaki Ninja 650 look like a startlingly good deal. The N650 (and the Rs 50,000 cheaper ER-6n) makes 72PS, 7PS less power and is powered by a parallel twin. But, get this, at Rs 5.71 lakh, it's Rs 2.79 lakh cheaper (and in the case of the ER-6n, Rs 3.29 lakh cheaper) than the Street Triple. Which is a terrific deal. The Triumph is the sportier feeling of the two motorcycles, no doubt, but the Ninja 650 is actually a very persuasive motorcycle and at this price differential, vastly greater value for money.

Again, this doesn't meant that the Indian Street Triple is suddenly virtue-free. It's still a fun bike to ride with sharp handling and an awesome lightness that makes it good fun to ride. It just never had 106PS. But a loss of 25 per cent of its power though notional is a big change in the value proposition.

What's the difference between 85PS and 106PS models?

I am given to understand that the 85PS spec has a different valve and a different exhaust. In theory, this means that for not a lot of money, you can raise the power back to nearly the 106PS spec.

Unfortunately, Triumph as a manufacturer cannot legally offer you that option. However, if you do upgrade to the Arrow exhaust which Triumph offers out of its dealerships, you will come close to the 106PS spec.

Was the 106PS bike ever sold here at all?

No. While the material in the showrooms and the website all said 106PS listing the European specification, Triumph India say the listed spec was always clearly disclaimered as being European specification. And that India has always received the 85PS spec which the ARAI officially certified as 79PS.

In fact, we tested these 85/79PS versions as well and took the website's 106PS as the figures to quote. That was, in hindsight, an error.

We have altered the two stories we have online to reflect the drastic change the new information makes to the proposition. Here's the updated first ride and here's the comparo against the Kawasaki Z800.

Unfortunately, Triumph's explanation is that the 85PS model was on sale from day one and it's just taken this long to update the website. A simple procedural glitch that led to an inordinate delay in updating the website.

This could be true too - if they hadn't updated their website, India just doesn't have that many dynamometers for the sharp difference in power to become known. But glitch or not, disclaimered or otherwise, this is extremely disappointing.

Triumph India really should have had the Brazilian spec up from day one and updated the website to reflect the ARAI specification as soon as sales opened. The disclaimers would have not been needed then.

More from OVERDRIVE on the Triumph motorcycles

Triumph Street Triple vs Kawasaki Z800

Triumph India website updated with lower power figures

Triumph Street Triple India first ride

Triumph Speed Triple India first ride

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