When the Triumph Street Triple 765RS was launched in 2017, replacing the Street Triple 675R, the boys from Hinckley took the streetfighter formula and made it better. Three years on, the 765RS has been updated, revised and redesigned to make a successful naked sports bike, priced at RM67,900 in Malaysia sans road tax, insurance and registration, same as the previous generation model – better.

Riding the first generation 765RS at the press ride in Catalunya, Spain, the author was impressed enough with it to place an order for one immediately. It even made the 2017 paultan.org Bike of the Year list in top place, so let it not be said we do not put our money where our mouth is.

With three years between model changes, it is about right the Street Triple got a makeover, a suitable period of time to find out what the bugs are and get them sorted out, so to speak. Thus, when Triumph released the 2020 model, we were agog with anticipation.

Excitement increased when we were informed Triumph Malaysia would receive the very first shipment of 2020 Street Triple 765RS from the factory. We wet our pants when told one of the units landing on our shores was marked with the author’s name.

Wait, I hear you say, did you actually buy one of the 2020 765RS? The answer is yes, we did, and read the rest of the review to find out why.

Naked sports bikes, as our colleague Mick said to us, have nothing to hide. There is literally nowhere to conceal anything. Everything is out on display, engine, frame and all.

With primary competition for the 765RS being the Yamaha MT-09 and the MV Agusta Brutale 800 in the three-cylinder arena, as well as the Ducati Monster 821, Aprilia Shiver 900 and Suzuki GSX-S 750, Hinckley’s naked sports middleweight goes up against a fairly crowded field. Readers wanting to comment about the omission of middleweights such as the Honda CB650F or Kawasaki Z650, we are only taking into account bikes producing at least 90 hp.

Now updated for Euro 5 is the three-cylinder mill in the 765RS, still putting out the same power – 121 hp at 11,750 rpm and 79 Nm of torque at 9,350 rpm – mid-range torque has taken a nice bump by 9% percent. Power where you can most use it, as they say.

In real terms, we can confirm the 2020 765RS is a little more responsive, and the throttle feels a touch smoother than the previous generation 765RS. How can we say this? Easy, both the previous model and next year’s 765RS are the personal motorcycles of the author.

While trying to discern the changes made to the engine internals means having to rely on Triumph’s press information, we can tell you the engine spins up a little faster thanks to a reduction of 7% in rotational inertia. We do note the engine gets a little buzzy at around 6,000 to 7,000 rpm, possibly due to a lack of rotating mass to damp out vibration.

More time spent with the 2020 765RS will reveal if this will become an issue when more miles are piled onto the engine. These things do have a way of working themselves out as the engine components bed in over time, or not, as the case may be.

The biggest visual difference is the headlights, which have always been a very polarising feature of the 675 and 765 series Street Triples. Many expressed a dislike for the “bug-eyed” look of the previous headlights, with equally as many finding them attractive and giving the bike personality.

Horses for courses, as they say, and for the author, his response has usually been, “if you’re riding the bike, what the headlights look like don’t matter anyway, what is more important is how they light up the road.” However, for the 2020 765RS, the headlights have been slimmed down, a lot, and feature new brow-like DRLs, with full LED lighting.

We found the new headlight fetching and put us in mind most of an “Angry Bird.” Whether this was intentional or not on the part of the Triumph Street Triple design team, we like that the DRLs are much brighter and more obvious in daylight. If you’re reading this, Stuart, thank you.

In the bike’s hindquarters, a racier seat cowl is found, looking like it fell off the Daytona 765RS Moto 2. The single-seat cover which is supplied alongside a pillion pad and swappable with the turn of a key has a rather more pronounced hump and set a little further back.

Another major change is the inclusion of an up-and-down quickshifter, replacing the up-only unit of the previous 765RS. Gearbox action is rather more precise and gear changes are now very slick with the quickshifter really coming into play whent eh revs climb beyond 8,000 to the 13,400 rpm redline.

What this means is in the real world, on the road, the 765RS engine exhibits two very clear personalities. The docile, controllable 765RS you can ride to work daily and is perfectly tame and the other 765RS, which lives above 8,000 rpm and comes out dressed in black leather, carrying a riding crop and asking if you’ve been a bad boy.

And believe us, the 765RS will reward bad behaviour. Performance from the 765RS was biased towards fast track riding in the previous iteration and for this generation, the orientation towards fast, very fast, track riding is even more obvious.

Steering effort is as razor sharp as before and the Showa BPF front fork and Ohlins STX40 rear monoshock, carried over from the first generation 765RS, means handling manners will give the rider the exact same “feel.” Certainly no surprises there, and everything we loved about the 765RS handling is right there where it counts.

We would fine tune the handling to Malaysian conditions though. Right out of the box, the forks are much too harsh for our roads with way too much rebound.

Maybe for a heavier rider on smoother roads it would work, but for the author, for road use, things need to be softened up a touch. No surprises in the braking department either, with Brembo M50 Monoblocs being retained for the front.

We loved the performance of the M50 Brembos on the first 765RS and are glad to see it installed on the second generation version. Either way, after three weeks of living with the 765RS, the feeling in the saddle will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ridden the previous 765RS.

What might be noted is the seating position, which is now a touch taller than before. While the specification sheet says seat height is the same between the old and new 765RS at 825 mm, in practise we noted the foot reaches a little more to the floor.

Not a deal breaker and certainly does not change the way we feel about the 2020 765RS but something to take note of if you’re a rider a little shorter in the inseam than the author. Reach to the handlebars is about the same but we found it easier to tuck into the racing position, more so the author’s young rider who is rather more flexible and is, ahem, missing the “auxiliary tank” around the tummy.

Dry weight has seen a 2 kg reduction to 166 kg, which means in the real world the 765RS probably comes in at about 190 kg or so, fully-fuelled and ready to go. Speaking fuel, which is carried in the same 17.4-litre tank, we found fuel consumption to be about the same as previous, averaging around 5.9-litres per 100 km.

Switchable traction control with five riding modes – Road, Rain, Sport, Track and Rider-Programmable – allow the rider to set the 765RS’s performance to whatever level is deemed necessary. ABS is standard and also adjustable for track or street use, so there should be absolutely no complaints about the 2020 765RS riding behaviour.

We have to as yet cane the 2020 765RS in anger around a racetrack and shall report back in due course if it gets any thirstier. From the previous model, fast and furious riding with numerous redline gear shifts at Sepang with forays above 220 km/h would rapidly drop fuel consumption to the 8 litres and above mark.

Coming to the negatives for the 2020 765RS, well, there is one big change made that we really did not like. The TFT-LCD screen inside the cockpit has been updated with new graphics, and instead of the six options of the previous generation, the rider now gets four display and four colour options with switchable auto contrast.

What we did not like is the omission of the analogue tachometer replica. For riders like the author, the sweep of the round tachometer is easier to read than the tiny bar graph display of the current version.

While some might yell, “hey, boomer!” at the author, the fact remains that change in engine speed is easier to read on an analogue clock face than a bar graph that keeps bouncing up and down. Let’s not get started on alphanumeric displays.

The exhaust system has been similarly updated, sounding a little more aggressive without being anti-social and making all the right noises as the throttle is opened up. A carbon-fibre end cap gives it an aftermarket quality touch.

Frame, swingarm and wheels are carried over from the outgoing 765RS as is the front mudguard and rear wheel mudguard. The radiator cowls have been reworked and are now slimmer and set lower on the frame than previously.

There you have it, the 2020 Street Triple 765RS, more of the same and better where it counts. This process of gradual refinement is good to see from the gentlemen in Hinckley and while the Modern Classics range seems to be bread and butter for Triumph, we hope that the sporting side of things is not neglected.

To answer the question of who should buy the 765RS, the bike would suit the rider who wants a machine ready to go out of the box with a minimum of fettling needed save the adding of an aftermarket pipe, perhaps a little tuning of the suspension to suit rider and riding style. As for the author, the decision was made some months ago, and the 2020 765RS is now part of the stable.

GALLERY: 2019 Triumph Street Triple 765RS