Compared to the previous incarnation, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R is lighter, smoother, more refined and has the handling and brakes a superbike would be proud of. Best of all, it’s 6kg lighter. It’s lost some of that in-your-face, foaming-at-the-mouth aggression, which made the original make us all stand up and take notice back in 2007, but it’ll be a ‘nicer’ bike to live with. For the first time there’s also an ABS option.

It manages to be more of everything: better for newbies, more capable for fast riders, more fun for adrenalin junkies and has one of the best engines and exhaust notes in biking. It’s a great all-rounder, no matter what your ability.

Making 105bhp at 11850rpm and 50flb at 9750rpm, power and torque remain the same as before, but there are new fuel-injection throttle bodies, ECU settings and a revised first gear, which is longer – but it takes away some of the Street Triple R’s wheelie-inducing acceleration. Triumph says these changes improve fuel consumption by 30% at town speeds and 12% at 50mph. The mpg is the same as before when you’re going for it.

The most visual change to the new bike is the repositioning of the exhaust. The two underseat pipes have been replaced by a single, more conventional side-mounted system. The new exhaust, which Triumph says has a deeper sound, saves a useful 3.6kg in weight. Lots of versions of the exhaust were tested during development to ensure decent ground-clearance at full lean.

Superb handling, light steering, masses of feel for grip and eye-popping brakes sum-up the Street Triple R’s. It’s not just better than its rivals, it’s one of the best-handling bikes you can buy.

A new tubular aluminium frame is now made from fewer component parts (eight, instead of 11) for strength and ease of assembly. It has a bigger steering lock with a 3% better turning circle an adjustable swingarm pivot position. The standard Street Triple has a 4mm higher swingarm position than the R, countering the standard bike’s softer, shorter rear shock and maintaining its fast steering. A high-pressure die-cast subframe is slimmer and lighter than the old fabricated tubular aluminium item. The numberplate hanger can be quickly removed via three screws and a block connector for trackdays. Headlights are moved lower and further in towards the bike. A new one-piece cast aluminum swingarm is 0.6kg lighter than before.

Fully-adjustable 41mm Kayaba forks have new top caps and revised damping settings. Weight distribution is now more front-biased, moving from a 49/51 front/rear split to 52/48. The steering angle is revised with rake reduced from 23.9° to 23.4° and trail up from 92.4mm to 95mm.

Restyled wheels can be fitted with Triumph’s optional Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). 120/70 x 17 front and 180/55 x 17 rear tyres are sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa.

Switchable Nissn ABS brakes are available available for the first time – the whole system weighs just 1.5kg and available in Jan/Feb next years. Front Brembo disc diameter is up from 308mm to 310mm and the new rear disc and Brembo caliper are lighter. ‘R’ version has Nissin four-piston radial calipers at the front and the standard version has non-radial, twin-piston sliding calipers.

Aside from the option of ABS, the Street Triple R doesn’t come with any electronic riding aids, but to be honest, it doesn’t need them. But you get fully-adjustable suspension, radial brakes, a multi-function dash and wide range of official Triumph accessories available to buy. These include things like Arrow exhaust cans, crash protection, heated grips and an alarm.