Big-Bore LAMS Test
Learner riders now have great choice with the second generation of large-capacity LAMS bikes. Motorcycle Trader took seven contenders on a 1500km round trip with surprising results. Read the intro here.
Contender #2: Triumph Street Triple 660
Triumph’s Street Triple 660 is an Australian-designed version of the 675 which meets the capacity limit by using a shorter stroke and a different camshaft. It retains 80 per cent of the torque of the 675 but produces it around 4500rpm lower in the rev range. Amazing.
ON THE ROAD
Triumph took the LAMS engineering job on the Street Triple seriously.
Mucking about on the near-deserted highway produced interesting results with top-gear roll-ons and acceleration testing. Triumph’s 660 produces its maximum torque around 3500rpm lower than the bike on which it’s based, the 675, and in top-gear roll-ons it literally leaps away from the pack. It’s a sprightly performer across the rev range in just about any gear and, with its fat rear tyre, it’s set up to be a LAMS performance champion.
The overall performance champ of our seven big-bore LAMS bikes is the Triumph 660, closely followed (and occasionally beaten) by the slightly more versatile Yamaha MT-07. Anyone who buys either of these bikes will never be disappointed. Both of them get the idea of LAMS and have provided excellent pathways for new riders to discover the pleasure of two wheels.
If you buy either of these bikes, you’ll always be a rider. The choice between them may be price-based, of course, along with your own emphasis on performance and practicality.
Those in the group which champion low engine-speed torque (Yamaha, Triumph, Suzuki and Kawasaki) feel vibrant around town and never seem in the wrong gear. All this is a blessing for learners.
All the bikes tested delivered excellent stopping performance as the brake systems were originally designed for bikes that developed substantially more power. Anti-lock braking system (ABS) on the Triumph, Kawasaki and Ducati elevate these three from the pack not because you can brake harder but because it removes the fear in learners of locking the front wheel in an emergency braking situation.
What really matters about the performance of all of the test bikes is, at normal road speeds, they all have plenty in reserve for overtaking and it makes them safer in that they can do it quickly with composure.
In the styling department, the Triumph 660 and Yamaha’s MT-07 truly embrace modernity. Like them or not, both represent current thinking in the styling, with the MT-07 being arguably the most modern.
Older members of the MT crew preferred the Kawasaki and the Suzuki to the moderns but What everyone was unanimous about, though, was, for new riders, the old-fashioned analogue dials were much easier to read than the ‘modern’ digital ones.
Read more on the LAMS review contenders:
– LAMS review intro
– Ducati Monster 659
– CFMoto 650NKS
– Suzuki Gladius 650
– Benelli BN600S
– Kawasaki ER-6nL
– Yamaha MT-07
Subscribe to Motorcycle Trader magazine here