In the last twelve months I have been test riding BMW, Triumph, and Harley motorcycles. Test rides are usually limited in time and restricted to the roads in the dealership's vicinity, which is good enough for me to say 'no thanks' or 'maybe' - but not enough to say EUREKA!
With the desire to ride something different, but keeping an eye on available budget, reason and needs at the time I meanwhile opted for the Sportster, and fuel economy and limited mileage aside, this bike hasn't let me down.
Fast forward to May 2012. Not often does one get the opportunity to test ride a motorcycle for longer, and in its natural habitat. While in New Zealand, Geoff had generously offered me his Triumph Street Triple 675.
previous ride with Roger. Besides, I felt intimidated by the Triumph's 105 HP. To hell with that, what do numbers tell us anyway. When Geoff had coaxed me into taking seat on the STriple, I knew I wanted to try it out. This bike fitted like a glove. It felt like sitting in instead of on the bike, and becoming a part of it. I found the foot-pegs and controls conveniently arranged, and easy to handle.
After Geoff had maneuvered the STriple down the steep hill of his driveway, it was my turn, and let it roll with a gentle twist of the wrist, shifting up and down, accelerating and breaking to get a better understanding of the bike's functionality and reactions. Every move felt natural to me.
The Street Triple is a naked bike so I expected the wind pressure to pull at my arms and pound my shoulders, but that little fly screen did actually a pretty good job deflecting, especially when I crouched down a bit. This lightweight bike is amazingly gentle with inexperienced riders, responsive to the slightest shift of the hip, and forgives rider errors (such as miscalculated speed in a turn) much easier than any other bike I have ever ridden. Just lean a bit more, and trust it finding the best way through.
Low speed maneuverability, turning and parking the bike was a piece of cake as well. Overall handling of this motorcycle was as easy as riding a scooter (I hope that Triumph owners won't cringe too much given that comparison...). Being able to put my feet flat on the ground (something I was not able to accomplish on Roger's F650GS) added to the overall confidence.
After returning from down under I was antsy the whole work week, which did not go unnoticed by the spousal unit. Hence the best husband of all schlepped me into a Triumph dealership determined to find a cure for my suffering. The healing came with a big bang, but not in a good way. The overall cost for a 2012 Triumph Street Triple including bare necessity farkles (fly screen, frame sliders, luggage options, heated grips, cigarette lighter socket, engine and radiator cover etc.), would sum up to an amount that I simply cannot afford. Unfortunately for me, there are no reasonably priced used ones around. So I will let it go for now, and put it in the back of my mind.
Good things come to those who wait while I continue my research on this particular model. There are a few open questions left: Is the tank hole such a nuisance like it seems to be with the Bonnie? Does the instrument panel have a fuel gauge (I couldn't spot it.). And given the fuel consumption how much of an all-rounder can it be?
Meanwhile, my Sportster is kicking its heels (wheels), waiting to be released from its prison, and I am more than happy to oblige.