Category Archives: Triumph

Youtube Videos

Just before going out to California this fall, I had purchased a GoPro camera to record some highlights of my rides.  I haven’t figured out how to use it to its full potential yet and hope to get some more experience with it over the winter months so that I’m ready to capture some more interesting footage next summer.

One of the things that surprised me the most about the GoPro was how well it did with audio.  With the camera mounted to the handlebars on the Triumph and the crash bar on the Versys, I figured that wind noise would be a problem.  However, it seems as if the camera does an excellent job of eliminating the wind noise leaving just the sound of the engine.

I haven’t taken a lot of footage yet, but I did post a couple of short videos to YouTube recently.

Triumph Street Triple – Late Summer Ride

Kawasaki Versys – Palm to Pines Highway

Video editing is another area where I need to get some experience.  Right now, I can only manage to do the most basic things with Adobe Premier and hope to get a lot more experience during the snowy months here in the Northeast.

New Levers for the Triumph

A few weeks ago, my Triumph got dropped.  It wasn’t me who dropped it and the guilty party will remain nameless.

Damage is minimal with only a small scratch on the side where the turn signal hit the bodywork, a scuff on one of the engine covers, the bar-end mirror has a little scratch, and the end of the brake lever broke off.  The scratches really aren’t noticeable unless you really look for them but the brake lever needed to be replaced.

Looking around at various options inevitably led to eBay and I ended up buying some adjustable shorty levers from China.  There were many color options and I choose titanium levers with black adjusters.  With shipping the levers were $50 for the pair (brake and clutch).  Installation was straight forward and only took about 20 minutes.  They feel solid, appear to be well-made and look pretty good too.

I went with shorty levers for a couple of reasons.  I got used to riding with the shorter broken lever and found that I liked it. I only need two fingers on the brakes and the clutch is light enough to use two fingers as well.   I’m also hoping that if the bike gets tipped over or dropped again, the levers will survive.

First ride of 2014!

Well, I decided to go out for a short ride today.  It’s about 45 degrees and the roads are mostly dry.

I took the Street Triple out so that I could test the quick shifter.  This is an awesome accessory!  It shifts fast and smooth without using the clutch.

I had also replaced the useless stock mirrors with some Triumph bar end mirrors.  They’re a bit small but do seem to work pretty well.

It’s great to be back out on the bike.  I may not be able to ride again for a week or two because it’s going to turn cold again but for today, I’m happy to be able to take advantage of a warm February day.

161,286 Miles and Counting

Recently, I was taking a look at some of the statistics I’ve gathered over the years and thought it would be interesting to share with everyone.  When I started riding, I never expected to accumulate so many miles in such a short period of time.  

Since purchasing my 2006 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic on May 9th, 2006 I’ve racked up a total of 161,286 miles between the four bikes that I’ve owned.  

 Miles by Bike
2006 Electra Glide (May 2006 – Feb 2014) 68,467
2010 Electra Glide Limited (Jan 2010 – Aug 2012) 60,429
2012 BMW K1600GTL (Aug 2012 – Feb 2014) 26,312
2013 Street Triple (Jul 2013 – Feb 2014) 6,078
Summary
Total Miles as of 2/21/14 161,286
Average Miles per Year  21,108

Here in Upstate NY, I actually end up riding about 8-9 months a year due to the cold and snow that we get. 

During the riding season, I commute back and forth to work almost every day.  I’m also out riding most Saturdays and Sundays.  This all adds up to quite a few miles.

Of course a good chunk of the miles I’ve accumulated are a result of the cross-country trips I’ve taken.  These trips have ranged from 7k-9k each year accounting for somewhere between 45k – 50k of the total miles I’ve ridden.  These long trips are the reason I really like big touring bikes.  

While averaging over 20k miles a year sounds pretty good, in some ways, averages can be deceiving.  If memory serves me right, the first couple of years I only averaged about 13k-14k a year.   This past year is the most miles I’ve done in a single year.   I’ve racked up 32k miles in 15 months (Aug 2012-Nov 2013) between the BMW (26k miles) and the Triumph (6k miles).     These two bikes are a lot of fun to ride.

I’ve spent countless hours enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells that only a motorcycle can provide.  I hope to be able to continue for many years to come.

Triumph Quick Shifter

Toward the end of last year’s riding season, I started doing  more clutchless shifting as I rode the Street Triple.  The sound and feel of quick up-shifts at 10,000+ RPM’s on the 675 cc triple is awesome.

Quick ShifterWinter in the Northeast leaves plenty of time for researching and planning mods and I ended up buying a Quick Shifter.  Installation was as simple as replacing the stock shifter rod and plugging it into the bike’s computer.   The Street Triple wiring harness is pre-wired for the quickshifter and the hardest part was finding the connector under the seat.

I haven’t yet taken it for a ride yet because it’s quite cold out and there’s still too much snow and ice around to ride safely.   I can’t wait to get out on the road again to give this a try.

 

My Favorite Bike

When people find out that I have three bikes, they inevitably ask me which one I like best.  This generally results in me having  to explain that I really don’t have a “favorite” bike.  Each bike is different and is used for a different purpose.

The Electra Gide is comfortable and generally quite relaxing to ride.  The Rinehart true dual exhaust and amplified stereo ensures that everyone hears me coming from afar.  The Harley is a motorcycle that has a classic feel to it that makes it a great bike to ride.  With 68K miles, my 2006 Electra Glide has been 100% reliable and has never leaked a drop of oil.  It’s definitely not fast, corners poorly compared to my other bikes, and the brakes are just OK.  This is the bike I ride when I just want to slow down, relax and enjoy the scenery.

The Street Triple R is my sport bike.  It’s the bike I’ve been riding the most lately because its lightweight, powerful, handles great, and has terrific brakes and is an incredibly easy bike to ride.  While long rides are not out of the question, the Triumph’s suspension is firmer and  focused on performance rather than comfort.  In short, it’s everything that the Harley is not.  Its’ the bike I ride when I just want to have fun.

The BMW K1600 has to be the star of the bikes I own.  Every time I ride the BMW I marvel at just how good it is.  It’s fast, comfortable, corners great, stops brilliantly, and has every electronic gizmo you could imagine.   The 6 cylinder motor is amazing – very good low-end power with amazing high rpm power as well.  Sure, there are more powerful engines, but when you can go from 35 mph to 135+ mph in 6th gear on a 750lb motorcycle, that’s impressive.  The suspension/handling is equally impressive and amazingly flexible due to the ESA.  The electronic suspension adjustment (ESA) allows you to have a very soft and plush ride on the interstate highways and then, with a couple of button presses, switch to firmer settings to handle the twisty roads.  Really, the only downside to the BMW that I can come up with is that it’s heavy to move around in the garage and parking lots.  I ride the BMW when I want the comfort, weather protection,  and storage of the Harley with the performance of a sport bike.  It’s got to be one of the best all-around bikes ever made.

So there  you have it. Three bikes for three different riding moods.

 

Triumph Street Triple R

Over the past year or so, my interest in motorcycling has taken a decidedly different direction moving from touring, to sport touring, and now towards sport riding.  After riding Harley touring bikes for 6 years, I started looking at sport-touring bikes and ended up getting a 2012 BMW K1600 GTL in August 2012.  The BMW totally changed my view of riding allowing me to  appreciate a more sporty style of riding.

While the BMW is a great all around bike, I was becoming tired of pushing around 750+ pound bikes so I decided it was time to start looking for something smaller and lighter for my daily commuting.

Earlier this summer, I dropped off my K1600 for the 18K service and they gave me a loaner bike to ride – a BMW F 800 GT.  It didn’t take long for me to appreciate how nice it was to ride a smaller, lighter bike.  Unfortunately, the BMW 800 GT just didn’t provide any real sense of excitement.  It handled well and had decent wind protection but the exhaust sounded like a cross between a wet fart and a souped-up moped.    The one thing this did prove was that a small, lightweight bike is much easier to ride around town.

I read reviews to find out what each of the manufacturers offered.  One bike that always seemed to rise to the top of the comparisons was the Triumph Street Triple.  I went to a few dealers to see the bikes in person, sit on them, and ask some questions.  When I sat on the Triumph, I immediately liked how it felt.

I took a short 20 minute test ride on the Street Triple and immediately knew that it was the right bike for me.  It’s lightweight (400 lbs), has a riding position, and most importantly – it’s fun to ride. A week later, I rode a white 2013 Street Triple R home.

In the past 4 weeks, I’ve put almost 3K miles on the little Triumph and have loved every minute of it.  Other than the few hours it took get used to the short wheelbase, it’s been an easy transition from the big touring bikes to the Triumph.  This little 400lb bike is so much easier to back out of the garage and maneuver through parking lots than the big bikes are.

Riding the Triumph is sublime.  The sound of the 675cc triple is amazing above 8k rpm’s when the motor really starts making power.  The the cornering and braking are equally incredible and are clearly beyond my riding abilities.

Being a naked bike, there’s no wind/weather protection and no storage at all.  The wind really isn’t too bad when riding under 80 mph which was a pleasant surprise – I was expecting it to be a lot worse.  If it looks like it’s going to rain, I take the BMW out instead.  Storage deficiencies were addressed with the addition of a small tail bag and a small tank bag that provide enough room to bring the basic necessities along with me.

I’ve taken a number of fairly long rides (200+ miles) and it’s been OK comfort wise. Of course it’s nowhere near as comfortable as the Electa Glide or the K1600, but it’s acceptable.  The only real issue with longer rides is the with the seat.  I took the seat cover off, added some foam, and reshaped which did help, but it;s still not something that you want to ride 500+ miles on.  .

Overall, I have to say that this is quite a fun and exciting bike to ride.  The power, handling, and brakes are excellent and it’s a reasonably comfortable and easy bike to ride.  You should get one.