A Triumph?

I’ve been window shopping bikes for a while now. I know, I know. I love my VFR750 and it’s wonderful and will run for ever, etc, but the grass is always greener.

I was looking at bikes I’ve had before and for which I have a nostalgic fondness. In spite of the actual performance of some of the bikes. But they are all old, old bikes now. My VFR is 25 years old this year.

Then I was looking at the new (-ish) Triumphs. They do a rather nice naked (no fairings) 675cc triple. And the odd thing is, they are really up there on the reviews. Class leading, indeed.

The downside being they are hugely popular and a premium marque, so expensive. That one is second hand and £4,800.

All the talk is of the distinctiveness of the triple engine. Not revvy like an inline 4, lumpy like a parallel twin, or thumpy like a V twin. Lots of torque, fast, and responsive. With a unique triple character.

I was very sceptical. I thought MotorCycle News (MCN) were just being jingoistic fanboys. The Triumphs I remember were basically semi-mobile teach-yourself-engineering devices. With additional muscle building from pushing it home. But every review, UK, US, Aus, all say the same.

That’s a hell of a turn up for the books.

So, I kept searching the ads, picking my ideal bike,then not buying it because it was too expensive. And I do love my VFR.

Then my lovely VFR spluttered a bit and wasn’t running on all cylinders. Just for a few hundred yards, but then you’re conscious of it. It’s been getting more tricky to start for a while but I put it off as getting at the carbs on a V4 is a bit of an ordeal. Once it’s got to not running on all four you have to do something.

I stripped it down on my day off. Fairings off, seat off, tank off, airbox off, disconnect the carbs then prise them out, take the bottoms off the carbs remove the jets, clean, poke and replace.

Put like that it sounds like a really easy job. So not.  Two of my jets were completely blocked and were really hard to clear. Then just pop it back together again. It took me over 5 hours sat outside in the freezing cold.

I was miffed.

All that faffing about to poke a bit of wire down four jets. Enough is enough.

I hit the internet again, thinking about getting a newer VFR, I love mine, so a newer one, with fuel injection and ABS would be brilliant.

I sourced several. A bit over budget but not by the vast margin of the Street Triple. Then I cross referenced them with MCN reviews. To my amazement they said the VFR800 was good, but the Triumph Sprint ST (Sports Tourer) was in every way better.

A Triumph.

Better. Than. A. Honda.

The VFR is legend. The Best Bike Ever Built. The yardstick. The class leader in ST.

And the Triumph is in every way better.

Wow.

Then I saw it was a 1050cc triple. The magic word, “triple”. WANT! WANT! WANT!

I went on to that sultry temptress eBay, and had a look.

Someone selling a 2005 Triumph Sprint 1050 ST, fuel injection, ABS, 15,000 miles, for £2,500 or best offer.

This was all in the same day and evening as I’d been hassled by my carbs. In a rush of blood to the head I offered £2,300 for it. It looked such a good bike, so low miles, I wanted to click “buy it now” at full price, but I thought I’d try and haggle.

I got up in the morning, cooler head about to prevail, and got an email:  “offer accepted.”

Oh. Whoops.

So Wendy is now the proud co-owner of a Triumph.

She’s totally overjoyed.

Down inside.

Deep, deep, down inside.

Those are all pictures from the advert. I’ve not actually seen it in daylight yet. Picked it up at night, stupid o’clock start for work, late finish.

I had a massive ordeal going to pick it up yesterday. A bus, 3 trains, and a £21 taxi. Not even as far down as Brum. Wendy needs to get over her fear of motorways. To be fair, after I’d added another hour to my journey time by going to the wrong train station, she did offer to run me, but it would have been too much of a learning curve for her. The M6 is always a nightmare, then unlit country roads, and her longest drive…

Anyhow, I digress.

I picked it up, then followed the taxi driver’s (very bad) advice. What should have been a 80 odd mile journey was 120. And it was so bitterly cold. Several hours of pure frozen.

I’ll give it a while to accustom myself to a new bike and get used to this one for what it is, before I commit to a review of it. But first impressions are; the engine is smooth. So, so smooth. The power is there and it just builds. It doesn’t thump, or scream, or hit mad power bands. It’s like turning a dimmer switch. I’m not sure I like it. It might just be that I have to adjust my riding to how the bike works.

The reviews talk of 160mph top end, footpeg to footpeg cornering, and total comfort for touring. Hence Sports Tourer. I’ll give it a while to adjust to it.

If I don’t take to it, I just have to wait for some warmth and sunshine. When the fair weather bikers get out of their Volvos I can make a few bob on this one.

Rejoice! For the time being we are a two bike family again. Wendy is ordering pink leathers as we speak.

Later,

Buck.