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Combining Motorbike Touring with Training

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Triumph Street Triple 675 – courtesy bike!

The Tiger is in for it’s 6,000 mile service, and I was provided a courtesy bike in the form of a Triumph Street Triple 675, 2016 model.

Street Triple 675 courtesy bike

Its tiny compared to the Tiger. But, although short in stature, it seems to be “large” on character. From the picture it is hard to tell the size of it.

Anyway, so far, I have ridden it all of 10 miles and I must admit, there is a large grin on my face.

The riding position makes me lean slightly forward, like a racing bike. The pegs are at a “funny” angle to what I am used to, slightly tipped forward which is a little awkward. Cornering is a lot of fun! It turns so easily and nimbly.

Would I buy one? Yes, but only for hooning about at weekends, and for short commutes to work. It is great fun though, and good for filtering through traffic being a lot narrower than the Tiger. Would it get to the Alps? Probably, but I think I would be hurting when I got there!

However, it was bloody good fun!

I took it to work and back today. Up the A419, into Cirencester, along the A453 (back road) to Cheltenham.

On the A419, I could feel the wind hitting me at 70mph. This bike is definitely more at home on the ‘A’ roads where it can be chucked into corners. And it likes being thrown into tight bends! Got to work and I had a big smile on my face!!! Couldn’t wait to ride home again!!

It was a very hard and firm ride; I felt every bump.  I hadn’t realised there were so many drain covers in Cheltenham – live and learn I suppose.

I got the Tiger back this evening and it was like sitting in an armchair! I’m definitely built more for comfort these days!

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Tutoring again – telling associate to speed up!!

What a great day that was! Spent it tutoring one of the guys from RoSPA. Really nice chap and enthusiastic about his riding too.

Took him down to the Divine Cafe, a favourite Wiltshire RoADAR meeting point, via Royal Wootton Bassett and Avebury, then back along to Marlborough and to the Triumph showroom in Swindon for another cuppa tea.  Only around 60 miles all told, but we stopped often and chatted about bikes, his riding and so on.

Major points – he is a really good rider, corners well and at appropriate speed too. Makes it difficult for me to really provide useful advice, however, no such thing as a perfect ride. So, couple of points I picked up on were making sure there was sufficient safety margin between him and oncoming traffic, and to speed up! Yes, speed up!!  Being told to speed up is not what he expected to be told. He missed the national speed limit down to Avebury and thought it was a 50mph zone!   That little error would have knocked his grade down from Gold to Silver had this been the actual RoSPA test!

The point is though to ride at the appropriate speed according to the road, traffic and weather conditions. 50mph was too slow in this instance. If it had been wet, raining, muddy, then 50mph would have been appropriate.

Live and learn!

 

Sally rode pillion on the Tiger!

Wow! Ok, she had little choice to be honest as our car is being repaired this week – all week! Ouch, that’s going to be expensive.

Anyway, seems she really enjoyed it! Fresh air coming in was the best. It was dark and a bit wet out, but….Got me thinking about the next bike; sticking with Triumph (of course!)

Next bike perhaps?
Next bike perhaps?

 

Riding with pillion reminded me of how much extra care I need to take. Extra time to brake; even more care when accelerating – don’t want to jolt her around; looking further ahead to make the ride as smooth as possible. And the pre-ride pep talk – lean with the rider, don’t lean the opposite way as this makes it really hard to control; hold onto the grab rails or me; tap me once to turn left, twice for right, and many times to stop!

But, she enjoyed it, and so did I!

Riding in the dark was good too. The Tiger’s lights work really well compared to other bikes I have seen. The road was a bit damp and there was some mud about, but with traction control this proved no issue at all.

Can’t wait now for lighter evenings and dry days to get out again, perhaps for a whole day!

 

 

Riding in the rain – and the dark!

Something I do enjoy doing I must admit, is riding in the rain, but riding home last night after my evening class was rather less “enjoyable”.

Coming back to Cricklade from Wroughton via Purton, the roads were poorly lit if at all. Muddy, leaves and rain, but having “Rain” mode on the Tiger meant the bike coped and was brilliant. Made me look like I knew how to ride 🙂 As well as having traction control and what could be the best lights on a motorbike, the ride home was not too bad.

Did I enjoy it? Hmmmm……..! Yes, probably! I still got off with a big grin on my face, but a knackered back from Tae Kwon Do!!!

Route below:

There’s a Tiger coming to tea!

Its a Triumph Tiger XRx!

Treated myself to a new motorbike to replace the ageing KES.

Bit of a sad day as KES has been loyal, reliable-ish, and great fun. I even passed my Advanced Riding Test with RoSPA on KES. However, the time has come for KES to go into semi-retirement and enjoy the coming days, months and years remembering past glories, rides and fun! Remember the Alps!!! We will always have that.

Not sure what I’m going to do with KES though. Keep and get back to showroom condition – nice project I can do with my sons. Will teach them a few things about engine repair in general.

Or sell? That thought I hate I must admit and will struggle to bring myself to do. Space is the issue though. We have a single garage rammed full of everything other than what it was designed for (assuming we all drive ultra-small cars and are slim enough to get out the door when it is only open about 10 inches (250mm/25cm for the young’uns)).

What a dilemma! Who said life was going to be easy? Lets see how I feel next week when the new bike arrives.

 

Tiger XRx
Tiger XRx

 

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