I currently ride a Ducati Multistrada 620, and I’ve put about 5000 miles on it since buying it in October. I’m a complete Demo whore, and I’ll ride anything (well, almost anything) I can get my hands on. he Triumph truck was over at the Harrisburg Triumph dealers today so I took a personal day and headed up there.
You can read about the demo day here: http://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,7761.msg179276.html#msg179276
First up was the bike I was most looking forward to, the new 1050 Tiger.
Man this thing is tall – taller than my Multistrada, and that’s saying something. The dealer had one insde with a ¾” lower ride height, and that one I could get the balls of my feet down on. The stock one it was tiptoes only.
Love the seating position, tons of legroom, nicely upright ergos, perhaps more comfy even than the Multi. Started up and clicked down into first. We started out maneuvering through little side streets, and the first thing I noticed was “where’s the shifter?” Oh, I have to point my toe 45 degrees to the inside to hit it. OK….
The motor was smooth, with lots of punch down low. It seemed to get a little coarser as the revs got into the 7k+ range, at least that’s what I remember. The clutch was terrific, it made slow maneuvering a no-brainer. Lots more engangement area than the Ducati’s, which is all concentrated at the very first bit of travel.
Pretty smooth airflow until about 70mph, and the the buffeting started. Not too bad, but small quick side-to-side bounces to the head. Is the windscreen adjustable/replaceable on this?
This may be heresy, but let me say that the sound of the triple really doesn’t do anything for me, at least with stock pipes. You can hear it, unlike the BMW R1200R I demo’d last week, but the sound doesn’t stir me. It’s better than the inline-4’s I remember riding 15 years ago, but after all the talk I was hoping for more.
Not to say I didn’t like the bike – far from it. With the exception of the non-wonderful engine sound and some slight buffeting, the bike was terrific. If I had to pick a different bike at the moment this would be at the top of my list.
Next up was the Bonneville T100.
Based only on looks, the is a bike I love. Just about the perfect “retro” or “normal” bike. I especially like the T100 version with the chrome accents and two-tone paint. First thing I noticed riding off was that it was a bit smaller than I imagined. The reach to the bars was fine, but the legroom was a bit too tight. But I could deal.
I loved the pulsing of the twin engine, and I was completely surprised at the exhaust note. Blipping it off idle gave a great snarl, but even better was the growl under heavy acceleration. After reading the magazine reviews I was expecting to hear nothing , but accelerating up a hill produced a wonderful sound from those little pea-shooters!
Speaking of acceleration, it was....adequate. Kind of like my Multi - reasonably quick, but a quick twist of the wrist is not going to scare you. As they say, it was the kind of power you could use every day.
Cornering was nowhere near as planted as the Tiger, but still OK. It was also fun to be back on a naked, with no windscreen to mess up the airflow.
If I could afford a stable of bikes, I would love to have a T100 in there to just cruise around town on. I’d also love to get more of that sound from the twin as well – different pipes perhaps?