I love my bike, I really do, not in some strange, mechanical and human romance, that ends up with steam punk cyborg babies sort of way. No, I mean that it would be towards the top of the list of favorite things in the whole wide world ever kind of way.
I have always wanted a Speed Triple, when I saw the first one in a magazine I just sat there and stared at it for some time. It was exactly the bike I wanted to own, 885cc, café racer looks and it was British. It looked different, in a good way, it looked fast and it sold like hot cakes and then Triumph went and made it even better. The engine grew, the frame changed and it got two headlights. Triumph had looked at the street fighter custom scene and thought, we can do that to, and they sold like hotcakes and then Triumph went and made it even better! They kept all the good looks, gave it a bigger engine, upside downies and put the exhausts up under the seat...it was good enough to spend money on, and so I did!
They say “you should never meet your heroes”, luckily, they don’t say “you should never buy your dream bike”. If they had I would still have bought it, I am not good at listening to advice especially when I have been wandering around since 1994 telling everyone that might sort of listen even a little bit that “ I wants it”. After I got “my precioussss” I found out that dreams are not always quite perfect, for instance its charging system had the habit of deciding not to do what its name suggests. It turned out that the stator was not up to the job and melted under the stress of providing electrical power to so much awesomeness. This was fixed by just having it rewound with some heavier duty wire and fitting a good regulator that monitored battery charge, making sure it only asked what was necessary from the poor little stator.
Another thing has been a lot more difficult to resolve, those under seat exhausts. They are part of the signature of the bike, they look great and they certainly draw comments but they are not very good as exhausts. Oh yes, they do expel those dirty burnt fuel gases happily but they do it all over the rider. I have found that even after my 12 mile ride into work my back pack and jacket stink of exhaust fumes. This can be so bad that I have considered investing in a low slung three into one system, considered it, but I haven’t done it yet, because those high exhausts look so pretty. Looks are important, just ask any man…damn I am so shallow!!!
My speed triple is the best bike I have ever ridden on the road, it really does work well in the real world. Up until now all I have done is change things for practical reasons, but now, a few years down the line I am thinking of buying her a few presents, a bit of bling for the lass, she does after all deserve it, she has put up with me for years and not yet tried to kill me!
It is very possible that my next article will be about this, because I have an eBay account and I am not afraid to use it!