Moto Life

Winter's almost here now

December 7, 2008

So much happened since that last post…well maybe not that much. I did go on a couple of longer rides (6-7 hours), but never could shake the more power/different bike bug. I started posting the BabyStrada on Craigslist and the next thing you know–it’s sold. Didn’t even make the Chowder Run this year–my buddy’s Moto Guzzi crapped out on us not 20 miles from home. At least we weren’t 200 miles from home when it happened. Anyway, the Duc was history the very next weekend. I didn’t even wait a week before driving a rental down to Medford and picking up the replacement.

What did I replace the Duc with? Something interesting that still left some money around to put into savings. I found a 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport. It’s a triple that kinda looks like Triumph’s old twins (unlike the new twins that look like their old twins). It has about 20 more HP and 10 or 15 more ft. lbs. of torque. It’s also a bit heavier. A fairly different style bike from what I had, though it kinda reminds me of a retro version of my Ducati Monster in a lot of ways–a lot like a Ducati GT1000.

I’ve already done more work to this thing than I ever did to any other bike–including pulling the tank, airbox, and carb bank so I could unstick one of the floats. While putting that back together, I noticed that the fork seals are apparently bad because the thing has been leaking fork oil…to the point that it actually pooled up on the inside of the rim. Not sure whether I like all the crap going wrong with this thing or not. It is a pretty fun motorcycle to ride–good power, suspension, brakes. The ergonomics are OK, too, though not as nice as the Kawi–but then few bikes are as ergonomically correct as the Kawi. I’ve already had visions of something else and I’ve only owned this bike for a few months–not even enough time to do a ride any longer than my trip back from Medford.

Originally set out to get something “cool and retro.” Kinda got that pseudo-retro thing going–but what I’ve found is that this particular bike doesn’t seem to be that great at going longer distances…and I really hope to go longer next riding season. Maybe my buddy’s right. Maybe I should just find an old VFR somewhere and call it good. After a  few months (and less than 1500 miles) with a bike that needs work frequently, a Honda is sounding better and better. Hopefully next season will see me putting more miles on that T-Bird and less work into it.