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It’s nearly there: Triumph Speed Triple (less bike is good but why?)

You may know that I took delivery of a Triumph Speed Triple recently. If you didn’t, in short, it was up there in the top 10 list of my “best of” collection in the “days” chapter under subcategory “things”. A new bike is always a grand occasion whether it be your own possibly humble but oh so personal purchase or somebody else’s raucous loud, angry hulking mass of lunacy. You can stand around for hours with a beer or favourite beverage and just stare and talk about the thing just sitting in the garage or on the porch (guys know what I mean).

I have done just that for a while now and right from the beginning when I was handed the brochure I knew without a shadow of a doubt that work must be done to this bike to make it mine. It’s not about the money changing hands to own something, it’s about the finishing touches, the signature that makes it very personal, what I mean really is customisation. With my old Bonneville as soon as it arrived I knew it was far too busy and needed a bit of stripping back, so off came the rear fender and on went a splash of paint on the rear cowl.

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Good – A tidy tail is a good tail, note lack of frippery and legality

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Not good – Why does the rear of the bike have to imitate what looks like the lights at a dragway? – bikeglam.com

Simple it seems is best (in most cases) so cleaning up the rear of a bike from it’s usual “factory spec” has become an industry on it’s own and they call it “Fender Delete” or “Tail Tidy”.

Without going into too much detail the following was done to the bike recently:
– Tail Tidy by R&G
– New Rizoma indicators for the rear
– Rizoma grips in gold (I don’t know why I did that but I have and it is done)
– CRG Lane Split bar-end mirrors
– Competition Werkes GP exhaust

Last night happened to be the installation night for my Werkes GP exhaust so here are some shots of the progress, starting with the removal of the seat as well as some fairing parts around the seat section.

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Obligatory bird shot, because the bird gets his own chair to watch the proceedings and pass a wrench every now and then. Jade knows what he is looking for and it’s quality of workmanship

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The seat if off! Woohoo, I am a legend of all things mechanical and engineering!

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You need tools to remove the exhaust, luckily I knew where to find them.

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Loosening the D ring allows the mufflers to slip right off

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Check out my cans, these puppies are quite heavy, so are the mufflers. Shorts are a good look in winter, it says “it’s cold but I don’t care”.

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If I left the exhaust like this then I would get busted by the cops, but worse still I would lose HP! Obviously something is not connected to something else, just need to figure out what.

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Rear foot-pegs are axed because their ratings are terrible and they look too busy

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Like the pit garage at the 24 hours of LeMans – except with shorts. We toil into the night because of the shorter days in winter. This is me shoving the new muffler onto the collector, good tight fit.

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And there it is, poo chute complete and shiny, looks good in my opinion.

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Finishing touches, replacing the heat shield.

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Running it in to allow the ECU to adapt. No revs until it has gone through a fan cycle. Sounds a little more racy, which is good because you can probably hear me coming down the road now, safety first.

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Nice bum now with added cleanness, no fat because I have enough for both me and the bike.

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Time for my closeup. Does my rear tyre look big in this? DB-Killer installed to avoid neighbors complaining. I start early so waking up everyone on my street – not an option.

It got dark at the end because hey, it’s winter in Sydney Australia now so really when all was done it was 5:55pm so no I didn’t spend hours on this which invariably means that you, yes you Gen-Y-ers with your soft hands used to the tapping of keys virtualised on glass or physical on plastic can also do this with your mechanical toys rather than leaving it to the workshop.

Through it all everything was off the shelf. I bought it and fitted it myself and it took time and some improvisation to make certain things work. I am no wrench-monkey/custom/chopper/fabricator extraordinaire however I have had a taste of it now… one day, a custom speed shoppe maybe? (Kok-speed, FastKoks, MotorKok, The Kok house of speed and metallic delights, KOK-Machine, A good Kok in the face, it’s endless)

That was great fun, can’t wait to see what’s next.

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From Triumph to Triumph: Bye bye Bonnie, hello Triple!

I like motorcycles it’s a known fact, everyone of the 10-odd people who read this and my friends as well as Facebook associates know this. I like them so much I bought my first one in 2011, a Triumph Bonneville 2011 A2. I just love classic motorcycle design for it’s timelessness and beauty. Not many things in the world evoke feelings of joy, naughtyness, badassery, fun, passion and yearning so deep like a really well sorted motorcycle.

One of the benefits of being human is that everything is jaded no matter how level headed you think you are. I think my bike was fantastic and very good to look at and OK to ride and kind of fast (I am certain that I am a god of acceleration and power and speed… ehh that was an over-share).

So here she is:

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Triumph Bonneville 2011: It’s newish but looking at it you wouldn’t think so. I think I look really cool when I ride around town.

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That seat cowl looks the business and it’s custom too! This was taken around 3 months after I bought it. Yesterday it looked exactly the same, I like this behind very much.

Inevitably there comes a time when we grow up a bit more and we experience a bit more and we are never quite the same for it. I blame myself for warping my own perspective by straddling a very aggressive Ducati Diavel shaped steed and changing everything I knew about motorcycling. Let me explain, my Bonnie was air-cooled and largely unchanged from the older original Triumphs (save for fuel injection), it ran hot in summer and changed it’s temperament the longer you rode it. Your right hand would become dead due to the vibration after approx 20 mins but I loved it all the same because when I walked to it in the morning and the evening it still looked like it did… very good and that was all that mattered. I didn’t have reliability issues or problems starting it (well… not really anyway) and every trip was a great one because it did everything it said on the package and then people who didn’t know much about bikes would look at it and coo about how great it looked and how they used to see them rambling around back in the day. This was a great bike and this is my tribute to it.

Back to the story at hand I have handed the keys to my trusty mount and put in for a trade to something different and yet kind of similar. If you know bikes then you already have 2 in mind for what I swapped for, let me make that just 1 because this new bike has more capacity than the Bonnie… yes, it’s the Speed Triple.

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The Speed Triple – Looking all Speed Tripley, the farings are the colour of desire… and blindness!

It is a bit dime a dozen I know, it looks like an extra from a spy/sci-fi movie is actually what you’re thinking because an older sister of this one was in Mission Impossible 2 and then The Matrix, Michael Fassbender has one you know?

That in itself isn’t why I want this bike, I had the opportunity to try one out recently and what it felt like was, well in a word “veryfreekingmazingholyheckInearlysoiledmypants”. It was good, very good and so smooth and quick to get going, I don’t remember ever being an awe so much as I did riding that bike on that hallowed afternoon. Where the Ducati Diavel was like taming a full-size dragon, fun but you are getting yourself in for some crazy-scary times. The Speed Triple was like the scene out of Kick-Ass where Dave is helping near naked Katie with tanning lotion, dangerous and forbidden, crisis inducing. It is proper quick and agile, I am no knee-dragger but I was having the time of my life and when you settle down to low revs it isn’t providing you the shakes to say “Hi, I noticed you’re a bit limp-wristed, please give it the beans or step off the bike thank- wait forget it byyyyyyyyyyyye”.

I will be taking delivery on Friday of the Lyndsy Fonseca, probably going to ride all weekend if the weather holds up, please if you wouldn’t mind, pray for my soul – and pass the tanning lotion would you?

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Lyndsy Fonseca – Katie Deauxma in Kick-Ass, tanning lotion anyone?

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BMW Lo Rider – 1 bike but different things to different people

The song by War is starting and I’m cast back to the 2nd version of “Gone in 60 Seconds” with Nicolas Cage getting the groove on before setting out to steal nearly every great and good car from the 60’s to the late 90’s. Ok maybe the song should hang around in your mind but let me change the imagery to a bike. Not “pushie” but a motorcycle that was just a design study by BMW in 2008. It looked like this:

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BMW Lo Rider Concept 2008 – Brutal, tough and chiseled, everything I am not.

Want would be too soft a word for this. I don’t know how long I have waited for a bike that fitted the bill of looking as brutal as this one does. Modern motorcycle design is rife with plastic fairings and odd panel gaps, I just want a tank and to heck with the plastic panels because I want to see the engine bits, the beating heart of the machine. Speed and power isn’t necessarily what it’s all about, just by looking at this picture I can tell it’s going to be fun, I can tell that it sounds great with it’s boxer airhead motor. I know it has soul and agression and the brakes scream out that there is plenty of torque and speed to be stopped. It will be absolutely amazing.

But enough about me being all existential, the best thing, the most coolestest thing in the world about this bike is that it’s factory custom. The bike you see in the picture above is but one of a myriad of configurations you could have setup from the factory. If you are a loner and live alone in a shed with a peace lilly for company then you will like the version I posted above. However if you have friends or more specifically a female friend then maybe you want her right behind you (or in front, no discrimination here) then you can order the seat with a pillion. Feel that the exhaust is a little to close to your inner thigh? No problem, get the lower more traditionally mounted exhaust  pointed right down to the rear axle. The possibilites also include: cafe style rear cowl, modern xenon headlights, different engine block colours and 4 different tank colours.

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Many looks, 1 basic bike

This whole factory custom job isn’t new to the industry, Harley Davidson have had at it since forever and Victory’s showroom is a palace of custom. Now it just means people who aren’t attracted to shiny objects can also have their very own unique creation right from the get go. The only problem is it’s just a concept at present. A prototype has been spotted recently with the hallmarks of the concept. Even this doesn’t guarantee the bike’s future.

BMW please, please build this bike.