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Demo Days

Sunday, August 09, 2009
So today I volunteered at TEAM OREGON tent at the Triumph Demo Day out in Hillsboro today. Cascade Moto, the local Triumph/Moto Guzzi dealership (and, incidentally, a huge supporter of TEAM OREGON's motorcycle safety efforts) was playing the part of host to the Triumph factory representatives and riders were given a chance to explore the offerings that Triumph has. BMW - by their own admission - tagged along to the event and allowed riders to explore their motorcycles as well.

So after I was done volunteering I signed up to ride a couple bikes. Of course I wanted to ride the Sprint ST, but the list was tragically full. So the the first one I found myself signed up for was the BMW K1300GT, or what I call my "Dream Bike".


Riding this was like riding a dream. It was mega-stable through turns and over bumps, and the brakes would haul it down from alarmingly fast just as quickly as the powerful engine would get it up there. It's a big bike, but a very, very nice one (and correspondingly expensive.)

My second ride was on the BMW R1200RT, a bike I've also drooled over. I don't have a lot to report on this one.


I was unimpressed. A lot of vibration came through the handlebars, and the engine seemed to lack oomph. I mean, every time the bike felt like it was going to hit that magical power-band, it was time to shift. It didn't seem to have much torque at the low RPMs (and that's compared to my old Ninja 500R), and, while the reliability is legendary, it just didn't excite me in any way

I was about to leave when I made another pass by the Triumph tent, hoping to maybe score a ride on the new Tiger. Alas, this was also a popular ride, but since the day was winding down I asked if they had any bikes open. I was offered a ride on a couple different cruisers... or the Street Triple R.


And this is where my day got interesting.

You see, while the K1300GT put a smile on my face, this bike made my heart beat just a bit quicker. I mean, this thing did not want to play well with others. While on the heavier bikes I was working hard in the turns to maintain speed, the Street Triple R didn't even need to slow down, and was growling at the bikes ahead, begging to be let by. I mean, even sitting on it was different; the BMWs were comfortable, relaxed, and you definitely felt like you were piloting a nice motorcycle. On the Street Triple R? I could barely make out the mirrors in my peripheral vision, but couldn't see the bike at all. It was like flying, with every input from me translated into action by the bike.

So awesome.

3 Comments:

Blogger Grimmy said...

how did you like riding without a wind shield?

Where you there on Saturday as well? I think Ed and M'liss went out then. Still think you'll end up with another sprint ST, or will you go for a lighter / more flickable ride?

5:06 AM, August 10, 2009  
Blogger Burton said...

Riding without the wind shield was fun on the Triumph Street Triple R, but I wouldn't want to do that on a long ride. If I had the money, I'd go with the BMW K1300GT, but the Sprint ST is what I'll probably (hopefully) end up with since I want the luggage and touring capabilities. The older Sprint models are much more flickable that that big BMW, and I suspect much of that carried over to the current generation. I wish I had a chance to ride a Sprint ST, though I'll definitely test it at some point since it's on my "to-buy" list.

4:04 PM, August 10, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a Street Triple R out for a spin last week, and I agree with your impression of "flying". Your legs are not tucked back so far like a sport bike, but your torso is further out front than you might expect, so you don't see anything except the mirrors. It really does feel like you're flying down the road, almost like you're not on a motorcycle at all.

I've never ridden anything quite like it. It feels more like a small flying saucer than a middleweight motorcycle. So great.

9:57 PM, September 29, 2012  

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