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Showing posts from March, 2015

2017 Triumph Bonneville T100 – Ride Review

Photos by Megan Harris

"I've had a look at this motorcycle of yours whilst you were having your supper," my wife's grandmother says upon my return from the pub.
Grandma, as she allows me to call her, is upper-middle class and English to the core. She is naturally wary of Americans and has been known to suddenly burst out laughing at the idea of my being able to make a living writing about motorcycles. Add to this the fact she is somewhat deaf, a condition not helped by my natural Texas mumble, and it's easy to see why she and I don't chat a lot. When my wife is around, Grandma prefers to deal with me in third-person terms: "Now then, Jenny, does Chris want tea?"

My wife isn't around this time, though. I've ridden the 2017 Triumph Bonneville T100 down to Devon on my own, staying the night, so I can get meet photographer Megan at the beach the next morning before tourists arrive. Without my wife as interpreter, Grandma and Grandad (who is also…

Keyless start makes you a bad ass

I can remember when key fobs started showing up in cars, allowing keyless entry and keyless start. It baffled me. Why, I thought, would such a thing be necessary or even all that desirable? 
Is the world full of silent sufferers of repetitive stress injury whose lives are made hell by the act of taking keys out of their pocket and placing them in the steering column? Are we so short of problems that the greatest minds of our generation absolutely needed to remedy this problem?

Key fobs just struck me as stupid and inherently susceptible to issues that don't apply to the traditional old bits of metal that are keys. Water, for example. I have on very many occasions gone swimming with my keys in my pocket. Not by accident, but because it makes sense.

At Barton Springs, in Austin, Texas, for example. Leave my wallet in the car, tie my car keys into the waist tie of my swimming trunks. Boom. No worries. But if you've got a battery-powered key fob, you can't take it into the wa…

How to save Victory Motorcycles

About a month ago, Jason Avant wrote an article for RideApart titled "How Victory Motorcycles Can Save Itself From Defeat," which is an issue that is sort of near and dear to me. I agree with almost all of what Jason says in his article but wanted to write a post on how I'd specifically like to see things done.
Jason, by the way, is a cool dude. Not too long ago, he put in a good word for me with the higher-ups at RideApart, suggesting me as a writer for the site. Sadly, I've never heard from those higher ups. I suspect that's because whatever good words Jason might have for me are negated by my own words about RideApart
In my defence, I would say my criticism was directed toward a previous incarnation of RideApart. The modern site still has quite a few problems (I can think of no other "professional" website that is so littered with typos, bad grammar and spelling errors), but I'd rather be part of the solution than bitch.
That's neither her…

Popular posts from this blog

Ride review: Harley-Davidson XL 883 L (aka Sportster SuperLow)

Yes, as a matter of fact, it is like riding a tractor.
That's the criticism so consistently levied against Harley-Davidson motorcycles: that there is something agrarian to the experience. And I can now say from personal experience that all those critics are right. But I can also say those critics are leaving out a key piece of information, which is this:
It's a tractor that hurtles forward with roller-coaster intensity, a tractor that goes really fast, a tractor that makes you feel like Brock Lesnar in a children's ball pit. A tractor from the Land of Bad-Ass, with which you can sow the seeds of awesomeness.
But let me back up a bit...
A few days ago, I decided to take the day off, solely for the purpose of getting a chance to ride around and finally make use of the free breakfast coupon sent to me by Thunder Road. As I was gearing up, I suddenly decided that since I was already heading west, I might as well push a few miles further and che…

Ride review: Yamaha XV950 / Star Bolt

Imitation, Charles Caleb Colton famously noted, is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's true, the flattery the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 receives from Yamaha's XV950 is enough to make one blush. Put the two bikes side by side, and the inspiration for the latter is undeniable. Yamaha claims its bike has a "new neo retro Japanese look," but that's clearly just nonsense –– lorem ipsom that was used instead of "totally looks like a Harley-Davidson Iron 883."
Certainly the XV950 –– known as the Star Bolt in the United States –– isn't the first example of a Japanese OEM adhering faithfully to the styling cues of America's best-known motorcycle manufacturer. The orthodox members of the Church of Jesus Harley Latter-day Davidson write these bikes off as "wannabes," and tend to be pretty dismissive of anyone who would dare consider purchasing one. But I'm going to commit blasphemy here and tell you that the XV950 is unquestionably the …

Ride review: Triumph Bonneville

"OK," I said. "I want one." "Well, you know, maybe you should ask your wife first." "She loves Triumphs," I said. "Still, Chris. You should give it a think. Go home, discuss it with your wife, give yourself a chance to think clearly. After all, this is one of Triumph's most popular models; there's plenty of stock available."
The voice of reason in that conversation was Drew, the salesman at Bevan Motorcycles. He was doing his best to talk some sense into me after my test ride of the 2014 Triumph Bonneville. I was wild-eyed and yammering like a teenage boy who has touched boobies for the first time. This, my friends, is what the Bonneville does to you. It is an instantly rideable, instantly enjoyable, instantly lovable motorcycle that surprises you in just how good a simple motorcycle can be.

The Bonneville, of course, is a storied machine that's been around in one form or another for 55 years. It is a classic. Partially b…