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Showing posts from October, 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…

The week that showed just how badly Harley-Davidson have failed with the Street 750

This is an exciting time of year for motonerds. Around the world, a number of trade shows are taking place and manufacturers are in the process of unveiling their latest, greatest products.
If, like me, you are a motonerd with a soft spot in your heart for hipsterism (I still contend that hipsters have saved motorcycling), this week in particular has been very exciting because it's seen the unveiling of no less than five new Triumph Bonneville variants, as well as the launch of the super sexy Yamaha XSR700.
At the presentation event for the latter motorcycle, Yamaha project manager Shun Miyazawa joked that in light of Ducati's success with its Scrambler model his company were "jumping on the hipster bandwagon." According to Visordown editor Tom Rayner, the joke fell flat –– in part because everyone knew it was true.

The style of bike that Triumph refers to as "modern classic" is where the tastes of many lie at the moment, regardless of how much it upsets t…

Bryan Harley, I hope you're right

By now you will have figured out I'm a Victory mark; I get grumpy when they don't do exactly what I wish they would do, I swoon every time that they do something cool, and I will bite on just about every rumour I hear. 
So, it goes without saying that I've been going out of my mind ever since I read speculation by MotoUSA's (a) Bryan Harley that Victory may be planning to unveil a new liquid-cooled model at EICMA
The basis of his speculation comes from a save-the-date-type email sent out last week to members of the media, letting them know the time and place of a "world premiere" at this year's EICMA show in Milan.
"Victory Motorcycles has been showcasing American Muscle throughout its product line and in racing," the email says. "Our pathway to the latest evolution of the brand will be revealed (at EICMA)."

Also within the email is the above photo of a Victory-branded case cover unlike those seen on any of the manufacturer's ex…

Gear review: Buffalo Bay leather motorbike gloves

I'll admit that I bought the Bay motorcycle gloves by Buffalo in something of a panic. Summer was on its way and the Furygan Revol Evo gloves I had been using through winter and early spring were getting to be uncomfortable. 
With temperatures pushing north of 16ºC my hands were getting sweaty in the Furygans, soaking the fleece lining and making them difficult to put back on after a stop. Unfortunately I had no money to speak of, so I bought the cheapest pair of gloves I could find that looked like they could hold up at least until my next paycheck.
That was in 2013. I've put in thousands of miles with the gloves since then, including using them almost exclusively during my trip to Italy back in July. And only now, with their third summer having come to a close, am I thinking of replacing them.
That will be hard. They have become my favourite gloves to wear –– so comfortable now, so broken in, that I don't really notice I'm wearing them.
The leather of the glove is d…

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:
TRACTORS ARE FUCKING AWESOME!!!
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…