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"Fast Bikes", January 1, 2013


The Mamba likes the Trumpet, but not enough to include it in the earlier test...





BHP: 126



THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… “Feeling hot, hot, hot...”

With the BMW disappearing into the manufacturer’s ether at the start of the month, it wasn’t long before I nabbed the keys to the Triumph. One ride back in the freezing cold meant it wasn’t long before I nabbed a pair of heated gloves and plugged them into the Trumpet’s battery terminals. I’m getting soft in my old age…

I spent a fair bit of time on the Speed Triple R at the start of the year, and had a good old fiddle with the suspension to try and procure some feel out of it. This I achieved, but there was still some way before I’d declare it comfortable. It just seems that the rear spring is rock hard, and no matter what settings you dial in, it just can’t get the shock moving in the way that you want. At least the Öhlins NIX30 forks are sensitive, and you appreciate the effect your changes have.

But now is the winter of my discontent, and as such I doubt that I’ll be finding the outright limits this side of Christmas. So I’m looking for much more in the way of dependability – and so far I’m finding it. Charlie stuck on a set of Dunlop SportSmarts, and after about 5,000 miles on them fitted to the S1000 RR, I’m an advocate of this rubber. In the grimy conditions they’ve been great, so much more appropriate than the stock Pirelli Supercorsas.

The ABS is coming into its own, too. I have issues with ABS systems, mainly because I – and most of you – can beat them in the dry. A decent front tyre and a dry road will hardly ever see you lock up. But now the system pays dividends, and the Triumph box of tricks is pretty good in these conditions. As yet, I’ve had no seat-of-my-pants moments, but the assurance that it’s there is a very nice feeling indeed. Just ask Charlie…

The fitting of the Gerbing gloves was easy peasy – although I did start looking for the battery in the wrong place. By the time I got the seat of (it’s got a knack) I expected the battery to smile back up at me – and it didn’t. In fact, the battery couldn’t be more conveniently located for adding some heated equipment – it’s under the carbon cowl at the front of the tank. Two minutes later and the gloves were on – making me a warmer and happier person on my 1 hour 20 minutes rides in and out of the office. Result!



Price from new: £11,899

Insurance group: 14

Modifications | Price

R&G crash protection £139.99

Dunlop D211GP racer £280.00

TPH02 Tanklock £86.16


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