triumph

Can't Ride, So I'll Shop. Shoei RF-1200 Photochromic Faceshield.

pinlock_transitions_faceshield Just another faceshield? Something like that. For those of you who wear fancy transition lens glasses, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

This Transitions lens is ready for my Shoei RF-1200 and in fact will only fit the RF-1200 since the shields are different on Shoei's other helmet models. It's also Pinlock ready, so that means you can transfer your clear Pinlock insert right into this faceshield (which should've come with your RF-1200, btw. If it didn't you need to call your shop/dealer/website asap).   Once you've done that, you now have a fog free transition lens!

bell_star_carbon_shoei_rf_1200

I haven't worn a dark faceshield on my helmet in over 10 years because I love my Maui Jim sunglasses so much. I'm not sure if this shield will permanently replace using them while riding but I'm hoping that they will. It's such a convenient idea, right?

I'm hoping it doesn't annoy me, and I'm really hoping I don't miss my sunglasses. I am used to having polarized lenses, so we'll see. From my understanding, the Transition lens properties aren't as quick to react as one might think. For example, if you're riding on a twisty road with trees like this:

Rossis Driveway

The lens will not transition instantly back and forth. It can't react that quickly. (If I'm wrong about this, please please post a comment with your own experience). I believe it'll maintain a light smoke color for the duration of the road. I'm also told that when the sky is cloudy or overcast, it also maintains a light smoke tint. I'm a little worried about that because my sunglasses do a phenomenal job of making things easier to see when it's gray out.

It's not cheap at $152.99 (Revzilla), but the technology might be worth paying for if you don't want to change faceshields constantly or carry your fancy sunglasses while you ride.

Fingers crossed, hopefully it'll warm up briefly for me to take Goldie out and test whether or not I'll be keeping this fancy faceshield.

*sigh*

goldie_sunflowers

New Toys. Feels Like Christmas!

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Benny went all out and got me an Ohlins Shock for my 40th Birthday! What a good dog. And maybe something else...

Ok, he might've had some help from my awesome husband. There's nothing wrong with the stock suspension on my Street Triple R. Actually it's quite good allowing me to adjust compression and rebound, which I've done thanks to the folks at Markbilt Racebikes in NJ.

So although I didn't really *need* an Ohlins, I have a feeling I'm going to be VERY happy with it! And it just so happens Benny got a really really really good deal on this gently used shock from a Daytona, which is clean as a whistle. It looks as if it was barely used, or ridden on the street.  The reason he was able to get such a good deal is because 2013+ models can't use my shock because they changed something on the subframe, so this one won't fit. Sorry!

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My other little gift to myself was an upgrade to the old Zumo with the new 390LM. Well, okay a replacement because my 690LM fell off while I was riding home last month. :=(

Although this upgrade was a little more than the last one I decided it was worth the extra $100. The Garmin Zumo 390LM is a new improved version of the 690. The main difference is a faster processor. This one responds quicker to menu prompts (not iPhone speedy), and is a little smaller and less bulky. The screen is the same size, and is a tad brighter. I haven't ridden with it yet, but hope to in the Spring.

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The last new toy I got was this Cortech Super 2.0 Low TankBag. I love how slim it is, it's the perfect size at 5L when closed, 10L when fully expanded. Perfect!

Unfortunately my riding season has ended much sooner than I wanted to, due to a small back injury I gave myself a few weeks ago :-(. I guess turning 40 means really feeling it!

First Track Day on Our Triumphs

Someone sort of following me... more like really good Photoshop skills.

Someone sort of following me... more like really good Photoshop skills.

After my accident in June, a track day is exactly what I needed. We signed up for a track day with Team Promotion at New Jersey Motorsports Park. 

I've been so terrible about posting these past few weeks.  Learned some new things, gained more of my confidence back and learned a lot about my bike. Team Pro Motion was great, and my husband and I had a blast!

For this track day I didn't buy a 1 piece suit, because I knew that I wouldn't use one again anytime soon but I would be able to use a pair of track leather pants again on the street. So I opted for the Revit Xena Leather Pants to zip to my jacket. 

So is a trackday right for you? I think it really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. There are many of us who are really all about street riding and touring. And we simply want to increase our skills. What's the best way to do this?  

Riding the Infamous Dragon

killboypic_dragon3_2015_web  

I had a blast this last week riding to the 10th Annual Womens Sportbike Rally. The Dragon was fun, but Highway 28 was even better :)  Thanks to Killboy.com for sponsoring the rally and getting this pic for me!

Stay tuned for a ride report of my longest riding trip ever, 2,000+ miles.

Garmin Zumo 660LM on my Triumph Street Triple

ram_mount_garmin_zumo_660_triumph_street_triple After a couple hours of wrangling with various Ram Mounts, I finally mounted my new Garmin Zumo 660LM on my 2012 Triumph Street Triple R. 

First, I bought the Zumo on sale from Amazon. 50% off, no tax and free shipping (with my Prime membership). Then I ordered the Ram Mounts Fork Stem Kit.

Everything else you need to mount and power the Zumo comes in the box. I decided to use the Power Cable that comes in the box and mount it on the Fork Stem Kit. Although I could use a USB cable instead, I went with the Power Cable. I didn't think that I could power the Zumo via USB but by the time I realized my mistake I already ran the Power Cable along my bike under the tank to the battery.

Unfortunately the cable doesn't come ready for you to install directly to your battery. My husband had to solder connectors to the positive and negative, so for now it's directly wired to my battery. I don't think this will be permanent, as I'd rather have it connected to my ignition wiring but I need to figure out the proper way to do that first. For now, I will have to be extra careful so as to not leave the Zumo on the bike if it's not running.

garmin_zumo_660_triumph_street_triple

 

I like how it turned out and the Fork Stem Mount is a much better alternative to mounting it to the handlebar. Now I'm ready to navigate!

I know what you're thinking, why not just use your iPhone to do the navigating? I've tried. Believe me, I've tried. The one hurdle with using your iPhone as a navigator is how Difficult it is to create a route, input it into an app on the phone and THEN have it give you Turn by Turn directions! It seems to easy, but this last part is the MOST difficult aspect of the process.

I found an incredible tool not long ago called Furkot.com, to help me plan out my itinerary including gas stops and meals based on mileage range and travel times. It's awesome. I also figured out how to export that map into my iPhone using an app called Osmand and it even shows me my route. I did find some complicated methods of exporting files, downloading apps (PCs ONLY, I'm a mac girl) and converting things to use on my iPhone but I'm never going to buy a PC just to do that. So for me, spending $379 on a Garmin is well worth it. Inputting maps is easy with the Basecamp Software (although I prefer to keep navigating in Furkot).

My husband and I will be heading north up to Hancock, NY to spend next weekend riding. Can't wait to input some routes and ride the twisties!

Suspension Shops in WVA, VA, MD?

I'm heading to Deals Gap in September for the Women's Sportbike Rally! I hope you will join me, as I will be sponsoring the bike night event on Saturday. Here's the route I'm trying to take (although it's not set in stone).

If you can recommend any shops along the way that do suspension work, please post a comment with your referral. What I need is someone to help adjust my suspension as much as possible for my weight.

Thanks!

Went out for a quick 150 mile ride yesterday

triumph_street_speed_triple_scorpion_zion Went for a quick 150 mile ride to Northern PA the other day for ice cream!

We used this ride route that I put together, but only did half of it since we didn't leave early enough. So we made it to just below Bangor, PA and then headed East towards the Delaware River heading south on 32.

On the way we stopped for ice cream at Homestead Coffee Roasters. Yum! They also have a small lunch menu, ice cream and misc snacks. There's also a nice patio out back to sit and enjoy your scoops. Oh yes, we're also both testing out new helmets! He got this special edition Bell Star Carbon and I picked up a Shoei RF-1200 'Graffiti' (LOVE this helmet).

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I don't know why the man looks unhappy posing in front (it's also called the General Store), but he puts up a good front because we had a great time that afternoon.

homestead_coffee_pa

 

And along the way down 32, we found this cute bridge to take a couple pics on.

scorpion_zion_womens_jacket (2)

The weather was perfect, high 70s for the most part. Not hot, not cold, just right. I'm testing the Scorpion Zion jacket for WRN and it worked well that day. A full review will be coming soon, so stay tuned.

 

 

QnA: How Do You Handle the Weight of Your Bike?

A woman rider asked me recently about how do handle the weight of her bike as a new rider.  Initially, she had questions about the Daytona Lady Stars, and whether they would help her get both feet down comfortably on a Ninja 250. When I do wear my Daytonas (but not all the time), they only allow me to have both balls of my feet on the ground. So most of the time I use one flat left.

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"So with the boots, I'm able to put a foot down. How do you handle the weight of the bike? I meant like when you're parking or in situation where you need both feet to roll the bike?" - Mango 

I'm assuming that you can get almost one flat left or a full flat left down. If this is the case, then you will always, always keep your right on the rear brake for stability, no matter what. As long as your right foot is on the brake, your bike won't go anywhere.

Continue to practice braking as perfectly Smooth as you can. Pretend you're entering a contest for the best braking technique and the grand prize is going to be a million dollars. The only way you're going to balance the motorcycle without dropping it is really finessing and perfecting your braking so you don't stop and release too soon or grab all at once.

As far as parking, get off the bike. There's nothing wrong with having to park the bike while walking next to it. In fact, if I never did this I wouldn't be riding my motorcycle today because I can't park unless the pavement is completely flat. If there's even a slight slope I always get off and park. Most of the time I find it faster and a lot easier to manage. When you do park, lean the tank on your hip and walk the bike backwards. I have a blog post here that shows what I mean with a few pictures.

Keep practicing, and try not to think about what others will think or say or do. It's all about You riding your motorcycle, not them.

 

 

Bike Review 2012 Triumph Street Triple R

goldie_sunflowers As you may have noticed from my most recent social media posts, I am in LOVE with my new-to-me motorbike. It's the best one I've owned and ridden so far. 

Background

Before I start, I want to give you background info. It's good to know where the reviewer is coming from, so you can get a handle on what his/her experience is on bikes in general:

  • 5'3", 130lbs. 28.5" true inseam
  • Most recent rides: '06 SV650, '03 SV650S (both stock)
  • My bike ownership history; none of my bikes have been lowered because I value my ground clearance and lean angle
  • All the bikes I've ever ridden but not necessarily owned

So as you can see, this isn't a first bike for me. I would also NEVER recommend this is as a first bike. I'm not saying it can't be done, because some of you are reading this and have already purchased one as your first. What you didn't realize is this bike is not just a 675cc, it's a 675cc triple with 105 hp! That's 30+ horsepower over any 650cc twins or 4-cyl bikes (ninja 650, sv650, fz6, etc).

The curb weight is 416lbs, and the center gravity is quite low since the tank is rather skinny on top. This was my beef with the husband's sPeed Triple. Although I really love that bike it's too topheavy for my taste and as a result I was on my tiptoes and one flat left which even for me doesn't make me feel as good as I do on mine.

I purchased this beauty from good ole' Craigslist with just 4,995 miles on it, which is where I purchased my last SV. Although I was looking at various dealerships, I never saw one that I could afford. I guess it was just meant to be, because I found this one in early February. However, I didn't have the money to pay for it until late March! Lucky me.

 

Past vs. Present

I often see the question of comparison between this bike and the ever popular SV650/SV650S. Having been a previous owner of both models, I can absolutely tell you without a doubt that this bike trumps anything the SV line ever offered. The additional cost of which took me about 6 months to save up for. But it was worth every.stinking.penny.

2003_suzuki_sv650s_livermoreCA

it's me!

I certainly enjoyed the 6 years I spent on both of my last SVs, but I'm sooooo much happier on this beast. Many folks will tell you that an upgraded suspension on the SV makes it a worthy ride. True, I could've spent ~$1,500 and upgraded the stock suspension. But, after spending ~1,000 miles on my husband's Triumph I knew I wanted one of my own!

Here are a few of the things that I have gained from upgrading:

  • More power (30% increase from ~70hp to ~100hp) at the same weight as an SV!
  • Smoother throttle response especially when rolling off the throttle. The SV throttle is twitchy as hell when you roll on or off, since it lunges quickly if you don't roll off softly.
  • Suspension. Fully adjustable, although it's set up for a heavier man, it still feels much smoother and more stable going over bumps. The rebound is far slower, so it doesn't bounce up and down so much.
  • Seat. Much better for long distance, my flat butt is much happier after a 300+ mile day of riding.

Going from a V-Twin to a 3-Cylinder engine is definitely different as well. This bike needs to rev at higher rpm's so I need to work on delayed shifting since I'm still used to shifting at lower rpm's. Since it redlines at 14,000, it's definitely an adjustment for me to wait a little longer before the upshift. One cool feature is the gear shift indicator lights. Since I can't take a picture of this while riding, I drew a yellow arrow where the gear shift indicator lights will show up depending on how you program them. I find this to be tremendously helpful as I get used to the way this engine powers up.

2012_triumph_street_tripleR_gear_shift

Height

I know many of you may be wondering about height. Well if you've read any of my past articles in the Too Short To Ride section of my blog, you know that I just don't care that the seat height on this bike is 31.7". For me, it's a lightweight bike at ~415lbs so it doesn't feel as tall. The nice thing is that it doesn't feel top heavy to me, and the tank isn't very wide on top. No wider than where the turn signal and engine cut off switch sit on the handlebars. I have to emphasize that it doesn't feel top heavy to Me, because I've been through really annoying top heavy bikes like the Z750s.

2012_triumph_streettripleR_selfie

But it feels just like the SV in terms of weight. I can't really tell the difference. I think it's ~0.25"-0.5" lower but hardly noticeable. Since my husband bought his sPeed Triple last summer, I had been taking it for day rides and even a quick overnight to NY. That bike has the same seat height as mine, but since the seat is sloped a bit, it forces me up on my tiptoes. Whereas my bike lets me plant two balls of my feet where I'm most comfortable. The engine is also larger too, so the overall weight is ~470lbs.

2006 Triumph Speed Triple

It's amazing how light a bike can feel after you've been riding something heavier and taller.

Since then, I've also added these insoles from Amazon to my Sidi Boots in order to get more height. Luckily my Sidis are a half size too big, so they fit in really well. As you can see the full insole comes with 2 add'l pieces for the heel. You don't have to wear all of them. In fact I only wear the main insole and one of the extensions. Although they don't make both of my feet flat they simply allow me to put my left foot down flat without shifting my butt off the side, a little more convenient. :)

riding motorcycles with lifted insoles

Twisties

As far as throwing her into corners, it definitely feels more solid and planted. One thing that really drove me to get this bike was that I didn't want to sacrifice the flickability of getting the SV650S into a corner. I feel like the STR drops quickly without me having to do very much work. I definitely need to spend more time with her in the twisties to improve my timing when it comes to entry speed and leaning but it feels so familiar and easy to work with.

killboypic_dragon3_2015_web

I still need to take her to get the suspension set up for my weight, because it's a bit stiff for my taste in the rear. But I can still feel the difference all the way through the turn from braking beforehand to accelerating out of it. The tires are still stock as well, Pirelli Diablo Corsas front and rear. They feel different from Michelin Pilot Powers (what I'm used to), but not worse.

I must mention the tires are still Pirelli Diablo Corsas. The previous owner didn't change them from when he purchased the bike originally and I haven't either since they have plenty of tread. I figure I'll need to swap out for my favorite Michelin Pilot Power 3's next Spring. As of September 2015, I've upgraded them and they're amazing! I also took Goldie on her first track day at New Jersey Motorsports Park (my husband came too :D), which I highly recommend. It was great to get to know her a little better and increase my confidence a bit from where it was due to my accident.

trackday triumph speed triple street triple R 

 

Long Distance

This is Not a touring bike. But, some of us aren't ready to call it a day and buy an F700Gs. Frankly, I don't know if I'll ever be ready for that. I'm still in love with twisty riding, and I can't imagine being as happy on a touring bike in my size. I also would be sad to lose the *power*. Once again my husband is right, it's very hard to drop back down to something less powerful when you're used to 100+ hp.

2012_triumph_street_tripleR

For now I'm making it work for me. The biggest impact for me is the lack of windscreen. Although to be fair, the SV650S barely had one anyhow. As with any bike lacking a windscreen or fairing, prepare to be whipped around a bit and with a strong headwind. It was especially tiring when I rode for 3 hours on the highway in the pouring rain (150 miles). That was NOT fun. I was exhausted when I got to my hotel that afternoon, it felt like I'd ridden all day in 100 degree heat.

At least my booty is more comfortable. The seat is a vast improvement over the SV stock seats. Holy smokes, I can ride a good half day without going numb. Granted, I have a very flat one so that definitely doesn't help. But, this seat is noticeably more comfortable most likely because of how much wider it is.

triumph_street_triple_kriega

With the Kriega Packs loaded on the rear, I've got 40 liters of space. This is plenty of room for me on a 4-6 day trip. But I try to pack light and never camp. I love big, comfy beds and hot showers, what can I say?If you're planning on camping, you'll probably need a Givi top box as well. And I never travel far without a tankbag to give me just that extra bit of storage space.

I would also add that overall mileage on this bike isn't that much less than the SV650. I think my record on the SV was 200miles on a tank before it was fully dry. On this one, I can do about 180. I haven't pushed it to the edge but I got 170 miles with ~3/4 gallon left. The tank size is virtually the same, but sadly fuel economy goes down with the extra power.

For even more comfort in colder temps, I've installed Oxford Heaterz Premium Grips and a lead to wear my WarmnSafe 65W Heated liner. A quick warning about installing the Oxfords. You'll have to shave down the throttle tube (it's plastic) so the grips can fit over the handgrip. You only have to do this on the throttle side.  There's plenty of power for these two accessories, but I'm not sure how much additional power is available for fancier headlights or turn signals which might be future upgrades.

sena_smh10R_shoei_qwest

Speaking of upgrades, here's my short wishlist:

  • FP Racing shorty levers
  • Better headlights: not a high priority
  • Sargent seat: not a super high priority
  • Ram mount: most parts ordered, just need to get the proper iPhone holder Done!
  • SW Motech Kobra Handguards with integrated turn signals: WANT this so bad. But there's a questionable issue as to whether it'll fit my bike or not. Must do more research.
  • Reflective rim tape: I loved having the red reflective tape on the SV, so I definitely want some on this bike. I'm thinking black reflective.
  • Rear fender eliminator: I love the look of a fenderless rear but I DON'T want to give up the visibility from my turn signals. So I guess I need to find some bright turn signals as well! Goldie 2.0 has a Rizoma setup.

Phew, that's a long list of farkles. Add to that the sad realization my Shoei is 5 years old this June. Urgh. Time for another upgrade :D

I love my new bike, I can't express that enough. If you're looking for an upgrade from a sub500cc bike prepare for something that isn't quite what you're expecting with the additional power from this deceptive "middleweight".

But if you've decided to end your relationship with your SV650 / Ninja 650 / FZ6, then it might just be exactly what you're looking for.

Update!

Unfortunately, a month after I wrote my review, I totaled Goldie 1.0. But the really really good news is that I was able to acquire an identical Goldie 2.0 which is the exact same bike, same year, same color. The pictures of me on the Dragon above and doing my track day is with Goldie 2.0. 

I wanted to mention that in August 2015, I was able to drop 18lbs of weight from the bike by adding a Competition Werkes low mount exhaust:

2012_triumph_streettriple_competitionwerkes gp cobra black

 

I also removed the rear footpeg mounts and subsequently have a lighter bike along with a much cooler butt! Those high mount exhausts were blowing so much hot air on my thighs/butt, they were killing me. After just 5 minutes of engine warmup, they would be blowing so much height underneath my seat. Not so bad in the Fall/Winter but miserable in the Summer. I felt a huge difference in warmer weather and it's far more comfortable to ride with especially on longer trips. I highly recommend it!