Bike Trips
Spring Riding

So how's my new Triumph working out?  Not too bad!  I love it.  I'm at work making it fit me correctly now.  As mentioned before, the windscreen is the biggest problem at the moment.  After doing some reading on the forum ( I tried using small brackets to lift the windscreen away from the fairing about a half inch.  The result was marginally better windflow, but not enough to make a huge difference.  I will be researching for a new windscreen and try and get it in place before Memorial Day's three-day weekend when I have a trip planned. To go somewhere.

Other things I've done:

  • Installed grip puppies - this makes the grip a little bigger around and further isolates any vibration. I had them on the V-Strom and ordered a set right away for the Triumph.
  • Repositioned the clutch and front brake levers to fit right.
  • Added miror extensions to put them out a little further so my shoulders don't get in the way.
  • Ordered an original handlebar riser so I can install a new Rox pivoting riser. This will allow me to have the bars back toward me a bit (I have short arms).
  • Got a Triumph keychain and put two Triumph stickers on my helmet (okay these aren't really bike mods, but I needed them!).


  • Will order a rear rack next week to allow me to install my Givi topcase.
  • Considering lowering links - I'm tippy toe now and that makes it hard to move the bike backwards with my feet without getting off the bike. I don't feel awkward because I'm used to tall bikes, but there are a few practical aspects that make me think about this. Plus the forum reports improved handling because the center of gravity is lower (not sure what to think about that statement).
  • Powerlet outlet.
  • Garmin powered cradle.

For those last two items Triumph has conveniently placed a plug for that purpose in the fairing. Talk about thinking ahead. That'll make that installation much easier.

For now, I'm riding it and getting used to how it handles. Cornering is just a way different feel than I had with the V-Strom. It is very planted in corners, but it falls into the turn way quicker, so I'm having to reset my turning tactics. Acceleration with that additional horsepower is just a giddy, addictive thing.  Gonna have to watch that!

Meanwhile, my Yamaha WR250R is not being neglected. I've added new footpegs, a new aluminum rack, and a three gallon fuel tank. I took it out to the ORV park this afternoon before it rained so I could get a little dirt under my tires. Next Saturday April 1st, is the Stumpjumper's Desert 100 weekend. The race is on Sunday, but on Saturday there are three different poker runs that take place: Ironman, Family, and Dualsport. I did part of the Ironman last year, but this year I'll be doing the Dualsport. It's a combination of road and trails and requires the bike to be street legal. I'm really looking forward to it.

So the new riding season is off to a great start!

Category: riding
New Bike!!!

So a funny thing happened at the Spokane Motorcycle Show last Saturday. There I was, strolling along looking at bikes, minding my own business, when suddenly a bike bit me. Hard. No, it wasn't painful but it was irresistable. Like a moth to a flame I was pulled right in (can't really say "kicking and screaming" though). It was a 2010 Triumph Tiger 1050 in black with luggage. Pretty much made-to-order for me. This is the main bike I've been thinking about for a few years. Ever since I got back from my 2013 two week trip around the western USA I've been wanting more horsepower and better handling. That meant focusing on a street bike with no pretensions of dirtness.

The 1050 looks like it could be a big dualsport, but make no mistake, it isn't. What it is though is a 115 horsepower touring machine. That's nearly double the output of my venerable V-Strom. Don't get me wrong, I loved my V-Strom. It's a do-it-all bike that is very forgiving and handles very well. For my first bike (after a 30 year hiatus) it has been perfect for me. I've just felt like I wanted more.

Enter the Triumph. I know that the Tiger 800 is all the rage and would also get me into adventurous places, but my riding ability with a 450 lb bike is not stellar. That's what my Yamaha WR250R is for. This however is for touring long distance and seeing the country. Some might have thought that getting the Yamaha meant I was giving up the road. No sir-ree-bob. I knew that I was going to like it, so I cleaned up the V-Strom, taking all of the extra stuff that wouldn't get me any advancement in trade-in, grabbed the title and manual, and rode over to Empire Cycle to give the Tiger a ride. Of course I loved it. Was there any question? First it's fast - like holy-smokes-hold-on-tight fast. Seventeen inch wheels fore and aft mean sweet turning, which it does. I now know what they mean about European motorcycle brakes. Whoa baby, easy does it. These binders grab and I mean right now! Two finger touch on the front wheel, baby. In short, it's a very balanced bike with smooth power delivery and I can't wait to get it in the twisties!


So what's missing? Well, for one the windscreen is too small. I have buffeting at highway speeds which the 1050 forum discusses. I'll be looking at a spoiler or whatever you call it to go on the windscreen to deflect more wind. I'll need to install a powerlet outlet for my electronics and a RAM ball to hold my GPS. I need to buy a bracket for the grab handle to mount my Givi topcase. Long term, I will probably do a suspension upgrade. Like a lot of stock bikes it dives when braking and there are handling gains to be made also. I'll be talking to my west-side friend Rob Newman about that - he used to own one ("it was probably the best street touring/handling bike I have ever owned").

So I have a whole new level of excitement for this year. I've a lot of dirt riding planned and undoubtedly will be looking for every opportunity to ride the Tiger (what a great phrase)!

TL;DR: Saw a 2010 Triumph Tiger 1050 at the Spokane Motorcycle Show and traded my V-Strom in for it five days later.

Category: motorcycle
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Tom Clark
I'm an application developer for Ministry Brands, living in Spokane, Washington. I also do a little development work on the side. And I love riding my bike all over the country with my friends.

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