21 Oct 2014

Fleet - The Triumph Street Triple's First MoT

I never buy new cars but the Triumph Street Triple is the third brand new motorcycle I've bought.  This is daft because I drive cars every day but the bike comes out of the garage much more infrequently.

The Triumph - aged 3

I bought the Triumph in October 2011, chocked a knackered Bandit in as part-ex against it and paid the balance on the never-never.  The finance ended this month so I now own it outright. Being three years old means it needed its first ever MoT.

After a summer of fantastic weather, which extended right through to September, autumn arrived with a vengeance in early October.

I used to ride all year round, in fact I commuted into central Reading for three years on a Yamaha FZ6, but since I hit 40 I've turned into a fair weather rider.

So it was that the morning of the MoT it had rained all night and was drizzling at 9am when I set off.  The dealer, Bulldog Triumph, is 13 miles from home. The roads were wet and the traffic was busy.

I wasn't looking forward to it. Motorcycling is all about confidence and the last time I rode in the wet was in August 2013.

Togged up in my winter riding kit I headed out - and found it perfectly fine. The visor misted up when I slowed down but otherwise the Street Triple's light weight and supreme balance helped no end. It was a cinch.

Brake earlier and smoother, corner slower, lean less, accelerate with a lighter touch and riding in the rain is fine. Avoiding slippery manhole covers, puddles and painted lines the journey was great fun, if a little cold.

It took 40 minutes for Bulldog to pronounce the bike fit to be ridden, with no advisories.  Whilst waiting I looked at the bikes in the showroom, persuading myself I didn't need a new bike, but when faced with such gloriously presented, brand new stock my resolve crumbled.

I've no allegiance to any car manufacturer but am happy that Triumph make the only bikes I'll ever need.  I'd love a Scrambler but there wasn't one in the showroom. There were, however, a trio of gleaming Tiger 800s.  I sat on them, I looked them over and I did the man-maths in my head.

I asked for a valuation of the Street Triple. £3800 said the man. What??? Surely my three year old bike is worth more than that? A Tiger is £8k so I'd end up paying out over £4k for a new bike.  No way Hosé.

In fact the Street Triple is worth more than that, more like £4,500 in a private sale.  But that shocker was enough to put me off.

I've bonded with my bike, I love it in a way that only a man and a machine can do (obviously not in any kind of perverted way).  I'm not getting rid of it, I'm sorry to it that I even thought I would.

One day I'll be one of those old blokes who own a classic bike, and bought it brand new.  Yep, that'll be me and the Triumph. It's a keeper.
The palace of glittering delights

A Triumph Tiger 800

A custom Bonneville

One of the new Bonneville T124s

By Matt Hubbard