To discover the best 10-mile stretch of road anywhere in the UK you have to go to Loch Leven in Scotland. But it's worth the ride
We both have similar outlooks on bikes, neither of us cares what a bike is, where it's from or what it is meant to be as long as it's fun to ride. It's probably the reason we both have garages full of old bangers and certainly the reason we both loved the Triumph.
Get it on a twisty road and the Street Triple shows its sporting genes. Its entire rolling chassis (wheels, frame and swingarm) are identical to the Daytona 675 and it's only the forks that are non-adjustable budget items and the brakes non-radial. Not that this matters. When you're really on a mission the rear end does get a bit soft, but this is easily tuned out with a minor suspension twiddle and your average rider is unlikely to encounter this problem. The agility of the chassis and wonderful motor manages to encapsulate everything that is good about the larger 1,050cc triple engine, just in a smaller package. It even comes with the delightful burble on the over-run that the bigger triples have. Lovely job, properly done.
Then there is the riding position that feels roomy despite the tiny stature of the bike, the fact that the seat height will suit shorties, the stylish dash with a gear indicator and rev warning lights, the brakes that although look cheap embarrass more expensive units with their levels of power and feel and finally the price. How on earth is this a £5,349 bike? I can't understand how Triumph has made it so cheap, but bless them for doing so.
Every time I ride the Street Triple it blows me away and on this road it was stunning, but in fairness it is stunning on any road in any situation. I really can't recommend this bike enough, everyone who rides one instantly falls in love with the Triumph and with good reason. Although I'm generally not a huge supermoto fan due to their impracticality, KTM's 690SM goes a long way to curing this. For back roads it's brilliant, the engine never fails to impress and the handling is surefooted and balanced. On the open road it can hold its own and would make a really stylish, day-to-day bike with more than enough fun to keep you entertained at the weekend.
And finally the GSX-R750, which is one of the best bikes around at the moment, provided you take it on the right road. While is was unsuited to the twisty back roads of Scotland, on faster A-roads it is an absolute joy. If you are considering owning a 1,000 try the 750 first, it is honestly all you need and may well sway your decision. It will save you money on insurance when it does.
And as for the Loch road? It may only be a 10-mile round trip, but somehow James, Shoey and myself managed to spend nearly all day messing around on the B863. I could go on for hours about the views, hysterical humps in the road that launch the bikes into the air, sweeping corners and even the decent pubs en route with friendly locals. But why listen to me? Get out there and do it yourself.
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Brilliant read, inspiring and direct, where’s my gloves I’m off
Posted: 26/05/2010 at 10:27
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