When I first came to Motorcycles of Charlotte, I had never ridden a BMW R 1200 GS before. And to be honest, it was intimidating. These bikes are huge. And the GS Adventure version, what we call the “GSA” is even more so. I had never even really looked at one up close before… and initially my impression was that “it’s a water buffalo”. I had no interest in even throwing a leg over a water buffalo, let alone take one out for a ride.
Triumph Motorcycles had a nice event planned for it’s Triumph Champions, and I was invited to go to represent Motorcycles of Charlotte. I happily agreed to attend. The event started in the Florida Keys, all the way down in Key West. “Key” is evidently Floridian for Island. Key also means critically important, so it’s a little self aggrandizing for them to call their islands keys.
That’s the aircraft I flew in on. It’s made in Brazil. So it’s basically a Taurus of the Sky. Half of them have to go back to the factory for a Fluff and Buff, under warranty. But they have great customer service. And no resell value to speak of. But I did land safely. So I go that going for me. Which is nice.
The new Bobber is why we are in the Keys in the first place. The bike is based on the T120 in that it’s got the same engine. And even that’s different… so… no. It’s not a T120 at all. It’s a whole different machine. But more on that later.
Triumph put on a nice dinner at the joint that was floating on a dock, over water, during an electric storm that was putting on a fireworks display just off shore. It was beautiful. The fish was a overcooked, but the mashed potatoes were on point.
Everyone picked out a bike. There was one Bobber with the Mini-Ape Hangers… Which at first, I hated. But after sitting on it… the positioning actually feels really good. I like it. But not enough to do that to my own bike. That’s my bike right at the bottom of the photo. The Green and white one.
After the photos, we headed north on Highway 1. Just before 7 Mile Bridge, we topped off for fuel. At this point, it was also discovered that the Police were keeping a close eye on all of us. As if we were Sons of Britain MC or something. Probably never occurred to them that a company might be doing some sort of training/marketing junket in a place that offers really cool locations for photography.
Perfect opportunity for a blatant selfie with my bike. I love the looks of the Bobber. I love the engine. I love they way it rides. But man, I really hate that seat. It begs for an aftermarket gel seat. No… It demands it. And you will too if you ride one for a few hours straight.
Now, we did have a Street Scrambler in the group. I only got a little seat time on it, and I really liked it. But I still bemoan the loss of the T100 Bonneville based Scrambler.
Somewhere near Key Largo we topped off the fuel tanks again. Also, at this point, the shape of the seat had been pressing hard into my taint causing the loss of feeling in the twig and berries in my front landscaping. Most of the guys in the group had the same loss of sensations on those regions. That seat needs to go. British Customs needs to offer a Seat Swap for this ASAP.
Here’s my bike in it’s full glory. She’s beautiful. The two tone looks better in person than it does in any photos. I love this bike. The torque, the sound, the handling… The whole bike is fully on point. Save for that bloody seat. And really, that seat was great for the first hour.
We ate box lunches that would have been worthy of complaint, but we were all so hungry, we didn’t care and they all got gobbled up quickly. We were also amused that the water bottles were labeled “BMW”. Well played, BMW… Well played.
I really liked the new TFT display, that was easy to read out in the sun. The menu was easy to use thanks to the little joystick input device… just… just trust me… go to a Triumph Dealer once they get to the stores and check this thing out. After they went over all the details we were ready to head out.
So after riding in a van to go over the track, divided up into groups based on skill level, we suited up and went for it.
I was placed in the Intermediate level group, group 2. Group 1 was the Pro Level… the Racers. Actual freaking motorcycle racers. There were 4 of those guys… and 3 Intermediates. And the rest were Novices. It was decided that group 2 should ride with group 1. So… Yeah… I ended up following actual racers around an freaking race track… at full speed.
I did things…
But great things… Like hitting the rev limiter in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears. Crushing the brakes with all the grip strength I had. Dragging knees and hitting my elbow on the track at warp factor 10. Clipping the apex and then the far edge with the throttle pinned. Feeling the bike oversteer in a turn as I rolled more throttle…
It was glorious. The 765 Street Triple RS did everything it was asked, and I tried, but failed, to find any warts on the bike. Everything worked very very well. The RS version is going to be priced at $12,500. Which is incredible considering the level of capabilities you are getting for that money. I would have expected this bike to have been priced at 15… this is impressive. Truly impressive.
I’ve talked about the Ducati Multistrada before. But this one is a bit different. This is the Enduro version. Now, everything in the Enduro is based on the 1200 S version. The 1198 CC V-Twin is on board, cranking out the same 160 Horses of Power pulling the same 87 Foot Pounds of Torques through the same 6 Speed transmission.
The differences come in all the areas making the Multistrada more Off-Road Capable. Now, it was alright off road. As long as that off road wasn’t too off the road. But it was lacking… The Enduro fixes all that.
New on the Enduro is larger spoked wheels, taller ground clearance, a heavy duty bash plate under the engine, and new suspension programming and calibration. There’s also a different seat and handlebars… and a shorter first gear. The changes all add up to make the Enduro almost a completely different bike. The 1200S is a great bike for anything on the road. The Enduro is just a great bike for anything. I put a lot of miles on one this weekend, and that included some off roading… and any shortcomings it had before are all gone.
The Enduro isn’t just a motorcycle like the 1200S is. The Enduro is a full grown, well trained, War Horse.