My Triumphant Trip to the Conch Republic

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.

This is me, having just landed at the world’s smallest airport.  We actually had walk between different aircraft to reach the terminal.

This is the terminal.  It has statues on it.  The statues have more clothes on than most of the people on the island.

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 Fairfield Inn was boring, so I went for a walk.  To my surprise, right around the corner was the Triumph Truck.  So this is where we are meeting in the morning.  That’s cool.  

Across the street was this view.  Gorgeousness abounds.  The favorite colors in the Keys are Blue and Suntan.

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.

The next morning, after a night of zero sleep… We gathered at the super secret hidden location that I found the night before.  Cunningly, they left the truck parked in the same place.   

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.

We road as a group to the southern most point on Key West.  To take a group photo.  We discovered that we would be doing a lot of Group Photos.

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.

And right before 7 Mile Bridge, we stopped for more Group Photos.  Which is cool.

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.

This is where I had to say goodbye to the Bobber.  Homestead Speedway, just south of Miami.  At this point we were tired and hungry.  So it was time for a break.

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.    

After the lunch and many bottles of water, we went over the next bike… the new 765 Street Triple RS.  This bike… is one impressive street weapon.

Super light weight, with an engine that punches way above it’s weight class.  It’s flat out better than the 675 Street Triple.

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…
Great things.
Terrible 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.

9 thoughts on “My Triumphant Trip to the Conch Republic”

  1. “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. ”

    They know boats and rafts. Motorcycles? Maybe what they watch on TV….

  2. Nice trip. Thanks for the review – well done. I’ve never actually run a motorcycle on a race track. Color me envious.

  3. I’ll NEVER understand why motorcyclists wear black jackets and black helmets. I wear a hi viz jacket and a white helmet. My friend told me he saw me coming a block away. I’ve never heard one GOOD reason to wear black. So educate me.

    1. Because I’ve seen guys wearing all Key Lime High Viz… that still had cars pull out and nail them. Because the drivers STILL didn’t see them.
      HIGH VIZ is like the other side of the “LOUD PIPES SAVES LIVES” argument. No… No they don’t. It just gives the Riders a False Sense of Security.
      You could be so High Viz you shined like the spotlight on the front of a fucking train, and people still wouldn’t see you. Because people still get hit by trains, don’t they?
      But hey – if you think it makes you safer – then be my guest. Have at it. Ride Your Ride.
      Because if you think your colors make more of a difference than your high intensity LED DRL’s… then nothing I’m going to say is going to sway you. Or vise versa.
      Also, my black jacket has reflective strips on the back… Just in case someone sees that and not my bright red tail lights.

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