July 1, 2007
Today, I rode out to Joe’s Cycle Shop in Dayton to test ride the largest production cruiser on the planet, the Triumph Rocket III, a 2300cc triple cylinder monster. ( Not counting Boss Hoss motorcycles, that use the 8200cc Chevy V-8 engines).
The first thing I noticed was that the bike has A LOT of power. At 704 lbs dry weight (320 kgs), the Rocket is lighter than several full dresser HDs and puts out a peak 140 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 147 ft. lbs of torque at 2500 rpm. As I let out the clutch slowly, I could feel the latent power in the engine, requiring just a flick of the throttle to unleash. I’m sure I could have popped a wheelie if I wanted to. The triple cylinder engine sounds good, very different from a V-twin. The seat is taller but I could flat-foot on both sides. The bike was surprisingly nimble for its size and handles very well. I would definitely want to own one some day!
By the way, if you have a Triumph dealer in your neighborhood you should go and test ride the Rocket. After you test-ride the bike, you can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a Triumph Rocket! See the Triumph USA website for details.
May 8, 2007
On Friday, I was at a get together at my friend Rajeev’s place and got to test ride his Ducati Monster 750ie around the block. It was fun. I also had one of those “its a small world” moments when another guest at the party turned out to be Eric, the creator of the Open Road Journey website! We stayed late, talking bikes and sharing our trip experiences.
Sunday was a perfect day to spend outdoors. After a bicycle ride in a nearby state park, Angie and I took the ferry across to Kentucky with John, Aimee and Greg to ride on some back roads. We stopped at Rabbit Hash and our favorite destination in Kentucky, Jane’s Saddlebag. Rabbit Hash was teeming with bikers and the Woolly Mammoth burgers were excellent as usual, at Jane’s Saddlebag. It was a great ride.
About the new gear: I really like the Tour Master Transition jacket and the Venture pants. They are very comfortable and I like the idea of having all that armor on while riding. The jacket has plenty of vents to keep the air flowing on warm days. The Nolan N102 Com helmet took some getting used to. The helmet itself is very comfortable but has this new strap attachment system (not the tried and tested D-ring mechanism) that I find mildly uncomfortable. I am also on the fence about the Vision Protection System, the tinted half-visor. When all the way down, the visor edge is in my line of sight, so I have to leave it slightly raised. But thats no good if the sun is low in the horizon. I might remove it and stick to wearing sunglasses under the helmet. I do like the flip-up feature.
On Monday, Angie and I visited Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati for our scheduled test ride. (HD sent out invitations to potential customers as part of the HD Motorvation event). I rode a FLHTC Electra Glide Classic and Angie rode a Sportster ( I forget exactly which kind). Both of us were very impressed with the bikes. My bike was unbelievably comfortable and effortlessly soaked up all the bumps on the road. And there was plenty of power from the twin cam 96 cu in ( 1573cc) engine- much more that I was used to. And the power delivery was extremely smooth, with Harley’s latest generation fuel injection and the six speed Cruise Drive transmission. Even though I didn’t get beyond 3rd gear in the rush hour traffic, I enjoyed the ride. A Harley-Davidson is not on my shopping list for the immediate future, I would definitely like to own one someday.