As some of our regular followers might have picked up, I am an avid biker. I even commute 50 miles every day into London on my motorbike. Often when I tell people this their first reaction is “Are you crazy?” or “ Isn’t that dangerous?”. However, not only do I find public transport into London unreliable, expensive and uncomfortable but I genuinely enjoy riding to and from work. I am sure that there are not many people who can say they enjoy their commute as much. I also own a growing collection of motorcycles too, almost all of which are in pieces in my shed waiting for me to attempt to put them back together.
That being said, I am also incredibly unlucky with motorcycles and this trend of bad fortune has recently lead to my biggest British purchase so far.
I recently broke down on my way home from work only to spend 2 and a half hours on the hard shoulder of the motorway waiting for the AA to turn up. The issue was simple – a snapped chain on my 18 month old Italian bike (I will not name the manufacturer as this story gets worse and I do not want this post to be about having a dig). The AA eventually go the stricken bike to garage (yes – I could have repaired something so simple myself but the bike was still under warranty so I did not want to touch it) and some time later I received a call from a rather solemn sounding mechanic. He proceeded to tell me that there were multiple issues with the bike and that repair was going to cost me £1500, the repair was not covered by the warranty… and they could not use British made parts.
This bike was simply not worth the investment so I have had to trade it in and count my losses (which were considerable). I spent some frantic hours looking for a suitable British made replacement straight away. The choices were limited. CCM and Norton do not make practical commuters so it was going to have to be a Triumph. Narrowing the search down further I decided upon the Triumph Tiger Explorer which is being billed as almost bullet proof! If it lasts more than 2 years in my hands without blowing up, melting down or generally falling apart I will be very willing to agree to this being fact, for the time being however, I am sceptical. Anyhow, this was about my best option from a very limited list to choose from.
I took delivery of my new motorcycle on Monday and I must admit that it is a fantastic machine but I am conscious that I do not want this to become a review of the bike itself so I will stop there.
If you were to ask me if this is the bike I would have chosen if it were not for our project, then I would have to honestly answer no. I would likely have gone for a Yamaha and certainly something far cheaper.
However, this is our most extravagant British purchase… so far.
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