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Old 12-06-2012, 05:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Nearly, but not quite, bought a GT

I went to the recent launch evening with a couple of friends, to see the big new beast that Triumph wish to sell.

Over the last year I have been having repeated problems with my lovely Daytona engined 04 ST and with all that polished metal and plastic around me (and two friends gently goading) started to consider replacing it, but with what?

Once I stopped drooling over the F4 that was sitting in the next room and acknowledged that I didn’t actually want to leave the Triumph family, I started looking round at what replaces my ST. I wanted the same fun mix of practical touring and weekend blasting that mine gives, am not particularly keen on the big trailie look, or want a naked over longer distances, and the only thing that came close was a black GT sitting in the window.

I tried it on for size and apart from some issues with my heels hitting the pillion peg hangers (right or wrong, I tend to ride on the balls of my feet) it seemed okay and with my friends egging me on to spend cash, I had a chat with the Triumph guys about the possibility and what they would be willing to do for me.

The deal they offered me was really good! It amounted to 6,600 + my 36,000 mile ST to get the bike with luggage, top box, and fender extender so actually nearly the same as I paid 8 years ago for a slightly uprated version.

On the head side, things are starting to go brittle or wear out, some parts are becoming harder to source (although I have squirrelled away quite a few bits over the years of eBay-ing) and with the exception of the GT (which Triumph appear to be phasing out) Triumph have no plans to replace the ST part of their range (very short-sighted I think) so this is probably the last Triumph that would suit my needs.

On the heart side of the equation the bike didn’t call to me like my 04 does (I love the wheels on my 04, but admit the styling is a little plump and dated in today’s terms). I wasn’t sold on the black, thought the luggage to be massively over size for the capacity and didn't like the permenantly on display fixings, the end-can looked overlarge and awkward and overall the bike looked too long.

So about 60:40 in favour of buying

So I went back the next day to arrange a test ride and show it to my accounting department for pillion approval, when lo and behold they had two second hand ones back in the showroom after clearing for the launch, including the blue one. Much better to my eye, but the deal they were offering still made the new version the best buy. So I asked if they had a new blue one and could do the same deal (assuming the test ride went okay) they said they could do that.

Hmmm 65:35 now.

So the test ride. I was limited to 30 miles (I was riding one of the used bikes and it was up for auction so I couldn’t significantly change the mileage). I managed to get in some motorway, Flowing A roads and some twisty B roads and nadgery back lanes.

The motorway was easy and the powerbronze bubble screen gave good protection. Throttle roll on was uneventful and brisk and the ride was comfortable.

The sweeping A roads (my favourite environment) were enjoyable with the bike tipping in, rolling round and accelerating out nicely, making stringing together a series of bends easy and pleasurable (although I am no DaveM!).

The B roads were okay and the bike didn’t feel long or bulky, handled the poor surface well and the series of tight bends comfortably, although it needed significant input to go from one side to the other (Bridgestone profile vs the more pointy ones I am used to, perhaps).

It didn’t particularly like the nasty back lanes (and nor do I) but it didn’t get to out of shape except over a series of ridges that got the back end feeling disconnected for a while, so overall performance was good,

The engine gave good performance, but it was very linear, smooth and quiet with only a hint of burble on deceleration to make you realise that you had a sexy triple to play with.

I found the seating position quite uncomfortable at times… that foot problem where my heel previously touched the pillion peg hangers was now made worse in riding boots, with the heel now having to sit outside the hanger in order for me to use the ball of my feet (I’m size 11/46). This forced a inward pointing Pigeon toe feel. Combined with the knees splaid out from the wider seat made things quite uncomfortable at times.

So by the time I got back to the showroom, I was about 55:45.

The more I thought about it, the more it simply felt like a newer slightly tighter version of mine, without the rawness of character and extra performance (remember I have 148bhp to play with and uprated front suspension as well, but it is near to needing a new rear shock), it was much quieter and smoother than mine and didn’t really engage me. It is funny how important sound and looks can be.

So on thinking about it… do I drop 6,600 and all I have invested in making my 04 mine, to get a new bike, or do I spend 1,000 doing bearings and suspenders, time sorting the cooling trouble and generally refreshing my current bike?

Lets face it, 6,600 for something that is only slightly better in some areas than mine and worse in others, doesn’t really make me go “Helllloooo, ding dong” (think Lesley Philips), and mine still does, seemed the wrong thing to do for something that is frankly a luxury not a necessity, so after apologising for wasting their time and thanking them for the test ride, I walked away from it and rode home on my snarly 04 with a huge grin on my face.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like a no to me.
Wish I'd taken the time to test my '09 ST properly before buying, cos it just doesn't grab me like my '99 did.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can do a lot of rebuilding plus adding new mods to the 04 at far less cost than that of a new bike, especially a new one that doesn't speak to you to begin with.

Tom
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They are just a bit big for my liking but it is a moot point now that I have changed to the Thruxton. If it doesn't sing to you, don't do it.

Your bike is the bee's knees in handling and performance now. The aging thing is all in the mind anyway. You can replace alot of the corroded and furry bits for 6000 quid.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Its always horses for courses and pays to have a good test ride.

I must say I am underwhelmed with the GT. I can see why people like it, but I would rather throw some coin at my 05 ST. Phils recent rebuild has provided a lot of inspiration.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Beautifully said Chef! If it doesn't sing to you, don't do it. Rexxy, you already have a great bike with an ever greater motor. A motor that REALLY sings! Put some new forged wheels and some sticky tires on it and it will feel like it lost a hundred pounds and look amazing too.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Beautifully said Chef! If it doesn't sing to you, don't do it. Rexxy, you already have a great bike with an ever greater motor. A motor that REALLY sings! Put some new forged wheels and some sticky tires on it and it will feel like it lost a hundred pounds and look amazing too.
Clearly I bought the GT because of long haul capability and better confort especially for the pillion. Big luggage capacity too.

My 02 ST was 50000km when I let it go, and I had a hard time letting it go. I thought at 50000, I would begin to have big maintenance expenses. So I switched to the GT. As the GT is difficult to sell you get good deals on it.

Nothing to compare w/ the 02-05 ST. It's clearly heavier and you feel it in the handle bars, clearly. But I don't regret my purchase.

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Old 12-07-2012, 04:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yup, happy that I made the right decision. Now to plan a rejuvenation
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It is a new bike

It is new and fresh.. yours will last ofcourse. But when it comes to save money I do it with my car. Have a new GT and will keep it when becom father next year. The car however is a 2001 audi quattro for 1500 EUR.

It is nice to have a new bike when you do not ride it so many miles anyways. I plan to do rougly 5000 kilometers only next year. Maybe a trip to southern France.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is new and fresh.. yours will last ofcourse. But when it comes to save money I do it with my car. Have a new GT and will keep it when becom father next year. The car however is a 2001 audi quattro for 1500 EUR.

It is nice to have a new bike when you do not ride it so many miles anyways. I plan to do rougly 5000 kilometers only next year. Maybe a trip to southern France.
Sodan,

It sounds like you have your priorities in the correct order. Car=transportation. Motorcycle=fun, therapy, etc. Hope you are happy with your GT now.
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