Main Motorcycle: 01 Bonneville
Join Date: May 2011
My life with Elizabeth...11 years and 50K
Back in August 2001 my 1978 Sportster blew the caliper right off the fork leg eating half the spokes in the front wheel. I limped the bike to my mother's which was about 3 miles away. After surveying the damage, I was done with HD. I had rebuilt the entire bike 2 years ago and required constant repairs throughout the three years I owned the bike. I put the bike for sale for $1800 and it was gone in a day after I put it in the paper.
In the past I always bought wrecks or essential abandoned bikes and fixed them. For my 40th Birthday I decided I deserved my first new bike. With the down payment in my pocket for my first new bike ever. I knew I wasn't buying a HD...my first stop was BMW. The dealer would not permit test drives . Being short 5'6" ergonomics are important. I wasn't spending 17K and another $1,500 to make it fit.
I decided that a Victory would fit the bill. I walked in to the Victory dealer...who just so happen to be a Triumph Dealer. I wasn't even thinking Triumph in 2001. In the middle of the showroom floor was a cardinal red Bonneville. It was love at first site. I asked the dealer if they had one I could test drive...he threw me the keys to his own bike and said go...take it for spin..I was sold. The only option I added at the time was the TORS. Over the years I have added the following:
Bella Corsa two into twos, UNI Filter with 140s restrictor removed, AI Removed plugged with Nissan drain plugs. Homemade seat bolts (6mm threaded rod) . Ikon Fork Springs.The bike no has the following Triumph Accessories installed:
A9748028: Triumph Roadster Screen, A9510006 Triumph Tank Bag,,A9638018 Fork Gaitors,A9718000 Knee Pads,A9938042 Tack Kit,A9738060 Chrome Side Covers,A9738034 Chrome Cam Cover,A9518025 Triumph Soft Bags with rails,A9738084 Headlamp Ears,A9738061 Master Cylinder Cap,A9738035 Chrome Chain Guard,A9730054 Chrome Front Fender,Thruxton Rear Fender ( Custom Chrome Plated),A9738041 Chrome Lever Kit.
After 10+ years of waiting for the stock seat to break in...I scored a reasonably priced lightly use Corbin seat with passenger back rest. I should of done this 10 years ago...
Most of the Triumph accessories were purchased new from dealer closings or lightly used from Ebay. The fit and finish of Triumph accessories is the best I have ever seen. Even the 11 year old engine covers are still in mint condition. The only product I have been disappointed in is the fork gaiters, one of them has a pleat unfolding. After 10+ years the fabric bags are beginning to disintegrate...the sun eats them.
Maintenance has been better than average. Mobil 1 has been used for all the oil changes, except one when I used Shell Rotella. This was mistake. The clutch chatter was awful...never again. Back to Mobil 1 never a problem. Triumph filters used for 3 changes until I discovered Mazda Miata filters fit. The cheapest Walmart specials work just fine.
I have been through 6 sets of brakes and tires. The factory Bridgestone's were durable, but rode like crap. Two sets of Pirelli Sport Demons...excellent bite but so so wear. So far the new Pilot Sports have been the best. I have replaced two broken spokes in the rear, I have a third one to do shortly. I wound up replacing the rear spokes with Buchannan's. The front wheel was replaced in 2003 with one from a 2002 when a pothole ate the rim. That same pothole damaged a fork bushing. I was unable to source just the bushing from Triumph at the time, but was able to get one from Yamaha that was the same. Upon reassemble the lower bolt would not seal. Countless washers and thread sealants didn't work. After suffering with the drop day leak for a year, I got fed up and got a set of used forks off of eBay. To my surprise when I changed the fork oil, the junk yard forks had Ikon spring in them.
The bike is on its third chain and second set of sprockets. I have had to replace the speedometer cable...not because it failed...because I over tightened. the lower screw and broke it. The tail lamp assembly has been replaced because my roommate closed the garage door on it. The bike is on its third battery. The bike has never needed a valve adjustment, though the last check the exhausts were tight but within spec.
Since 2001 I have had over 25 girl friends and eight cars....and only ONE Motorcycle Elizabeth is the one...I will never part with it. If your contemplating Triumph...just do it. If you own a Triumph you can be confident that your money has been well spent.