I just added a 2012 Speed Triple to the stable. Got a fantastic deal on a lightly used 12 and I couldn't pass up on it. I've only had the chance to put about 100 miles on her since we've been dealing with hurricane Sandy here. But here are my first impressions and how they compare.
The speedie on paper and in terms of being a machine is worlds ahead of the bonnie. It's more stable, MUCH quicker, handles better, brakes better, etc. Surprisingly, it fit my 5' 9" frame very well and I probably could ride it all day. It's also much more comfortable on the highway and IMO makes it a better commute bike for me. It was love at first sight and I enjoyed every minute riding it home.
With all that said, there's something about the bonnie that is more than just a motorcycle. It's an experience. A bond and connection. You just look and feel cool riding it. It's designed to be minimalist so you can enjoy the ride and the essence of motorcycling. Yet is so capable in it's own right and does everything so well with nothing in excess. The air cooled twins have so much character, especially after fitting on some pipes.
Maybe it's because I've owned it longer, but I'm so attached to it at this point that I don't ever seeing myself selling her. It's a bike that I want to pass on and even then it will remain classic because the styling won't change. While the speedie will probably look dated in a few years with the next generation out.
- Pros: Classic good looks, feels lighter because the center of gravity is so low, wonderful character, visceral experience.
- Cons: Could use slightly more power, factory suspension is quite poor.
- Pros: Awesome engine, great road presence, amazing brakes, handles well, super stable on the highway. Oh and that engine!
- Cons: Insurance cost, somewhat bland styling and feeling (hopefully with a few mods everything will change)
Here are a few pictures of my new baby next to my "Betty"
Thanks for reading!