Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: 2017 Triumph Street Twin
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Rimrock, Arizona
Other Motorcycle: Honda CB 400f
Extra Motorcycle: 1987 Honda 650 Hawk
Dialing a Street Twin for Long Riding
This past Thursday I had a chance to take my Street Twin for its first, longish ride - 340 miles from Camp Verde, AZ, around the Navajo and Hopi reservations, and back home.
Much of the ride was in beautiful 70-degree weather on empty Rez roads. There was, however, one unannounced 20-mile section heading into the Navajo town of Tuba City where both lanes had just been repaved with the stickiest tar and stone amalgam I have encountered in 45 years of riding. It coated the tires, doing nothing good for the handling. I got seriously strange looks when I bought an ice scraper in the gas station store in Tuba City on an 85-degree day. But, it was useful in removing at least some of the goo before riding on.
The ride was a chance to evaluate the Street Twin and the gear I had added. I found the power delivery, the shifting, the brakes, and the handling as good for long riding as I had hoped. The bike is just a ball to ride. The fuel range was better than I had expected. With a mix of highway and slower speeds on the Rez, 150 miles left more than a gallon in the tank. The average mpg was 66.8 for the whole trip, on a brand new engine. So, I’m hoping for a bit more as the bike breaks in.
The SW Mototech Blaze Sport saddlebags worked out nicely. Easy to access, and they hold a lot, even in their unexpanded form. My trusty Wolfman tank bag, however, crowds my legs some - a little thing, but the kind I know can get annoying on a long ride. Time for a smaller bag – maybe the OEM nylon tank bag (anybody using one?)
What I still need to dial in are the seat, the bar height, the windshield, and the gas cap.
The stock seat with a sheepskin on it is a great match for my 27-inch inseam, but after about 80-100 miles my butt starts looking for relief. I am wondering if I should try an AirHawk seat cushion (anyone have experience with those?), or just go right to Bill Mayer and have the seat rebuilt. The Mayer seats I have had on previous bikes have worked quite well for long riding. Anybody have any other suggestions for butt-comfort.
The MRA Road Shield I mounted worked well at keeping wind off my chest and my head in clean air up to about 60 mph. Over that I start to get buffeting around the upper shoulders and helmet. No big deal for local rides, but something I know will be tiring on 400+ mile days, I will continue to explore options (suggestions?).
The bars are almost right, but another inch rise would be better. I can get ROK risers, but the lowest rise they seem to offer is 2 inches. Does anybody know how much you can raise the bars with the stock cables?
And finally, the gas cap. The stock cap is a pretty piece of chrome, but also fiddly to unlock. I may swap it out for either a non-locking screw cap, or if I decide to go with a narrow bag, a Monza cap.
So, the dialing-in process continues. Thoughts and suggestions welcome.