September 12, 2018

From Gerald R. Lucas

So I’m a Triumph Scrambler owner now.

Yesterday, I picked up my new 2018 Triumph Scrambler in Byron and rode the back roads home. I got lost getting our of Byron, and I was even rained on as I approached the house. It was a very hot September day, and the roads were twisty. In all, a pretty perfect first ride.

It’s been years since I sold my last motorcycle, a 2004 BMW R1150R, but I always knew that I’d follow the siren’s song back to riding. I wanted something smaller this time — more nimble and minimal. What could be better than the retro stylings of a Triumph? Here’s me on the BMW riding the Tail of the Dragon in 2005:

2005 Dragon.jpg

I initially thought, too, that I’d get something small and fun (read: cheap!) to commute to campus on. As I researched and looked at candidates — like the Honda CB300, the Kawasaki Z650, and the Yamaha MT-07 — each got a bit bigger, pricier, and newer. I mean, c'mon, I should have something that I could take to the mountains for the weekend, too. What if Autumn wants to go? A 300cc would be inadequate. Could I get a light, more powerful bike — something lighter and more dexterous than the ol’ R1150R?

YouTube got a workout. Don’t you just love the ‘Tube these days: there’s something about everything! And a lot of it’s good. After hours of watching reviews and rides through the GoPro, I thought a I’d check out this Triumph Street Twin a shop in Atlanta had for sale. (Why don’t shops allow test rides? BMW did; seriously, they’d get more immediate sales, I’m sure. The least common denominator ruins it for us all again.) I liked it, but found a brand new Scrambler at my local shop. That was it. So sexy.

2018 Triumph.jpeg

So, I purchased it on September 11, 2018 and took possession today. I’m a motorcyclist again.

The ride home was exhilarating. The bike is strong and growls deliciously. There’s no tach, so I’m riding by feel, switching up when I start to feel vibrations through the bars. This bike is nothing like the BWM: it’s more bulldog than horse. If the BMW was a “sewing machine” (as a fellow biker called it), this is more like a lawn mower. It’s torquey and roars as I roll the throttle — it’s definitely the loudest bike I’ve owned. And it doesn’t really feel that fast — almost like it could use a sixth gear. I think it might be the best bike for me at 49. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

I’m going to try to document my time with the bike on this blog. I’ve not been writing (well, blogging) too much lately, so this will give me the opportunity to get back to it and try to document the interesting bits about my daily rides.