When Two Triumphs Love Each Other Very Much...


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TL;DR? Here Just the Pictures >


The blog about the yellow bike pictured above ended 3 years ago with it being dismantled and its parts sold on ebay. Having that 955cc big Triumph triple was a watershed moment in my life. Even though I'd had perhaps 10 motorcycles, I'd never had a sportbike or some sort of superbike.

I'd built a couple of vintage Triumphs and become very interested in following motorcycle racing. So much so that hearing the TV announcers go on and on about the glorious sound of the unique and special three-cylinder bikes that were running at the Isle of Man... My interest was piqued - Additionally, I'd recently seen a very interesting Cafe Racer at the university that had been made from a late 70s Yamaha triple. I looked deeply at buying a 3 cylinder Yamaha project, but soon discovered that the modern Triumph line included many Triples. In fact it seemed Triumph had build its cache and future on designing bikes that made the glorious sound - I had to have one!

Hours of reading pointed me to the computer controlled, fuel injected models built from 1997 to 2005 as the best choice. Having just spent the prior seven months trying to keep my first-ever UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) with its 4 carburetors synced up and running smooth the ultimate in frustration, a more modern fuel injected bike sounded like the solution.

Having less than $3000 to spend, lucky me - I found several 955cc Daytonas and Speed Triples on ebay within 500 miles. I put my Kawasaki Cafe Racer up for sale and within days, some one in Portland bought it for my asking price if I'd deliver it. Lucky me again, there was a 2000 red Daytona for sale in the same city so I loaded up my sold bike in the bed of my pickup and headed out on the 90 mile jaunt to Portland to unload one, and load up another.

The sad truth is the Daytona sold a couple of hours before I got there. Plan B was a less expensive, somewhat beat up version in Seattle. It was already 9 pm, so I found the world's crappiest motel near i-205 and bedded down before heading to my big triple.

When I arrived at the kid's house, he had a low volume air compressor filling up the rear tire and my eyes were not impressed with this poor old has-been of a bike.

As ugly as it was, it started right up and it had the glorious sound! I gave him the money, he signed the papers and we rolled it into the bed of my pickup.

Once home I quickly discovered I'd made a huge error. My initial test-rides scared me like no other vehicle. While in 2nd or 3rd gear, if you gave it the gas, the acceleration was so tremendous, the bike felt like it would pull the seat right out from underneath you! Not only that, but my feet barely touched the ground. I was on my tip toes and had a very hard time moving it around my driveway and had it almost fall over twice the first day. The overwhelming power was the real problem though. So... I promptly put it up for sale - I'd have to find something more suitable.

No one bought it - not in one week, or two. While waiting for a buyer I had a chance encouter with an angel from sportbike heaven. I was in the grocery store and there was this fella with a helmet in his hand and high-end riding gear. I asked him what he rode and he said 'a Ducati'. I said 'I need to talk to you.' I explained my dilema of having this bike that was just too powerful for me and asked him how he stayed out of jail with so much power at his fingertips. He politely explained that just because it was available, didn't mean it had to be used - it could be used, but right time, right place. He implored me to just ride my new bike and get used to riding it in town, riding it on the open roads and he told me I would get used to it and certainly come to love it - He was right. I certainly did come to love it : -)

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