Categories
Motorcycles

Triumph Street Twin – 6 Weeks / 1.5k Miles Later

I have wanted a Triumph since I was a teenager, which is a long time ago now. I used to knock about with some bikers who had old Bonnies and I have loved the aesthetic, the slim lines, the torquey twin-engine and its ability to negotiate those country twisty roads which we all love. The old Brit engineering with the oil-bearing frame and the total loss oil system? Not so much.

Triumph Street Twin
Currently, only night time riding whilst commuting in the lockdown

The Triumph Street Twin encapsulates the best of both worlds. It is a bike which captures what is so attractive about the older Bonnies, the tidy lines with the attractive tank that flows straight into the comfy seat, the neat twin engine with bags of torque which sits tidily underneath and that lovely thud as it runs. It does so with the reliability of a modern bike which I view as essential – it starts without complaint on cold and damp mornings, it is smooth and intuitive when ridden.

Categories
Motorcycles

A New Bike in the Stable – Triumph Street Twin

Exciting news – I have finally bitten the bullet and upgraded from my old Honda CBF500 to a new Triumph. I’ve always been fond of Bonnevilles and their retro styling from my formative teenage years when hanging around with classic Bonneville owning bikers in Shropshire. Although this Triumph Street Twin deviates more from the Bonnevilles of old, it won my heart.

I have test rode several bikes before settling on the Street Twin.

  1. Ducati Scrambler 800 – Great bike, but more money than I initially wanted to spend. Also, some of the finish was questionable, e.g. exposed wiring going into switchgear.
    • £7700 new (with some tempting 0% deals on) or £5k+ second hand
  2. Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 – Again, a good bike, but I struggled height wise when not wearing built-up boots. I needed something I’d be comfortable in all scenarios. I’d also heard too many conflicting reports on reliability, especially from local trusted garages and motorcycle rental shops Arthur had visited.
    • £5500 new
  3. Triumph Bonneville 900 from 2012 – Chosen due to cast wheels and lower seat height, it was a decent bike, but the particular instance I test rode had an awkward gear change I struggled to get my boot under and some questionable cosmetic additions…
    • £4500 second hand (9k mileage)
  4. Triumph Street Twin 2020 – I took this out for test ride initially on a whim at Arthur’s suggestion whilst the Triumph dealer and I simply fell in love with it. It was slightly lower than the Bonneville and I just felt far more confident on it.
    • £7300 for the 2020 demo bike (+£500 free accessories!)
Test riding the 2020 Triumph Street Twin
Test riding the 2020 Triumph Street Twin
Categories
Riding

Mid Wales Motorcycle Ride Out – The Abergwesyn Pass

Wales Motorcycle Ride, Powys
Welcome to Wales, Powys

This is a route I rode in May 2019, back then I could not have imagined what is happening now one year on. I find myself now looking back at the freedom we had to ride where ever we liked. Enjoy my reminiscing and stick this route on your to-do list for when lockdown restrictions are eased.

This route offers a short loop taking in some of the best roads Wales can offer, beginning and finishing in Newtown (because I was staying with family in Welshpool, the next town north, and using this as my base). All in its about 130 miles and about 3.5 – 4 hours of riding time, factor in a couple of coffee and food stops and you have a chilled out day on the bike.

Categories
Clothing/Protection Gear Reviews

Dainese Clutch Evo D-Dry Unisex Gloves Review

Small hands? Check. Get pretty cold in the winter? Check. I would love to have heated gloves- but the pennies don’t stretch that far at the moment. So to keep the winter chill at the bay I use these Dianese Clutch Evo gloves in combination with heated grips.

I have had these gloves for about 18 months now- I purchased them in February 2016 at the Excel Bike show. They have been through all the weather the sky can chuck at them- snow, gales, sun, heavy rain, drizzle, hail. They are a good quality short glove and are well insulated against the cold. For those of us who have shorter arms and struggle to find longer gloves to fit, these gloves fit well with jacket sleeves that tend to be longer than they should be. In the frost and snow my fingers can feel a bit cold but putting some merino wool glove liners in can help and the heated grips keep off the chill.

Categories
Clothing/Protection Gear Reviews

Richa Nomad Waterproof Unisex Boots Review

Being Wide of Calf, buying new boots that fit me is generally a pain in the arse. I am also very short so I usually have the added complication of longer boots impeding my knees. I had heard good things about the Richa Nomad boots and with winter approaching I needed some new waterproof boots to replace my Furygan boots. For £80, they are a good value boot and I decided to give them a go.

Categories
Clothing/Protection Gear Reviews

EDZ Ladies Merino Wool Base Layers Review

EDZ Merino Wool Base Layers - Long Sleave TopWhen a girl asks her partner for some underwear for Christmas, most would have in mind a nice bra, some matching knickers, perhaps a negligee. Not for me, however. For Christmas, I want some more EDZ merino wool base layers.

Last February at the Excel Bike Show I purchased an EDZ ladies merino wool base layer, a long-sleeved crew-necked top made out of 100% merino wool with some 100% merino wool base layer leggings. I have worn them pretty much constantly when out on my motorbike ever since.

EDZ Merino Wool Base Layers – Top & Leggins

At the Bike Show, the EDZ stand was offering a small discount, which was great as these items do retail at quite a lot when compared with other base layers. Especially those made from artificial fibres, but then merino wool is not a cheap material.

Categories
Gear Reviews

Ladies Kevlar MotoGirl Leggings Review & Long Term Test

Motogirl Leggings ReviewWhen you were a child, did you ever have a favourite pair of trousers or a top that you would wear to death and never take off? Well, my MotoGirl leggings are mine. I bought them in February and I have worn them pretty much constantly since.

MotoGirl Leggings Review

These MotoGirl Leggings are stretchy and come with knee armour and optional hip armour. They have pockets, loops for a belt and more importantly are completely lined with Kevlar. This is unlike some biker jeans which only have Kevlar lining on the main impact areas of the groin, hip and knees. Definitely reassuring if one ever has a tumble.

Categories
Clothing/Protection Gear Reviews

Schuberth C3 Pro Woman Helmet- Initial Findings…

Schuberth C3 Pro Woman Helmet - 6
Schuberth C3 Pro Woman Helmet

So, I went to the London Bike Show at Excel last week. The Man says “get a new helmet for your birthday”, so I did. I went to the Helmet City stand and stood there for a few minutes. Being a shorter female I noticed that men who arrived after me seemed to get served first, until I performed a rather phlegmatic stage cough. Such is the required attention seeking methods I have had to resort to on occasion.

Men who arrived after me seemed to get served first, until I performed a rather phlegmatic stage cough…

I suppose if I had been wearing tight leggings and a chest enhancing top advertising Carole Nash or MCN I may have gained more attention (although I suspect for all the wrong reasons). Anyway, once I had the nice Helmet City man’s attention I did receive good customer service.

Categories
Clothing/Protection Gear Reviews

Furygan Jet Lady D3O Sympatex Shorty Boots Review

Having fairly wide calves, I have found it difficult to find motorbike boots to fit, especially higher ones. Having had no luck on eBay purchasing cheap second-hand boots I bought these Furygan D3O shorty boots from the MCN London Motorcycle show back in February.

The Furygan Jet Lady boots are a comfortable ankle boot, and although they do not provide the protection of a full-length boot they are a good compromise, being both comfortable and having CE armour protection.  They feature a waterproof and breathable Sympatex liner and a flap which Velcros over the upper part of the laces to stop them catching on the bike. I have worn them on long ride outs and also off the bike, finding them comfortable and easy to walk in. They work well with textile trousers which sit just over the top of the boots. The boots are low enough that they also work with leather trousers.