Well the sprint had to go into the dealers and have a part replaced this morning, I thought while this was taking place, I would organise a test ride on the new 1050 Speed Triple.
I have always enjoyed the look of the S3, but have never had the opportunity to ride one. I have thought it would be a great second bike, so was excited to get the chance to see if all the reviews were correct.
The morning was fine, but the forecast was for rain later. I was keeping my fingers crossed that the weather would hold, as it turns out it didn't!
Arriving at Auckland Motorcycles, I dropped the bike into the service dept, and headed up stairs to see the sales guys. Once the paper work was sorted I was off.....carefully I will add, at $21000 to buy and a $2500 insurance excess if I ding it, I was more than a little cautious.
I headed north towards Warkworth, this would give me some motor way riding as well as some open road twisties.
This first thing about this bike is how much more you are exposed, than on the ST. I felt like there was no bike in front of me, where as on the sprint I feel I am sitting in the bike, not just on it. It is certainly not an aggressive riding style, but it very different to what I am used to. I have always liked the look of the S3, on this newer model there has been some on line complaining about the look of the lights, but personally I like them. Each to there own I suppose.
As always the real strength of this bike is its engine. The deep throaty groan of the triple is addictive and far more pronounced than the sprint. The throttle response is twitchy, and I learnt quickly to be careful as I was exiting corners, to harsh and I could see myself getting thrown off this beast! All said though, purring long in traffic in 4th of 5th gear, and the bike is very responsive when you ask for it. The power comes on immediately and it effortlessly pulls from all the way down the gear box.
I found the suspension hard, and it seemed to turn in quicker than the sprint. Compared to a lot of Triumphs I have ridden the suspension is good, and certainly not soft by any means. Perhaps a change in tyres would offer a different effect. Once the rain started, I was not feeling comfortable on the Pirellis Corsa's that the bike was shod with. The were not offering very much feel from the back and I think a more dual sport tyre would offer vastly different result.
The brakes are excellent, perhaps the best I have used on a bike for some time.
Overall the bike is a lot of fun, I was certainly starting to enjoy myself before the rain came down and the need to return the bike in one piece was playing strongly on my mind. So would I buy one?
Well, probably not. It is definitely a fun bike, and I am sure with a few miles under my belt on it I would probably enjoy it a lot. It is no good for pillion and as a lot of my riding entails taking my partner I could see it getting left in the garage a lot. Perhaps in a few years when second hand ones become available, and as a second bike maybe. But at $21000 it doesn't seem like you are getting a lot of bike for your money.
Still I enjoyed the opportunity, but I am more keen than ever to take the Sprint GT for a run.