Saturday, May 2, 2009

107 years of Triumph: National Open House


A few days ago I was doooing a bit of goooogling trying to find some information on Triumph motorcycles and came across this announcement (<--- Click)

Being British they had a reputation for being curmudgeony as a conch in Florida, but I understand that they now seem to be very reliable and well engineered. They have a factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England and another in Thigh-Land, as Mr Twisted Jack would say. (see Jack, I'm catching onto your lingo). I thought that this would give me a good opportunity to swing my leg over a model or two, and wondering if they would have such a thing as an automatic retracting side stand.


I arrive in fine style using (only a smidgeon) of the available 72HP of my magnificent SV650 with its smooth reving 90degree V-twin power. Again I am off to Langley where all of the large motorcycle dealerships are gathered together in clumps within a stones throw from each other. As I leave from the heart of urban Vancouver, the dark clouds are rolling in with the forecast for scattered showers turning to rain late afternoon. I can feel the winds pick up and wonder if it is worth the 1 hour ride east. Oh well, I have my rain gear and this was in my Saturday plans. Call me stubborn as Sharon - Sojourner's Moto Tales (<-- click link) . You know the type, make a plan and hook or by crook you will move heaven and earth to achieve your objective, even though events occur which conspire to ruin your plans, you will not deviate . I finally arrive, park and noticed the largest herd of Triumphs I have ever seen.

(Speed Street)

I know nothing about these models. I was looking for a Street Triple, but this was called a Speed Street, which has a triple cylinder, perhaps they changed the name for 2009

(Speed Street, different colour)

(Triumph cruiser)

While I prefer "standard" bikes, these cruisers are nice looking

(Triumph Tiger)

This is the one I would take home with me when I win the lottery.

(Tiger, cockpit)

Notice the factory installed tachometer. I am told that this model comes standard equipment with the matching hard side cases


I think the engine in this monster is larger than the one in my car

(Triumph Bonneville SE)

(Triumph Bonneville instrument cluster, notice the factory tachometer)

(Bonneville, standard gauge cluster)


The hotdogs were good enough, even for the chefs. All of the proceeds of the food and beverage sales went for charity, so of course I had to donate.


While I was there a couple of bikes were being delivered to their new happy owners


While others had balloons strapped to their handlebars trying to entice a new master


I can't remember all their names: Thruxton, Scrambler, 675 but my favourite is . . .


A fully dressed Triumph Tiger, with matching hard luggage


And a thank you to the chefs of the day


  1. I love the Tiger, put a pair of practical bags on that and I'm good to go.

  2. I'll take their cruiser style bikes (Thunderbird and the Rocket III) - the Rocket is 2.3 liters - you're right, it's a monster!

  3. Dear Bobskoot:

    How I envy you: getting out to two dealership open houses in one day. My local BMW dealer (Hermey's) had an open house, but I was in a bad way this weekend, and did not get out the door at all on Saturday.

    I was busting your chops about the scooter dealership. Scooters are as fascinating as anything else, and I would love to get a ride on one some day.

    But you have to admit that Triumph is one of two marques that makes the raw dsisplay of power absolutly sexy. (The other is Harley Davidson.)The "Street Speed" is a combination of modern art, and street cred. It just looks hot. And the Triumph cruisers also have a strong degree of classic appeal.
    As much as I hate to admit this, I think the best looking bike that Triumph makes is the Bonneville. But I would like to see it with the factory tach, installed on a black dash.

    Triumph is the third most popular bike in our club.The second is Ducati. The fourth is MV Augusta.

    Still, it must have seemed like attending a reunion at someone else's school at the Triumph dealership.

    I sid have a bike oriented weekend today, but the steady rain made it "observer only."

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  4. I looked at the Street Triple (695cc) when it came out and wondered if I would still be alive had it been around when I was 17. As for the Tiger- a great motorbike if you've got the inside leg for it. At 28 inches I'm standing on my balls when it's off the side stand, so that doesn't work out too well for me though Jack Riepe would find that entirely normal I'm sure.

  5. Dear Conchscooter/via Bobskoot:

    I had an elephant stand on my balls yesterday. After an hour, he limped off with sore feet.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  6. Excellent visuals! I really like the Triumph ST. Was there one present or does it have another name this year? I think it's somewhat equivalent to my F800ST? And, the red number with the matching luggage--sweeeet!

    Regarding the stubborn comment...who me? Mild mannered, shy and retiring, docile me? Ha!

  7. Earl:
    I like the Tiger too, but if you are vertically challenged you may have a hard time mounting it. Notice that the seat is low, but you have to swing your leg much higher to climb onto it.

    The cruise looks very retro, and low to the ground too

    Actually, I was thinking that a Maxi-scooter would solve your mounting problem. You don't have to swing your leg over the seat. It's sort of step through

    I would never have considered purchasing a Triumph before I went to that Open House. You could also take a demo ride on any bike you wanted and many people were doing just that but I have my own moral delemma of choosing not to ride unless I am actively searching for a bike with the intent of purchasing one. I noticed a Bonneville without a Tach, so I had to sit on it, twist the throttle a bit, make some vroom, vroom noises and pretended for a few moments - that I was Conch.

    Hope your rain stops sometime soon and you get to go for another ride.

    Thanks for writing in

    I really like the looks of the Speed Triple. I have been doing a lot of research on the 'net. That 3 cyclinder engine is a technical wonder. It has the power & smoothness of a 4 cyclinder, but the torque of a Twin. I wanted to have hard saddle bags on my next bike in anticipation of a ride to KW, or at least to West Chester PA to take a gander at Jack's garage. The "triple" is also available on other models

    Sharon:(Sojourner Rides):
    I was also looking for the Sprint ST. It is sort of like your bike but this has the engine of the Speed Triple, approx 135 hp, much more power than your F800ST (85hp) and the SV650 (72hp). I don't remember seeing one there or else I might have tried one on for size

  8. Awesome blog Bob. Thanks for the link