25 August 2007
18 June 2007
I took a new S3 out for a test ride the other day.
The bike was stock. No extras at all. It was the green version. Not my personal taste but I can see why they have it in the range. The first thing that struck me was the size of the bike. Considering it's a one litre triple these things are tiny.There's no fancy paint scheme, no OTT graphics. But it look you'll notice the sportsbiker quality suspenion and brakes, the black frame, massive front discs, 10 spoke lightweight wheels and that oh so sexy single sided swingarm.
I got on the bike and I have to say at first I didn't like it. No realy reason.; Perhaps it was a cultrue shock of going from a sportsbike to a street fighter. The seat is comfortable and with the standard Triumph narrow tank it's very comfortable. The narrow tank also means your knees aren't splayed out which is great for filtering. The handlebars are straight and up, forcing you to sit in an aggressive stance. Your elbows go out, you're pitched slightly forward and your shoulders are squared off. This not only makes you look like a hooligan on a hooligan bike, it aso makes you think you're a hooligan.
The tacho and speedo have good features, including average mpg during your journey and what mpg you'll get if you carry on keeping the bike at more than 8,000 revs.
As I pull away I get comfortable. The pegs are low, but that's no surprise as this isn't a sportsbike and doesn't pretend to be. Besides, I've got my pegs set up close to my ear'oles so any bike is going to feel low. That said, I didn't touch the pegs down when going for it. Wind blast isn't too much of a problem under 110 mph (again, having your legs close to the bike helps) but a screen might help matters.
The triple engine has pull from the off and roll ons are rewarding. The fueling is spot on and I couldn't find any trace of lag or the usual emission holes. Sadly the bike doesn't sound too good with the large standard cans but the bike does hint at a sweet orchestra of burbling tripleness. Speed is deceptive. As the bike is quiet and the torque is silky you don't realise just how quickly you're going, only the wind speed is the biggest clue you're likely to attract attention of the wrong sort. Corners come and go and although the steering felt slightly slow I can't think of any time when I thought I was running out of road.
That torque would make the bike a wheelie wannabee but the stunt I found myself doing was a stoppie. The brakes are strong without being sharp and the seating position is just right for pop the back up at traffic lights.
The suspension was on the soft side but the dealer told me they backed it off after a few people said it was too hard. It's fully adjustable all ropund so it wouldn't take much to get it to my liking. The bike did what I wanted with good feedback and that meant my half hour ride turned into more than 2 hours as I found myself wanting to try out different roads to see how the bike behaved. Even in traffic I was having a ball, as the power kicked in you could feel the front go light. This bike needs a noise to match the personality. The arrows can (not for roaad use, yeah, right, whereelse will you scream this triple?) sounds the dogs.
Some of the recent bike reviews had a go at the speed triple for not being fast enough. This bike is more than capable of doing nmore than 150 mph, which is more than most track riders need. Besides, on an unfaired bike, silly speeds like that are all too tiring. But these bikes aren't about speed, they're about attitude, poise, menance. You need to be seen briefly before your roar off on one back wheel, griining like a loon beneath a blackened visor
The 675 disappointed me because it lacked that certain something. I thought I was heading in the same direction with the Triple, but it won me over, slowly clawing at me, whispering in my ear, telling me to behave like a kid skipping school. The minus points have to be low pegs, the lack of engine noise and being exposed to the elements. The first too of those problems are down to personal taste and can soon be rectified. The latter is something to get used to. Let's be honest, you get wet on a sportsbike and how often do you have to tuck in to avoid the windblast?
27 March 2007
24 March 2007
Wembley - England U21 v Italy U21
Thanks to True for unexpectedly getting me a ticket to the first international game at Wembley, to see the first goal and hat-trick. Shame they all came from an Italian!
19 March 2007
Alex at 7 months
He's growing fast. He's 22 lbs which is a decent weight. He's got a filthy laugh and a very cheeky smile.