|Park Link Road, north of Tucson, AZ. The view over the windscreen|
Dale, up in Washington at at Empire Cycle, and a regular 40on2 reader, wrote and suggested the new Triumph Trophy 1200 SE. He even offered me an excellent deal. A quick check showed the Triumph to be a very viable candidate and I seriously considered to doing a fly & ride up to see Dale and his dad (who is my old racing buddy Steve) and buy the Triumph. The new Triumph looks amazing and has a ton of nifty features including traction control, and for a good chunk less than the comparable BMW R1200RT. Very tempting.
|image: Triumph Motorcycles|
So I set out to see the Triumph in person and swing a leg over it here in AZ. No way I was going to fly to Spokane, Washington without at least "showrooming" the bike down here. Turns out the Trophy is popular in these parts, the dealers get them in and they go right out with their new owner. No chance to even sit on one and less chance of a nice discount like Dale offered me. But while visiting GoAZ Motorcycles up in Scottsdale, the sales guy mentioned that they had an '05 Gold Wing in stock, a 30th Anniversary Edition with just 15,000 miles on it. For a Gold Wing, 15k is hardly even broken in.
I was still thinking "Triumph" so I didn't even bother to look at the Wing or check the price. Back at home, I sat and pondered what to do. Long ago someone told me when you are not sure what bike you want, close your eyes, imagine yourself on the best day ever riding down the road, birds singing in the trees, sun shining, meadows and mountains rolling by, no traffic. Now look down. What bike are you riding? I realized that when thinking about riding I nearly always reverted to the big Gold Wing I'd had and it's plush ride and amazing 6 cylinder engine.
So I looked at the GoAZ web site and there was the '05 Wing in all it's snow white glory. Wow...white...lots of white...not my favorite color for a bike but better than black for keeping clean and staying cool here in Arizona. I e-mailed the sales guy, he e-mailed back a price. I wrote back and said, assuming the bike passed muster in person, I'd buy it out the door for their asking price -- no tax, license, or phony doc fees added on, they'd have to take those out of their profit. Another e-mail or two and the bike was mine at my price.
I might have gotten it a little cheaper but I do feel like dealers deserve to make a profit, otherwise they go out of business and what good is that? All in all, while not an ideal experience, I enjoyed doing business with GoAZ Motorcycles. Their store is huge and carries a wide variety of brands. More importantly, every person I talked to there actually rides motorcycles, it's not just flaky car operation masquerading as a bike shop.
As for the bike, it came with an Kuryakan back rest that I knew I'd hate before I even finished the test ride. I've tried back rests on bikes three times now and disliked them every time. It's for sale if anyone needs one. And there was a cup holder on the bike and it was big enough to hold a 32oz mug and ugly enough to look at home on a farm tractor. It's been removed also.
So today I headed out for short ride, 125 miles over and around. It was only 88° at 8:00 AM outside so the heat wasn't especially unpleasant although it was headed that way by the time I got home at 10:30 AM. The big Wing rides just like a I remembered they do, a magic carpet of a motorcycle that is polished, poised, and comfortable enough to make 500 mile days a piece of cake.
I'm not sure how much riding I'll be doing over the next month or two, it's still plenty hot and unless I get up early and head for the hills and make it a 12 hour riding day, there won't be much chance for a casual ride. I'll endure as best as I can and when Fall gets here I'll grab the Nikon and be out and about like I have not been for a two or three years.
|I've been riding 47 years now and heading for 50 years in style.|