We are not professional riders, nor professional reviewers. We just like to ride motorcycles. A lot. In all kind of conditions, on all kind of streets. We bring you real-life reviews, so you can imagine best how the bike behaves, feels, and rides. Oh, and we like emotions. The soul of the bike. Yeah, that kind of stuff. No technical stories here (we are noobs anyways), just our honest feedback! By the way, the bikes on the photos are dirty. Because we actually ride them. A lot.
So here we are. Two all-road riders. Riding Triumph Tigers (800 + 1200), those big heavy bikes. And now we have a naked bike! 166kg (no fluids) only, around 100kg lighter than what I am used too. Tires that will fit right in on a racetrack. Quickshifter. High-tech. Sleek. Sexy. Triumph Motorcycles calls it a game-changer… Is it really and can it convince us?
Before we mount the bike, we right away spot the love for detail… Beautiful logo in the saddle. No clumsy cables coming from the clutch nor the right-hand brake. Logo in the tank cap. Logos everwhere actually. Stickers underneath the final coating. Nice, but we are not won over that easily.
So, we turn the key and switch on the ignition. The display comes to live (with a logo…). Since 5 inches doesn’t mean much to most of us, we can just say, it is big enough (pun intended). Easy to read, tons of information. Very cool and definitely an eye-catcher! More on that later.
Swing over a leg (“oh wow, it is so low compared to our Tigers!”) and we hit that start button. The 3-cylinder, 765cc comes to life, not showing much of its 123BHP yet. A low rumble from the exhaust and very slight vibrations. The thing is awake. You know that feeling when a lion crawls into position, just before unleashes all its power to attacked its prey? We neither, but we think this feeling comes pretty close. Time to ride! A lot.
We put about 2000kms on this bike. Highways and city traffic. Small mountain roads and racetrack-wannabe roads. In weather that ranged from 35 degrees Celsius to downpours and thunderstorms (the lighting reflected nicely in the paint).
And we tell you what. This is a 100% pure riding experience. As soon as you kick it into gear, and you put the thing in motion, the revs go up, the soundtrack picks up, and before you know it, you kick it into second gear instantly. And third. Fourth. Fifth. Sixth. Tak-tak-tak. Once you have tried the quickshifter, you want that on all your bikes, trust us! The revs go up (red area only at around 10.000RPM) and did I mention that sound already? We felt like MotoGP riders – but at the same time, on a bike that is very controllable. The power is delivered very precisely, no surprises there. That makes this bike surprisingly accessible, despite its aggressive look. Oh boy is this thing fun to ride!
On smooth road surfaces, this bikes hauls ass. Big time. The Brembo brakes ensure that you easily get into the desired speed range before every turn. It steers very precise. Lean it right, lean it left. You start to wish that the road was made out of chicanes! Brake, left, accelerate, shift up, brake, shift down, right. We called this bike accessible – but that doesn’t make it boring whatsoever. Rev this bike up to 8000RPM, and it feels like you start a second engine. Combine that with the very free feeling of riding a naked bike, the know-how that you are entirely in control (with the million of electronics having your back, just in case), and the roaring of the exhaust, and you know you are in love! Yeehaa!
Until the road becomes less than perfect, which it is sometimes in real-life. Well, we actually searched for a few mountain roads that we’re in bad conditions, with massive bumps in there. Yes, the rear shock is adjustable, but you don’t change it that often. And that resulted in me having to slow down, otherwise I would hurt my man-parts… There are plenty of riding modes available (although we believe that our riding mode is in our right hand only), but those don’t change the suspension settings. You’ll have to do that by hand.
We touched upon the digital display before. It has to be mentioned that there is absolutely no lag in displaying the information. The displays shows what is going on, at that very moment. You accelerate strongly? It doesn’t jump from 20 to 30 to 40, but will jump from 20 to 21 to 22 to 23 to 24 to 25 to 26 to… Ok, you get the picture. It shows every bit of information, real-time. It responds very fast, is easy to read (also in bright sunlight) and has all information you need. Browsing through the intern… menus is very due to the 5-way joystick (that could give a bit more feedback though, as does the turn signal switch). The only thing that we missed, was a fuel usage indicator per trip. There are general fuel statistics, but not for Trip 1 or Trip 2. Small detail however that does not do less to the riding experience. Who has time to look at a display anyways?
Needless to say, this bike is a naked. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ride it through the rain and stuff – it just ain’t that much fun… The “in your face”-expression can be applied here if it rains or is windy. Nevertheless, we found it relatively easy to ride it over the highway towards our home-mountains; and we are not used to riding nakeds. The little fly-screen is more effective than initially thought; it does create a little upward airflow – but certainly don’t expect too much of it.
This bike brings out the little kid in you. It wants to play. In tunnels, we couldn’t stop playing with the quick-shifter (must have been so annoying to all cars around us…). As just average riders, this bike gave us exactly what it is all about in the end: a smile so big, it still hurts our faces… It is a perfect balance between power and controllability. You never have to be afraid that this bike brings out too much power – it does exactly what you want, where you want, how you want it. Riding motorcycles never was more fun! It is hard to describe the feeling you get when riding this bike. Just such a great machine: you have to try it for yourself!
What we like, a lot:
– Riding experience to the max!
– The soundtrack (even with stock exhaust)
– Digital display (there is no more way back)
– Left, right, left, right… Damn that thing is agile!
– 1-2-3-4-5-6 broaaaap quickshifter!
– Those curves… Those lines… Sexy!
– Stopping powerrr! Brembo rocks.
– Controllable power (sounds boring – but comes in bloody handy)
– Beautiful detailed finishing (but keep your eyes on the road)
What we don’t like, a lot not:
– Suspension is too hard for rougher roads (“my balls!”)
– No cruise control (hey, one day we test a GoldWing)
– Lack of physical feedback on the turnsignals and joystick to control the menu etc
– Trying to find more negative points. Really hard. Sorry, can’t.
What this bike is excellent for:
– Day tours and your daily adrenaline kick, preferably in good weather and on smoother roads.