03 March 2013

Four Good Reasons for a Blog Post

I admit I was lazy in the last few weeks. I should have written a bit here and there about a bad experience with the local Triumph dealer where I had my Tiger repaired, but I think that might be for another time. It is repaired now after three times going back to the shop to tell them about bad work, forgotten work, cutting corners.

But, getting back to the four reasons to write a blog post today:

1) Tiger is back on the road again

As mentioned above, it took a few tries in the shop to get the Tiger right. A few times I brought it home, checked it out and brought it back to the shop. A very frustrating experience and I still have to write an open letter to Triumph about this. I will also post this here.

What it comes down to is the renewed fact for me that even if I love a bike on a test ride I will first of all make sure I have a local shop I trust to do service and repairs. Especially warranty work is a problem in that regard as that is only provided by the manufacturer licensed shops. And in short: the Triumph service here in the South Bay isn't worth a penny. I was very close to selling the Tiger out of sheer frustration and getting a Beemer again - at least for that I have a local shop (BMW San Jose) that I have a little confidence in. Decided to leave that for a different time though - when the new R1200GS has matured a little and the first niggles are sorted out by BMW.

But, now on to much nicer topics.

2) First time I rode Page Mill Road after the accident in December

For me, one of the most important steps in getting back on the bike was to ride the same road again where I had the accident. It's one of my favorite roads in the whole area, it's the road I use to ride up to Alice's Restaurant, it's the road we mostly use to get into the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Yesterday I rode that route again and I felt okay. Careful, with lots of anticipation and slower and more careful than I usually ride – but I did it just fine and I feel better now. I also feel better about riding the Tiger again, now that I have that "test" done.

3) Andrea rode the Tiger the first time

When we were up at Skyline Blvd (CA35), I pulled over to the side and we switched bikes. I had offered Andrea a test ride on the Tiger for quite a while now and at one point snagged a low seat on ADVRider.com and now the time had come.

So we switched, I rode the trusty F650GS for a while and Andrea was following me on the Tiger 800. That was weird - seeing the completely different shape in the mirrors, at least when there was something to see in the mirrors when they weren't shaking due to the single cylinder vibration of the GS. The familiar but still unfamiliar look of the dual headlights, the wider stance, the different shape, and hearing the triple whine over the intercom and not underneath me was weird.

Andrea on the Tiger

Andrea managed great. We said that if she wanted we could switch again after about 10 miles on a view point along the way, but we passed that one, and passed more and more places and in response to my question whether she wanted to switch back again, I only heard "Switch? Why? I'm feeling just fine ...".

I guess the experience of riding the Tiger was very pleasurable, no need to switch gears all the time, just sometimes to modulate the sound level a little bit, the silky smooth, nearly vibration free feel of the engine, the otherwise very similar handling of the bike – it looked like Andrea was feeling all right. And she was. 50 miles and lots of nice curvy roads later we arrived at Road Rider in San Jose where we wanted to look for a new, slightly more protective (gauntlet style) pair of summer gloves for Andrea and I finally got my Tiger back.

80 mile loop - Andrea rode 50 of these miles on the Tiger

4) Andrea got a pair of really nice new gloves

And here's now the fourth reason for this post, a nice new pair of gloves:

Held Evo Thrux Glove

It's a very nice feeling and looking glove. High gauntlet with a protective pad on the side, kangaroo skin palm, padded super fabric inlays in slide areas,  hard knuckle protection, more padding on top of the fingers and still great ventilation. A nice new glove for her and some added protection as a bonus.

I have a set of Held Air & Dry on order from Held USA directly, they aren't available at this time but should come back in in March. Hopefully they arrive soon – they are the replacement gloves for my BMW Summer Gloves that I damaged in my accident. Things are coming together again.


  1. Glad you are back on your feet, err, rubber. Unfortunately Triumph service is likewise questionable up here, this is why I never got into it. The best customer service experience ever, no matter where, I have so far made with HD.

    See you next week!

    1. I can believe that (HD). Still Harley Davidson is completely out of the question for me. They don't build a bike which I can see myself on. Therefore, sooner or later it'll be either a BMW again, or a Ducati or Yamaha, everything else is pretty much out by now.

    2. i haven't given up on Triumph... it just might have to wait a little longer... BMW doesn't have anything that jumps out, although coming to think of it the new F 800 GT could grow on me.

    3. I did test ride the new F800GT and it certainly is a very nice motorcycle. It had surprisingly a lot of vibration and I think the F800GS I had a few years ago was much smoother up to 5k rpm. Not sure whether that was due to changes to the engine or bad setup of a nearly new motorcycle. Could be that these vibes settle down when it gets is first real setup during the 600 mile service.

      Also the seating position was a bit tight for me, but not really bad. I could do longer trips on that bike without a problem. It's not perfect, but overall pretty good.

      The combination of the engine and seating position makes this bike not for me though. The R1200RT I rode on the same day had less vibration, a better seating position, was surprisingly nimble for it's size, and overall the more interesting bike for me. But for now I'll just keep the Tiger for a bit longer.

  2. My Dad's Father died at the age of 58. While it really shouldn't have mattered, still when my Dad turned 59, it did. We both were relieved and felt better.

    You going back and riding the same route reminds me of that. It is just something one needs to get by or keep carrying around. I'm glad it went well, and I suspect your comment, "I feel better now," is filled with understatement.

    I hear great things about Held gloves. They look great.

    Bummer about the Tiger. I had some of the same stuff with my Symba until there was a management shakeup. It made a complete difference with my enjoyment of the bike. We got it sorted out before it went off warranty. Sadly, it doesn't sound like you'll be so lucky.

    Be safe. Ride Strong. And, most importantly, ride beautifully.

    1. Yes, I think you got that right with the comparison. It's weird and you know it doesn't matter, but after I have ridden Page Mill Road twice now since the accident, it doesn't feel as bad anymore. I'm still more careful than I used to be.

      Regarding the Tiger - the saga continues, I tried to use the heated grips now the first time after I got the Tiger back and they aren't working. Instead they are killing every fuse that is put in that slot. So, it'll go back to the shop (for the fourth time now).

  3. Hooray for getting back on the bikes. Boo for poor Triumph service.

    It is cool that Andrea enjoyed the Tiger so much. Does that mean that she is going to adopt it, sell her thumper and you'll be buying something new?

    1. Don't think so - it was also more a confidence building and getting a feel for different bikes exercise. She had already ridding the R1200R and liked it a lot, it was just a new experience to be on the Tiger.

  4. Where ever you are in the world Triumph dealers are all the same...

  5. Guido:

    So sorry for your bad service experience. I can't speak for Triumph service but it is inconvenient for me to get to one. Having good service is probably more important than the bike itself. A dealer you trust is worth their weight in gold.

    No one knows that I had a "spill" and I have not yet ridden that particular road. I got goosebumps just driving on it last year, so good for you

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Agreed on the service. It'll be more important with the next bike purchase for us. I did not expect to have that much trouble overall.

      Oh, and the new info: bike is going back in for more repairs - because the shop messed up more than expected. The heated grips won't work and blow the fuse whenever the bike is started. So happy ...

      Interesting about your spill, never knew. I generally try to ride a road again just to get the mess out of my head. It actually helped.

  6. Guido, I am so sorry for you with the never ending repair story. Hopefully your bike is in for the very last time!

    But I laughed out loud about one sentence in your report " . . . and I finally got my Tiger back."
    I am glad that you had a good and enjoyable ride on Page Mill Road again.

    Affectionate regards to Andrea

    1. Yeah, it was a fun situation that Andrea enjoyed the Tiger more than we both thought ... we both thought it would be a bit more intimidating as the Tiger is quite a bit bigger than her BMW. But it worked out nicely.

      I guess I'll try Page Mill Road again today to go up to Alice's for brunch. There is still some hesitation, but I'll get over it.

      Take care!