January 29, 2014

In Love With A Girl

I fell in love with a girl yesterday and now my heart is yearning for her.

Once I touched her, it was all over. I should have known better.

Like any woman, my Yamaha V*Star 650 Gracie knew I had been eyeing other ladies. When we left North County Yamaha, she rode with a new spring in her step. I wanted to attribute it to the service she had done, but I knew she was jealous. Jealous of that fair, bonny lass I met. That Triumph Bonneville, the bonny Katharina.

While Gracie, my Yamaha V*Star 650 suits my needs, she gets terrible gas mileage and distance. I've run out of gas only once, but had 4 really close calls. I can get up to 160 miles out of a tank, but I've run out at 115 miles, to my surprise. The cost of the fuel is actually secondary ~ distance is my issue. But it doesn't help that I'm getting less than 40 mpg. That's like a car! Sadly, I've known from the first day I wouldn't keep Gracie for long. There are a few reasons.

The heat from the pipes is excrutiating in traffic. Even with my chaps, the pipes burn me all to Hell. I just groan at the sight of traffic, knowing I'm going to blister. With the California summer coming and facing temps upwards of 100 degrees, I can't stand the idea of riding that hot bike.

Another thing is Gracie the V*Star is slow. Really slow after riding that Ninja 500. I roll the throttle back, then I go out and get popcorn waiting for the show to start. The lag time for speed build up is remarkable. I am so frustrated with her laziness.

Lastly, the lack of agility is depressing. I've learned so much from riding a heavier, longer motorcycle, but for fuck sake, I hate it. The Ninja was so nimble and quick! Oh, I miss my Katie Scarlet every time I ride Gracie, and that's just not right ~ for either of us. Gracie should have a rider who loves riding her, not loathes her. I should love my bike! But every time someone asks about her, I never say anything nice. And I should! She's a great bike ~ for someone else.

I have devised a list of requirements for my new bike. Seat height is primary, because if I can't reach, it's out of the question. I'm only 4'11", so the seat must be low. Gas mileage, distance, quickness, speed, agility, sportiness, seating position and of course, styling are all very important, in that order. I can't see spending money on a bike I think is ugly. I also need to be able to pack it up for another long trip, another Road Pickle, so I need the ability to attach bags, a trunk and/or a luggage rack. I'll want some kind of ferrying or windshield too, down the road, just for the long trip.

What an order, right? I've heard riders say many times that there's no one bike that meets all of your wishes. And I believed that, until she came into my life.

The fair, bonny Katharina, the Triumph Bonneville 900. Oh, I've heard the rumors about you and I don't want to believe them. You're so beautiful, so sharp and nimble, how could it be true? You wouldn't lie to me, would you fair Kate?

The Bonneville 900 meets every single requirement on my list. I sat on her yesterday and I was shocked to see both feet meet the ground. This is always my first issue. With one more inch, I will flatfoot on both sides, so there are options for that. I can have it lowered, change seats, get my boots resoled (I've worn out over an inch of sole on my boots over the trip!) or just wait for the bike to settle after a few thousand miles. Aside from this (which is an issue on almost every fricken bike!) she is everything I want. Everything. You can't imagine how exciting that is, considering how small my pool is to choose from.

I'm fully aware that mistakes can be made when a person is in love, and I'm fully aware that I'm really excited about this bike, which can lead me to a bad choice. So I'm asking for your help. Please, share your opinions of the Triumph Bonneville 900 with me. I would prefer that you only share first-hand experience or links to articles about her. Please don't say, "I've heard they break down alot. . ." Yeah. I've heard that too. I want facts, or first-hand opinions, not conjecture, please.

I'm counting on you, my motorcycle friends, to save me from this ill-fated love affair, it if is indeed ill-fated. But if you love her like I do, please, pipe up and encourage! I'm so afraid of getting on the next bike, rolling 10 miles and looking at Highway weeping, "What have I done?"

I'm still heartbroken over Katie Scarlet. I'm so sorry I left her behind.

***I should note that I don't want another Ninja due to the weight placement. The center of gravity is high on the Ninja and she toppled rather easily. On the Bonneville, the center of gravity is very low and she feels far more balanced. Being old and weak, this is a real issue for me.



  1. The Bonnie is a great bike, smooth and handles like its on rails, and of course its Iconic. Have had 3 so far, a scrambler, a standard bonnie and a speedmaster. had no problems with them apart from wanting to ride them too often.

  2. I assume you will have seen this video: http://youtu.be/RsKFsce5phw
    An Honest Review of the Triumph Bonneville

    I personally love the Bonneville, if not simply because Jenn loves the Bonneville. So, I've read a hell of a lot about it. The most consistent complaint I've heard is that the rear brake is a little quick to lock up. Because of that, I am waiting until 2016, when ABS becomes required over here. As soon as that day comes, I'm buying a Bonneville.

    You are right that the Bonneville can be adapted to a fair range of use. One of the most influential things I've seen, a video that MADE me need to ride, is this one, featuring a Bonneville: http://youtu.be/K1eSDYRTk_w

    There are countless aftermarket items that can be tacked onto the Bonneville, so you can very much transform it into whatever you need it to be. I totally understand your love and I hope you end up following it through.

  3. I fell in love with the Bonneville SE the minute I saw and sat on one. I had the pleasure of buying a used one and sadly it didn't live up to my expectations. What was perfect for someone else was not perfect for my 5'7" frame. I tell you that baby cornered like it was on rails though. I loved the motor.

    Here are posts I did on it.

    The purchase: http://trobairitztablet.blogspot.com/2012/05/careful-what-you-wish-for.html

    Some issues: http://trobairitztablet.blogspot.com/2012/05/and-then.html

    The Verdict: http://trobairitztablet.blogspot.com/2012/05/to-be-or-not-to-be.html

    Hope this helps a little bit. Hubby said I rode faster on that thing than any other bike. It just like corners and is well planted too.

  4. Tina, sounds like you've been bitten by the love bug. Now it's only time before you're riding another woman with wild abandon. I can't wait for the stories...and pictures. :-)


  5. I haven't ridden the Bonneville so have no idea how it compares, but for speed and agility I have never matched my Sportster 1200. I didn't have it very long, but it was every bit as agile as the Picky Bitch (my 883, which I still miss!) and could go farther. I have a beautiful bike now - Kitten is a Super Glide Custom - but if I could go BACK I'd go back to the 1200. Ride what you love, sweetie - you spend far too much time in the saddle to compromise! XD

  6. I have 80,000 trouble free miles on my 2007. I have ridden 36 hours straight, commuted endlessly, ridden on gravel, done the dragon and the Blue Ridge and I would leave for California tomorrow had I the time. The back brake is fine. I have yet to change a light bulb or a spoke. I have no heat problems or plans to sell or change. everything else is rumor or innuendo. buy with confidence. or not, as you wish. I will still be riding my unnamed reliable perfectly set up ratty bonneville. best bike I've owned since 1970.


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