Inspiration: Big Trip

Tiger in Peru

Rare Tiger’s border run

Meet the rider who loves visiting his mother-in-law

Triumph Tiger 955i in front of the Mano de Desierto, in Chile
In front of the Mano de Desierto, in Chile.

For many chaps it can be a bit of a chore, but David Quinn loves nothing more than dropping in on his mother-in-law.

That’s because each time he does, it means a 3,000km round trip through two Peruvian Andes mountain ranges and some of the country’s most breathtaking and diverse scenery.

In fact, the Triumph owner, reputedly one of only two in the whole of the South American country with a Tiger 955i, is never short of reasons to ride.

Because he rides a 2007 model he imported from his native UK two years ago, he has to take it out of the country every 90 days to keep the customs officers at bay.

“Suits me,” beams David, who has settled almost in the centre of the country in Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire and now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture.

“I probably couldn’t be further from the border, so every few months I go to a different edge of Peru and take Sylvia – I called her that because she’s silver –into a new country. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.”

So far he’s ridden different routes to Chile, Bolivia and Brazil, taking roughly a day and a half out of his busy routine running the Luxury Peru Travel Company each time.

“These trips are essential if I want to keep my bike and if you saw the reaction I get when I pull in somewhere on a Triumph, you’d know why I want to keep it,” he says.

“People, especially those away from the main cities like Lima, are very surprised to see a Triumph, but when they do, they absolutely love it and crowd round asking me questions. You do feel like a celebrity.”

Lima, the capital and where the Triumph dealership is based, is 23 hours away, so whenever parts or new tyres are needed, David is off on the road again.

But it’s the trips to see Peruvian wife Dori’s mum through the mountains and up the coast via Nazcar and Lima to Huaraz that really energise the Grimsby-born father-of-two.

“It’s a real trek, but luckily it’s on some of the most spectacular roads with hardly any traffic. You do get the odd crazy driver, who you tend to meet on narrow mountain passes, but once you get used to it, you know what they’re going to do next,” says David.

To get to the mother-in-law’s, he takes the Pan American Highway through the mountains and the traffic mayhem of Lima before heading north.

David and Dori on the Triumph Tiger 955i
David and Dori

He says: “The last time I went it was rain, hail and snow at 4,400 metres and then I swept down to the coast where it was boiling hot and 30 degrees. Within 12 hours of riding you can experience absolutely everything – that’s Peru for you.

“Going through Lima is an experience in itself. You’ll see – and probably hear first – the odd Bonneville, but I’ve been told I have one of only two Tiger 955i bikes in the country. I’m over the moon with her and I’d love to meet the other owner so we could catch up.”

He adds: “There’s some of the best asphalt you could ask for. Throw in snow-capped mountains, sensational sunshine, and llamas and alpacas charging into the road and it’s like nowhere else on earth.”

But David’s flights of fancy are about to slow down: “My mother-in-law is coming to live with us for a few months, but I’ll still have my border visits to look forward to.”

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