Your Letters

Share your best riding stories, pictures and videos, tell us why and what you ride, let us know your best ever memory of bike.  If your email grabs us we’ll feature you in the next letters page, and if we really love it we’ll send you a little something as a random act of kindness.

Never miss a beat

Triples on the Rio Grande

Dear FTR,

Over the last year my son Carter and I have taken some life-defining rides on our Triumph Street Triples.

We’d always had a tentative plan for a road trip to Chatanooga but it only got real when I added to my 2010 Street Triple R last year with a 2008 model with 2,000 miles on the clock and the original tyres on the wheels.

I bought it on a Saturday, changed the fluids and we were on the road to Mountain Home, Arkansas by the following Saturday from our home in Frisco, Texas.

We knew summer in Texas would be hot so we stuck to riding early and being at our destination before it was too hot.  We added a guided fishing trip in the middle of the trip to give us a rest.

We rode some great roads in the Ozarks where the Street Triples were supremely at home.   All in it was a 1,200 mile round trip with less than 50 miles on interstate – good work considering that up until then the longest trip my son had done on a motorcycle was riding the Three Sisters in the Texas hill country on a Ninja 250 we hauled down in the back of my truck.

First day we hit the Talihina scenic byway and it was truly hot.  We did not reach Hot Springs, Arizona. until about 5pm and being a Saturday night, we couldn’t find a hotel in town.  An hour down the road we struck lucky and were on the road at 7am the next morning.

Riding into Mountain Home, the roads were twisty, scenic and enjoyable. We learned from some other motorcyclists that one of the roads we’d planned to ride home on was closed due to having been washed out.

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The young man that worked the hotel counter was a rider and he put us onto riding highway 341 south out of Mountain Home which allowed us to avoid rain storms that were all along the western edge of the state, our original route.  This route was also some of the best roads we rode in our entire trip.  It was almost devoid of other traffic, the road surfaces were from good to great, and it was as winding as you could ask for.

This year we decided to spend Carter’s spring break on another road trip, this time to the Big Bend area of Texas, an area on my ride list for quite some time. And it was well worth the time.

Riding along the Rio Grande and seeing mountains in my home state surprised me more than it should have. On our ride back, we had more than our share of discomfort.  It rained, it stormed, and we just missed the hail in the hill country. Next day and behind the storm was a cold front.  We covered over 300 miles into a stout headwind at no higher than 45 degree Fahrenheit.

I’m blessed that my teenage son has a love for the ride as much as me, and more so that he is willing to spend time with Dad.

Heat, rain, cold, highway and twisty, our Street Triples have taken us on several rides so far and have never missed a beat (including many track days on my Street Triple R).  We’re already discussing our next trip… maybe this time we’ll make it to Chattanooga.

Cheers,

Todd Landrum, Texas, USA

Steam powered adventure

From the Dam to Dorset

Dear FTR,

Thought I’d drop you a line to remind people that you don’t have to travel across continents to have an adventure.

Three of us rolled our bikes onto a ferry in the Netherlands – all mates with three classic Triumphs heading back to their homeland.

Our destination on a Thruxton, Speedmaster and Bonneville was Blandford Forum and the Great Dorset Steam Fair in England’s beautiful west country.

A quick ride out from Amsterdam and we caught the night ferry from the Hook of Holland towards Harwich, a 500 miles round trip to the festival.

It was strange diving into a road system arranged on the opposite side, but that wasn’t the only surprise of landing in England. The temperature was above 30 degrees when we’d been looking forward to Britain’s famous drizzle.

We’d decided not to make use of sat navs, but to find our way by good feeling, position of the sun and, as back up, a classic road map. Needless to day we lost our friend on the Bonnie at a junction near Colchester.

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He had to decide to travel straight towards our B&B near Blandford on the motorways while we stuck to the small roads. The good thing of relying on good feeling is the discovery of scenic spots like Goring, small curvy roads and excellent pubs for refreshment.

The bad thing is that total mileage to reach the same destination almost doubles… and in that heat it was near to the limit for men and machine.

The engines ran brilliantly to our destination where, after a great night’s sleep, we soaked up the fun of the fair, its pulled pork shops and stands selling spare parts, from early 1900..

Three heavy haulage steam road locomotives towing a Leopard tank on a lorry onto a hill, spitting out black smoke, was an excellent tribute to Britain’s great era along with 140 classic bikes that made it a perfect day.

In the evening as 50 steam engines lined up to illuminate and power the vintage carnival attractions, it was about noise, smoke, lighting, organ music – all so typically English.

Next day, the weather was still splendid and we spent the day exploring Dorset’s tiny villages and cities like Dorchester and Weymouth as well as the Jurassic coast.

As Dutchmen we are used to fully flat roads. Here every mile curves, with steep hill ascending, or downhill with marvellous views.

In general, the three Triumphs made a splendid touring team crossing the immaculate British landscape.

After sailing and more than a few nice refreshing beers, early next morning we rolled off at the Hook of Holland again.

Immediately it started to rain, our welcome back to mud country, but with our adventure complete.

Tjaart Vos, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Chasing the horizon

Weekend mountain rider

Dear FTR,

I’ve been a motorcyclist for the better part of 30 years and most of my riding is for transport, but I also like to ride the mountains and canyons on the weekends.

Over the years, I’ve gone to a few track schools and track days, mainly because I can’t think of a more fun way to up my skills.

One of my favorite things is take a week or more and just go exploring. You’ve heard the mantra of “Ride, eat, sleep, repeat”? However good you imagine it to be, it’s actually ten-times better in reality.

bisha1

I live in California. The place is so big I’ve already done a few state-wide tours over the years, never on the same set of roads twice. For my latest tour, I drew a route with some of the twistiest minor roads I could find from Los Angeles up the coast to San Andreas and back. They’re not the fastest or best-maintained roads, but they’re entertaining and go thorough remote areas most people never see.

Of course, I included some favorite segments of high-speed sweepers. And, in crossing the state’s Central Valley, there were some snooze-worthy straight segments.

The Street Triple R makes a surprisingly good sport-touring bike. It’s light, flickable, and always ready to play. In the corners, it’s pure sportbike and in the straights it’s comfortable enough to eat up the miles. What’s not to love?

Motorcycling is one of my links to sanity. It’s hard to put into words and would sound hokey or cliche if I did. I just know it’s hard to beat the contentment of chasing the horizon, or the satisfaction of pounding out turn after turn, or the escape of flying without leaving the ground. Yeah, I knew it would sound hokey.

The Street Triple R is my fourth motorcycle. It’s my first Triumph, but I suspect it won’t be my last.

Kind regards,

Mark Bisaha, Los Angeles, USA

The Big Arse Ride

Triumphs ride out in Oz

Dear FTR,

We’re a group on Facebook with 1,000 plus members and Perth-based Lorin Sole and some helpers recently organised a Big Arse Ride. We had just over 400 Trumpys on the day which was a great turn out for Western Australia. It was brilliantly run and organised.

I was on the ride with one of my mates, we were both riding Thunderbirds of which there were more than 80 among the 400 Triumphs.

Next April, Lorin is trying to organise an even bigger ride of more than 700 which will be close to a world record.

Just thought I’d let you know what is going on in Western Australia with the Trumpy riders.

Colin Biggs, Perth, Australia