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.

Breaking Records

First time lucky?

Dear FTR,

A few years ago I set a land speed record on a Triumph Trident.

It was pretty stock, with maybe a lightly tuned motor, some parts stripped and I went 117mph in the mile. Not lightning fast, but felt pretty quick on a ‘73 with stock wheels and suspension.

It was an interesting story as I’d never ridden the bike before. I took it down the mile to a record and had to ask the owner which way the gears changed before I took off to make my run. Anyway, we got in the record books.

novletter1.2

Since that record, the owner has gone nuts and I’ve attached a photo of the bike now. Radically different I would say.

The owner wants me to go and set a new land speed record in a different class. They have the weight down to 320 pounds, and are looking to have 100 horsepower this time. It was around 70 last time so let’s see how it goes.

Neale Bayly, a Brit living in the States

T.R.I.U.M.P.H

Street Twin eases the pain of separation

Dear FTR,

After having a motorcycle licence for a year I just bought my first bike, a 2017 Triumph Street Twin in Matte Black.

This year is the Year of Change. I hit my 40s, got a divorce, lost my biggest client which represented about half of my income, was forced to move out of my house of 10 years (pesky divorce) and tried hard not to suffer from a complete breakdown.

Oh, and I also got my first motorcycle.

As we tried to make progress with our marriage I needed an outlet to help take my mind off things, so I took the riding course but me passing didn’t go down well at home so I never got a bike, mostly to try to keep the peace.

I thought about getting one all the time. Every day. I listened to podcasts, went to dealers and looked and looked and looked. I researched online, convinced that I wanted a cruiser, then a bobber, then a naked, then an old bike that I would customise.

novletter2.2

I made lists and read blogs and pored over reviews. I planned road trips knowing all the while that I was never going to get a bike, but needing to do anything to take my mind off things at home. Then came the divorce.

I had my two awesome little boys and they helped me, along with the motorcycle that I knew was going to save me.

I settled on the Street Twin. It’s beautiful, simple, inexpensive and by all accounts a great bike for a beginner such as myself. So once the divorce was final I put down a deposit. I’m a week and almost 200 miles in and I love leaning over corners, working the gears through traffic, the exhilarating sense of speed even when not going that fast.

novletter2.3

Just the process of gearing up before a ride is exciting, because it means I’m going to go ride and I find myself looking for excuses to ride all the time.

The other day I had to return one of my son’s library books so I took the bike. I think it took me longer to gear up than it did to ride to the library and back, but I didn’t care.

One of the things I try to do as a single dad is build up “cool points” so that when the boys are teenagers I can, hopefully, stave off the inevitable time that they think I’m just a lame, old dude, so I thought I’d share my Halloween pirate custom, the HMS Street Pearl.

It was a huge success and the kids (and grownups) loved it. It was also an excuse to get out and ride.

John Robinette, Dallas, USA

Breaking records on a T120

The Tangerine Dream

Dear FTR,

I just wanted to drop a note to say thanks for the Bobber – I am going to get on the waiting list and take one to Italy for a week next July with nine others.  That will be instead of my Daytona.

I race a 1972 T120 with a few mods.  I think I was the only racer in the UK racing a T120 in a race series the season just gone.  I’ve attached a pic from the first race meeting of the year at Mallory Park back in April.  If you are interested I can do a story including my bad crash at Darley Moor in May and my comeback race at Cadwell in September – finishing second in the championship on Tangerine Dream.

Congratulations on the stunning Bobber, knighthood for Mr Bloor is long overdue!

With Best Wishes

Richard Hawksworth, Middlesex, UK

Hard ride saviours

Pit stop eases the pressure

Dear FTR,

On a recent trip to Europe to do the 100 Cols tour – 100 mountain passes in nine days – a lot of hard riding was done. We covered around 200 to 275 miles a day in the Vosges, Alps, Central Massif and the Pyrenees.

Then disaster struck. I got a slow puncture in the Pyrenees which I tried to fix with a repair kit, but unsuccessfully, so I ended up nursing the tyre from the end of the tour in the Pyrenees right the way up through France to St Malo.

Finally, I realised I was fighting a losing battle as the pressure dropped and I was forced to find a Triumph dealership in Niort near La Rochelle on the west coast.

novletter4.2

I rocked up unannounced hoping a repair could be carried out and to my surprise the dealer had my Explorer on the ramp within minutes, wheel off and assessing what was needed.

Within an hour or so I was on my way and able to catch my ferry on time. What can I say –such excellent service at the drop of a hat for a rider in need.

Thanks again for all the staff there, who got me home safely and on time.

Adrian Burley, UK