Monday, December 11, 2023

Merry Christmas

 to me...

This post starts with me buying my T7 and then kitting it out to be the great long distance adventure bike that it is.  After getting it, my intention was to part ways with the Super Tenere and use the Connie for road stuff and the T7 for adventure riding - including rides like the TT2000 where there is often some Adv options.

Fast forward to October this year and the Super Ten was still in the shed and she ended up getting loaded up for a quick trip South to do our second attempt at this years TT2000.  Unsurprisingly, the bike performed absolutely flawlessly (after all it only has 94,000km on it), gobbling up the big k's easily and in comfort.

Fast forward a few rides, and Colin and I were tackling the shattered roads on Route 52 between Weber and Wimbledon and the same bike was slaying the road, shrugging off the shocking road conditions that would cause a sports bike rider to dissolve into tears and delivering a great riding experience.

Yes, the T7 shines on Route 52 but on those big cruises it's just not quite as comfortable and the brilliant little motor is not quite so effortless as a big bike.  Maybe I need to look at something else...

So, over the past few months I've been looking at all sorts of things, but mostly at the big, more road oriented Adv bikes.  And there's a lot of them out there with more on the way (Suzuki has a nice one coming by the looks).  BMW XR1000's and even GS's, Kwaka Versys (and even the H2-SX), Yamaha Tracers and the like.  None of them really seemed like the ideal thing and most of them still wear chains where I love shafts on tourers.

Eventually, something strange happened and I ended up looking at Triumphs.  Then I started looked harder at them and devouring videos with the 1200 Tiger really starting to look good.  And then I started looking at what was around.  Eventually a very good deal was done on a demo GT Explorer with 74km on the odo.


Last Saturday was pickup day, so Dad and I shot down to the Hutt to pick it up.  I got to ride it home and he had to make do with the ute ๐Ÿ˜œ

To get a few kms on the bike (first service already booked a week later), I met Colin (after me getting lost in Lower Hutt on a busy Saturday morning) at the bottom of the Rimutaka's and we then shot over the hill before lapping Lake Wairarapa and then making our way Northward to Martinborough for a cold drink.

The trip over the hill was a good first taste of the bikes handling and I couldn't find too much to complain about.  The bike was setup in road mode and suspension setup just a little on the firm side of the range.  The rear brake pedal and gearshift were a little lower than I would have liked but I'm no used to them so haven't adjusted them and the motor was very sweet with just a nice little growl when giving it a wee handful.

From Martinborough we carried on North to take in some more nice roads with plenty of corners.  This is exactly how I like to get to know a new bike - working it through corners to get the feel for the handling, engine and brakes.






North of Masterton, it was time to hit Route 52 through to Pongaroa where we stopped again at the pub for another cold drink (it was hot out) and a snack.  The bike looked good outside one of our favourite haunts.


Rather than carry on up and try the new bike out on that really rough section of 52, we turned off for Dannevirke and then headed home via Pahiatua and the bikes first taste of the track, it liked it ๐Ÿ˜‰


Next day, it was time for a little shed time.  With the bike coming with pretty much everything (I do need to find a GPS mount), there wasn't a box of farkles to fit but I did manage to make the bike mine.  I also linked my phone to the bike and then the bike to my Sena - easy as.  This even gives me basic navigation (voice and on-screen prompts) via the Triumph App on my phone.


Sunday's weather wasn't that flash but I did have to get the bike out for a trip to the olds and then another couple of hundred km to get those k's up.  I also did my first fill - 26L...

During the week there was a few trips to work on the bike (22km each way) before an early start on Saturday to pop down to the Hutt for that first service and the installation of the panniers.  There was no big gallivant to get home this time but I did take in the Paicock Hill to confirm the bike's great handling and get a few more snaps.




Then it was time for the second fill (27L) in Paraparam and the reasonably boring ride home.

Well, there'll be more soon and I'd say the bike will get a bit more exercise over the Xmas break before tackling its first TT in February.  Bring it on!

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:16 pm

    What lovely looking blue.

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    1. I thought so too. Thanks Anonymous...

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  2. Anonymous7:03 pm

    Lovely looking bike and no doubt a good mile muncher. What are the advantages over the S10, apart from newer and shinierer??

    Oldbeer

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    1. Bigger tank, smoother, mo power, handling, lots of cool tech. And more, keep an eye out for another post about it.

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  3. Anonymous9:23 pm

    Good enough reasons. Plus its shiny!!

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  4. Good onya Andrew! She is a fine looking beast. Is the Super 10 still in the shed or did you trade her?

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    1. Cheers Dave. She is pretty alright. Super Ten is currently in the shed but needs to go soon. I think you guys need an NZ bike ;)

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    2. Anonymous11:19 pm

      Very kind of you keeping it for us to use….๐Ÿ˜œ

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  5. Congrats on new bike, it's a model on my radar for future so I look forward to reading more of your experiences with it.

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    1. Enjoying it so far. Watch this space ☺️

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  6. Nice one, I shall call her the Blue Pearl.......

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    1. Not a dodgy rental this one. Hoping the Brits have learned a thing or two from the Japs over the years...

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