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2012 Triumph Street Triple R Review

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2012 Harley-Davidson SuperLow

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Reviews written by Jan Plessner

6 results - showing 1 - 6 Results per page:
 
Reviews
 
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Rider Comfort 
 
4.0
Power Feel 
 
4.5
Handling & Shifting 
 
4.0
Features & Controls 
 
4.0
Apparence 
 
3.5
Confidence Inspiring 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Jan Plessner    August 21, 2012
Last updated: August 21, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -  

2012 Triumph Street Triple R: Best in Class

The Street Triple R has earned a variety of best in class accolades in the U.S. and abroad. This model won “Bike of the Year” in Bike magazine in the UK and in Moto Navi of Japan.

According to triumphmotorcycles.com, the Street Triple produces 105 bhp and 50ft lbs of torque. That’s plenty of “get up and go” to put a smile on the face of even the most seasoned motorcycle rider.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Piles of power Tons of torque Superb handling Lots of kick for under 10K
Cons
Where’s the gas gauge? Not ideal for newbies Bug-eyed headlights

Rating Details

Rider Comfort
With a seat height of 31.7”, the Triumph Street Triple R is a tad on the tall side, but so well balanced and behaved, it never became an issue for this 5-foot, 2 and a half inch tall test rider. The seating position is tiny bit aggressive, yet fairly upright. I found the seating position, seat material and padding quite comfortable.
Power Feel & Engine
The Triumph has significant power and torque for a bike of this size. It may only measure 675cc’s, but when you twist the throttle, it feels like a bigger bike. It is steady on the freeway and super solid on tighter twisty roads, too. According to the Motorcycle-USA.com Women’s Streetbike Shootout, the Triumph uses 3.71 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill and can do a quarter mile in the elevens.
Handling & Shifting
I think the Triumph is easy to shift and smooth throughout the drivetrain. It feels light and responsive and it’s super fun to twist the throttle. The Street Triple R features 41mm Kayaba inverted front forks which are adjustable for preload, rebound and compression damping to give expert riders options to set the motorcycle up for their specific needs. The rear monoshock is an equally high-quality item, adjustable for preload and rebound damping. The suspension on the Triumph was a little stiff for the straight, boring and bumpy freeways of Southern California, but when it came time to cut up the local mountain roads, everything seemed just right.
Features & Controls
All the features and controls seemed to be within easy reach and comfortable to use. The mirrors were well placed and usable. The dash was easy to see, even in bright sunlight.
Apparence
The five-spoke alloy wheels from the Daytona 675, fat alloy Magura handlebars, a stylish two-tone seat and detailed instrumentation are just some of what makes the Triumph a head turner. I liked how the Triumph looked and was just getting used to the unique headlights about the time our day of riding was complete. I’ve always preferred lighter colored bikes, so I’d gravitate towards the Crystal White over the red or black. They all look sharp.
Confidence Inspiring
It’s so nice when a quick bike can stop quickly as well. The Street Triple uses twin 308mm floating discs with Nissin 4-piston radial calipers up front. What does this mean to you? If you need to stop quickly you can.
Value
With a price tag well under 10K, a cruising range exceeding 200 miles and a 51mpg rating on the highway, rest assured you’ll maximize your dollar and exceed your fun factor quota on this machine in no time at all.

Description

Triumph Genuine Accessories
More Info
Triumph has an assortment of genuine accessories that are becoming very popular among the Street Triple R owners. Color-matched small windshields (called flyscreens), belly pans and seat cowls give the bike a more sporting and aggressive look. There is also a three-into-one “low boy” exhaust system and lightweight slip-on exhausts for improved performance and weight reduction. You can also find CNC-machined clutch and brake levers and “plug and play” quickshifter kits that can be fitted to the Street Triple R in minutes.
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Reviews
 
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Rider Comfort 
 
4.0
Power Feel 
 
4.5
Handling & Shifting 
 
4.0
Features & Controls 
 
4.0
Apparence 
 
5.0
Confidence Inspiring 
 
4.5
Value 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Jan Plessner    July 16, 2012
Last updated: July 24, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -  

2012 Ducati Monster 696: Less is More

If you are looking for a great performing mid-size sportbike in a bright red package that will get you noticed and offer you loads of fun and good times, then the Ducati Monster 696 should be on your short list.

I absolutely love how this bike looks and feels. As soon as I climbed aboard, I could sense the Italian love, pride and passion. When you turn over the key and look down to see the national colors on the gas tank, you just instantly feel a part of the Ducati family.

Pros & Cons

Pros
1. Deep & rich exhaust tone 2. Plenty of power to please 3. Sexy Italian beauty turns heads
Cons
1. Self-canceling blinkers would be nice 2. Low fuel warning light nice, but fuel gauge is nicer

Rating Details

Rider Comfort
The Ducati riding position is one of confidence and readiness. One of the things I noticed on my first time out was the width and position of the bars. It felt completely different from any other motorcycle I had ever ridden. And I loved it.I liked the adjustable levers, too.
Power Feel & Engine
I like the power, acceleration and sexy style if this bike. It was great to have all that “Monster” power and all those gears. I never once found myself searching for another gear. It was more like, "Oh crap, there's still more here?" This bike was fun on the freeways at speed and even more fun on the twisty canyon roads.
Handling & Shifting
This bike feels stable at higher speeds. I like the compact feel of the bike, but never felt cramped.. The drive train didn't feel quite as sorted as some of the other bikes I have ridden. I had a little trouble finding neutral a few times, but I might just need a more time to get used to the new feel.
Features & Controls
When you are on the Monster 696 and in your confident, head's up riding position, you don't actually see much of the bike. Some people prefer to have a lot of machine out front. I had always thought I preferred that too. Some bikes come with all sorts of fairings and those front fairings never really leave your line of sight as you ride. On the Monster, I realized early on that when I was cruising down the street, it felt like I was a human with flying privileges. The pieces and parts of the bike are under you and behind you leaving the road and the world just ahead.
Apparence
This bike is a looker and turns a lot of heads. I saw it happen everywhere I went. It’s not just a motorcycle. It is a piece of art. From the sparkling headlight all the way back to the tail section, every detail was addressed with care.
Confidence Inspiring
I could sit on the bike flat footed and back it up with confidence while seated. This may not be a big deal for you, but for me, this is a rare and wonderful feeling. The Monster's tank is narrow and can easily be squeezed when accelerating aggressively. I know this phrase is totally overused, but I did feel "one with the bike." We were a team. I wasn't riding it. It wasn't riding me. We were just riding.
Value
With a price tag of $8795, this bike has the potential to keep you entertained for decades. It’s a pleasure to ride while cruising and even more fun to get on the throttle. I loved the sound of the engine, the responsiveness of the motor and how completely in tune I felt while riding. It’s a beautiful bike and I can’t wait to ride another Ducati.

Description

Attention to Detail is Key
More Info
When you climb aboard a 2012 Ducati Monster 696, you are not just experiencing a motorcycle, you are choosing to part of an amazing lifestyle and heritage of an Italian icon. Ducati engineers did not skimp or turn a blind eye to one detail on this motorcycle. From the more compact new crankcases to the stylish exhaust system, this bike makes a striking statement. The Monster engine is developed for an incredibly flexible power delivery and enough torque to exit the most challenging of corners.
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Motorcycle Gear
 
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
3.5
Comfort 
 
4.0
Functionality 
 
3.5
Protection 
 
4.0
Quality 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Jan Plessner    July 13, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -  

Unquestionably Feminine, but Accented with an Edge

For a mid-priced helmet, I really liked how the Icon Airframe Angel looked right out of the box. The design is sweet and the helmet feels light, yet solid.

It took me a few rides to remember that in order to open the faceshield, you need to use your left hand. There is no tab on the right. For some reason, I would be downshifting to a stop and holding in the clutch with my left hand exactly when I wanted to reach up and open the helmet with my right. Once I retrained my brain, all was fine.

The helmet is relatively quiet and super comfortable. As marketed, it does ventilate well. Even on the hottest summer afternoon, it didn’t fog up or feel stuffy.

The shield is super clear and distortion free. I really like the Prolock shield system. It’s a tiny little chrome-colored peg on the top of the left side of the chin bar that lets you snap in the face shield when you want to lock it down. It’s easy to release by simply pulling up on the tab when you open the shield. This is the first time I have used this system and I liked it. There is no guessing as to whether or not the shield is all the way down and absolutely no way it will pop open later as your speed increases.

I used this helmet for a half-day photo shoot and while I liked some of the images, I thought I looked like a bobblehead in others. I think in this helmet I might be between a size small and extra small and that would explain why the helmet looked like it was resgin on my head at a funky angle in some of the pictures. Or it just might be the shape of the helmet. It looks to me like the helmet in general is a little larger than others. I would not have realized this if I hadn’t had 50 pictures to review after the ride.

I didn’t feel any buffeting at moderate highway speeds, even on a power cruiser that offered no windscreen. Icon says the rear spoiler reduces buffeting and I would have to say it worked.

I appreciate the branded Street Angel soft helmet bag and shield cleaning kit that came standard with the helmet. The bottle and soft cloth is just the right size to pack along on rides. Thank you Icon for remembering I don’t like looking through a buggy faceshield.

The Icon Airframe Street Angel is available in black or pink. If you want to scream “I am Woman!” my all means, pick the pink. If you are looking to be a little more inconspicuous, but equally just as cool, the black with white graphics and a little red heart on the back is for you (and me). The suggested MSRP is $330.

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Motorcycle Gear
 
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
3.5
Comfort 
 
5.0
Functionality 
 
4.5
Protection 
 
4.5
Quality 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Jan Plessner    July 12, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -  

If Comfort is Key, then this Boot is For You

These Alpinestars Stella Gran Torino Gore-Tex® All Weather touring boots are the bomb. Okay, so they don't look super fancy or special on the outside. I get that, but I wear my pant legs outside this style of street boot anyway.

If you are looking for a boot that you will forget you have on, then I highly recommend you give this brand and style a serious look. I wore them day and night recently for a multiple day riding tour of New England and I was not disappointed.

I can't wait to try them in the rain to see if they really are "all weather." I'm guessing my feet will stay dry.

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Motorcycle Gear
 
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
5.0
Comfort 
 
4.0
Functionality 
 
4.0
Protection 
 
3.5
Quality 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Jan Plessner    July 12, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -  

Loving the White AStars Sniper Jacket

This jacket makes for a very fine daily commuter. It's bright and people see it. I love how it looks, even as the white material continues to collect dirt and bugs. That's what dry cleaners are for, right?

It's comfortable and easy to adjust when you change out your gloves or wear different layers underneath. While I was in the hot weather back east, I would have benefited from some vents.

The Sniper offers moderate protection in all the right places. If I was going on a cross country ride or knew I was really going to push it, I might choose something with a little more thickness in the armour. This is a mild weather jacket.

Nothing has torn, broken or come apart. It's durable. I've taken it by train, plane, automobile and bike. It's still holding up and feeling great.

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Reviews
 
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Rider Comfort 
 
4.5
Power Feel 
 
4.0
Handling & Shifting 
 
3.5
Features & Controls 
 
3.5
Apparence 
 
4.0
Confidence Inspiring 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Jan Plessner    July 11, 2012
Last updated: July 24, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -  

2012 Triumph America Satisfies the Need for Speed

The Triumph America uses a traditional British parallel twin. It comes stock with a low seat and an even lower accessory gel seat may be purchased to bring it down another inch. For some riders, you just can't offer too many "low" choices.

All that chrome looks great, but this bike is far from just a looker. This bike has muscle and it can move! It's relatively light and that is much appreciated by smaller and lighter riders.

All this power, comfort and fun for under $8,600, if you pick the two-tone look over the Phantom black. The Triumph America is a solid package. With a few bolt on bags and a windshield (if you must), and you've got yourself a motorcycle that is quite capable of a multiple-day or cross-country adventure. The Triumph America comes with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty, so relax and go ride.

Pros & Cons

Pros
1. Pulls strong through all gears 2. Torque monster, especially in 1st & 2nd 3. Solid at high speed
Cons
1. Tank-mounted lights difficult to see 2. Difficulty finding neutral

Rating Details

Rider Comfort

The 2012 Triumph America has a very comfortable and low seat. At just 27.1 inches, it's easy for a smaller person to plant both feet and move the bike around while seated. I am 5'3" and the balls of my feet are easily on the ground when I am relaxed. I can plant the whole foot if I stretch a little bit.

Additionally, the seat is shaped in a way that keeps you from sliding backwards. You don't have to work at staying in the cockpit. I expected a lot more wind in the face, but I didn't even notice the wind until I was up to speed with the freeway speeders.

Power Feel & Engine

I like how the bike sounds, although I was a little disappointed that my 865cc engine was completely stifled by a neighboring Harley-Davidson that rolled up and stopped a couple car lengths away. This baby has a stated 60hp and tons of torque. You can feel this power in every gear. It never goes away.

Handling & Shifting

This bike is quite agile and handles extremely well. I felt very comfortable during tight turning maneuvers at slow speeds. The bike feels like it has a low center of gravity.

The clutch is adjustable with four different settings. This helps bring the lever in for smaller paws. I tried all four settings and preferred the one for smaller hands. The drivetrain is smooth and the bike shifts up and down effortlessly. I never experienced a missed shift, but I did have a little trouble nudging it into neutral after I had stopped at some of the busier intersections in town.

Features & Controls

Combine the 5.1-gallon gas tank along with a hearty mpg average and you've got the opportunity to cover some serious distance between fill-ups. The Triumph America has a simple analogue speedometer with trip information and it is easy to read at speed.

Kayaba suspension front and rear keep the bike planted through the curves and over the bumps. There is no tachometer. I would have liked one to see where my rpms were. My biggest pet peeve is that the tank-mounted indicator lights (blinker, neutral, low oil and high beam) are very hard to read in the sunlight.

Apparence

It may take your eyes a minute to adjust, but once you do you'll appreciate top-notch paint and a high level of attention to detail on this cruiser. I love the chrome and I love the two-tone paint scheme, too. With a model name like America and a two-tone blue and white design, all this bike needs is a rider with a red jacket or lid.

Confidence Inspiring

Overall, the 2012 Triumph America does inspire confidence, however, this bike has a lot of grunt down low. If you are a first-time rider and intimidated by a lot of low-end torque, this may be a great second or forever bike. With adequate power pulling all the way through the gears, experienced motorcyclists should not get bored. This bike packs a punch.

Value

You are going to save a bundle of cash when you trade in your keys to the family SUV for this daily commuter. It averages 48 mpg in the city and 59 on the highway. If you relax your throttle hand a bit, you may be able to wander up to 250 miles between fuel stops.

I think that's a respectable range for such a small yet powerful cruiser. Overall, I think the price for this bike is a good value. It's not just an around town bike. It's not just touring bike. It's not just a bike night bike. It's everything and anything you want to do with it. Add a couple of accessories and go!

Description

2012 Triumph America Options
More Info
There are a number of options available so you can personalize the bike to better suit your needs. Twin 18-liter leather saddlebags will hold your gear. An auxiliary lamp kit up front will help you stand out and see the road. Chrome rider footboards, a passenger sissy bar, highway pegs and a rear luggage rack are also available. There is even an accessory seat that is a full inch lower than the standard stock seat for those who want it as low as it can go (26.1”). This lower seat features an integral gel comfort pad that is especially nice for long-distance touring. And when you compare this model to Americas of years past, Triumph talks about improved handling and an improved ride. I guess we will just have to hear from past and current Triumph America owners to let us in on how they like the newest model.
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