Pick up any modern motorcycle magazine and you will see the flavors of the month emblazoned across the cover. Motorcycle magazines write reviews, and many of them write great reviews with enticing words describing horespower, braking and handling that make you want to dump your current motor-horse and head straight to the credit union for a loan. Few of these reviews, if any, tell you how the bike actually makes you feel.
On the way to the bank, you stop at the dealer and of course you never make it in to see the loan officer. You sit in the parking lot and cry for a while because who has $12k to spend. After interest? Don't ask.
Take heart, there is another way. There's a thing that happens when someone has more money than experience. It's called a salvage title motorcycle, and that is exactly what put me in touch with Ben at All Triumph
Ben, you see, is a dealer, a rider, a former stunter and a matchmaker of sorts. He's an honest businessman who happens to find guys like us their dream bikes without the outrageous new sticker price. These bike are...how do you say it..."Gently Crashed".
When someone lays down a modern sport bike, just cosmetic damage can result in a insurance claim that basically totals the machine. It's then sent off to an auction house where guys like Ben evaluate them, do some minor repair and offer them to the public at less than half the price of new.
My current Triumph Street Triple R was exactly that. With a nearly $12,000 new sticker price for the extra additions and factory titanium Arrow exhaust, it was sporting only 1700 miles when I found it in Ben's online store. It needed an instrument bracket, a mirror, and some TLC. A broken steering stop was qualified as "frame damage", totaled and BINGO... I got me a nearly new machine, and it was beautiful.
I have fallen in love with this motorcycle, because of where it takes me every time I ride it. In 1983, I had just moved to Colorado and just met the girl who would eventually become my wife. I had just taken a new job at an aerospace firm and just purchased my first brand new motorcycle, a yellow and black Kenny Roberts edition 1984 Yamaha RZ 350. I worked nights and rode it to work every day, rain or shine. I'd take the long way home through canyons and by rhe reservoir just so I didn't have to get off of it so soon.
I took my girl on lunch dates for tortellini at a little local Italian resturant. I bought a silk aviators scarf to keep the wind out of my neck. This little start-one-kick-everytime machine... its snappy sound, its two-stroke smell, even the glow of its green neutral light, just improved the quality of my life.
Marriage, kids, mini vans and mortgage payments made me a used bike guy. A no-bike guy for a while too. I've had a lot of motorcycles since that time, but when I sat on this nearly new Phantom Black Triumph triple, all those memories came flooding back.
2012 was a monumental for me, in terms of riding. I spent more time showing my incredible state to some of the best friends I've ever had. We covered more of New Mexico than I knew existed and I never once doubted the reliability of this fabulous, perfect machine. The sound of that 675cc triple is one that I can only describe as magical. You have to hear it to believe it, and each section of road, acceleration or deceleration brings new tones. It has the depth of a complex wine. Call me crazy, but I love riding this bike just to hear the sounds it emits.
So consider your dream bike and consider finding a guy like Ben to help you make it a reality. If you can live with a little imperfection, (my Triumph still has a few dings in the gas tank) you might find a real gem.
You also might be surprised at what comes of it. I certainly was.