TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE R
WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2013): $15,999
MODS: Replacement Ventura L-brackets, red reflective tape
I'm stacking on the miles. That's because 1) I love riding this motorcycle, and 2) I've had a few assignments outside Los Angeles County that I opted to ride to. Before I could shove off on my first overnight trip, I needed to reinstall my Ventura luggage system. Fine, except the L-brackets—the structural pieces that bolt to the bike's subframe and support the rack and Mistral pack—were bent in the crash. No problem, because Ventura (www.ventura-mca.com) sells components individually, allowing me to order up new L-brackets for $174.
Back with my rack and pack, I realized something that may have contributed to that rear-ender incident. There's no doubt the driver who hit me wasn't paying attention, but I may have been hard to see; the tail pack is tall enough that it obscures the big reflective stripe that spans the back of my Aerostich Roadcrafter suit. As a quick fix, I outlined a triangle in red reflective vinyl tape on the back of the pack. It definitely makes the bike more visible from the back, even in daylight, plus it matches the R's red subframe and rim strips. Nice! I don't want to look like a construction site, though, so I'll probably add some auxiliary LED brake lights as a more elegant, permanent fix.
I logged an easy 350 miles cruising to and from El Cajon, CA, to ride the Suzuki Hayabusa discussed elsewhere in this issue. With my MFW Vario footpegs offering more legroom and the Mistral pack serving as a backrest, the trip went down in comfort. After stepping off the 'Busa, the Speed Triple didn't feel quite as fast, but the upright riding position is more comfortable for longer rides, and I made the entire return trip to Santa Monica—about 150 miles—in one sitting, averaging an all-time high of 47 mpg.