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Offline Tankertruck

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First 2-up ride (short report)
« on: September 21, 2015, 01:10:42 pm »
Hello everyone.  Now I have the bike set up like I want it, and am now just working out the kinks for some long rides, I thought I would comment on the bike a bit for those of you who are interested in the thoughts of my wife and myself regarding the bike. 

For reference, before the 2013 TTSE, we owned (and toured on) a 2008 Tiger 1050, 2010 C14, and most recently a 2014 Super Tenere ES.  Our short list before we bought this bike was the K1600GTL, R1200RT, Trophy and FJR.  For reference, I would have bought a C14 again if they had cruise on it, and it dropped 50 lbs +/-.  We test rode the base 4 we were considering, and money wasn't really a huge deciding factor, but I am always the type of person who will go for the best deal possible, as long as it serves our purpose.

For quick reference, the 1600 was too big for me to get comfortable on, the FJR was too sporty for the wife and too wide for me at the tank, and the RT and Trophy were the last two.  The RT had a small issue where our feet would hit when riding and on the pegs, and I didn't gel with that funky suspension - the wife really liked it. The TTSE had no real issues whatsoever, except for being heavier than the RT - the wife liked it. 

We have a triumph touring screen, heated grips, heated seats, top box, side boxes, front mudguard, rear splash guard...  I think that's it.  I'll put some pictures up once I clean up the bike a bit. 

Living in MA we do a lot of interstate riding at 75-80 mph (the pace of traffic around here), so the bike needed to be stable and comfortable at speed in heavy traffic.  I'm seriously considering getting a 2nd fun solo bike, so the Trophy is primarily a 2-up bike.  We go across most of the Northeast, mostly on long weekends (5-days +/-) when we can sneak away from the kids.

We rode about 3 hours in total, for our first "test ride" 2-up, in 75 degree weather, going from Uxbridge MA to Mohegan Sun Casino for the 90s party  :038:, and then returning about 2 hours later for the 1.5 hours back.  While it sounds like I should have, considering the music, no alcohol was consumed.  Twisty back roads for 1/2 hour, to a 1-hour slog on Rte 395 for those familiar with the area.  Comfort setting, 2-up setting, I was trying to be gentle on the throttle most of the time. 

All told, the bike performed rather flawlessly, cruising at an indicated 77 mph on the digital speedo (81 on the analog dial, and 74 on my GPS) with no issues at all.  However, I'm not sure why this isn't set more accurately (the Tenere was set to be 1 mph low at all speeds), but it's something you can learn to deal with pretty quickly I guess.  In heavy, fast-moving traffic, there was a bit more side buffeting than I remember on the C14, but less than on any other bike we owned. 

Weather protection was very good with the Triumph Touring screen, although both my wife and I noticed some minor back pressure on the ride down.  On the ride back, I sat up as straight as possible (imitating a taller seat, and not the low seat) which seemed to make it disappear for both of us.  We'll be testing the V-Stream and CalSci screens next, but I don't expect them to be much better, and will probably just get a standard (non-low) seat to try to deal with this issue.  I love the standard touring screen in that in the low position you get great airflow to your head, and in the highest position it provides a very nice pocket of air.  I actually was sweating in my touring jacket, so I'm in the market for a new jacket (probably Olympia, I like my wife's jacket).

For comfort, my wife had absolutely no complaints, except that her feat were a little 'tingly' after the ride down.  On the ride back they were fine. I attribute this comment to her boots at this point, because it's been a common complaint across all the bikes we've owned. Her hip and knee angles were fine, getting on the bike was easy, she had plenty of space to move around, and her (heated) seat was very comfortable.  I, on the other hand, experienced a bit of back cramping after about 1 hour of riding.  I will be looking at getting a 1" handlebar riser, and the taller (non-low) heated seat, as funds become available.  Otherwise it was nice. The reach to the bars is just a little too long (very minor) and the knee/hip angle is just a little too small for me right now, but this was only noticed after about a hour of riding on the highway.  I believe a 1" rise in seat height will be perfect along with a 1" riser, but as everyone is different, who knows. 

I bought the Ramball mount that goes on the lowest screws of the handlebars, and it works well.  However, the GPS power kept falling out of the plug in the glove box, so I'm thinking about getting a hardwired set up.  However, I have a new Garmin 2797LMT, so I will probably try to find a way to make the power stay in better first before dropping $600 on a new set up. 

So we're really happy with the bike.  It got just under an indicated 50 mpg on the ride (48.4 mpg, it said).   

A few minor complains/suggestions:
1. Triumph should fit a quick shifter (at least for up-shifts).  It would fit with the feel of the bike.   Coming from race-bikes, they offer a nice way to smooth out the power delivery without going to a GP set up (great for 2-up riding), and it was the only obviously plus the R1200RT had over the TTSE. 
2. The buttons, while a bit of a design-mess, weren't really that bad. Back-lit switches would be a nice bonus (particularly for the more important ones), but not 100% REQUIRED in my mind. I think a look at which buttons are needed, and how to minimize them, would go a long way (Yamaha's single starter/stop/run button vs the 3 buttons to do the same job on the TTSE, for example)
3. I believe adjustable bars could be incorporated pretty easily, with minor cost, and offer a better range of riding comfort to the purchasers.    Again not required, but a nice touch if possible. 
4. Cruise really should be operated by the left hand, like the FJR/tenere. That, however, overloads that side of the bars, so it might not be that easy. 

Offline azgman

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Re: First 2-up ride (short report)
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 03:00:44 pm »
Nice write up. I ride 2-up quite a bit and my wife likes the extra seat space and smoothness of the Trophy over the R1200RT I had before it.

As an alternative to Rt395, take Rt169 next time! (I lived in CT for 50 years)
Serial BMW rider

Offline dsinned

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Re: First 2-up ride (short report)
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 05:24:49 pm »
Good report!  Thanks!   :460:
Original owner of 2014 Lunar Silver Trophy SE, and 2015 Custom Silver & Black Bonneville T100.

Offline w8d4it

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Re: First 2-up ride (short report)
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2015, 05:49:11 pm »
Nice write up.  Good to hear someone's observations on two up riding as it is something I seldom do.
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Offline plgoddard

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Re: First 2-up ride (short report)
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2015, 11:22:53 pm »
*Originally Posted by w8d4it [+]
Nice write up.  Good to hear someone's observations on two up riding as it is something I seldom do.
+1
 :460:, TankerTruck!

Offline Stoney

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Re: First 2-up ride (short report)
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 05:59:59 am »
Thanks for the writeup! Two suggestions:
  • Try pre-loading the shifter.  It does quicken up the shift a bit.
  • For your fun solo bike, just remove the top box, side boxes, and pillion.  Fun times ahead!

 :152:
STONEY

Offline Older traveler

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Re: First 2-up ride (short report)
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 11:57:49 am »
My wife liked the H-D Ultra Classic much better. She’ll get over it…because I’m not going back. :001:

Offline Tankertruck

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Re: First 2-up ride (short report)
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2015, 12:31:11 pm »
My dad owns a... H-D Heritage Soft-tail (?) and 2 other HDs that I don't know what they are, plus my old B-King (which he won't sell back to me).  This meant my wife and I got to spend a few days on that cruiser when we went to visit them this summer.

I didn't mind the H-D, in all honesty, when you just wanted to get out and cruise around on 55 mph roads, but it didn't seem to have much 'sportiness' to it, at all, and my wife didn't have much space on the back to move around.  Everything felt kind of big and chunky, from the gear shift mechanism to the indicators.  For our roads out here, and the type of riding we do, I don't think it was a good fit at all.  But, I will admit I kind of liked the forward controls for that riding style, and if you were just out cruising back roads, I can see the appeal to some.

And while the TTSE is a good bike, and definitely can be fun, for my solo bike I'm more interested in the hooligan side of things, meaning speed triple, Aprilia VR4, hypermotard... that sort of thing.

I actually suggested to my wife that we do a 2-up vlog, and take a bunch of motorcycles out for rides and complain about them on the Youtube.  No one seems to do the two-up thing online.  Sadly, she didn't seem interested, and said she was 'too busy for that'.  Being a great husband, and always being concerned about her schedule and happiness, I suggested that I just hire a stand-in for her about her size, and no one would ever know it wasn't her.  I suggested an early 20s Hawaiian gal, I even painted a picture of what she could look like for her.  For some reason the suggestion was not even entertained...

 



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